Luscious Lemon Bars (gluten & dairy-free with egg & sugar-free options)

Luscious Lemon Bars - Gluten, Dairy, & Sugar-Free with Egg-Free option. A super-tasty treat with a lighter feel than traditional brownies and cookie bars, these Lemon Bars really fit the bill for a special-diet-friendly special treat.

Since I am a super busy mom like many of you, I don’t have time to do much baking–but I do love to treat my family to healthier versions of baked goods when I can. These Grain Free Cookies, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, and Egg free Macaroons are some of our favorites.  Lemon Bars are another treat that I loved when I was younger, so I was thrilled to be able to develop a healthier version for us to enjoy.

I pulled this recipe together in the summertime, which isn’t the best time to bake, of course, but two weeks ago, the temperature “dipped” down into the 70’s and so I grabbed the opportunity to do some quick baking (I made my simple Oat Bran Muffins) and try out a new recipe.  And boy did we get a winner!  Luscious Lemony Goodness!

The inspiration for these bars are the Lemon Coconut Bars on Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.  I showed them to my son and well, both of us were inspired to give them a whirl!  In fact, he jumped up and down with the sweetest smile on his face, so I just had to bake them.

The only problem was, my oldest has a life-threatening allergy to eggs, so I just had to create two versions and then bake several batches with eggs and several without so that my oldest wouldn’t be left without a special treat :-).

Well, even with all of those batches, these taste soooo good, that they were gone in a flash!

Sugar and Gluten Free and Vegan Lemon Coconut BarsEgg-Free Version

Notes: The egg-free version doesn’t look nearly as pretty and the filling pretty much soaked into the crust, but they were still quite tasty.  <p>Once it gets cooler, I will take another run at these bars with a different type of filling to see what can be done about making the egg-free version better :-).

*I try not to be a gluten-free flour purist.  I do, however, like using sweet brown rice since it adds a bit of “hold togetherness”.  Too much buckwheat doesn’t taste great, though, so be careful if you choose to bake with this!  Use almond flour for a low carb option.
**I think any nut or seed would work.  Let me know if you try others!  I’ll try to let you know if I do too!
***Stevia extract comes with a small 1/32nd tsp scoop.
****I LOVE Dream Foods International’s lemon juice and that is what I linked to.  Buy the huge bottle at most Costco stores for a great deal!

Other “Healthier” Desserts

“Almond Joy” Bars
Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips
Almost “Reese’s” Candy
Chocolate Chunk Coconut Macadamia Cookies
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

 This post contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclaimer here

Comments

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  1. these look fantastic! gluten free and healthy! :D how did they taste? btw you still have to email me about your 8×10 yellowartheart picture!

  2. Catherine says:

    OHHHH! My friend just told me that after I delivered I should try the hospital’s lemon tort. Sounded good, but yours would be a safe nutritious option! One more thing to pack when I go in labor.

  3. This sounds so good and something different from all the almond flour treats I’ve been making! Will try it soon but I’ll need to get some gelatin and soak my seeds.

  4. These look amazing! And I can’t wait for your post on powdered sweetener!!!

  5. We love lemon desserts at our house too.
    We can’t use Xylitol in our home since even the smallest amount of it is deadly to dogs, but I love to substitute with organic honey (they feed corn syrup to bees these days, so it has to be organic for us.)
    You are so creative with all the substitutes. Amazing. :-)
    Thank you for linking up at Joy of Desserts. Come back soon.

    • I knew about xylitol being a problem for dogs, but not to the extent that dog owners couldn’t have it in their homes! Wow. I wish I could eat honey.
      I hope to be back next time!

  6. Your lemon bars have been very popular at the HomeMade Monday party today! Thanks again for linking up. These look delicious!

  7. These bars sounds amazing! I have two gf children and one lactose intolerant children so I appreciate all of your options. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

    • I’m so glad! I hope you like them! We have so many dietary issues that it makes it a challenge, but when you find something that works, yippee!

  8. Can’t wait to try these. Thanks for sharing on Tasty Tuesday.

  9. Do you have any ideas on a subsititue for the coconut oil I cannot have it, also nothing like a tree nut oil I cannot have anything like that. Any help I would be greatful for.
    Thanks Beth

    • Hi Beth!

      Hmmm…Well, I have several options for you. First of all, what is the nature of your situation regarding coconut oil? My son has life-threatening food allergies, so I am familiar with these kinds of issues (though I am for sure not a doctor :-)). Anyway, if it is the protein that you are allergic to, maybe you could find a coconut oil that is not expeller or cold pressed. Those kinds of oils are generally considered safe for those with allergies to the food proteins.

      Also, palm oil should be fine as should butter or ghee. I can get you in touch with a healthy option for the palm oil if you are interested.

      Hope that helps!

  10. LOL.. I saw your picture and said the same thing — “mmm.. lemon bars”. heh.. They really do look quite mouthwatering! Thanks for sharing this treat at this week’s Sugar Free Sunday!

  11. These look so yummy! And I’m glad there is a dairy-free option!:)

  12. KB and Whitesnake says:

    Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

  13. I love lemon anything and these sound amazing. Thank you :) And by the way, I have xylitol in my home and I have dogs, but now I think I’m chucking it out cause I had no idea about it being deadly for animals. Goodness….it’s gone now LOL

  14. I love lemon bars! Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.

  15. we have gone CF in our home and are headed to GF with lots of other limitations – such as sugar. So, this is a helpful recipe. Thanks!

  16. These look absolutely delicious! Wow, I’m impressed. Will you link them today? http://notyourordinaryrecipes.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_11.html
    Your blog is great! Two very important people in my life are GF. It’s hard to find tasty stuff, but not anymore! New Networked Blog follower!

  17. Adrienne, I just love the sunflowers in the crust. These lemon Bar’s look so good! Hope you are going to have a wonderful week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

    • Hi Helen!
      I thought the seeds were great too, though I must admit that it wasn’t my idea. I did have to adjust the recipe quite a bit as it just wouldn’t work out the way that the original recipe was. I guess tinkering is my specialty :-). See you next week! – Adrienne

  18. Thank you for linking these amazing treats to Foodie Friday! Please come back next week! http://notyourordinaryrecipes.blogspot.com

  19. I feel like I just got a tingle in the back of my mouth! Can’t wait to try these delicious looking treats!

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  20. fantastic. thanx for sharing this yummyness

    heres my FOOD TRIP FRIDAY entry

  21. Thanks for sharing your gluten-free version of lemon bars. I love lemon bars and it’s nice to know that people with dietary restrictions can enjoy them as well. Thanks for linking up to Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  22. I haven’t had lemon bars in ages! Thanks for giving all of the options for their needs.

    Thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop last week.

  23. I just love lemon bars, but haven’t made any this summer. Great job on making an egg free version for your son!

  24. wow, sooo yummy! Would love it if you came and shared this recipe with us at Tasty Tuesday! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/2011/08/summer-corn-salad-and-tasty-tuesday.html

  25. I am impressed with this bar free dairy, gluten and eggs. You must know a lot about combining ingredients to get the flavor without these. Kudos. This is being featured this week. It is truly worthy of the honor.

    • Wow. Thanks so much. I must say that necessity is the mother of invention. My oldest is deathly allergic to egg whites and dairy. Off gluten due to autism. But still loves to eat :-) (Takes after his mom and dad :-)!)

  26. New follower from the foodie mama hop. Got to it a bit late. Love this recipe. Your blog is wonderful. Great recipes.

  27. Your site is fantastic. I very recently began a low-carb, no sugar diet to hopefully help with some PCOS symptoms. I have been having trouble with not being able to appease my sweet tooth, nor find any real good sounding recipes for doing so. Love it. We also live right across from a field where the city dumps and spreads sewage waste and I find it impossible to find like-minded folk to be concerned with these sorts of things going on right under nose. Ignorance is bliss – no truer saying.

    • Oh Rebecca. I am sorry about what you are struggling with. I hope you stick around. You might be interested in the protocol that I am doing to remove toxins and metals. I would love to be of any help that I can. Please email me through my contact me page if you would like any more help. The sugar thing is hard, but it can be done – if I can do it, anyone can. Really. :-).

  28. These look great! My dairy allergic son would probably love these. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  29. That looks so super yummy! I would love it if you shared this, and/or whatever else you want, on my bloghop – Makin’ You Crave Monday, over at MrsHappyHomemaker.com!

  30. Yummy! Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  31. Wondering if you have tried making these with coconut flour? And, if so, how did they turn out??

    • Hello Shannan. I haven’t tried them w/ coconut flour. It absorbs more liquid so perhaps you could try it and add some liquid to the crust? I really haven’t tried converting recipes from GF to coconut flour, but maybe try adding 1/4 cup liquid per cup of flour converting? I’d be interested in hearing how they turn out if you try them :-)

  32. I made these this past weekend and they were yummy. I did have the problem of the custard soaking into the crust.

    Did you ever come up with a solution? Also they weren’t lemony enough for my family. Do you think if I added more lemon, I’ll have to add more thickener too?

    I also substituted ground almonds for the sunflower seeds because i didn’t have the latter.

    I really appreciate all your efforts on your website and blog.

    • Hi Kelly. Did you change anything at all? I’m assuming you made the GF version, right? I haven’t found a solution but I think adding a thickener like gelatin or agar agar would take care of it. The eggs are basically coagulating the mixture and keeping it from soaking in.

      I think adding a tad more lemon wouldn’t mean you need much more thickener, but since it’s already kind of runny you probably should. Just adjust it proportionally to how much liquid you are increasing the whole recipe by. I don’t think the almonds would make too much of a difference but I think they are typically more dry than sunflower seeds so they might soak up more moisture. Hope that helps.

  33. Great to find another blog focused on rethinking our diet!
    Just wanted to share some thoughts on replacing the eggs (and gelatin). Have you tried agar? It is completely tasteless and similar in finished texture to gelatin, but softer, and used frequently in candy. I think adding that would help keep the pie filling from soaking in so much and make it look more like a ‘proper’ lemon bar. It is fairly expensive in health food stores, but cheap in asian markets (it is a kind of seaweed).

    Another favourite egg replacer of mine is psyllium husk or powder. Not sure how that works with your son’s allergies (my total sympathies), but it is a fantastic binder! Mixed up with water it takes on a mucous like texture, which is gross but makes cookies super chewy! The added benefit is that psyllium helps keep things moving along in the bowels (it’s the main component of Metamucil).
    Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • Thanks! I have used agar and I also have been working with glucomannan recently — I started using them later so I should possibly redo the recipe – thanks!

  34. LaDonna Lateadah says:

    What would be a vegan gelatin option? I always have trouble with that.

  35. I love how you recreated this recipe, Adrienne! I am always inspired by the way you work so hard for your kids. You are incredible!
    xo

  36. In the oven as I type….I only made one change, we do not tolerate sunflower anything, so I used pumpkin seeds instead. It looks like it will be just fine. Can’t wait to taste it. Will post when I am enjoying them.

  37. I just wanted to point out that this recipe is neither vegetarian or vegan as the Great Lakes Gelatin is an animal product. Great Lakes has 2 varieties of gelatin. They have a beef variety and a porcine variety which is derived from pork.

  38. Makes me wish I liked sweets! I love lemon!