Healthier Lemon Bars (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

These healthier lemon bars are sweetened naturally with maple syrup and are grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free!

Healthier Lemon Bars {maple sweetened, grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free}

You might be wondering why I’m posting a lemon recipe when, as you know, it’s pumpkin time! Today, a group of food bloggers has gotten together to throw Liz of The Lemon Bowl a surprise baby shower!

I got to meet Liz while at BlogHer Food in Austin this summer. She was so sweet and I’m super excited for her and her family!

Liz, who almost always posts healthy recipes, got a bit naughty with her recipe for lemon bars. They were for her mother for Mother’s Day but I figured that Liz would love a healthier version!

{maple sweetened, gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free}

Lemon bars are usually so full of white sugar but this version? Just maple syrup!

I made raspberry lemon bars a few months ago. That filling is honey sweetened and has an amazing whole grain buttery cookie crust, which you could use instead of the crust in this recipe (make only half of that crust recipe!)

These lemon bars have a macaroon-like base. But it was just too much crust for me. I’ve written the recipe as I made it, but I would halve the crust if I were you.

Healthier Lemon Bars – maple sweetened, and free of dairy, gluten and grains! | texanerin.com

Don’t need to eat grain-free? Go for the less healthy crust in the raspberry lemon bars! :D I mentioned in my blueberry cream cheese pie recipe that it’s the best crust ever. And it is. But it’s kind of an unfair comparison – it’s full of butter, sugar, and whole wheat pastry flour and this version is grain-free and lightly sweetened with maple syrup.

Be sure to check out the other ladies’ baby shower goodies! Do you notice a theme here? :)

Appetizers

Beverages

Salads

Main Dish

Desserts

Healthier Lemon Bars

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Rated 4.3 by 7 readers
Healthier Lemon Bars (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 bars

Ingredients

    For the crust:1

  • 2½ tablespoons (31 grams) coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (50 grams) almond flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white
  • For the filling:

  • 3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • ⅓ cup (33 grams) almond flour
  • For serving:

  • powdered sugar or coconut flour, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper (this make the bars much easier to remove from the pan).
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond flour and salt.
  5. Mix until well combined and remove from the heat.
  6. Add the egg white (saving the yolk for later!) and stir.
  7. Pat the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  9. Meanwhile, start preparing the filling.
  10. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and egg yolks until frothy.
  11. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for two additional minutes.
  12. Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 19 - 21 minutes or until the center is set.
  13. Let the bars cool completely and then cut and serve.
  14. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  15. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar or coconut flour, if desired.

Notes

  1. Please read the post concerning halving the crust!

Adapted from Perfect Lemon Coconut Bars from Green Kitchen Stories

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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75 comments on “Healthier Lemon Bars (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • felicity says
    April 5, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

    i love the idea that these grain and gluten free and i also love the idea of the raspberry lemon bars you posted… the fillings are quite similar but the flour and liquid quantities are slightly different and i know almond flour behaves a bit differently…do u know if i could i just add raspberries to this filling or do you think i would have to change the quantities for the other ingredients or do u think i could simply swap the wheat flour for almond flour in the raspberry lemon filling?? thanks in advance :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to felicity
      April 5, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

      That’s a tough but great question that I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to. I always say that nut flours and wheat aren’t interchangeable but in this filling recipe, I think it could work (but I’m really not sure!) I’d try 1/4 cup almond flour in place of the wheat in the raspberry filling recipe and then use this lemon bar recipe as your grain-free base. And I love that you asked this because I now have a new post idea. :) I’m definitely going to try making a grain-free version of those raspberry bars! I hope they’ll work out for you if you try them. Let me know how it goes. :)

      Reply
      • felicity replies to Erin
        April 6, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

        Well i attempted to do a grain free version of the raspberry lemon bars.. using this base and the raspberry filling i just substituted almond flour for wheat flour… well they didnt look anything like yours they were very tart and not very sweet at all but i wouldnt want to add any more honey its too strong a flavour i think(mayb brown rice syrup instead?) and i wasnt that keen on the texture of the filling was kind of grainy i think that was cos of the almond flour i must admit i didnt strain the raspberries tho cos a bit of crunch from the seeds doesnt bother me. not sure if mayb my oven was too hot- i had it on 180c (im in australia) or im not sure…they r ok but the filling defininatly needs some tweeking to get right i think. Thanks for ur help ill keep my out in case you do end up do a grain free version . ps i also made ur healthier rice crispies OMG AMAZING!!! I could easily eat the whole batch in one sitting

        Reply
        • Erin replies to felicity
          April 7, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

          Aww, what a bummer! I’m sorry it didn’t work out. The filling with wheat flour is smooth and plenty sweet so I’ll have to see how the grain-free version works. I think I may try a small amount of coconut flour and see how that goes. Once I get around to trying it out, I’ll leave a comment here (and you’ll get an another email) to let you know how it went! It won’t be for a while, though. Thanks so much for letting me know how it came out!

        • Erin replies to felicity
          July 15, 2015 @ 9:09 am

          Hey again! Another commenter on the raspberry bars post said she used arrowroot starch / powder / flour in place of the flour in the filling and it worked out well for her. :) I hope that helps!

  • Jessica says
    January 31, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

    Hi, Erin! I am so excited to find this recipe! Do you happen to know if this could be modified to be made with Stevia instead of the maple syrup? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jessica
      January 31, 2015 @ 10:11 pm

      Hi there, Jessica! Is it liquid Stevia? Whatever you replace the maple syrup with needs to be a liquid so it comes out correctly. I honestly don’t have any experience with Stevia but if it’s liquid, I’m assuming it’d work! Sorry I couldn’t be more of a help. I hope they’ll come out well and that you’ll love them as much as I did! :)

      Reply
  • Mollie
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    September 23, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

    I did not have any shredded coconut on hand, so I added two tablespoons of Chia seeds to the mixture and a dash of extra coconut oil. I made the filling as directed and they turned out AMAZING! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mollie
      September 23, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

      That’s an interesting sub! I would have never thought of that. So happy that it worked out. :) Thanks a bunch for the feedback!

      Reply
  • Olga
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    says
    July 27, 2014 @ 3:37 am

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! These were delicious, will definitely make them again, and again. Question – have you ever tried freezing them? If so, how to they stand up to the freezing?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Olga
      July 29, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Olga! I haven’t tried freezing these and to be honest, I’m not sure how well they’d do. I don’t normally freeze eggy / custard types of desserts but for some reason, I think this one wouldn’t be all that bad after freezing. I’m happy that you enjoyed the bars and thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  • Bec says
    July 13, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    These turned out wonderful. My sister who is a fussy eater absolutely adored these and is already asking when my next batch is. Thank you

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Bec
      July 13, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

      I’m so happy that she liked them! Thanks so much for the feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Amy says
    June 2, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    They came out perfect! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Amy
      June 3, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

      So happy that they worked out for you! Thanks for the feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Kari says
    May 1, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    I was wonder do you use “shredded coconut” or “Coconut Flour” ? When you click on the shredded coconut link it sends you to Bob’s Red Mill Coconut FLOUR. I have both but I want the recipe to turn out. Which did you use?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kari
      May 1, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

      Thank you so much for pointing that out! The link is wrong – definitely use shredded coconut as listed! I’ve fixed it now. Thanks again and I hope you’ll enjoy the bars! :)

      Reply
  • Angie Haering
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    says
    April 26, 2014 @ 6:13 am

    I just made these not expecting a HUGE indulgent flavor but at least decent tasting. Way too much oil and it’s pretty much all I could taste. I think it needs more lemon or something. I was not a huge fan but they did turn out presentable.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Angie Haering
      April 26, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

      I’m sorry you didn’t like them or even find them decent tasting. Did you only use 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil? Mine were definitely far from oily and I couldn’t taste the oil at all over all the coconut and lemon, which is why I ask.

      Reply
  • Diane says
    April 22, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    These look wonderful. I’m wondering, can the coconut be omitted to reduce the crust?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Diane
      April 22, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

      That’s an interesting idea! The problem would be that you’d probably have to reduce the liquids but I have no idea by how much. I hope it works out if you try it! :)

      Reply
      • Diane replies to Erin
        April 23, 2014 @ 3:36 am

        Thanks, Erin. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

        Reply
  • Amy says
    April 16, 2014 @ 4:14 am

    I was wondering if blanched almond flour is the same as almond flour? Thanks, Amy

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Amy
      April 16, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

      Yes! It’s the same. :)

      Reply
  • Athena
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    says
    April 9, 2014 @ 2:57 am

    i cant wait to try these. By any chance would you happen to have the nutritional information? thank you.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Athena
      April 9, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

      I intentionally don’t include the nutritional info (I focus on making healthier choices rather than low calorie / fat / etc.) but you can copy and paste the recipe here for that info, if you like. I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)

      Reply
  • SherryW says
    April 8, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

    I made these in an 8×8 pan. They couldn’t be more perfect! Very lemony with a tender, moist crust. I will definitely be making them again – WOW!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to SherryW
      April 9, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

      Yay! So happy to hear that they came out well for you. And good to know that an 8″ x 8″ pan works! Thanks a ton for the feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Samantha Howard
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    says
    March 15, 2014 @ 5:11 am

    This looks so good I cant wait to try it!

    Reply
  • Heather Love says
    March 9, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

    Not sure where I went wrong with these. I did not halve the crust (thankfully!) and it was a very thin spread, indeed. We ended up having to eat these with a fork. They did taste excellent, but the texture…. hmmm. Much to be desired. Perhaps the shredded coconut should be finely shredded? I think this was my issue. My coconut shreds were very large and did not help to hold the whole together. Any other thoughts on why mine turned out so viscous, as a whole?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Heather Love
      March 10, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

      I’m sorry they didn’t come out! :( Did you use a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan or a larger one? Because my crust was much too thick! (hopefully you can see what I mean by the pictures). If your coconut shreds were abnormally large, that could definitely play a part in the problem. Did you make any subs or do anything differently? I’m not sure what else could have caused the problem. I’ve made these several times and never had an issue. Sorry again that they didn’t come out for you!

      Reply
    • Kay replies to Heather Love
      April 18, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

      I haven’t tried these yet, but am wondering whether the problem above could be because flaked, sweetened coconut was used, rather than grated, unsweetened.

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Kay
        April 19, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

        That sounds like that could be the reason! Thanks for the suggestion. :)

        Reply
  • Suzanne
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    November 5, 2013 @ 12:11 am

    These sound wonderful and I love lemon bars so much but the idea of trying a healthier version is great.

    Reply
  • Deborah says
    October 20, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    I love lemon bars, and your version looks perfect!!

    Reply
  • Donna says
    October 19, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    Just made these. They’re so good! Thank you! I made a GAPS version by using honey instead of maple, and I had half the base like you said, which was perfect. I did use the other half of the base in another pan, drizzled with some of the lemon, and baked that for a soft biscuit/slice thing, which is also really good!

    oh, I did also have to bake it all double the time you said.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Donna
      October 19, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

      So happy that you liked them, Donna! A version with honey sounds great. :) And love your idea of what to do with the other half of the crust. Thanks so much for the feedback! :)

      Reply
  • Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} says
    October 17, 2013 @ 4:08 am

    These look AMAZING! Liz is a great gal and what a wonderful event you all put on!

    Reply
  • Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
    October 16, 2013 @ 5:23 am

    These are absolutely beautiful. I’ve experimented a little with a healthier version of a lemon bar, but I didn’t come up with anything that I was 100% happy with…next time a craving hits, I will be making this!

    Reply
  • Anna (Hidden Ponies) says
    October 15, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

    These are beautiful, what a perfect baby shower treat!

    Reply
  • Joanne T Ferguson says
    October 15, 2013 @ 7:06 am

    G’day! Looks absolutely a lemony delight, true!
    WISH could come through the screen and try one of these right now too!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Joanne T Ferguson
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

      Haha. I wish I could teleport some to you. :) Thanks for stopping by, Joanne!

      Reply
  • Laurie {Simply Scratch} says
    October 15, 2013 @ 6:34 am

    healthier lemon bars?! Sign me up! {That means I can eat them all right?!}

    Reply
  • Julia says
    October 15, 2013 @ 3:32 am

    I love that these are a healthier version. Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Julia
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

      Mine too! But all that sugar kills me. So happy I have these now! :D

      Reply
  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says
    October 15, 2013 @ 2:30 am

    Mmmmmm….I love a good lemon bar! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply
  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
    October 15, 2013 @ 12:42 am

    Oh lemon bars with maple syrup?! Love that idea and the coconut in the crust!

    Reply
  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says
    October 15, 2013 @ 12:10 am

    I love that you busted me for my naughty lemon bars recipe!!!! It was my mom’s fault!!!! Can’t wait to try your amazing version!!! I bet my mom would love them too which is the ultimate test!! xoxo

    Reply
  • Alyssa (Everyday Maven)
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    October 14, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    Nice job!! Love that these are grain free and naturally sweetened – that is hard to do to a lemon bar. Bookmarking!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Alyssa (Everyday Maven)
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

      Thanks, Alyssa! I tried several recipes before this one and was so happy to find a naturally sweetened one. :)

      Reply
  • The Healthy Apple says
    October 14, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

    Beautiful Erin! Love these darling!!!

    Reply
  • Sandy Coughlin says
    October 14, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    Love classic lemon bars! You just can’t go wrong! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Susan says
    October 14, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

    I won’t start baking. I won’t start baking. I won’t… but these sound so good I am seriously tempted. Cutting the crust amount in half would certainly make them lighter in calories. There aren’t that many baking recipes that get me, but this one does. :-)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Susan
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

      Haha. You can give in… sometimes. ;) And yup, halving the crust is definitely a good thing! The filling is the good part, anyway. :)

      Reply
  • Becca - Cookie Jar Treats says
    October 14, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    WOW! These look so creamy! I will try making these in the spring when my taste buds start craving citrus :D

    Reply
  • Amanda says
    October 14, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    Erin… these are beautiful! I have a feeling they would just melt in your mouth. I also have a feeling that if I made them no one else would know… cause I would eat the whole pan! ;)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Amanda
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

      Haha. Well it only makes a small pan so go for it! ;)

      Reply
  • Rachel Cooks says
    October 14, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    These look awesome! Lemon bars are one of my favorite things — definitely excited about a healthier version!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Rachel Cooks
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! And woohoo for healthier lemon bars. :D

      Reply
  • Kathryn says
    October 14, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    What a lovely surprise for Liz! Love the sound of these lemon bars : )

    Reply
  • Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says
    October 14, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    Now this is what I’m talking about! My favorite dessert with less guilt! So perfect for Liz’s Shower.

    Reply
  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says
    October 14, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    Mmm, I love a good lemon bar! I’m going to have to try that crust, too! I love that it’s gluten free! Yay for bring dessert to the baby shower! :D

    Reply

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