This easy recipe for vegan lemon bars consists of a creamy lemon curd filling on top of a crispy shortbread crust making it to the perfect refreshing spring and summer dessert! It’s an eggless and dairy-free take on the classic creamy lemon-filled squares that everyone loves!
The Best easy, no-fuss Vegan Lemon Bars
Nothing beats a slice of a perfectly made lemon-infused dessert on a warm summer day! Especially topped with some fresh fruits like my Vegan Lemon Tart and Lemon Blueberry Cake. So today, I am making this recipe to share an equally delicious lemony treat that is super simple to make and does not require too much effort in the kitchen! All you need are a few simple ingredients to start the ball rolling. It’ll take you less than 30 minutes to make plus 2 hours of chilling time to get these yummy sunny bites in your tummy!
It’s a simple two-layered dessert consisting of a shortbread crust and lemon curd filling. The crust is simple enough to make. Just whisk the ingredients together to form a sandy dough, press it into the baking pan and bake for around 20 minutes.
As for the curd filling, it does not require baking at all. All you need to do is thicken the mixture in a small pot by boiling the ingredients together and pour it over the crust. The chilling time is actually the hardest part, in my opinion. But don’t get too excited though. Let it cool and chill for the best results. I guarantee that the wait is worth it!
Veganizing a classic
I just love it when a vegan recipe turns out to be better than the original! Case in point – these egg-free and dairy-free Lemon bars. I replaced the eggs with cornstarch and agar powder to keep the curd thick, creamy and sliceable. I also used vegan butter and dairy-free milk instead of the usual dairy-based products. While I’ve tried this recipe with different plant milks: almond, cashew, soy, and coconut milk, I liked the last version best. It was not only more rich and creamy but it also had a bit of that coconut flavor I really love.
Anyway, the result is amazing! Each heavenly slice has a snappy zesty flavor imbued with just the right amount of sweetness and creaminess to round it off nicely. They are so good that even the most skeptical non-vegans will ask for the recipe!
How to make the Best Vegan Lemon Bars
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and this step-by-step instruction first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below! Here’s what you need:
Step 1: Making the Shortbread Crust
First, whisk together the flour, sugar and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Next, add diced vegan butter and knead with your fingers until it forms a firm, sandy dough. Now press it into a baking dish lined with parchment paper and bake for 18-20 mins, until golden. Then set aside to cool completely.
Step 2: Making the Vegan Lemon Curd
In a small saucepan, whisk together dairy-free-milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, agar powder, vanilla extract, and a pinch of turmeric. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, and cook for about 3 minutes until it starts to thicken. Then remove from the heat and pour on top of the shortbread crust. Allow to cool and refrigerate, until the filling has set.
Step 3: Garnish and enjoy!
I garnished mine with some cute lemon triangles, blueberries and blackberries for more flavor and color. However, feel free to decorate them as you like. Keep it simple by sprinkling just some desiccated coconut on top, or lavishly decorate them with fresh strawberries other fruits and chopped nuts.
Tips when making this Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe
- If you are using a different size of the baking pan, make sure that you do not press the dough too thickly or it will not bake through. Therefore, rather use my cake pan conversion calculator to adjust the amount of ingredients. The crust is done when the edges turn golden. It will still be soft when you pull it out of the oven, but that’s normal. As with cookies, it will harden as it cools.
- Use fresh organic lemons and wash them thoroughly before zesting them. However, if you can’t find any, you can use good quality lemon juice or lemon essence.
- The pinch of turmeric is intended to add color to the lemon curd. Don’t put too much as the mixture will brighten further as it cooks. Don’t worry, it does not have an effect on the taste at all. You can skip this if you want to.
- Make sure to continuously stir the lemon curd mixture as it cooks to prevent clumps from forming.
- Let the easy vegan lemon bars cool down to room temperature. Then place in the refrigerator and chill completely before slicing and serving.
Can I make it gluten-free?
Yes, by replacing the all-purpose or spelt flour with a gluten-free blend 1:1.
How to store and freeze Vegan Lemon Bars?
Store your leftover lemon bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to a month.
This Recipe for Vegan Lemon Bars is:
- Eggless and dairy-free
- Super easy to make
- Can be made gluten-free
- Can be made ahead of time
- Perfect for potlucks and outdoor parties
- Sweet and tangy
- Refreshingly delicious
- Perfect for summer!
More refreshing lemony dessert recipes to try
- Lemon Tart with Strawberries
- Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake
- The Best Vegan Lemon Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Blueberry Bundt Bake
- Apricot Cheesecakes
If you try this easy recipe for vegan lemon curd bars, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your lemony dessert and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Lemon BarsAuthor:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose or spelt flour or gluten-free flour blend*
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar of choice
- pinch of salt
- 2.6 oz (75 g) vegan butter diced
Vegan Lemon Curd
- 1 ½ cup (360 ml) coconut milk or another plant milk or cream, depending on how creamy/rich you want it to be
- ¾ cup (180 ml) lemon juice of around 3 lemons
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ¾ cup (150 g) sugar of choice
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 ½ tsp 100% agar powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of turmeric optional
*Note: Be sure to watch the recipe video + step-by-step photos in the blog post above.
- Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C) and line a 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) baking dish with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Add diced vegan butter and knead with your fingers until it forms a firm, sandy dough.
- Press it into the prepared baking dish and bake for 18-20 mins, until golden. Set aside to cool.
Vegan Lemon Curd
- Add coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, agar powder, vanilla extract, and a pinch of turmeric to a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for about 3 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from the heat and pour on top of the shortbread crust. Allow to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge and chill for around 2 hours or overnight, until the filling has set.
- Slice into bars and garnish to your liking. Enjoy!
- Flour: Instead of all-purpose or spelt flour, you can use a gluten-free flour blend.
- Storage: Store leftover lemon bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Read my blog post above for more helpful tips and information on the recipe!
- The nutritional information is calculated for 1 bar of 9 using xylitol.
IF YOU HAVE PINTEREST, YOU CAN FIND ME HERE AND PIN THE FOLLOWING PICTURE, IF YOU LIKE! 🙂
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