Every Christmas growing up, you could guarantee that a batch of lemon squares was going to be made at least once. These Creamy Lemon Squares bring me back to the simple days. And the aroma that fills the kitchen when these are baking transport me to Christmas as a kid. These vegan lemon bars don’t skimp on taste or tanginess. They are just as good (if not better) than the original recipe I used to make. With this recipe in my back pocket, lemon squares at Christmas can once again be a tradition.
This recipe actually used to be my email bonus for my subscribers about a year ago, but it’s too good not to have it on the blog. These gluten free lemon bars are a cinch to make. The base uses classic gluten free flours: almond flour, oat flour and coconut flour. Together, they give these creamy lemon squares a flaky but perfect texture for the base. I’ve been gluten free for about ten years now and I’ve experienced A LOT of fails in the kitchen when it comes to gluten free baking. But through those fails I learned what flours work for me and what don’t. I also learned that I don’t like the “taste” of what a typical gluten free dessert tastes like. But by using the flours I trust and the combinations that I know don’t produce a chalky texture, I feel confident and enjoy all the gluten free baking I want to! And these gluten free lemon bars don’t have a gross texture or taste and no one would believe that they are gluten free. That’s always a win in my books!
The life changing filling of these creamy lemon squares
The filling is the star of this dessert though. And I think we can all agree on that. These vegan lemon bars wouldn’t be complete without the base but the filling is where you are drawn to, hands down. The filling uses coconut cream, maple syrup, arrowroot starch, lemon zest and lemon juice. That’s it! You simply blend all these ingredients together and it creates a creamy and zesty filling- just what you are looking for in these gluten free lemon bars.
here are all the reasons why I love these vegan lemon bars, so listen up!
- Number one is always going to be that these gluten free lemon bars remind me of my childhood. These bars don’t compromise on taste or texture-they are the REAL DEAL. Do you have any childhood recipes that fill your heart with such warmth when you smell them baking?
- These aren’t a heavy dessert, some gluten free Christmas baking can be crazy decadent. I want to say, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, I’m all for it. But sometimes you want something light but still yummy, and these creamy lemon squares fit the bill! The base is light and flaky (in a good way!) and the filling is creamy, super tangy and with a hint of coconut. So coconut fans, you’ll love this recipe.
- Sometimes you need a break from all the Christmas cookies. That’s where these creamy lemon squares come into play. They still have that festive vibe but are a little fancier than your average Christmas cookie! These vegan lemon bars are also a Picky Husband favourite. He has one of the biggest sweet tooths that I know, but that makes him a good critic. He also isn’t gluten free so he would be honest if something tastes “gluten free”. And these dairy free lemon bars pass his test.
For more phenomenal gluten free christmas baking, check these recipes out!
Creamy lemon squares are hands down needed at Christmastime. They add a light and zesty addition to your dessert platter. Gluten free Christmas baking never looked so easy with this recipe. There is some passive time needed to let the squares set but actually throwing all the ingredients together is straightforward! So take a break from the cookies and rich desserts and bite into one of these dairy free lemon bars- they won’t disappoint!
Creamy Lemon Squares
- 1 flax egg (mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp of water)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup coconut cream ( roughly 2 14oz cans of Full Fat Coconut Milk in the fridge for 48 hours before)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (roughly 2 lemons)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp arrowroot starch or corn starch
- 2 days in advance, put two 14 oz cans of Full Fat Coconut Milk (I have great success with the Thai Kitchen Brand) into your fridge. So that the cream and the coconut water will separate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- To make a flax egg. Place 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix together and then let sit for 5 minutes until a "yolky" consistency has formed.
- To make your own Oat Flour, simply add a heaping 1/2 cup of oats to your food processor or blender and blend/pulse until a fine flour consistency has formed. Add all the base ingredients together to a bowl. Option to hand mix or use a Kitchen Aid Mixer (as I did). Mix thoroughly, it should have a similar consistency to cookie dough.
- Line a 9X9 pan with parchment paper and add the base mixture. Press firmly into the pan. It will form a solid base. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Take out the two cans of coconut cream from your fridge. Don't tip them or move them around. Using a can opener open the can and scoop off the thick cream part of cream from the can (it should just be right on the top). Do the same with the second can and the coconut cream should roughly measure 1 cup. It's ok to get a bit of the coconut water in with the cream but you want it to mostly be cream.
- Add the filling ingredients (coconut cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup and arrowroot starch) to a blender and blend until smooth. Once the base has baked for 15 minutes (it should start to look golden on top) take it out of the oven and pour the filling mixture on top. Make sure it is evenly distributed. Bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, the top should start to look golden brown. The top may still be bubbling/ a little liquidy and that's ok. Let it cool for 10 minutes then place the pan as it is into the fridge for 4 hours to let it set. After 4 hours the bars are good to cut and enjoy! Option to top the bars with more lemon zest or icing sugar although neither is necessary. Best to store the bars in the fridge.