Gluten-free lemon bars have the bright and fresh flavors of lemon with a shortbread crust. Gimme!
This recipe was created in collaboration with Cup4Cup. I received a bag of their GF Ancient Grains Flour to create this recipe. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information. Thanks!
About This Lemon Bar Recipe
I'm so pleased to share this recipe for gluten-free lemon bars in collaboration with Cup4Cup, my favorite gluten-free flour blend.
I've been using Cup4Cup multipurpose flour for almost ten years, and have been consistently impressed with the quality of my baked goods and pastries with this flour blend. Everything from pies to empanadas, galettes to naan, even croissants and pierogi - I've made them all with success thanks to Cup4Cup! And when I heard that Cup4Cup was releasing a whole grains flour blend without dairy, I was intrigued, and couldn't wait to try it.
This recipe for gluten-free lemon bars has been modified slightly from the Cup4Cup website and uses the Ancient Grains blend. I also changed the gelatin to powdered gelatin for simplicity - please check the recipe notes for more information.
About This Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Flour
Here are my thoughts on their new Ancient Grains flour blend!
The blend is more coarse than the Multipurpose Blend but produces a more hearty result. With a combination of certified gluten-free oat flour, millet flour, and cassava four, it has 18 grams of whole grains per serving. Plus, it's dairy-free, which is great for those who avoid both gluten and dairy. It has a mild flavor, great crunch, and worked very well with this lemon bars recipe.
Ingredients You Will Need
For the crust:
-Cup4Cup Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Flour
-Unsalted Butter (Cold)
-Fresh Thyme Leaves
For the lemon filling:
- 3 Eggs
-Zest of 3 lemons + ½ cup fresh lemon juice
-Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
How To Make Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
First, you'll make the crust by whisking together the ingredients and cutting in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter. The dough will be crumbly and need to be pressed into your pan. It will bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown. It needs to be completely cooled before adding the filling.
To make the filling, you'll "bloom" the gelatin by mixing it with water. It will thicken the lemon mixture. Next you'll make the lemon filling on the stovetop, and finally, combine the lemon mixture with the gelatin in a food processor/blender, adding unsalted butter one piece at a time.
Finally, you'll pour the lemon filling on top of the crust and smooth into an even layer, and then refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
There's quite a few steps here, and the lemon bars have to set, but once you get a bite of them, it will all be worth it!
Can I Make These Dairy-Free?
You certainly can try! The ancient grains flour is naturally dairy-free, but the filling part is not due to the butter. You could try substituting vegan butter and see what happens, but I can't speak to the results as this is not my recipe, but Cup4Cup's.
Tips For Making Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Use Parchment: Make sure your line your baking tin with parchment paper. Otherwise, the bars are very difficult to cut and remove from the baking tin (I learned this the hard way).
Don't make pastry on a hot day. Warmer temperatures mean your pastry is going to be more difficult to work with. Stick to a cooler day to make these, if possible!
Be careful how you measure your gluten-free flour.
One of my top gluten-free baking tips, if you aren't measuring for weight, then be sure to spoon your flour into your measuring cup, then level off with the back of the knife. This makes sure you get an accurate amount.
Follow. The. Recipe.
This recipe is specifically formulated using Cup4Cup Ancient Grains Flour. If you decide to change anything or substitute other ingredients, they may come out differently than expected and I cannot speak to your results. My experience is in gluten-free and some dairy-free baking, but not allergy-free, vegan, or egg-free. You can always email me: [email protected] with any questions and I'm happy to help troubleshoot the best I can.
How To Store Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Store lemon bars in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
The most challenging part of this recipe is having to wait for the bars to chill in the refrigerator - it takes a lot of self-control! With the combination of the buttery shortbread and the creamy lemon filling, they quickly disappeared from our refrigerator shelf. I imagine the same will happen in your kitchen when you make them!
I hope you enjoy these gluten-free lemon bars!
More Gluten-Free Baking Recipes
Feel like an easy quickbread? This banana bread with walnuts hits the spot.
Looking for a scone recipe? Bake a savory version with bacon, cheddar, and chives.
Want to practice your pie making skills? Check out this gluten-free peach pie with lattice design.
Ready to take your baking skills to the next level? Try these delightful, buttery, and flaky gluten-free croissants.
Here's how to make these super tasty lemon bars!
If you love this recipe, please leave a comment! Thank you!
Gluten-Free Lemon Bars Recipe
For the crust
- 1 ½ cups Cup4Cup Ancient Grains Flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
For the lemon filling
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Zest of 3 lemons
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons powdered gelatin, mixed with ¼ cup of water
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Spray a 9” x 9” pan with cooking spray and then line the pan with parchment paper - be sure to line it with parchment paper to make removal of the bars easier!
In a large bowl, whisk the Cup4Cup flour, sugar, fresh thyme, and lemon zest. With a fork or a pastry cutter, add the butter and mix together until it resembles a coarse meal and the butter is about pea-sized. Then, mix in the water using a fork. Don't worry that the dough is crumbly - it's supposed to be crumbly.
Press the dough in an even layer into the baking pan using your fingers. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes, then cool to room temperature (about 1-2 hours).
Combine the gelatin and water together in a small bowl and mix with a spoon - this is called "blooming" the gelatin. Leave it at room temperature for 6-8 minutes to thicken. It will look like applesauce consistency - and that's what we want. It will help thicken the lemon mixture.
Over a pot of simmering water, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened - about 3-5 minutes.
Next, you will need a blender or food processor. Transfer the thickened egg mixture to the food processor or blender, then add the gelatin/water mixture. Blend on medium speed to combine, for about a minute. Then, switch to low speed and add the unsalted butter, one piece at a time, until smooth.
Pour the lemon filling on top of the cooled crust and smooth into an even layer using a spatula. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours, or until the filling has set.
Finally, cut into bars or squares. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges or thyme leaves. Enjoy!
This recipe has been modified from the Cup4Cup website by using powdered gelatin rather than gelatin sheets. For more information about the different types of gelatin, please read this article to understand further.
This recipe was specifically written for Cup4Cup products from the Cup4Cup website. If you use a different gluten-free flour blend, your results may differ.
Store lemon bars in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 349Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 108mgSodium 23mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 22gProtein 3g
The nutrition information on each recipe card is provided as a courtesy and for your convenience. The data is calculated by Nutritionix. You are encouraged to make your own calculations based on your ingredients and preferred nutritional facts calculator. While I try to make sure they are accurate, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of these calculations.
Do you like lemon-flavored desserts?
Should I try to make these bars again with a different fruit filling?
Let me know in the comments!