The most incredible Vegan Lemon Bars, made with just 8 ingredients and lots of tangy lemon flavor! The buttery shortbread crust is absolutely perfect.

3 stacked vegan lemon bars with pink flowers in background

Classic lemon bars without any eggs? Yup! Today I’m sharing what I think are the best vegan lemon bars, with the perfect balance of shortbread crust to tart lemon filling. And of course, a generous dusting of powdered sugar on top!

If you are a lemon dessert fan, you will love these little squares of sunshine. And while you’re at it, you might want to try my vegan lemon cake, lemon loaf or 1 bowl lemon cupcakes.

lemon bars with powdered sugar on top all lined up.

How to make Vegan Lemon Bars:

First, make the crust. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted vegan butter, sugar and salt. Add the flour and stir to combine. It will be thick. Press it into the prepared pan (lined with parchment paper) evenly and smoothly. Bake for 16-18 minutes at 350 degrees F until lightly golden on the edges.

the uncooked crust in a pan lined with parchment paper.

While the crust bakes, make the lemon filling. In a medium saucepan, add the lemon juice, lemon zest if using, sugar, coconut milk and cornstarch (+tiny pinch of turmeric if desired for color). Whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch, and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. It should look like the photos below, and can take 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and spread lemon mixture over the crust, evenly, using a spatula if needed. Bake for 15 minutes. Let the bars cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool another 1-2 hours, or overnight.

collage showing how to make lemon bars vegan

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Can I make these lemon bars gluten free?

I haven’t personally tried these gluten free, but I think it would work with a quality all purpose gluten free flour mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour.

How long will vegan lemon bars keep?

They will keep for about a week in a covered container in the refrigerator. They also freeze really well! The powdered sugar will melt into the bars though, so add some fresh when you want to eat or serve them.

Can you make these a day ahead?

Yes, these are the perfect dessert to make a day in advance, as they slice better when they have a lot of time to cool. That being said, they can also be ready in an hour or 2, but they may not be as firm as if you left them overnight.

looking down on lined up vegan lemon bars with powdered sugar.

I hope you LOVE these easy Vegan Lemon Bars! If you are looking for more delicious vegan dessert recipes with a Summer vibe, check these out:

bite taken out of a lemon bar, pink flowers in background

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3 stacked vegan lemon bars with pink flowers in background
4.92 stars (146 ratings)

Vegan Lemon Bars

The most incredible Vegan Lemon Bars, made with just 8 ingredients and lots of tangy lemon flavor! The buttery shortbread crust is absolutely perfect.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 16 bars

Ingredients 
 

Shortbread crust:

Lemon filling:

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice from about 4 large lemons
  • optional: 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk, using mostly the white part
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • tiny pinch of turmeric, optional for color (1/8th teaspoon)

For serving:

  • powdered sugar, for dusting the tops

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 by 8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang for easy removal.
  • Make the crust: In a medium bowl, add the mix together the melted vegan butter, sugar and salt. Add the flour and stir until combined. The dough will be thick. Press it into the pan with your hands, evenly and firmly. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the edges are very lightly browned. Set aside.
  • Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, add the lemon juice, lemon zest if using for even more lemon flavor, sugar, coconut milk and cornstarch + tiny pinch of turmeric for color, if desired. Whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. (see photos in post above for reference)
  • Spread the filling over the crust evenly, using a spatula if needed to smooth. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for an additional 1-2 hours, or overnight, until set.
  • Lift the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper, dust generously with powdered sugar and cut into 16 squares.
  • Leftover bars will keep for up to 1 week in a covered container in the refrigerator. They freeze well, too. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For gluten free vegan lemon bars, use an all purpose gluten free flour, such as Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

 

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Comments

  1. That’s an amazing Recipe. I must admit that I am new to baking and super beginner for pies. But your recipe gave me a hope that I can bake this one. I am definitely going to try this. I hope it turns out good.

  2. Do you think this would work as individual tarts? I am making vegan cookies for a wedding and wondered what you thought. I will of course use all your cookie recipes as well.  They are all fantastic 

    1. I do think it would work but I know the bake time would be much shorter, maybe 10-15 minutes or so. I’m not sure as I haven’t tried it but you could give it a go! Thank you so much.

  3. I made this for my daughter & her partner who are vegan, ahead of time for Easter, since it freezes well. I was shocked at how lemony & delicious the custard turned out. I did add turmeric for color & you’d never believe it is made with coconut milk! I could smell coconut while cooking it, so I was concerned, voila! Doesn’t taste like coconut! 
    Thank you for a vegan recipe that is not difficult & doesn’t require a lot of foreign ingredients!!  

    1. I am thrilled that you love the Lemon bars! I love easy and delicious! Thank you for sharing your fabulous feedback!

  4. Made these using half meyer lemons and half regular and they were wonderful. The shortbread crust was incredible! I used Miyoko’s butter and it came out so great. I would personally prefer a greater shortbread to curd ratio so next time I think I’ll do 1.25x the recipe for the crust. My non-vegan friends loved these too. Thanks for a great recipe; I haven’t had a lemon bar in years!

    1. Hi Brianne. You are welcome! Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback! I’m glad you and your friends loved them! They welcome in spring well!

  5. These are just perfect, thank you so much for this recipe :)! I wonder if you think the same proportions of everything will work, just with grapefruit?

    1. I’m so glad you loved the lemon bars! Thank you for sharing! I have never tried this with grapefruit, however, it should work. If you try it, let me know how it goes for you!

  6. Hi,

    The flavor of these is amazing. I ended up having these random clear globs throughout the bars. When I was making the filling I couldn’t get everything to dissolve into one consistency. Do you think it was the cornstarch needing to be sifted or maybe a little bit of the clear part of the canned coconut milk? 

    1. Hi there! It sounds like everything didn’t get quite mixed. My guess is the cornstarch didn’t get mixed well, but I’m not totally sure. I don’t think it was the coconut milk. Make sure to whisk well, and if you have clumps of cornstarch for some reason while cooking, you can use an immersion blender to make sure it’s really smooth. That said, I’ve never needed to do that. Hope that helps!

    2. Hi! Pastry chef here,
      To help with the clumps, take a little bit of the coconut milk and add the cornstarch to it in a separate bowl and whisk it well (basically a slurry or a roux) so when you add it back the pot it will go in as a liquid and not a powder, therefore it will fully incorporate into the mix with no clumps! Hope that helps/makes sense

  7. this looks great!! planning on making them soon, just one question– if i made a strawberry jam and either did a layer at the bottom or swirled it in, do you think that would work? and between a layer or swirl, is there one you would reccommend? thanks so much!

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and feedback! I’m glad you love the lemon bars! I agree, they are lovely for company!

  8. The flavor of these is awesome! When I made them, the lemon part came out more like a gel and didn’t set as much as a regular lemon bar typically does. do you have any ideas of what I did wrong? I followed the recipe word for word except I used coconut cream in place of coconut milk based on some of your previous comments and since that’s what I had on hand. They were very good, just a weird consistency.

    1. Same thing happened to me. The flavor is amazing but the filling is a gel. My filling did not look like the picture.

    2. If the lemon filling doesn’t get a gel like consistency, I recommend to keep in the heat for a little longer. At first my lemon filling was not getting thick so I added more corn starch, but my mom suggested I cook it in the heat for a little longer. If you continue mixing until it becomes thick as shown in the picture.

  9. Amazing! Love the lemon custard so much! Should I leave in the fridge overnight and until serving tomorrow after dinner? Thank you for the recipe, reminds me so much of the non vegan version my Mother used to make! 

  10. I made these for the first time yesterday. It was my FIL birthday and he loves lemon bars. These are delicious! No one knew they were vegan either.
    My only mistake was trying to get them out of the pan before chilling (some of the crust ended up on top…Oops!) Next time I know to chill & let them set. Thanks for another great recipe Nora.

  11. I made these using Bob’s red mill 1:1 GF flour and they turned out great. Now that I’ve made them a few times, I like to double the crust part and make them in a 9×13 pan. I keep the lemon filling part the same and end up getting a thinner lemon topping which for me is just enough. 

  12. I made these once before and so good! My mom isn’t a lemon fan so she didn’t but I ate all of them haha. I’m making these for a Friendsgiving and I can’t wait to see how they like them!

    1. Thank you for sharing your great review about the lemon bars! I’m glad that you love them! Enjoy your Friendsgiving!

  13. These are the best lemon bars ever!
    I even used Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten free baking flour.  The texture and the lemon in this recipe is amazing!

    1. It might work with another non-dairy milk, but I haven’t personally tested it. Use something neutral, like cashew or almond milk.

      1. I’ve made these several times now, and they’re the best lemon bars! I’m not even vegan (or vegetarian or anything); I had made them once for my vegan friends, and now just make them for me!

    1. Thank you for sharing your great review and comments! I’m glad the lemon bars bring you a fun and wonderful treat at work!

  14. I am not even a big lemon fan and I could not stop eating these! We used cashew milk (coconut allergy) and they came out perfect.

  15. These are Amazing! I made one batch to see how they would hold up and made another right after. They are so dangerously good.

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad the bars turned out wonderful for you! Thank you for taking your time to share your great review and comments!

  16. The filling was great-very lemony and tart (I did add the zest as well) but I had some problems with the crust. It seemed like a lot of butter-too much for the flour-and when I mixed it together the result was very greasy. I baked to a very light brown (maybe too light although it was in the oven at least 17 minutes) before adding the filling. But the end result was a crust that seemed underdone, almost too buttery, and yet I some places weirdly hard.  Not sure what happened. 

    1. Hi Vanessa, it’s hard to say what happened with the crust without being there in the kitchen. Are you sure you didn’t mis measure any ingredients? Oven temperatures can vary as well so it’s possible the crust baked unevenly, or your oven might run a little low. It’s a pretty basic shortbread crust. Sorry you had trouble!

  17. I followed the recipe to the tee, and my filling was very, very watery. I used the creamy part of the coconut milk, and added a bit more corn starch, but it still was way too watery and did not look like the custardy consistency as in the photos. I’m not sure what happened, has anyone dealt with this? I poured it over the crust and am baking as I type, but I have little hope that it’ll come out correctly.

    1. Hi Rebecca! Did you use light coconut milk by chance? You have to use full fat coconut milk or even coconut cream. Are you sure you didn’t mis measure any of the ingredients, or make a substitution? It should easily get thick on the stove when made as written.

    2. I just made this and I noticed it takes a while to get thick. It was probably a good 10 minutes maybe longer. It did thicken though and it is oh so good!

    3. Mine also wasn’t thickening enough, I know from experience if you refrigerate your coconut milk overnight, you can drain off the watery parts after and just use the white solids which helps with consistency. Personally I made a little cornstarch slurry on the side with cold water, and slowly incorporated it to the mixture after realizing it wasn’t coming together. It thickened fine after a while but took about 15-20 minutes total rather than the 10.

  18. Is it possible to use whole milk instead of almond milk?
    Our granddaughter is also allergic to nuts and nut products.

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