By Wendy Stoltz / Last Modified On February 20, 2023
Easy gluten-free lemon bars that are sweet, tangy, and refreshing. Everybody needs a good gluten-free Lemon Bar recipe in their recipe box, right?
With a buttery, flaky crust and a creamy lemon filling, you're going to love this gluten-free lemon bars recipe and how quickly they come together. Lemon bars are a classic dessert, and they are perfect for parties, potlucks, and the occasional weeknight dessert.
Looking for more lemon treats? You'll want to make my gluten-free lemon donuts and gluten-free lemon meringue pie. My gluten-free lemon cookies and gluten-free lemon bread is also a delicious treat. If you love gluten-free brownies and bars I have so many recipes to choose from.
GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS RECIPE
Who knows when the first lemon bar recipe was created, but since then I've seen thousands of versions - each one with a slight adaptation making it their version of the perfect lemon bar.
These easy gluten-free lemon bars have a yummy chewy, butter crust, the perfect custard-like filling, and a little crunch on the top. As I mentioned before, the recipe is simple, follow the recipe card and you'll love them!
WHY YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE THIS GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS
Easy to make - I can't emphasize enough how easy they are to make. They're such a treat to eat.
Fresh lemon - Who doesn't love fresh bursts of lemon with a little bit of crunch.
Heavy crust with a light filling - My recipe tends to be heavy on the crust and lighter on the filling. This means that it's more of a 5/50. If you like more filling, you can increase a few of the ingredients and bake it a touch longer. (See notes below)
INGREDIENTS IN GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS
FOR THE CRUST:
Flour Blends - My favorite flour blends to use to make lemon bars are my gluten-free flour blend (1 and 2 both work) and Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. With that said, several people have had good results with Cup4Cup and King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour.
I don't recommend using Bob's Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour (red bag) because of the chickpea flour.
Butter - You can regular butter or use dairy-free butter (Earth Balance works well)
Sugar - I used granulated sugar. Powdered sugar substitutes work well in place of the confectioner's sugar but melt differently. So, the texture is a bit different.
Heavy cream and milk - Use 4 tablespoons of half and half. Or you can use all heavy cream or milk. You can also use dairy-free milk of choice or coconut crème.
FOR THE LEMON LAYER:
Eggs - Eggs are a big part of this recipe, and they help create the smooth, creamy center, I don't have a substitution at this time.
Sugar - I used granulated sugar. Powdered sugar substitutes work well in place of the confectioner's sugar but melt differently. So, the texture is a bit different. I like to add powdered sugar on top of them once cooked.
Flour blends - View suggestions in crust.
Lemon - You will use the lemon zest and lemon juice.
Baking powder - Make sure to use gluten-free baking powder.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR THESE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS
Baking pan - I like to use a 9"x9"baking pan. Make sure you use the right size pan, or your lemon bars won't come out. A reader commented that they doubled this gluten-free lemon bar recipe and used a 9x13 pan, if that's something you are interested in.
If you have any questions about making gluten-free lemon bars, please leave a comment and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS
- For the Crust: In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of the sugar.
- Mix until well combined.
- Add 1 cup of flour, and half and half.
- Mix until crumbly.
- Press the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or just till golden brown.
- For the Lemon Layer: In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, the remaining sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and baking powder. Beat for one minute on high.
- Pour over hot baked crust.
- Bake an additional 20 minutes, or until light brown and the center is set.
My recipe tends to be heavy on the crust and lighter on the filling. This means that it's more of a 5/50. If you like more filling, you can increase a few of the ingredients and bake it a touch longer. Use:
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup lemon juice (about 5 large lemons)
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
Bake for 28-30 minutes or until the center is set and the sides start to brown.
CAN I MAKE A DAIRY-FREE OPTION OF GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS?
If you want to make these lemon bars dairy-free you can use dairy-free butter (Earth Balance works well) and your dairy-free milk of choice or coconut crème.
Since eggs are a big part of this recipe and they help create the smooth, creamy center, I don't have a substitution at this time.
WORKING WITH GLUTEN-FREE FLOURS
When working with or measuring gluten-free flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level. Do not scoop your measuring cup into the gluten-free flour.
The best method really is to weigh the gluten-free flour, but I don't have the ingredient weights for all my recipes yet.
WHAT SUGAR SUBSTITUTES CAN I USE?
Powdered sugar substitutes work well in place of the confectioner's sugar/powdered sugar. For the granulated sugar, you can try Lakanto or Swerve.
Just a note that the texture isn't as creamy because the sugar substitutes melt differently than granulated sugar during baking.
CAN I USE LIMES?
Yes, you can use limes to make gluten-free lime bars. Simply swap out the lemon juice with fresh lime juice (not bottled) and lime zest.
DO I HAVE TO USE FRESH SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE?
I don't recommend using bottled lemon, it just doesn't have the same effect and sometimes the lemon juice can cause baked goods to have a rubbery texture.
TIPS FOR MAKING GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS
Quality ingredients - Use high-quality ingredients for the best results.
Fresh lemon juice - Use fresh lemon juice (not bottled). Bottled lemon juice can sometimes make things gel-like or gummy.
Bake for correct time - Don't pull them out of the oven too early, or you'll have a glob of a mess. Even if the tops are dark brown (which is okay, you'll dust powdered sugar on top and pretty them up).
Refrigerate for correct time - Let them set in the refrigerator for at least an hour, so they set up properly.
Use parchment paper - Line the pan with parchment paper. It will help to easily remove the bars when you are ready to cut them into squares.
HOW LONG WILL GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS LAST AND HOW DO I STORE THEM?
I like to store my lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I enjoy them when they are cold.
CAN I FREEZE THESE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS?
Yes, you can. Here's how. Allow them to cool and then freeze them on a baking tray for 1 hour. Remove them, wrap them in foil or plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. You can then take individual slices out as you need them.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THESE GF LEMON BARS ARE DONE BAKING?
The center will be set, and it will not jiggle. The top layer may have air bubbles and a crackly-like look to it.
WHY ARE THERE AIR BUBBLES ON TOP OF THE BAKED GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS?
Firstly, don't panic, it's totally normal. It does, however, sometimes occur. But you can cover it with powdered sugar. It's caused when the air from the eggs rises to the surface.
CAN I MAKE THESE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS PALEO?
If you need paleo my friend Sandi from fearless dining has an Easy Paleo Lemon Bar that is divine.
HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BAR?
This recipe has 239 calories per bar.
WHY ARE MY GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS SO GOOEY?
They have not been baked enough. They need to be set and not jiggle. Your ingredients ratios may be incorrectly measured. Lastly is could be that they never had enough time to set in the refrigerator.
WHY DO MY GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS TASTE EGGY?
Be sure to use lemon juice and even the lemon zest. This makes the lemon flavor.
WHAT DOES THE FILLING IN THESE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS TASTE LIKE?
It tastes like a refreshing lemon custard.
ARE LEMON BARS GLUTEN-FREE?
Not all lemons bars are, but this recipe is!
CAN I MAKE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON BARS WITH ALMOND FLOUR?
Yes you can. This recipe uses almond flour.
Easy Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Easy gluten-free lemon bars that are sweet, tangy, and refreshing. You are going to love how quickly this recipe comes together.
For the Crust:
- ⅓ cup butter
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (my blend or Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1)
- 4 tablespoon half and half (or heavy cream or milk)
For the Lemon Layer:
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour blend (my blend or Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1)
- 2 teaspoon fresh shredded lemon zest
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Position rack in center of oven. Line a 8x8x2 inch pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- For the Crust: In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and beat till combined. Add 1 cup of flour, and half and half, and beat till crumbly. Press the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or just till golden brown.
- For the Lemon Layer: In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, the remaining ¾ cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and baking powder. Beat for one minute on high. Pour over hot baked crust.
- Bake an additional 20 minutes, or until light brown and the center is set. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into bars.
- Optional: When cool, if desired, sift powdered sugar over the top.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- See the notes in the post for increasing the amount of lemon filling.
- Use fresh lemon juice (not bottled). Bottled lemon juice can sometimes make things gel-like or gummy.
- Don't pull them out of the oven too early, or you'll have a glob of a mess. Even if the tops are dark brown (which is okay, you'll dust powdered sugar on top and pretty them up).
- Let them set in the refrigerator for at least an hour, so they set up properly.
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Serving Size:1 square
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands that I used a the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.
I simply love lemon bars and these look amazing! Love the luscious texture!
I made these lemon bars yesterday & they are delicious! I did have to add a little more cream 4 tablespoons total for the crust layer because it was a little dry & wouldn’t hold together. Will definitely make again!
Looks deliciouss!!Can I substitute the gluten free flour with white whole wheat flour or all purpose?
I don't use regular wheat flour, but it should work 🙂
I am anxious to try these lemon bars. In your notes you say "Let them set in the refrigerator for the allotted amount of time (or longer), so they set up properly." But I don't see where it says how long to let them set. Did I miss it somewhere? I just want to make sure I follow the directions exactly, so they turn out. Thank you
I just updated that part of the post so it's clearer. Sorry about that 🙂 Refrigerate for an hour (or more) before cutting into bars.
Can I substitute the butter for maybe coconut oil? I’m allergic to caseine...
I haven't tried it with coconut oil, but I imagine it would work. Butter and oil coat flours differently, so they may be a little oily to the touch.
have you tried any other gf flour? I have lots of different kinds but not that brand. I can't find it near me.
I've also used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gf flour, Traders Joe's gf flour blend, and King Arthur.
Has anyone tried using almond flour for the crust?
Hi Karen! We haven't tried lemon bars with an almond flour crust, and I don't see any reader comments about it either. Sorry! You could try modifying the grain-free crust from my Paleo pie recipes to suit this one though. I bet that will work wonderfully!
These were so good! Any thoughts on whether it would work to make a blueberry jam, spread it as a top layer and swirl it with the lemon layer?
I'm not sure how it would bake up, but it sounds yummy drizzled on top after 🙂
That’s a better idea! I’ll try that. Thanks so much!
I made these lemon bars for the 4th of July and I followed the recipe exactly, except I doubled it and used an 9X13 pan. I cooked it about 5 minutes longer than the recipe mentions. They were FABULOUS! Since being diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2017 I have had a hard time finding a tried and true recipe for lemon bars. No funny textures or tastes here. The crust was similar to short bread and the lemon topping was pure yumminess. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you Chrystal!!
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a review. I'm so glad you loved them!
Can I substitute the sugar with coconut sugar?
I haven't tried it in this recipe. Sorry!
Can i ask what is half and half. I have tried quite a few of your recipes and being Australian not sure what is is. All your recipes have been scrumptious. Thanks
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment 😉 Half and Half is something in the united states we use, usually for putting in coffee or sometimes for baking. It's half way between milk and heavy cream. If you see a recipe that calls for half and half, you can always use a heavy cream or full fat milk. I hope that helps.
Thanks for clearing up the "half and half" for your Aussie friends...
This look amazing. Could I use goat's milk which comes in 2 & 3% or almond milk as I can't have cow's milk which means heavy cream and half & half are out. Your lemon cupcakes are wonderful. Thanks
I haven't used goats milk in baked goods, but I imagine it would work. Almond milk will work too. You can use a dairy-free butter in the crust too.
Hope that helps,
Just made these because I really wanted one more lemony treat before the season of pumpkin takes holds! I’m a huge fan. Used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour (the one where you have to add your own xantham gum, which I happened to have.) they are a fabulous treat with clean ingredients so you don’t feel too sinful. Will make again, in addition to lots of other things I see on here that I wanna try.
I am so glad you like them. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and let me know.
All my best,
I really would like to try these but wonder whether they could be frozen so I could have them as occasional treats?
You can freeze them. We have frozen them and pulled them out when we want them.
Would you recommend cutting them before you freeze them? Or can you/should you freeze them whole and cut them after they thaw?
Hi Lily, I cut them before freezing them so when we want to enjoy these gluten-free lemon bars we can take out the amount we need.
Can I pass on the crust and bske only the lemon filling? I can not have butter or cream ...
I haven't ever tried making just the filling. Sorry.
I’ve been craving som lemon bars and these hit the spot! Super simple to make and oh so delicious! I didn’t have half and half so used almond milk in its place and the bottom crust heals up beautifully!
I'm so glad you loved them Shelby. Thank you for taking time to stop by and let me know.
Your link to your GF mixed lists 2 GF mixes. Gluten Free Flour Blend #1 and #2, which one did you use for the crust of the lemon bars?
Hoping to make tonight!
You can use either, but the first blend (#1) will deliver a little more of a shortbread crust.
Hi - I’m going to make these tomorrow, they look great! If using A flour substitute mentioned above, do we use the same amount of flour? Thanks!
Yes, just be sure it's a blend that doesn't use nuts (I haven't tested nut blends yet) and that it has a mix of flours and starches. Let me know how they turn out and what you ended up using.
I sent a comment a little while ago and haven’t seen a reply. In Canada we don’t have 9x9 just 8x8. Am reluctant to try this recipe as you specified in your recipe that the pan was important. Your recipes that I’ve tried have been amazing. Please respond as I would very much like to try it.
I checked back and all comments from you have been answered, not sure what happened. You can use it, but the bars will be thicker and will need to cook a little longer.
The crust was not crumbly. Smooth texture. Also used sugar substitute instead of natural sugar.
Thanks, Pat for commenting and sharing your substitute.
Regarding the Gluten-Free Lemon Bars - When I printed out the recipe I noticed that it says to use an 8" x 8" pan, but in your notes you recommend a 9"x 9" pan or it will not turn out! I don't have a 9" x 9" pan and have to use the *8". Which is it and is this a huge deal? Thanks!
I apologize for the confusion regarding the pan size for the Gluten-Free Lemon Bars recipe. While the recipe calls for an 8" x 8" pan, I do recommend using a 9" x 9" pan in the notes section to ensure that the bars turn out correctly. However, if you only have an 8" x 8" pan, you can still use it to bake the bars.
Using a smaller pan size may result in a thicker layer of lemon filling and a shorter baking time, so you will need to keep an eye on the bars and adjust the baking time accordingly. Check the bars for doneness at around the 25-30 minute mark and continue to bake them in 5-minute increments until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
Overall, using an 8" x 8" pan instead of a 9" x 9" pan should not be a huge deal, but the baking time and thickness of the lemon filling may vary. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.