Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars

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Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy vegan lemon bar recipe. Featuring an oat crust and coconut lemon curd filling, this creamy treat can be made gluten-free. Enjoy it as a dessert, snack, or both!

Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Whether you’re hosting a picnic or craving a tart dessert, you’ll want to try these easy, creamy Vegan Lemon Bars.

The recipe features a soft crust made with oat flour, lemon zest, and vegan butter. Meanwhile, the lemon curd filling calls for fresh lemon juice and canned coconut milk, creating a creamy texture that will make your taste buds sing.

If you love the tangy and zingy notes of lemon, this recipe will surely hit the spot. Serve it with other homemade treats like Vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberries and No-Bake Carrot Cake Protein Bars.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for lemon bars on a stone surface
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
  • Oat flour. You can use store-bought oat flour or make it yourself by pulsing oats in a blender or coffee grinder. If you eat gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free oats.
  • Lemon juice. For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. You’ll need about 2 lemons for this recipe, depending on the size of each lemon.
  • Canned coconut milk. Use full-fat canned coconut milk. Avoid shaking the can before you open it. Instead, let it sit for some time, which will cause the milk to separate; you’ll want to mainly use the creamy, hardened white part.
  • Cornstarch. Cornstarch gives body to the lemon curd filling. It’s a naturally gluten-free ingredient, but make sure your cornstarch is labeled “gluten-free” if you eat a gluten-free diet. Some manufacturers might use equipment that has also been used for gluten-containing products.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric gives the lemon bars their yellow color.

How to Make the Oat Crust

The dough for this crust is simple and not too sweet. It also takes about 5 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake. Here’s how to make it:

4-step process for creating the oat crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Mix well.
  2. Add the melted butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the oat flour clumps together into a dough. You might not use all 8 tablespoons.
  3. Slowly add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, and knead the dough. Add just enough liquid to make it smooth and compact. If you accidentally add too much milk, add a small amount of oat flour.
  4. Break the dough into pieces and add it to the baking dish. Then, using your fingers, press the dough into an even layer. (This is easier than rolling out the dough in the dish.) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and keep the oven on.

How to Make the Lemon Curd Filling

Thanks to the canned coconut milk, this lemon curd filling is rich and creamy. However, make sure the filling cools completely before slicing into it. Otherwise, the filling might fall apart. To make the lemon curd filling:

6-step process for creating the lemon curd filling
  1. In a small sauce pan over low-medium heat, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla extract, and turmeric.
  2. Mix the ingredients, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture develops a liquid consistency.
  3. Continue heating the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it becomes thick and gelatinous. This may take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk. Stir until the mixture becomes smooth and uniform, about 5 minutes. Avoid overcooking the curd.
  5. Carefully pour the lemon curd on top of the partially baked oat crust.
  6. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the curd is bubbling along the sides. Let cool for 15 minutes at room temperature on the countertop, then transfer to the refrigerator (loosely covered) for 3 hours or overnight. Once cooled, slice into bars and top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Recipe Tips, Variations, and Substitutions

  • Keep it pourable. Make sure the lemon curd doesn’t completely cool before adding it to the crust. Otherwise, it will become clumpy. It should still be pourable and smooth when you add it to the crust.
  • Use another citrus fruit. For a fun variation, replace the lemon juice with juice from another citrus fruit, like lime or orange.
  • Have fun with toppings. Garnish the finished lemon bars with sifted powdered sugar, lemon wedges, and/or coconut flakes.
  • Use a clean knife. For the cleanest cut, wipe the knife before slicing each piece.
  • Serve chilled. For best results, enjoy these bars chilled.
Vegan Lemon Bars
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store leftover Vegan Lemon Bars?

Yes. Store leftover bars in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy them within 3 or 4 days.

Can I freeze them?

Yes! In fact, you might even enjoy eating them as a frozen treat. However, the bars might lose their shape as they thaw, so be sure to eat them while they’re still cold.

Can I leave out the crust?

You can, but be sure to line the baking dish with parchment paper. You’ll also likely need to eat the bars with a fork or spoon, rather than your fingers.

Can I use store-bought lemon juice?

Yes, but fresh lemon juice will taste best.

Try These Other Lemon Recipes

Vegan Lemon Bars

Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy vegan lemon bar recipe. Featuring an oat crust and coconut lemon curd filling, this creamy treat can be made gluten-free. Enjoy it as a dessert, snack, or both!
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: vegan lemon bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 9 bars
Calories: 312kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

Oat Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour
  • 4-8 tablespoons vegan butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup plain non-dairy milk about 2 tablespoons

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 cups canned full-fat coconut milk solidified creamy white part
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric for color

Instructions

Oat Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Mix well.
  • Add the melted butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the oat flour clumps together into a dough. You might not use all 8 tablespoons.
  • Slowly add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, and knead the dough. Add just enough liquid to make it smooth and compact. If you accidentally add too much milk, add a small amount of oat flour.
  • Break the dough into pieces and add it to the baking dish. Then, using your fingers, press the dough into an even layer. (This is easier than rolling out the dough in the dish.) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and keep the oven on.

Lemon Curd Filling

  • In a small sauce pan over low-medium heat, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla extract, and turmeric.
  • Mix the ingredients, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture develops a liquid consistency.
  • Continue heating the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it becomes thick and gelatinous. This may take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk. Stir until the mixture becomes smooth and uniform, about 5 minutes. Avoid overcooking the curd.
  • Carefully pour the lemon curd on top of the partially baked oat crust.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the curd is bubbling along the sides. Let cool for 15 minutes at room temperature on the countertop, then transfer to the refrigerator (loosely covered) for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Once cooled, slice into bars and top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Notes

  • Make sure the lemon curd doesn’t completely cool before adding it to the crust. Otherwise, it will become clumpy. It should still be pourable and smooth when you add it to the crust.
  • If you eat a gluten-free diet, make sure the oats are gluten-free.
  • You can buy oat flour at the supermarket or make it yourself by pulsing oats in a coffee grinder or blender.
  • For best results, use fresh lemon juice.
  • Use coconut milk from the can, not carton. The coconut milk in the carton won’t work.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is a rough estimate automatically calculated by the Spoonacular food database and does not include optional ingredients.

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Nutrition

Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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