Gluten Free Lemon Bars are just as buttery and tangy as the classic recipe. I use a gluten free flour mix with xanthan gum for the perfect shortbread cookie crust.
With only 30 minutes of prep time, you can have these lemon bars baking in the oven. They’re easy to make and don’t require many ingredients.
- Gluten free all purpose flour- Make sure your gluten free blend contains xanthan gum, which helps prevent spreading and provides structure to the shortbread base.
- Fresh lemons- You cannot substitute bottled lemon juice in this recipe. It’s important to use fresh juice. I also like to add lemon zest to the crust for more lemon flavor.
- Baking powder- I like to add a little baking powder to the lemon filling for a more light and airy texture.
Step by Step Process
First, line and grease your baking pan, and preheat the oven. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl.
Using your hands, gently toss the cubed butter into the flour mixture to coat. Using your thumb and pointer fingers, pinch and rub the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Press the shortbread dough into prepared pan (1) and bake about 20-25 minutes (2).
Allow crust to cool slightly. Reduce oven to 325F.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy, 3-5 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice (3).
Sift in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine (4). Pour filling into crust (5). Bake until set with a slight jiggle, 20-30 minutes (6). Cool completely and chill in fridge before serving.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
Store lemon bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.
Lemon curd usually does not contain gluten, however, I do use flour in my lemon filling when I make lemon bars. I use a gluten free blend for this recipoe.
- Use fresh lemon juice. Don’t make this recipe with bottled lemon juice. You need fresh juice and zest for the best flavor.
- Use xanthan gum. Make sure to use a gluten free all-purpose blend which contains xanthan gum. This gum helps bind ingredients and prevent spreading.
- Use cold butter for the crust. I compared this recipe using melted butter versus cold for the crust, and found using cold butter creates a lighter, flakier crust. It’s flakier because when the cold butter heats up in the oven, the water in the butter evaporates and creates steam. Using melted butter makes the crust a bit dense and heavy.
- Cool completely. Make sure the bars are completely cooled before cutting and serving, otherwise, they will fall apart. I think they’re best straight out of the fridge.
This post is also available as a web story.
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With only 30 minutes of prep time, you can have these Gluten Free Lemon Bars baking in the oven. They’re easy to make and don’t require many ingredients.
- 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (with xanthan gum)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp kosher salt (¼ tsp, heaping fine salt)
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 large eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup lemon juice (3-5 lemons)
- ¼ cup gluten free all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (pinch of fine salt)
- Prep pan and oven: Grease an 8-inch square pan, line with parchment paper overlapping the edges of the pan. Grease parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Make crust: Whisk together flour, sugars, zest and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently toss the cubed butter into the flour mix to coat. Using your thumb and pointer finger, pinch and rub the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. The dough should stick together when pinched.
- Pre-bake crust: Gently press crust mixture into an even layer in prepared pan. The mixture might look dry and loose at first, but should stick together when pressed. Place on center rack of oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly and reduce oven to 325°F.
- Make filling: Beat together eggs, yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. This can be done with a whisk by hand, or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed. Whisk in lemon juice. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until just combined.
- Bake: Bake on center rack of oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until filling is just set with a slight jiggle.
- Chill & serve: Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill completely in refrigerator. Lift parchment to remove from pan. Peel away parchment and cut into 16 squares. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy.
You can store the lemon squares in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
You can also freeze the lemon squares for up to 3 months. Individually wrap them in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Defrost them in the fridge the night before you plan to eat them.
You can also make this recipe using regular, all-purpose flour. Use the exact same amount of regular flour in place of the gluten free flour.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 170
- Sugar: 16g
- Sodium: 85mg
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 3g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 24g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 73mg
Keywords: gluten free lemon bars, gluten free lemon squares, lemon bars