These lemon bars have an amazing oatmeal cookie shortbread crust that’s a nice change from the usual super sweet crust! The filling is sweetened with honey and not overly sweet.
Most of my readers on my other blog are gluten-free and / or dairy-free so I tried to convert this recipe, just to offer some allergy-friendly options.
It just didn’t work. If you want something allergy-friendly, check out my paleo vegan lemon bars. They’re also no-bake, naturally sweetened and the filling tastes like regular lemon bar filling! (although it’s cashew-based)
Using coconut oil in place of butter in crusts is always a challenging sub and I didn’t get it to work here. I suppose vegan butter might work but I haven’t tried it.
I also tried using a gluten-free baking mix in place of the flour in the crust but it didn’t work, either. Which is really a bummer because the crust is super delicious!
I’ll just have to come up with a gluten-free crust similar to the one below at some point because it’s too good to not use in more recipes. If you need a gluten-free recipe, check out these gluten-free strawberry lemon bars.
These gluten-free lemon lime bars also look great!
One thing I don’t normally like about lemon bars is that they’re too sweet. For me, anyway.
These are pleasantly sweet. Not ridiculously sweet but just right.
If you give these lemon bars a try, I’d love to hear how they come out!
These lemon bars would be great for Easter! If carrot cake is more your thing, try my Whole Wheat Carrot Cake with Skinny Cream Cheese Frosting or for breakfast, Carrot Cake Overnight Oats.
I’ve also got these Raspberry Lemon Bars if lemon isn’t your thing.
Oat Shortbread Base:
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (92 grams) rolled oats
- 1/4 cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon milk optional
- 4 large (50 grams each, out of shell) eggs
- 1/2 cup (160 grams) honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour
Oat Shortbread Base:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8"x8" pan.
- Take half the oats and grind in a blender or mini-food processor till fairly finely ground. Set aside till later.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the oats, ground oats and flour. Beat until everything is incorporated.
- Add the milk only if needed to get the dough to stick together. Be careful not to add too much milk if using any at all as the dough should be very dry and crumbly, but should stick together when pressed.
- Press into the prepared pan and poke with a fork a few times before putting in the oven to bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden and until the top isn't oily looking anymore. The shortbread will not be completely cooked at this point. Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes while preparing the lemon filling.
- Whisk together all the filling ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Pour over the already baked oat shortbread and return the pan to the 350-degree F (175-degree C) oven for 18-20 minutes. The edges will brown fairly quickly but don't worry. Once the filling is set and doesn't jiggle anymore it's done. Remove it from the oven and cool before serving with a light dusting of powdered sugar over top if desired.