A luscious low carb lemon bars recipe that is very close to the real thing. But it's a sugar free treat made with gluten free coconut and almond flour.
While I was away on a work trip, there were so many sweet temptations. Of course, none of them were low carb desserts. One of the items that caught my eye were some triangular lemon square bars. They had a shortbread crust with a thick lemon topping on top.
My mind started churning on how I could make my own low carb lemon bars when I got home. Based on an old recipe my mother used, I noted some potential recipe ideas I could test when I got home.
One recipe used all Carbquik for the crust, the other used a blend of almond flour and coconut flour. The recipe could likely be made with one flour or the other, but I like to combine both low carb flours.
How to Make Low Carb Lemon Square Bars
For the crust, I ended up using a mix of almond flour and coconut flour to keep the bars gluten-free. I simply mixed the flours with low carb sweetener and butter with a pastry cutter. To help the crust hold together better, I added a little xanthan gum but that can be left out if desired.
The crust mixture was then pressed into a square 8x8 pan. After baking for about 18 minutes, the crust turned a nice golden color. I let it cool a bit on a rack before preparing the lemon topping.
I blended eggs, low carb sweetener, baking powder, salt, lemon juice, dried lemon peel, gelatin, and lemon extract to make the lemon topping. The ingredients were just dumped in a large bowl and blended smooth with an electric hand mixer.
This mixture was then poured on top of the baked crust and spread into an even layer. Then I put the pan back in the oven to cook the topping.
It took about 15-20 minutes of baking for the lemon topping to set. After cooling on a baking rack, I was able to cut the low carb lemon bars into squares.
Keto lemon bars recipe variations
The amount of lemon topping isn't a lot, so I may try doubling the amount of topping the next time I make these bars. However, the thin topping on the finished squares was perfect. It was chewy and the crust was similar to a shortbread.
If you are looking for more of a traditional lemon bar with the thicker topping, I would try doubling the amount of topping, using a full packet of gelatin. But, I preferred the thinner lemon layer.
I wonder how a layer of cheesecake would taste. Maybe I'll experiment with low carb lemon cheesecake bars. That does sound tasty, doesn't it?
Overall, these low carb lemon bars were just as I had hoped. Although I made these gluten-free, those who aren't concerned with gluten can replace the coconut flour with Carbquik.
Final thoughts on these sugar free lemon bars
The gluten free crust on used to make these sugar free lemon bars would be great for other recipes too. I'm thinking it might taste better than the pecan crust I used on my chocolate chip cheesecake bars.
Any recipe for low carb cookies could also be used to form a crust for these bars. I think my gluten free ginger cookies or my keto coconut macaroons would work perfectly. Lemon goes well with both ginger as well as coconut.
A basic shortbread crust would work well too as the base for these bars.
Low Carb Lemon Bars Recipe - Gluten Free Option
If you try these out, I'd love to know what you think of this easy low carb lemon dessert. And I'd also be interested in hearing about treats you've seen lately that you'd like to see made low carb?
Low Carb Lemon Bars
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Blend crust ingredients using a pastry cutter. Press crust into a 8 x 8-inch baking pan spayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.
- Beat the ingredients for the filling for about a minute then pour evenly over the baked crust.
- Return to oven and bake again for about 15-20 minutes or until set.
- Let cool at room temperature, cut into 16 even squares. Keep cool in the refrigerator.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 71 [carbohydrates] => 2 [protein] => 2 [fat] => 6 [saturated_fat] => 2 [cholesterol] => 31 [sodium] => 94 [potassium] => 12 [fiber] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 100 [vitamin_c] => 1.7 [calcium] => 20 [iron] => 0.4 [serving_unit] => square )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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Post updated in February 2019. Originally published December 2010.