What’s in a traditional lemon bar? The crust is made with butter, flour and sugar. And the filling is made with sugar, flour, eggs and lemon juice. Lemon bars deceivingly taste light and healthy, but there’s generally so much sugar, fat and cholesterol in the recipes. So I was on a mission to match that light and airy taste with light and airy nutrition content. And so became these Vegan Lemon Bars!
To make the crust, I used a combination of almonds, walnuts, shredded coconut, rolled oats, maple syrup and sea salt. The mixture is sticky and chewy, and perfect for pressing down on a pan to make a crust for vegan desserts. Plus those ingredients in general are better-for-you than a traditional graham cracker crust. Just saying…not hating lol. There’s some good fats and great protein in that crust. Honestly i could just roll up that crust in a ball and eat it alone!
For the actual filling, I used a recipe from the The Minimalist Baker made with cashews, coconut cream, lemon juice and maple syrup. I added turmeric for color because I love to see that zesty lemony hue come through on the vegan lemon bars. That part is optional though. If you add a hint of turmeric and you don’t think it looks yellow enough, once you bake it, that color will pop!
I think they look more fun and festive that way with the burst of yellow color! Once they cooled down, I cut them up into 16 squares.
And showered them with powdered sugar. The best finishing touch to a dessert! (totally optional if you’re avoiding refined sugar, but it just makes them so pretty!)
This recipe is perfect for all summer shindings: cookouts and barbecues, birthday parties, baby shower and anytime you feel like sprinkling a little sunshine on your dessert table. I love that they are vegan but taste totally indulgent and decadent! Vegan lemon bars, you just made my summer so much brighter!
Want More Easy Vegan Desserts?
Check out some of my favorite ones!
I hope you love this feelgood vegan lemon bars recipe. If you make it, please leave me a comment telling me how you like it, or use hashtag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram so I can see your recreations.
Easy Lemon Bars
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup coconut cream* the hardened portion at the top of full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- Pinch of turmeric optional, just for color
- Pinch sea salt
- Powdered sugar for topping
- Soak raw cashews in cold water overnight, or in boiling water for 1 hour (uncovered). Drain thoroughly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor (or blender), add the almonds, walnuts, oats, maple syrup, shredded coconut and sea salt, and blend until mixture is crumbly and sticky, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, and spread evenly. Use the back of a spoon or measuring cup to press down firmly until it’s evenly distributed and well-packed.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- Wipe down the food processor. Then, transfer the drained cashews to the bowl of the food processor along with the coconut cream, corn starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, turmeric (optional) and sea salt.
- Mix on high until well blended and smooth. Pour the filling over crust and spread evenly.
- Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the edges look firm and the center appears slightly “jiggly.” Allow the baking dish to cool on the counter, then transfer to a refrigerator to cool (uncovered) overnight, or at least 4 hours.
- Cut into 9 large slices or 16 smaller slices. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top (if desired).
- Recipe Source: The filling portion of the recipe was adapted from The Minimalist Baker