Easy Gluten Free Lemon Bars

4.8 from 25 votes
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Tender and citrusy Gluten Free Lemon Bars are full of tangy flavor and perfect for any spring occasion, especially Easter or Mother’s Day! An easy dessert made with a thick layer of creamy lemon filling on top of a zesty gluten-free shortbread crust.

A stack of gluten free lemon bars on a rectangular platter with lemons in the background.

Why You’ll Love These Gluten Free Lemon Bars

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

With spring around the corner, I was inspired to make these perfectly citrusy, gluten-free lemon bars! These dessert bars are positively exploding with lemon flavor, from the creamy lemon filling right down to the zest in the shortbread-style crust. 

I’m already planning to bring these lemon bars along to all my springtime gatherings, from Easter to Mother’s Day. If you’re as crazy for lemon desserts as I am, you’re going to love these gluten-free lemon bars! Here’s why…

  • A classic dessert. This is a much-loved, traditional recipe that gluten free folks shouldn’t have to miss out on. So this will be your go-to recipe to enjoy this all-time favorite again.
  • Simple preparation and flavors. This recipe is so easy and the resulting lemon squares are deliciously tender, sweet, and tangy. The smooth and zesty filling just melts in your mouth! Like a little taste of citrus heaven in every bite.
  • Lovely for special occasions. These gluten free lemon bars are the ultimate springtime dessert, perfect to serve with a dollop of whipped cream. They’re wonderful to serve with coffee or tea. You can even dish these bars up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a little extra indulgence!
A lemon bar on a plate next to blueberries and lemon slices, with lemon bars in the background.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s a rundown of everything you’ll need for the crust as well as the lemon filling for these bars. Keep on scrolling down to the recipe card for the full quantities.

For the Crust

  • Butter: Unsalted butter, brought to room temperature. This will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients!
  • Lemon Zest: Adding zest to the crust gives these bars even more fresh lemon flavor. Use a Microplane zester to get a finely grated zest.
  • Vanilla Extract: Pure, natural vanilla will give your crust the best possible flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Flour: Your preferred brand of gluten free all-purpose flour blend (I use Bob’s Red Mill). You can also substitute this with regular flour if you’re making bars that aren’t gluten-free.
  • Sugar
  • Salt
Ingredients for the lemon bar crust with text labels.

For the Filling

  • Eggs: For richness, and as a binder for the filling ingredients. Use room temperature eggs for the smoothest possible filling.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed. You’ll need about 4 medium-sized lemons or 3 large lemons for a half cup of juice. 
  • Gluten-Free Flour: Same as above, use your brand of choice.
  • Lemon Zest: These bars aren’t cutting any corners when it comes to lemon flavor!
  • Sugar
  • Salt
Ingredients for the lemon bar filling with text labels.

You’ll also need Powdered Sugar, for garnishing the bars. While most powdered sugar (a.k.a. Confectioner’s sugar) is gluten free, always check the ingredients list to be sure! Sprinkling it on with a dusting wand gives you a nice, light coating without large clumps.

What’s the Best Way to Juice a Lemon? 

When it comes to the citrusy filling for the most amazing lemon bars, nothing beats the flavor of freshly squeezed lemons! Here’s how to get the maximum amount of juice from a lemon:

  1. First, microwave the whole lemon for about 30 seconds. Heat helps break down the membranes inside the lemon that hold all the juice. 
  2. Roll the lemon against a countertop or other hard surface for a few seconds. This loosens up the lemon flesh and further releases the juice.
  3. Cut the lemon lengthwise and use a lemon squeezer or juicer to extract the lemon juice. My favorite is this handheld citrus squeezer.

How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Squares

Let’s run down how to make these easy bars. The detailed instructions can be found further below in the recipe card.

Prepare the Crust: Beat together the crust ingredients, adding the flour and salt last. Mix until you have a smooth dough, then press the dough evenly into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Use a fork to prick holes in the dough, and then bake the crust in a preheated oven until it’s firm and golden.

Make the Lemon Filling: While the crust is cooling, combine and mix the filling ingredients. Pour the filling over the crust and place the bars back into the oven for another half hour or so, until they’re set in the center.

Cool and Cut into Bars: Once the bars are out of the oven, leave them to cool in the pan for a while, before transferring them from the pan onto a wire rack. Wait until the slab of lemon bars has cooled completely before dusting the top with powdered sugar and slicing into squares.

Tips for Success

Keep these things in mind for the best lemon bars:
  • Use the Right Pan: I recommend an 8×8-inch glass baking pan for these lemon bars (rather than a metal baking pan, which can darken the crust). Alternatively, you could use a 9×9 inch square pan, but this will result in thinner bars that may need an adjusted baking time.
  • Line the Pan: I include this tip in my recipe because it really makes a difference! Lining the pan with parchment paper helps to achieve perfect edges, plus you can lift the whole slab out of the pan for cooling and cutting.
  • If Your Filling Has Air Bubbles: It’s normal to have air bubbles in the baked lemon bars. While it doesn’t always happen, if it does, it doesn’t affect the overall texture or amazing taste of these bars! Plus, you can easily cover up any bubbles with a little extra dusting of powdered sugar.
A stack of gluten free lemon bars on a rectangular platter.

How to Store Homemade Lemon Bars

These lemon bars are best stored airtight in the fridge, for up to one week. They will also keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, but I definitely recommend refrigerating them. Chilling not only extends their shelf life, but also enhances the flavors!

Can I Freeze These?

These lemon bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once cut into squares, flash freeze the bars until solid. Next, wrap the bars individually (in either aluminum foil or plastic wrap) to store in a freezer bag. Thaw the lemon bars in the fridge and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

A lemon bar on a plate next to blueberries and lemon slices, with lemon bars in the background.

More Gluten Free Lemon Desserts to Try

A stack of gluten free lemon bars on a rectangular platter with lemons in the background.
4.8 from 25 votes

Easy Gluten Free Lemon Bars

Tender and citrusy Gluten Free Lemon Bars are an easy dessert made with a thick layer of creamy lemon filling on top of a zesty gluten-free crust. Perfect for Easter or Mother's Day!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (grated on a Microplane)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • tsp kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (grated on a Microplane)
  • ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • tsp kosher salt
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish and line with overlapping rectangles of parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until uniform.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer with your hands (wet them to prevent sticking). Use a fork to poke holes in the crust all over. Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and firm in the center. Cool for about 10 minutes.
  • To make the filling, in a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, and salt until uniform.
  • Pour the filling over the semi-cooled crust. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center.
  • Cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and slice into 2-inch bars.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Gluten Free Lemon Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 46mg15%
Sodium 49mg2%
Potassium 23mg1%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 223IU4%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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18 Comments
  1. Trinity

    5 stars
    These turned out wonderful! 😊 I followed the recipe., everything cooked right in the timeframe. Great recipe!

  2. Jordan

    5 stars
    Very tasty, definitely took me longer than 1:05 to make and had to let the crust and the final product sit in the oven a little longer than recommended, no fret though- it was worth it.

  3. Cheryl

    These are better than any other lemon bar I have made! My husband devours them! Can I double the recipe in a 13 x 9 pan? What baking adjustments would I do?

  4. Haley

    5 stars
    This was a great recipe 🙂 no adjustments needed. I ate literally half of them by myself within 3 days. I will definitely be making them again.

  5. Pat

    5 stars
    So far they were easy to make.
    Will come back and comment when we eat them! Making them for work birthday celebration!

  6. Lacey

    5 stars
    Hello! I just did this delicious recipe. How do you get the crust to stay together? I couldn’t take my treat out of the pan. I had to cut in the pan because it because like crumbly graham cracker. Any tips?

4.84 from 25 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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