GF Tart and Tangy Lemon Bars

I made these for my Latin class’ holiday potluck this December, and I must say, these hit the lemon-spot, if ever there was one. They do not wimp out on the lemon flavor nor the tang, but they also have a lovely sweet flavor and a flaky,buttery crust. The pictures were taken of the last remaining bar a couple days later, when the powdered sugar had soaked in – but they got better with age!

DSCN6802Am I putting off working on my thesis? Of course not…

Note the super-thick lemon layer, the tender crust, and the tiny bit of crisp on the top. Mmmmm…


I also used two Meyer lemons in the recipe because they have a beautiful color and milder flavor, but to preserve the tartness and to get a firm zest, regular lemons work best!


Gluten and Dairy-Free Tart and Tangy Lemon Bars

* Originally adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, then adapted from Smitten Kitchen *


For the crust:
1/2 pound Earth Balance Buttery Sticks at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups gluten-free flour (I used 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, and 1 cup Bob’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour,but any flour you like will do)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the lemon layer:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons – 2 Meyer, the rest regular)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup gluten-free flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands or between parchment paper and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill. (I didn’t chill the dough much, a few minutes at most.)

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


  • Gluten-free dough can be hard to work with, but help yourself out by rolling it out as close to the size of the pan as you can, and roll between sheets of parchment paper to keep from sticking and so you don’t need any extra flour.
  • There was a lot of crust in this recipe – next time I might only use 3/4 of the recipe and save the rest. But if you like crust, then have at it.
  • Put powdered sugar on right before serving – it sinks in and disappears (also applies to the red and green sprinkles I put on the sugar,which kind of looked like food coloring after awhile).
  • If you don’t want a crust around the pan (like the bar below has on the right side) then simply line the bottom of the pan, and be extra careful when removing bars.


If the very-last-beaten-up bar can look and taste this yummy, imagine the first one!


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