These No Bake Lemon Bars are incredibly smooth and creamy with a bright and tart lemon flavor. These gluten-free, paleo and vegan lemon bars come together quickly and easily in a blender.
So, I’ve got a lemon bar curse. Despite having a baking blog for over seven years, and baking for many, many years before that, lemon bars have always eluded me.
It’s a frustrating fact for both me and my mom, who has always loved lemon bars. And trust me – I’ve tried SO many recipes. I’ve tried the classics, like Ina’s which always worked for my mom. I tried making my own recipes. I’ve tried making them paleo, and vegan.
Yet somehow, I’m cursed with the most bizarre phenomenon of the crust somehow ending up on TOP of the lemony filling. Sometimes it’s a giant bubble, sometimes it looks like someone flipped the bars over because the crust is ALL on top. It’s so weird, and it’s been happening to me for so long, that I accepted lemon bars just weren’t in the cards for me.
But recently, I decided enough was enough. I was going to make lemon bars, and they were going to be successful, and they were going to be delicious. The solution? NO BAKE LEMON BARS. Without any time in the oven, there was no time for them to go horribly wrong.
They’re creamy and sweet and delightfully tart. Yes, they are different from the more traditional baked lemon curd style of lemon bar, but they’re a delicious lemon bar of their very own :) now let’s talk about how to make them!
No Bake Lemon Bars!
The crust is made super simply with just a few ingredients: almond flour, coconut butter, coconut oil, and just a tablespoon of maple syrup for a little bit of sweet and stickiness. You can substitute more coconut oil for the coconut butter if necessary, but it really helps the crust firm up nicely without getting too oily. If you don’t have coconut butter, you can always make your own!
The filling is made with a base of soaked raw cashews. Soaking the cashews in filtered water for many hours helps them soften up, so they blend into creamy perfection with the rest of the ingredients. Coconut milk helps with the creaminess as well, and some coconut oil is blended in too, which helps the bars firm up nicely.
Maple syrup is added to sweeten – if you’d like, you can use any other liquid sweetener that you prefer. A touch of vanilla extract is added, and of course, the lemon. A hearty dose of lemon juice is added because I like them tart! I used 1/3 cup of lemon juice and a full tablespoon of lemon zest. You can use a little less lemon juice if you don’t want a super tart lemon bar.
The ingredients are poured over the crust, smoothed out, and frozen until firm before cutting and serving. The resulting lemon bars are a delightfully tart and creamy take on a classic! They’re definitely simpler to make too…at least for me :) I hope you’ll give these refreshing bars a try. Enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
No Bake Lemon Bars
For the crust
For the cheesecake
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked for at least four hours or preferably overnight, drain and rinse before using
- ¼ cup canned full-fat coconut milk shaken
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted and cooled slightly
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice use ¼ cup if you want it a little less lemony - you can always add more!
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line an 8” square pan with parchment paper for easy removal, and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, melted coconut butter, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients and blend for about 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy.
Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness/tartness levels, if desired. Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the crust and smooth the top. Hit the pan hard against the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles.
Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours or until completely firm before slicing and serving.
When serving, I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the lemon bars with the still-hot (dried) knife. Serve frozen or let them thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.