Vegan Lemon Bar Recipe (Sweet, Tart, And Irresistible)

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Zesty and tantalizing, these Vegan Lemon Bar Recipe are a burst of sunshine in every bite. A buttery, crumbly crust cradles the lusciously tangy lemon filling, creating a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate. With just the right balance of sweetness and citrusy brightness, these bars are a delectable ode to indulgence, cruelty-free and utterly delightful.

Why Does It Work?

  • Tangy Delight – Homemade vegan lemon bars with a zesty lemon flavor. A refreshing, dairy-free dessert.
  • Nutritious – Packed with simple ingredients and the goodness of fresh lemons. A guilt-free indulgence.
  • Simple Recipe – Just a few easy steps to create these luscious bars in your kitchen.
  • Perfect For Sharing – Ideal for gatherings or as a thoughtful, homemade gift. Everyone loves their vibrant taste.

Finding the perfect dessert that satisfies everyone at the table can often feel daunting, especially when dietary preferences vary.

My journey into vegan baking led me to create a recipe that became an instant favorite among my friends and family: Vegan Lemon Bars. 

Initially, the challenge was to recreate the classic lemon bar without compromising taste or texture while adhering to vegan standards.

By experimenting with plant-based ingredients, I discovered the secret to making these bars irresistibly tangy and perfectly sweet

These easy vegan lemon bars not only cater to a range of dietary needs but also promise a delightful treat that everyone can enjoy. My best advice? Try this easy recipe, and watch it become a staple in your dessert repertoire.

vegan lemon bars recipe

What Is A Vegan Lemon Bar?

A Vegan Lemon Bar is a plant-based version of the classic dessert. It features a crisp, homemade base topped with a smooth, citrusy lemon curd filling without animal products. 

This recipe uses alternatives to butter and eggs, such as coconut oil and tofu or cornstarch, to achieve the same rich texture and tangy flavor. It is great for those following a vegan lifestyle or anyone looking for a dairy-free, egg-free treat. 

These bars offer a refreshing balance of sweet and tart, making them a popular choice for dessert lovers seeking a lighter yet indulgent option.

Fact – Vegan lemon bars achieve their luscious texture without eggs, using silken tofu for a creamy filling.

vegan lemon bars recipe

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by heating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare an 8×8 inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, allowing some overhang on the sides for easy removal later.
  2. Make the Crust: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the melted vegan butter, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir these ingredients together until they’re well mixed. Then, add the all-purpose flour to this mixture, stirring until everything is combined into a thick dough. Transfer this dough to your prepared pan. Use your hands to press it down evenly across the bottom, ensuring it’s firmly packed. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
  3. Prepare the Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the lemon juice, optional lemon zest for an extra lemony kick, granulated sugar, full-fat coconut milk, cornstarch, and a tiny pinch of turmeric if you’re using it for color. Whisk these ingredients together until the cornstarch is fully dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Continue stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken visibly.
  4. Combine and Bake: Pour the thickened lemon filling over the pre-baked crust. Spread it out evenly with a spatula to cover the crust completely. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. The filling should set but still be slightly wobbly in the center when it’s done.
  5. Cool and Set: After baking dish, remove the pan from the oven. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. This step helps the filling set initially. Then, for a firmer set, transfer the pan to the refrigerator. Let it chill for at least 1-2 hours, preferably overnight, for the best results.
  6. Serve: Once fully set, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the lemon bars out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board. Dust the top generously with powdered sugar for a sweet finish. Cut the large square into 16 smaller squares for serving.
  7. Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week. These healthy vegan lemon bars also freeze well if you want to save some later.

Variations, Add-Ons And Toppings


  • Coconut Lemon Bars: Add shredded coconut to the crust or sprinkle it on the lemon filling for a tropical twist.
  • Berry Lemon Bars: Before baking, add fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries to the lemon filling for a burst of fruity flavor.
  • Almond Lemon Bars: Mix almond extract into the lemon filling or sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the bars for a nutty complement to the citrusy taste.


  • Ginger Infusion: For a spicy kick, infuse the lemon filling with grated fresh ginger or add ginger powder to the crust.
  • Lavender Essence: For a fragrant and floral touch, incorporate dried lavender buds into the crust or steep them in the lemon-filling mixture.


  • Powdered Sugar Dusting: Dust the top of the cooled lemon bars with powdered sugar for a classic and elegant finishing touch.
  • Lemon Zest Garnish: Sprinkle freshly grated lemon zest over the bars before serving to enhance the citrus flavor and add a pop of color.
vegan lemon bars recipe

Vegetable Substitutes

  • Vegan Butter: If you don’t have vegan butter, coconut oil is a great alternative. It offers a slightly different flavor but works well in the buttery shortbread crust and filling.
  • Granulated Sugar: For a less refined option, you can use coconut sugar or agave nectar in the filling. Keep in mind this may change the color and flavor slightly.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Gluten-free all-purpose flour can be used 1:1 for those avoiding gluten. Ensure it’s a blend designed for baking for the best results.
  • Full Fat Coconut Milk: If coconut milk isn’t your preference or you want something lighter, almond milk or soy milk can be used. However, these might provide different creaminess, so consider adding a bit more cornstarch to thicken the filling.
  • Cornstarch: Arrowroot powder is an excellent alternative to cornstarch and can be used in the same quantity to thicken the lemon filling.

vegan lemon bars recipe

Best Side Dishes 

  • Fresh Berry Salad A mix of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries adds a refreshing and colorful contrast.
  • Whipped Coconut Cream Light and fluffy, it pairs beautifully with the bars’ citrus notes.
  • Mint Tea Its soothing, herbal flavor complements the lemon’s tartness.
  • Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Offers a creamy, sweet balance to the classic lemon bars’ tangy profile.
  • Dark Chocolate Shavings Sprinkle over the bars for a rich, decadent touch.
  • Nutty Quinoa Salad Adds a savory, crunchy contrast to the favorite dessert sweetness.
  • Lemon Sorbet For a double lemon delight, enhancing the citrus theme.
  • Cucumber Water Refreshing and light, it cleanses the palate between bites.
  • Homemade Granola Adds a crunchy texture and nutty flavor that contrasts well with the smooth filling.

vegan lemon bars recipe

How To Serve?

  • Dessert Delight: Serve vegan lemon bars as a delightful dessert option after dinner or as a sweet treat for any occasion.
  • Tea Time Treat: Pair vegan lemon bars with a cup of hot tea for a cozy afternoon break or an elegant tea party.
  • Picnic Perfection: Pack vegan lemon bars in your picnic basket for a refreshing and portable dessert option to enjoy in the great outdoors.
  • Brunch Brilliance: Serve vegan lemon bars as a bright and zesty addition to your brunch spread, alongside fresh fruit, vegan pastries, and a selection of beverages.
  • Party Pleaser: Impress your guests by serving vegan lemon bars as a crowd-pleasing dessert at gatherings, potlucks, or celebrations.

Tip – Ensure a crisp crust by pre-baking it briefly before adding the luscious lemon filling.

How To Serve?

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Once cooled, store lemon bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze individually wrapped bars for up to 2 months.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the lemon filling and crust separately. Store crust tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before assembling. Lemon filling can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Assemble and bake the bars just before serving for that fresh-baked taste, or bake ahead and store in the fridge for a grab-and-go treat.

Fact – This recipe replaces butter with coconut oil, showcasing how vegan delights can be both delicious and cruelty-free.

Time-Saving Tips 

Making vegan lemon bars can be a breeze with these time-saving tips:

  1. Prep Ingredients in Advance: Measure out all your ingredients before you start to streamline the cooking process.
  2. Use a food processor: Combine the crust ingredients in a food processor to save time when mixing.
  3. Microwave Lemon Juice: Warm the lemon juice slightly in the microwave to help dissolve the sugar faster for the filling.
  4. Pre-Cut Parchment Paper: Have your parchment paper cut and ready for the baking pan to avoid delays.
  5. Cool in the Freezer: If short on time, place the bars in the freezer to cool down quicker before cutting.
  6. Make a Double Batch: Double the recipe and freeze half for a future event, saving preparation time later.
  7. Use Bottled Lemon Juice: While fresh is best, high-quality bottled lemon juice can save time squeezing lemons.

Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe

Indulge in the zesty delight of our Vegan Lemon Bar recipe. A buttery crust gives way to a luscious lemon filling, perfectly balanced between tangy and sweet. Simple, delightful, and completely plant-based, it's a treat for any occasion.
Prep Time 15 mins
Rest Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings 16 squares


  • 8×8 Inch Baking Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Medium Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Zester or Microplane
  • Juicer
  • Sifter
  • Sharp Knife
  • Plastic Wrap or Airtight Containers


  • ½ cup Vegan Butter, Melted
  • ¼  cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1  cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt

Lemon Filling

  • ¾ cup Lemon Juice from about 4 large lemons
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Zest (optional)
  • cups Granulated Sugar
  • cups Full Fat Coconut Milk mostly the white part
  • 6 tablespoons Corn starch
  • teaspoon Turmeric (Tiny pinch) (optional for color)

For serving

  • Powdered Sugar For dusting the tops


  • Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal.
  • Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, combine melted vegan butter, sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix until a thick dough forms. Press the dough evenly and firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  • Prepare the Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest (if using), sugar, coconut milk, cornstarch, and a tiny pinch of turmeric for color (if desired). Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.
  • Layer and Bake: Spread the lemon filling evenly over the cooled crust, using a spatula to smooth it if needed. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight, until set.
  • Cut and Serve: Once set, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper. Dust generously with powdered sugar and cut into 16 squares.
  • Storage: Leftover bars can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They also freeze well. Enjoy your delicious vegan lemon bars!


  • Choosing Vegan Butter: Ensure you select a high-quality vegan butter for the crust and filling. Look for brands that are specifically labeled as vegan to ensure they don’t contain any dairy products.
  • Measuring Flour: When measuring flour for the crust, spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife. Avoid packing the flour into the cup, as this can result in a denser crust.
  • Chilling the Crust: After pressing the crust mixture into the baking pan, it’s crucial to chill it in the refrigerator before baking. This helps the crust firm up and prevents it from crumbling when sliced later.
  • Smooth Filling: When making the lemon filling, ensure that the mixture is smooth and well combined before pouring it over the crust. You can use a whisk or a hand mixer on low speed to achieve a silky consistency.
  • Zesting Lemons: Use a microplane or fine grater to zest the lemons for the filling. Be sure to only grate the outer, yellow part of the peel, as the white pith underneath can be bitter.

recipe card

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

Time-Saving Tips 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Gluten-Free Flour For The Crust?

Yes, you can substitute gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version of this recipe. Ensure all other ingredients are also gluten-free, and adjust baking time if necessary to achieve the desired texture and doneness.

Can I Use Other Citrus Fruits Instead Of Lemon?

Absolutely! You can experiment with lime, orange, or even grapefruit to create variations of this recipe. Adjust the sweetness accordingly to balance the tartness of different citrus fruits for optimal flavor.

Can I Use A Different Sweetener Instead Of Sugar?

Yes, you can use alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut sugar. However, these may slightly alter the flavor and texture, so adjust the quantity based on your preference and taste.

Can I Omit The Coconut Milk In The Filling?

While coconut milk adds richness and creaminess to the filling, you can substitute it with other non-dairy milk, such as almond or soy milk. Ensure the substitute has a similar consistency to maintain the texture of the filling.

Can I Skip The Chilling Step And Serve The Bars Immediately?

Chilling the bars allows them to set properly, resulting in a firmer texture and easier slicing. While you can serve them without chilling, they may be softer and more delicate, so chilling is recommended for the best results and presentation.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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