Gluten-free lemon bars are right up there with clean sheets, new house slippers, pastel colored sweatpants, and a fresh bath towel and bath mat. We’re talking high-quality, high-functioning adult indulgences that we have ourselves to thank for.
You feel me feelin’ myself headed into these spring days?
Citrus season always feels like an awakening to spring. These are those days. I’m just starting to see green leaves and flowers bud from under the frost-burnt garden. The days are sneaking towards longer. The sun feels warmer. And I’m sprinkling my baking and desserts with lemon and fresh fruit.
I think of these easy lemon bars as my everyday way to Lemon Meringue Pie. Much more accessible. Much more snackable. A few perfect bites in the quiet between Zoom work meetings. If
Our version today includes a soft cookie almond flour crust, crumble topping, and fresh raspberries. Let’s!
If you’re looking for a classic gluten-full lemon bar, this is for you: Classic Lemon Bars or you might also love this Meyer Lemon Bar Brulee!
Here’s what you’ll need for these Almond Flour Gluten Free Lemon Bars:
• almond flour. Different from almond meal, flour is finely ground without the almond skin. I like the moisture the almond flour lends over a gluten-free flour blend.
• granulated sugar to bring that cookie crisp to the crust and balance to the lemon filling.
• cornstarch to help bind and thicken the crust and filling.
• cold butter to create a crumbly crust.
• a splash of almond extract to add an almond perfume to our crust.
• fresh lemon juice to add all the bright comfort we’re looking for.
• eggs to bind and set the filling.
• sea salt to balance the sweetness and generally enhance the flavor.
• fresh raspberries because we’re extra and I love baked raspberries.
• and vanilla because we’re baking.
We’ll start by combining all of the dry ingredients for the shortbread crust into a medium bowl. Add the butter and splash of almond extract (if you’re going for it) and, with your fingers, break the butter down into bits the size of oat flakes or small peas.
Before and after pictured above so you get the crumbly texture we’re going for with this dough.
You have two options here! You can make an extra thick almond crust or you can bake like me and reserve a cup of the crust to sprinkle on top of the lemon bars before they bake.
I love a crumble topping that requires no additional effort. It’s a life bonus and we’ll take all the little bonuses we can get.
Press the crust into a greased and parchment lined pan and set it off to the oven to bake until just set and barely golden around the edges.
While the crust bakes, we’ll quick whisk together the lemon filling.
First we’ll bring out all the lemon flavor we can. In a medium bowl combine sugar and fresh lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar releasing the oils creating a fragrant lemon sugar.
Whisk in the cornstarch and salt.
Whisk in the eggs and that splash of vanilla extract.
The filling really is as easy as that! And wait until you taste it!
Pour the filling over the partially baked almond crust (totally fine if the crust is still warm), top with raspberries and that crumble crust we reserved.
Bake until the middle is set. You’ll know because the filling no longer sloshes or jiggles in a wave like motion. The top and edges will be just golden brown but because we’re using almond flour without an egg, don’t expect the top crumble crust to get super golden. Just barely toasty golden around the edges will do it as long as the center is set.
Allow bars to cool to mostly room temperature before serving. I like to chill them for a few hours before slicing. I get much cleaner cuts that way.
Dust with powdered sugar for extra beauty and enjoy with afternoon (or morning, for that matter) coffee.
Almond Flour Lemon Raspberry Bars
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 22 minutes
- Total Time: 52 minutes
- Yield: 12 squares 1x
A tart and fresh creamy lemon bar with fresh raspberries and a gluten-free almond cookie crust and crumble.
For the Crust and Topping:
- 3 cups (290 grams) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (28 grams) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter, cold and diced
- A tiny splash of almond extract
For the Filling:
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- Powdered sugar for topping
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper so the flaps hang over two sides (making the bars easier to remove) and lightly grease the parchment.
- Firsts make the crust. In a medium bowl whisk together almond flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the cold butter pieces and a tiny splash of almond extract if you’re using it. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and the butter bits are about the size of oat flakes.
- Reserve about 1 cup of the crusts mixture in a small bowl to the side and press the majority of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Use your fingers to press into as even a layer as possible. Bake for 10 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges.
- While the crust bakes, whisk together the filling. In a medium bowl combine sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to work the zest into the sugar until fragrant. Whisk in the the cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the eggs until thick and thoroughly combined. Whisk in the lemon and vanilla.
- Pour the filling over the baked crust (it’s ok if it’s still warm) and top with raspberries and reserved crumble topping. Bake for 18-22 minutes until baked through, they no longer jiggle and the mixture is just golden. Cool to room temperature or close to it. Allow to chill before slicing (I do this for about an hour in the fridge). Dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving.
- Store bars wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Photos of this gluten-free lemon bars recipe with my dear friend Jon Melendez.
I made these and they were great. I wish I would have baked the crust a little longer and it definitely took more time in the oven for the topping to set. Maybe an extra 15 minutes. I think it may have been because I added so many raspberries. My wife loved them as well, thinking about making another batch tonight. I also subbed in some oat flour for the crust, I was low on almond flour.
Just made these for the first time and they are wonderful. Substituted Truvia for sugar to cut sugar calories and it worked perfectly. I also baked the crust about 5 minutes longer than called for and the filling took an extra 10
Minutes to set and not be jiggly in the middle.
Any idea what the calorie count is per serving? ~ Anne
Eating one of these as I type; it is the most lovely combination of flavors & textures, and will be my go-to lemon bar recipe from now on. I never would have thought to crumble topping over the filling, but it didn’t take away from the lemony flavor at all!
I subbed vegan butter for the crust, and used a mix of blanched & unblanched almond flour because I wanted a little extra bit of texture. Hoping I can figure out a way to veganize the filling, but for now I am happy to chow down on these!
Shoot, I forgot to add-I did need to bake for an extra 10 minutes for the filling to set. Appreciate your note in the post to look for a non-jiggly center.
Has anyone made these without cornstarch? I’d like to make them for Passover and many don’t eat corn on Passover. Would they “set” if I used potato starch or tapioca?
I would use the tapioca. In fact, that is what I have on hand…no cornstarch.
Can these be frozen?
Really lovely – I made this yesterday and the only thing I changed was to add a little extra lemon emulsion to boost the lemony flavor. I did find that the crust took significantly longer to bake (more like 18 minutes), as did the filling (mine was ready after 25 minutes); but the end result after several hours chill time (made it easy to remove and slice, and the filling firmed up a bit more too) was absolutely lovely. They are bright and fresh, the lemon and sugar balance is just right. Great make ahead bake too, I covered them and left them in the fridge and I’m serving them as dessert today. I am sure they are going to be a hit!
I don’t leave very many reviews on blogs but this recipe was AMAZING! I don’t know if it’s just because we haven’t seen the sun in a week because of winter rains but these were exactly what we needed in our house. I will say, I made a bunch of changes so I was nervous but ours turned out perfectly. We have both gluten and dairy sensitivities so I used shortening instead of butter. And we didn’t make it with raspberries and the topping, Just a traditional lemon bar. I just used as much lemon juice as I could get from one lemon and made up the difference with bottled lemon juice.
Gosh. Some of these comments. Have made these twice as is, and family loved them. Making them again for NYE for us. So nice to have a g free recipe I don’t have to fiddle with and it is so good.
Hi, can I use a butter substitute? I was going to try country crock plant butter with avocado oil. Thanks!
I had to bake longer and I still think the crust is too soft. I doubled the lemon zest just because I love lemon. These taste great just a little too soft.
You say to store “wrapped”. I’m not sure what you mean by that. Can they be stored in Tupperware?
I have almond flour but not 3 cups worth (maybe 1.5-2ish). Could I fill in what I am short with regular white or white whole wheat flour?
It’s supposed to be gluten free, so no you can’t “just sub the gluten filled flour” for almond… why even bother with the recipe of you don’t have the ingredients?
that comment was a little harsh…. I’ve been baking for years and always sub what I have in the pantry with typically good results. go ahead, in fact I think it would make the crust better, doesn’t have to be gluten free…
Lou fr Michigan
I had a similar issue – short on almond flour. But I like the almond taste to the crust, so I used some wheat flour. Also I was short on cornstarch in filling so I used part wheat flour. THEN, I also had lemon extract – put in as a sub for part of vanilla — really makes more lemony if you have it!