These are the best gluten free cranberry lemon bars! The combination of the sweet lemon crust with the tart cranberry topping blends beautifully. You will love how easy these bars are to make and that they are healthier than most lemon bar recipes since they are refined sugar free and dairy free too!
Why you will love this recipe:
- The homemade lemon bar crust is so, so delicious! Moist and crumbly it has a shortbread like texture that you are going to love.
- The contrast of the sweet lemon crust with the slightly tart cranberry layer makes the perfect flavour combination.
- These dessert bars are surprisingly easy and simple to make and also freeze really well.
- These lemon bars are not only gluten free but are also dairy free and paleo.
- They are a healthy alternative to most other lemon bars that are filled with refined sugar, while these bars are sweetened naturally with honey and are refined sugar free.
- They are filled with healthy fats from the coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut butter or coconut manna.
- These bars are great to serve any time but they are also great for events like Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas baby showers or bridal showers.
- If you love lemon flavoured desserts you will also love lemon and lavender cookies.
Taste and texture:
These dessert bars have a sweet lemon crust that has a shortbread like texture, and then a more tart cranberry topping. The contrast of the flavours blends perfectly to give these bars the most amazing flavour.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Coconut flour - One of my favourite grain free flours. The sweetness of the coconut blends so well with the lemon to give these bars the best taste.
- Almond flour - This gluten free flour is one of my favourites to bake with. You could use cashew flour instead. Just be sure you don't use almond meal.
- Coconut milk - this helps add moisture and healthy fats to these lemon bars. I recommend using full fat coconut milk.
- Coconut butter or coconut manna - to help add natural sweetness to these cranberry lemon bars.
- Lemons - you will use lemons for both lemon zest and lemon juice to add the most refreshing lemon flavour to these bars.
- Cranberries - for the delicious cranberry topping on these bars. I recommend using fresh rather than frozen cranberries if possible.
- Honey - one of my favourite natural sweeteners to give these dessert bars the perfect sweet lemon taste. You could use maple syrup instead.
How to make this recipe:
To make the lemon layer:
First you will preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, add all the ingredients for the lemon crust into your standing mixer. Blend on low until the batter is smooth.
Then transfer the ingredients to a greased 8"x 8" glass baking dish and spread the batter evenly with a knife or a spoon. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean.
To make the cranberry layer:
While the lemon layer is baking, you can make the cranberry layer.
Place a medium sized pot on the stove on low heat. Add the cranberries, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey and sea salt to the pot and bring the ingredients to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow the ingredients to simmer for ~15 minutes.
When the lemon crust is done baking, pour the cranberry topping on top and spread evenly with a spoon or knife. Then place the dish in the fridge and allow the cranberry layer to set (this takes about 60 minutes).
Optional step two:
You have the option of adding a little coconut butter to the top of your bars (this is the white part that you see in the photos). If you would like to do that, melt 3 tablespoons of coconut butter in the microwave (heat on high for 20-30 seconds). Then simply drizzle the coconut butter on top of the cranberry layer when you remove the bars from the fridge.
Next, cut the bars into desired sized pieces, then serve and enjoy!
Chef's tips and variations:
- Be sure to use almond flour and not almond meal for this recipe.
- I do not recommend trying to swap the coconut flour for another flour.
- If you can't have almond flour I recommend using cashew flour instead.
- Instead of honey you could use maple syrup.
How to store:
Store these lemon bars in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 7 days. These bars also freeze really well.
One serving of this dessert has approximately 277 calories, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, 22 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber and 14 grams of net carbs. These bars are gluten free, dairy free, paleo and refined sugar free.
Frequently asked questions:
Yes I would suggest keeping these gluten free lemon bars in the fridge. I actually prefer them served cold rather than warm.
These lemon bars are sweetened naturally with honey but no they are not sugar free meaning they are also not low carb or keto.
No! Almond flour and coconut flour are not interchangeable.
I have never tried this recipe without eggs so I can't guarantee they would work out. If you do try making them vegan by using an egg replacer please let me know how it goes.
Yes! These lemon bars freeze really well so feel free to make a double or triple batch and freeze some for later.
Other recipes you will love:
- Dairy Free Brownies with Caramel
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Chocolate Avocado Torte
- Chocolate Raspberry Cups
- Carrot Cake Donuts
- Edible Cookie Dough
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Gluten Free Cranberry Lemon Bars
Lemon Crust Ingredients
Cranberry Topping Ingredients
Optional Coconut Drizzle
- 3 tablespoon coconut manna (or coconut butter)
Lemon Crust Directions
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Place all the ingredients into your standing mixer and blend well until smooth.
- Grease an 8″x 8″ glass baking dish with coconut oil.
- Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly with a spoon or knife.
- Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean.
Cranberry Topping Directions
- While the lemon crust is baking start the cranberry topping.
- Place a medium pot on the stove on low heat and add the cranberries, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey and sea salt to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Allow the ingredients to simmer for ~15 minutes.
- Once the lemon crust is finished, pour the cranberry topping on top and spread evenly with a spoon or knife.
- Place the pan in the fridge to allow the topping to set. This will take ~60 minutes.
Optional Coconut Drizzle Directions
- Place the coconut manna into a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds, until melted.
- Drizzle the melted coconut manna on top of the squares once you remove them from the fridge.
- Cut the squares into desired sized pieces and serve and enjoy!
- This recipe yields 12 desert bars.
- Nutritional values are an estimate and will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use.
- Store these bars in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 7 days.