Gluten-Free Lower-Carb Lemon Bar

Low-Carb Lemon Bars

Richard Jung / Getty Images

Total Time: 65 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Servings: 12 (1 square each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

262 calories
21g fat
15g carbs
6g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 (1 square each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 262
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 128mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 11g  
Includes 9g Added Sugars 18%
Protein 6g  
Vitamin D 1mcg 5%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 167mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

These lower-sugar lemon dessert bars benefit from the addition of cream, which mellows the bright lemon color and flavor. The dairy also rounds out the tartness of the lemon, requiring less sugar for balance while maintaining plenty of bright lemon flavor.

Reducing your added sugar intake has been shown to decrease the risk of several conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. One way to accomplish this is to enjoy your favorite desserts in moderation using recipes with reduced sugar compared to the traditional versions.

Fresh lemon juice is much better than bottled for this recipe (and in general), and the zest of the lemon adds a lot more flavor. Plus, these lemon bars feature an almond flour crust, making them gluten free. But don't think you will feel deprived—this is a rich dessert sure to satisfy a lemon lover.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ​almond flour, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold (1 stick)
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from about 5 lemons)
  • Enough water to make a total of 1 1/4 cups of liquid when added to the lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp lemon zest
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Prepare a 13- x 9-inch pan by either buttering it very well or lining it with greased parchment paper or foil. 

  3. For the crust, put the almond flour (reserving 1/4 cup), half of the powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the lumps are gone. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk.

  4. Cut the cold butter into medium-sized cubes (16 cubes is about right). Add a few at a time to the mixture, either pulsing the food processor or, if mixing by hand, using a pastry blender or two table knives. Blend until the mixture looks like a crumbly meal.

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth with your hand until crust is even, then press until firm.

  6. Bake until just golden brown, about 15 minutes (but start checking at 10 minutes, as once it starts to brown it goes quickly). Remove the pan, then turn the oven down to 300F.

  7. Cool the crust at room temperature for a few minutes, and then pop it into the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes, until firm (but not completely cold).

  8. For the filling, mix all the remaining ingredients (including the reserved almond flour and powdered sugar) in a blender, and pour over the crust.

  9. Bake until the filling is just set (the center should barely jiggle when you gently shake the pan). This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

  10. Remove from the oven and cool until room temperature, then place in the refrigerator and chill completely before cutting (at least 2 hours). If you like, sprinkle additional powdered sugar over the top sifting it through a sieve.

Variations and Substitutions

You could try making these squares with another citrus fruit, such as limes, blood oranges, or grapefruit. You may need to adapt the amount of sugar depending on the fruit you choose.

If you're watching your sugar intake, you can try replacing some or all of the powdered sugar with a powdered sugar substitute. Note that this substitute might alter the taste and will change the nutritional information.

For a dairy-free version, replace the cream with coconut cream and the butter with margarine.

You could also use another type of nut flour or alternative flour for the crust. You might need to adjust the amount of butter used, depending on the flour you choose.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Try adding unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds to the top of your squares.
  • A little whipped cream or coconut cream is a also nice addition.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Rippe JM, Angelopoulos TJ. Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current UnderstandingNutrients. 2016;8(11):697. Published 2016 Nov 4. doi:10.3390/nu8110697