Vegan Lemon Bars

Blissful Vegan Dessert Recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking

Vegan Lemon Bars

We were hard pressed to pick a favorite vegan dessert recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

In the end, these vegan lemon bars scored highest on our bliss index. Everybody - vegetarian, vegan or omnivore - loves them!

These lemon bars are best eaten the same day, but they can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days - if they last that long.

Total Prep & Cook Time: 40 Min

16 Servings

Nutrition Data for 1 Serving, 83g: 265 calories, 45g carbohydrate, 8g fat, 7mg sodium, 1g dietary fiber, 3g protein, low in Cholesterol, and very low in Sodium. Estimated glycemic load: 31

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • GF Option: 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour mix

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup silken tofu (soft or firm)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • GF Option: 2 Tbsp fine sweet rice flour, 2 Tbsp cornstarch OR all cornstarch
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  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  • Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan with canola oil (or use a cooking spray) and sprinkle with just a light dusting of all-purpose flour
  • To make the crust, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour, and mix until the dough just comes together
  • Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned
  • Remove crust from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling
  • To make the filling, blend the tofu and lemon juice in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute
  • Add the granulated sugar, and blend until nice and smooth
  • Blend in the lemon zest, flour, and cornstarch
  • Pour the filling over the baked shortbread crust and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the filling is set
  • Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool - if the filling isn't completely set, it will set as it cools
  • To serve, cut into squares or bars and dust with the sifted confectioners' sugar
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Recipe Tips:

We've changed this recipe over time to suit ourselves. We've found an extra Tbsp of cornstarch helpful. And we recommend baking the crust for 10 minutes at 325 degrees F, instead of for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Last time I made these lemon bars, I accidentally used 4 Tbsp cornstarch instead of 2 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. It worked fine - just took 15 minutes longer to cook the filling!

Allow the lemon bars to cool completely before serving - custard firms up more as it cools. Wait until you're just about to serve your lemon bars before you sprinkle them with the confectioners' sugar. Otherwise, it will soak into the bars and you'll miss out on the pretty presentation.

If you don't have an electric mixer, blender or food processor, a sturdy wooden spoon and a big whisk will work. It's more labor intensive and takes longer, but that's how it was done in the good old days before electric labor saving appliances!

Recipe Comments & Questions:

This recipe is FANTASTIC! I did find I had to bake for almost 40 minutes to get the filling firm enough, and even then they were not as firm as I expected.. but, still super tasty :-) - Jena S.

Thanks, Jena! We've had the same experience. Something to do with the variable acidity of fresh lemon juice. I doubled the amount of cornstarch in the recipe, and increased the baking time. Keep in mind that custard firms up more as it cools - Savvy Veg

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I made this recipe and it came out awesome... I was a little skeptical of the lemon filling because in my experience, tofu can be either rubbery or gritty when whipped and baked but this was neither... I don't know if it was the acidity of the lemon juice or the cornstarch that saved it.

I followed the recipe exactly but I admit, I didn't measure the amount of lemon juice I got from the two lemons I used, but looking back on it, I'm sure it was probably closer to 1/2 cup.

I wasn't crazy about the crust because I thought that it was too rich to not have a lot of flavor so I might doctor that a bit and either use more powdered sugar in ratio to the flour. I would also maybe add a big pinch of salt to amp up the sweetness of the powdered sugar. I served these to vegans and non vegans who all loved them! Will definitely make them again! - Jennifer S.

Hi Jennifer, the only problem I can see with using more lemon juice might be that the lemon curd might not turn out to be firm enough. But obviously that wasn't a problem for you! - Savvy Veg

I wonder if it would be possible to incorporate some whole grains such as oat flour or white whole wheat flour... Do you feel it would make the bars too heavy? - Stacey F.

Hi Stacey, 1/2 oat flour or spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour would work just fine in this recipe - Savvy Veg

I made the Vegan Lemon Bars recipe today!! Wonderful!!!! - Jenner Z.

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