Bright, zingy, and refreshing! These lemon bars with graham cracker crust are made with less than 10 ingredients and no refined sweeteners.
Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts so I'm super excited to share this recipe with you. There's something so clean and fresh when it comes to a tart lemon flavour- it's so good in everything from sweet dishes like cookies and oatmeal to savory items like salad dressings and pasta.
My lemon bars with graham cracker crust will be the dessert you bring to beach days, picnics, and other summer outings. Perfect for sharing, your friends will be begging you to make this recipe again!
Why This Dietitian Loves This Recipe
You NEED to make these lemon bars with graham cracker crust and here's why:
- Less than 10 ingredients. Baking is significantly less fun when you spend half the time digging 20 different ingredients out of your pantry. This recipe only uses 7 simple ingredients to keep things easy.
- Refreshing summer dessert. Lemon has such a refreshing, light and tart flavour profile that pairs with the summer heat so beautifully.
- Lower sugar option and refined sugar free. I don't think that all desserts need to be low sugar or refined sugar free (your body does process ALL sugars the same!), but if that's important to you, these lemon bars are a good option.
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Lemon juice
- Maple syrup
- Coconut flour
- Lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter using a fork.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan in an even layer. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
While the crust is baking, in a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and add in lemon juice and maple syrup. Whisk. Add coconut flour and lemon zest and whisk again until smooth.
As soon as the crust is done baking, pour the lemon filling over the crust- gently shaking the pan to ensure it is evenly distributed (do not let the crust cool down).
Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and bake for about 14-16 minutes or until the filling is no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, slice into 12-16 equal sized squares.
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free graham crackers.
To make vegan: This recipe is unable to be made gluten due to the essential role of eggs for the filling.
To make dairy-free: Use a dairy-free butter or coconut oil. Ensure your graham crackers are dairy-free.
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free, however ensure all ingredients used are nut-free.
Missing an ingredient? Try these:
- Graham crackers: For a slightly lower sugar option you can use digestive cookies.
- Maple syrup: Swap for honey
- Lemon: If you prefer lime over lemon, try this recipe!
- Coconut flour: can be substituted with ¼ cup of all purpose flour
These lemon bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days once sliced.
To avoid your bars cracking, try to avoid overcooking the lemon squares. I recommend checking the squares at 14 minutes. If the mixture is fairly firm, they should be ready to take out of the oven. The residual heat from the pan will continue to cook the squares once out of the oven!
If you are having trouble keeping your bars cut evenly, I recommend popping them in the oven for a few hours to help them firm up after baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike a traditional lemon bar, these will not have the same gooey filling. These are a slightly more firm bar (similar to a cheesecake consistency) as they do not contain any cane sugar.
Personally I think the fresh flavour profile of lemon is best suited cold out of the fridge!
No it's a key ingredient in creating a bar that holds together! However as I know it is such a small amount and I always try to make my recipes as accessible as possible, you CAN substitute it with ¼ cup of regular all purpose flour .
* note I have not tested this recipe with any other flour options
More Easy Dessert Recipes
Did you enjoy these lemon bars with graham cracker crust? Here are more easy desserts to try:
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these lemon bars with graham cracker crust, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Healthy Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
For the crust:
- 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup lemon juice juice of 4 lemons
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1.5 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest about 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter using a fork. Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan in an even layer. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
- While the crust is baking, in a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and add in lemon juice and maple syrup. Whisk. Add coconut flour and lemon zest and whisk again until smooth.
- As soon as the crust is done baking, pour the lemon filling over the crust- gently shaking the pan to ensure it is evenly distributed ( do not let the crust cool down)! Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and bake for about 14-16 minutes or until the filling is no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, slice into 12-16 equal sized squares.