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7 gluten free lemon bars stacked on a white plate so you can see the layers of shortbread crust and lemon curd then topped with confectioners' sugar
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4 from 5 votes

Gluten Free Lemon Bars

You only need a few simple ingredients to make these gluten free lemon bars. The thick and creamy lemon custard perfectly sets on top of a tender shortbread crust. No one will know they're gluten free (with a dairy free option!). Serve them for BBQs, spring brunches, showers and more!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Cool time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: gluten free, lemon
Servings: 12 squares
Calories: 324kcal

Ingredients

For the shortbread crust:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter or vegan butter for dairy free option, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups 1:1 gluten free baking flour

For the lemon curd:

  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon 1:1 gluten free baking flour
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice about 3 large lemons
  • zest form 1/2 lemon about 1 tablespoon
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting (see notes)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a square 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to make it easier to remove from the pan after it's baked. You can cut slits in the corner to make it fit better in the pan.
  • To make the shortbread, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and salt together with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and stir until completely combined. Press the shortbread dough into the prepared baking pan. Press it evenly into all four corners, doing your best to make sure it's even and flat. Bake in the preheated oven for 24-26 minutes until the crust is just barely browned.
  • Make the lemon curd 5-10 minutes before the shortbread is done. Sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk well until combined. It will be very liquid, this is what you want because it firms and sets in the oven.
  • When the crust is done, carefully remove it from the oven and use a fork to poke holes on the surface, making sure not to poke all the way through. With the crust still warm, pour the prepared curd over the crust and carefully place it bake in the oven. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until the filling is set and doesn't jiggle when you give the pan a light tap. Cool completely at room temperature then transfer to the fridge to cool for another hour or so, or overnight.
  • When they're cooled, use the overhang from the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve cold or room temperature (I prefer cold).

Video

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Notes

Confectioners' sugar: typically contains some sort of starch (usually cornstarch), but some could contain gluten/wheat so double check the label. 
How to get the most juice out of your lemon: roll your lemon back and forth on the counter firmly to break up the juices and prior to cutting and juicing.
I recommend zesting the lemon prior to juicing because it's much easier to zest a whole lemon than one that's halved and juiced.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 13.1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 74mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 31g