This Gluten free Lemon Slice recipe has the perfect balance of tart and sweet with a creamy center that feels and tastes almost like custard. The crumble topping adds the perfect crunchy texture to these sunshine bars.
I love bar recipes of any kind but when you add lemon to the mix, my husband gets first in line! The tanginess and silky texture of these creamy lemon crumb bars gives a wonderful flavor and delightful tartness to the dish.
Spring has sprung and what more perfect sweet treat to bring freshness to your dessert table than these sunshine lemon bars. The color is so bright and vibrant and nothing says spring quite like the taste of fresh tart lemons. (for another zesty bar recipe, check out this idea for sunburst lemon bars.)
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Making a gluten free lemon slice
I used both gluten free flour as well as gluten free oats in this recipe. Both cooked up beautifully and the flavor is just amazing.
Even though the lemons don’t make a sugary concoction any healthier, there is something about eating them that seems, somehow, less guilty!
These gluten free lemon squares are really easy to make. I love both a crumb crust and crumble topping, and this gluten free flour/oat mixture is both in one bowl! The delicious outer layers make the bars easy to eat and give so much texture outside of the creamy center.
Start by whisking your gluten free flour and old fashioned gluten free rolled oats with the sea salt and baking soda. Gradually stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix well.
The combined vanilla extract and melted butter gets poured into the dry ingredients and stirred until the mixture is evenly moistened. (I used my hands to break up the clumps.)
Spread 1/2 of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a prepared 8 by 8-inch baking dish, firmly press down and bake in a preheated oven 15 minutes.
While the crust for the lemon crumb bars is browning, we will make the delicious lemon filling. One of the keys to making this dessert really pop with lemon flavor is to use the zest of the lemon. All the essential oils and a LOT Of the flavor comes from this step.
Zesting a lemon is super easy to do. All you need is a lemon and a microplane. Just drag the lemon over the zester above the mixing bowl all allow the fine bits to fall into the bowl. I never measure it into a spoon, but just eyeball it to keep the most flavor in the zest.
Stir the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and lemon extract in a bowl until they are well blended. Look at that lovely colorA If you want the bars to be even more yellow, you can add a drop or two of gel food coloring.
Pour the creamy lemon mixture over the pre-baked crumb crust and spread it into an even layer. My husband is looking over my shoulder right now, and drooling!
Break up the crumble topping with your fingers and sprinkle it evenly over the creamy lemon filling. Okay…I am drooling now, too!
Bake in preheated oven 23 – 26 minutes until the top is lightly golden and the creamy lemon center is set. Be sure to allow the bars to cool and set before you cut them.
I like to cool my lemon cream bars for about 20 minutes, and then refrigerate 30 minutes – 1 hour to make them easier to cut into squares. This step is not absolutely necessary and depends on how tempted you are to have a taste, but any bars really do hold their shape more nicely when they have really cooled down.
Time to taste these gluten free lemon bars
These melt-in-your-mouth lemon sunshine bars are bursting with citrus flavor. The creamy center packs a bright, lemony punch and the crunchy crumble topping has a sweet buttery taste that is just amazing.
The taste is sort of a cross between a lemon cream pie, an oatmeal cookie and a creamy lemon custard – all wrapped up into one delicious gluten free lemon dessert.
These creamy lemon bars are a dessert recipe everyone will love! They are light, refreshing, and both sweet and tangy for a fresh summer time recipe for any occasion. They make a great bake sale dessert and will disappear from a pot luck dinner table!
I cut my recipe into 12 bars and they work out to 331 calories each. If you make them smaller and cut 16 bars, they end up being 248 calories. They make a great once in a while treat. And guess which size my husband wants?
Store the lemon crumble bars in airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 10 days, if they last that long! The bars also freeze well for up to 3 months.
If you love using lemons in recipes be sure to check out these posts:
- Copycat Starbuck’s lemon loaf
- Lemon Coconut Energy Bites
- Lemon Cheese cake bars with an animal cracker crust
- Lemon Pudding Bundt Cake
Admin note: This recipe first appeared on my blog in October of 2013. I have updated the post to give a step by step tutorial, all new photos, and have also added the nutritional information to the recipe. Enjoy!
- 1¼ cups gluten free flour
- 1¼ cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest (from one large lemon)
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1⅓ large lemons)
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 © F. In a medium bowl, stir together the gluten free flour and old fashioned gluten free rolled oats, sea salt and baking soda. Gradually stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix well.
- Stir the vanilla extract into the melted butter and pour it into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon, stir mixture until evenly moistened. (I used my hands to break up the clumps.)
- Sprinkle ½ of the crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper, and gently press down. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, stir the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and lemon extract until they are well blended.
- Pour the mixture over the pre-baked crumb crust in baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the top evenly with remaining crumb mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven 23 - 26 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate 30 minutes - 1 hour.
- Cut into squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
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