Made with almond flour and sweetened with honey, these Strawberry Lemon Bars are gluten free, paleo and just as tasty as they look!
I've been counting down the days until I could share these with you – they're that good!
I personally love a dessert that's just as pretty as it is delicious and these definitely hit the mark. I love bringing my strawberry lemon bars to a backyard bbq or adding them to a brunch spread for the simple reason that they look lovely on the table AND are a total crowdpleaser in terms of taste.
Another thing I love? These strawberry lemon bars are designed to be prepped ahead, making them the perfect make ahead dessert so you don't have to stress at the last minute. Make sure to check out the make ahead instructions below the recipe.
And I KNOW you don't want to spend these fleeting summer days in the kitchen so, don't worry, this is a quick and easy one.
You'll begin by making the almond flour crust. To do this, you simply mix almond flour, salt, melted coconut oil, honey and an egg together before pressing into a 9×9 baking dish. The crust bakes for just 10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, you can begin mixing the lemon filling. To do this, you'll whisk together eggs, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, almond flour and coconut cream. You'll pour this mixture into the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Finally, you'll top these gluten free lemon bars with some freshly sliced strawberries, making them pretty much irresistible!
Strawberry Lemon Bars
For the Crust:
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 2 T honey
For the Filling & Topping:
- 4 eggs + 2 egg yolks (Save whites for scrambled eggs)
- 5 T honey
- zest and juice of 3 lemons
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- hard part of coconut cream from 1 can full fat coconut milk (Save liquid for smoothies!)
- 1 pint strawberries
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line a 9x9 baking pan w/ parchment paper.
- In a bowl whisk together: 2 cups almond flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, 1 egg and 2T honey.
- Press dough into pan.
- Bake 10 mins, remove from oven & allow to cool.
For the Filling & Topping:
- Turn oven heat down to 325 F.
- In a large bowl whisk together: 4 eggs, 2 egg yolks (save whites & use for scrambled eggs), 5T honey, zest & juice of 3 lemons, 1/3 cup almond flour and hard part of coconut cream (from full fat coconut milk, save liquid part for a smoothie).
- Pour into crust & bake 30-35 mins or until set. Cool & store in refrigerator.
- Cut green tops off 1 pint strawberries and thinly slice berries.
- Place berries evenly over lemon bars.
- Cut & serve.
Tips for the Perfect Strawberry Lemon Bars
Strawberry lemon bars really are quite simple but I want to make sure yours turn out fantastic so I have a few tips for you today:
- Use fresh lemon juice. The juice and zest of those three lemons are really what give these bars their brightness and flavor so don't skimp here! A quality zester is so inexpensive and will help you add citrusy flavor to all sorts of dishes, definitely a worthy investment. A citrus juicer will help you get all of that juice out, without a mess.
- Don't scramble the egg! When you're making the crust, make sure to mix your melted coconut oil with the almond flour, salt and honey before adding the egg. This will help prevent the heat from the coconut oil from scrambling your egg.
- Turn the oven down. Note that the crust bakes at 400 F and the filling bakes at 325 F. Make sure to turn down that temp!
- Separate the coconut cream. Refrigerate your full fat coconut milk overnight to make it easier to separate the solid cream portion from the liquid coconut water.
- Slice strawberries just before serving. Strawberry lemon bars work quite well as a make ahead dessert (details below!) but I do recommend slicing strawberries soon before serving for best results.
Variations on Gluten Free Lemon Bars
I know some of you follow every recipe to a T while others rarely measure and love to mix it up. I fall somewhere in the middle but I truly do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and you'll often find me simply sprinkling spices in and tasting, rather than measuring exact amounts.
If you're like me and love making recipes you're own, here are some ideas for how to mix it up with these gluten free lemon bars:
- Swap the fruit. Okay, they won't really be “strawberry lemon bars” without the strawberries but they WILL still be totally delicious. Top your gluten free lemon bars with fresh blueberries, blackberries or raspberries for a slightly different, but just as tasty, twist.
- Try lime juice. I haven't actually tried this, but I suspect this recipe would be just as good with lime juice and zest in place of lemon. More of a key lime pie feel!
Have a different idea? I'd love to see how you mix it up! Send me a photo or comment below with your own personal variation.
Are these a good make ahead dessert?
Yes! Like most desserts on our meal prep meal plans, strawberry lemon bars are designed as a make ahead dessert.
I recommend making the crust, making the filling, and baking the bars ahead of time. When you're ready to serve, all you'll have to do is top with fresh strawberries and slice! I personally prefer these bars after they've chilled in the fridge for a bit so this is a great way to go.
Is this a healthy summer dessert?
Yes! As far as desserts go, I'd definitely consider this to be a relatively healthy summer dessert. It's made with almond flour, which adds a bit of protein and healthy fats. These bars also contain quite a few eggs, further contributing to the protein content. Coconut oil adds more healthy fats. Strawberries and lemon contribute several key vitamins. Plus, these tasty little treats are sweetened entirely with honey so you'll avoid all of the junk in super processed sugar.
Want to know more? Here are some of the nutritional highlights from this summery sweet treat:
Strawberries (Vitamin C, Manganese, Antioxidants)
A good source of vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants, strawberries may help prevent heart disease, aid in blood sugar regulation and reduce inflammation.
Lemons (Vitamin C, Citric Acid)
Just one lemon provides 51% of the daily recommended vitamin C. This is important not only to fight colds, but for long term health as studies show consuming produce with vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Consuming lemons may also help protect against anemia and kidney stones, likely due to their citric acid content.
Almonds (Magnesium, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Antioxidants)
Almond flour is simply made of almonds, so contains all of that excellent nutrition the nuts are known for. Almonds‘ high antioxidant content can help fight inflammation. Almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E which may help prevent diseases like heart disease, Alztheimers and cancer. Furthermore, the magnesium in almonds may help lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure.
Coconut Oil (MCTs)
Much of the beneficial nutritional impact from coconut oil stems from the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) it contains. Processed differently than other fats, your liver turns MCTs into ketones, which are beneficial for brain health. The lauric acid found in coconut also has beneficial antimicrobial properties.
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which are strongest in darker honey. Buy raw local honey when possible as filtering the honey can diminish its nutrients.
Eggs (Lutein, Choline)
An egg contains 7 grams of protein and is full of lutein (good for your eyes) and choline (good for your brain).
I want more gluten free summer desserts!
Okay, you should definitely run and go make these strawberry lemon bars right now, but what next? Don't worry, I've got you. Here are three more of my all time favorite gluten free summer desserts to keep you (and the kiddos) smiling all summer long.
Made with a base of frozen bananas and strawberries, this healthier ice cream alternative is the perfect treat when it's hot outside!
This summer treat has just 4 ingredients: blackberries, lemon, bananas and milk of your choice. That's it! It's pretty amazing that so much delicious flavor can be created from 4 simple ingredients.
If you're like me and you live somewhere really, really HOT in the summer, this one is for you. Bake up an individual portion of cake in your microwave so you don't have to heat up your house. Win-win!