Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars

recipes sweets May 10, 2019

It’s no secret that I’m a huge lover of all things lemon. The moment spring arrived in Austin, I immediately began brainstorming lemony desserts of every sort. And one of my all-time favorite tangy treats is, of course, lemon bars.

I recently whipped up my Meyer Lemon Bars, which are a more traditional, yet healthy version of this classic. But I likewise wanted to make a vegan, eggless version that everyone can enjoy! Not only are these summery bars filled with healthy ingredients, but they require absolutely no baking, which is a major bonus in my book.

Personally, I’m crazy for this recipe, because it combines my love for lemon with the goodness of cheesecake. Much of this inspiration came from my Mini Matcha Vegan Cheesecakes, which is perhaps one of my favorite dessert recipes I’ve ever created. With a creamy topping and perfectly sweet, chewy crust, both of these treats are heavenly.

In these lemon bars, the crust layer is the most delicious mixture of walnuts, almonds, dates and coconut. It only takes minutes to make, and I had to actively hold myself back from eating it all before I could whip up the rest of the recipe.

As for the layer of creamy lemon goodness, all you need are a few, basic ingredients that are all dairy-free and vegan. The soaked cashews and coconut cream create the perfect, velvety texture that might just sell you on vegan desserts for life.

If you’re not familiar, coconut cream is the thickened version of coconut milk. It’s rich in fiber, vitamins and healthy fats, and you can find it canned at most grocery stores.

These beautiful treats have everything you love about lemon bars, plus the creaminess of cheesecake that’s truly drool-worthy. And they’re oh-so conveniently gluten, dairy and refined sugar free, which is perfect for every and any lifestyle.

Whether you’re looking for a dessert to whip up for girls’ night, a summer get-together or a gift for loved ones, this recipe truly is a crowd pleaser!


  

 YIELDS9 Servings
 TOTAL TIME30 mins

 

Crust
  •  ½ cup almonds
  •  ½ cup walnuts
  •  â…“ cup desiccated coconut
  •  1  heaping cup pitted medjool dates
Creamy Lemon Filling
  •  1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  •  ½  cup coconut cream
  •  ¼ cup maple syrup
  •  ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  •  1 tbsp lemon zest (one large lemon), plus more for topping
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  â…› tsp turmeric powder (optional for color, won't effect taste)
  •  pinch of salt

 

Directions
 
In a blender or food processor, add walnuts, almonds, coconut and dates. Mix until crumbly.

*Note* If your dates are a little dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes before blending.

Line an 8x8 Pyrex baking dish with parchment paper (this makes for an easier removal). Pour mixture into the Pyrex, and use your hands or a spatula to press into an even crust.
Add drained cashews, coconut cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla extract, turmeric and salt to blender or food processor. Mix until smooth and creamy.
Pour filling on top of crust and smooth into an even layer. Top with additional lemon zest.
Freeze for at least a couple of hours before slicing into 9 squares and serving.

Option to top with sifted powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

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