Vegan Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

I’ll start by confessing. I might have eaten 4 squares of these vegan lemon bars in one day and I might have contemplated eating 4 more squares, that’s how good these are. I knew the crust would have a shortbread feel, but I started to get a little stuck on the filling. Normally, eggs would be used to thicken the filling and provide a base, but for these, I needed something else. After doing a little research, a lot of vegan lemon bar recipes called for silken tofu in the filling or cashews. While normally, I would be all for these two substitutes, I didn’t have tofu on hand and my cashew supply is running a little low (because I was making this and just inhaling it like nobody’s business). So, I set out to create a vegan lemon bar recipe without tofu.

vegan lemon bars on parchment paper with lemons

For some reason, banana kept sticking in my brain as a substitute and I just couldn’t get it out. I kept trying to rationalize it away, thinking that the banana flavor would shine through the lemon too much or it wouldn’t get that lemon bar gel set up right. Then, I realized that my baking gut was telling me that I should just try it, why not? If things went wrong, I could just try something else if it was a big flop, right? I know it sounds strange, but I feel like after several years of baking and tweaking recipes, my baking gut kicks in and can tell me how long to keep a cake in the oven or how much flour is really needed in a batch of cookie dough. So, I trusted my gut with these vegan lemon bars, and my gut didn’t lead me wrong! I upped the amount of lemon juice and zest in the recipe and used a ripe banana to partially sweeten the filling. Adding in cornstarch and a bit more sugar allowed the filling to set up and get that lemon bar texture you know and love. So, here I give you a tofu-less, cashew-less vegan lemon bar recipe, with a healthy dusting of powdered sugar, of course.

For this recipe, I loved using this simple 8×8 pan that easily made the perfect amount of vegan lemon bars!

stack of vegan lemon bars on parchment paper

FAQs

Do these taste like banana?

Yes and no. There is a slight banana flavor, but if you add enough lemon juice, they for SURE taste like lemon more than banana.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! Double the crust and the filling to make sure you have enough. Use a 9×13 pan and make sure it’s lined with parchment paper!

Do these use cashews or tofu in the filling?

No! I wanted to avoid using ingredients that everyone might not have on hand. Bananas are the perfect substitute and make these slightly healthier without adding fat.

vegan lemon bars on parchment paper

One Year Ago: Toasted Walnut and Arugula Pesto

Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Print
Vegan Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust//heartofabaker.com

Vegan Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

  • Author: Abby Thompson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Vegan lemon bars are tart, sweet and a perfect vegan dessert, using all whole ingredients, no tofu and no cashews! Easy and with a vegan shortbread crust.


Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • For the lemon filling:
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Zest and juice of 3-4 lemons (1/3-1/2 c lemon juice)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, coconut oil, and powdered sugar until the dough comes together. Press into the bottom of the greased pan and bake for 7-9 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. You don’t want to over bake the crust, or it will become too hard after you add the filling. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl with a handheld mixer, beat together the banana, lemon juice and zest, sugar, vanilla extract, cornstarch and flour until fairly smooth and combined.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until filling it set. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until cool.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Keywords: vegan dessert, lemon bars, lemon, dessert

This site uses affiliate links. I only link to things I know and love, I hope you love them as much as I do! 

 

Grapefruit Vegan Cashew Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust

Ready for the BEST vegan cheesecake with all the goodness of a dairy cheesecake, but made with cashews and NO tofu? It’s HERE and it’s so amazing that I had to share it on National Cheesecake Day! I promise that this is so easy (the filling is whipped up in the blender) and you will fool even the most loyal regular cheesecake fans with this grapefruit vegan cashew cheesecake.

This post is sponsored by Zevia. Thank you for supporting the brands that makes this space possible! 

Ok let’s talk about vegan cheesecake! I have a few other cheesecake recipes on the site (more…)

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Frosting

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Making the perfect chocolate vegan frosting has been something I have struggled with ever since I started baking without dairy. The all vegan butter based versions were always way too greasy for my taste, and the all coconut milk versions never held up quite as well. Well, I’ve found the perfectly creamy, easy, and non-greasy version of vegan chocolate frosting and I’m sharing my secrets of how to make it with you!

vegan chocolate frosting in jar

(more…)

Whole Wheat Vegan Blondies

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this space possible! 

Please just make me a promise that you are going to heat up one of these vegan blondies and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream ASAP. Deal? Great. Glad we took care of that important business.

Whole Wheat Vegan Blondies on plate

Vegan blondies have been on my ‘to-make’ list for years. I actually don’t eat them ALL the often, but it’s mainly because I just haven’t found a recipe that I REALLY love yet. I’ve slowly worked my way through a baking book and turning the basic baking recipes in vegan versions, without any weird ingredients in them (more…)

The BEST Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

The BEST Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Ok, let’s just TALK about how many tries these vegan peanut butter cookies took me. I’ve been looking for a recipe that is just straight up peanut butter cookies, no almond butter, no other stuff, and something that I can throw together in a SNAP when I get that hardcore cookie craving. I found the perfect cookie in these, with a perfectly crispy, chewy outside and a super soft, peanut butter-y inside that feeds that inner peanut butter lover in me.

The BEST vegan peanut butter cookies are perfectly soft and full of SO much peanut butter goodness! They also come together in less than 30 minutes.

(more…)

Lemon Vegan Lime Bars with Shortbread Crust

Once again, I feel like I’m hooked on the lemon desserts and I can.not. stop! I was thinking about making these vegan lime bars for MONTHS. Especially since I have my standby vegan lemon bar recipe and perfected my favorite creamy cashew filling with this lemon tart recipe that is still THE BEST in my opinion.

Vegan lime bars are dreamy, creamy, and have a PERFECT shortbread crust! Made with a creamy cashew filling and a coconut oil crust that will TOTALLY become your new favorite dessert.

This post is sponsored by Zevia. Thank you for supporting all the brands that make this space possible! 

(more…)