Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (2024)

Created by Laura Wright

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5 from 14 votes

Creamy vegan lemon bars are naturally gluten-free and loaded with tart and zesty lemon flavour. Rich, delicious, and naturally sweetened.

Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (1)
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (2)
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (3)
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (4)

Sharing this amazing vegan lemon bars recipe from the Love & Lemons Every Day cookbook today! You all know that I generally don’t enjoy baking/making desserts in general, but this recipe is different.

These bars are truly a minimum fuss dessert. They hit at only 9 ingredients! And the entire process goes like this: grind up the crust in the food processor, press the crust in, blend filling until smooth, pour filling, freeze, cut, done! And for how easy they are, the flavour and richness are wild. So, SO good. I have the bars all cut up in a container in the freezer, and I just set one out to thaw a bit while we’re cleaning up after dinner. Perfect sweet relief at the end of a hot day.

This cookbook has been out since the spring and while it may just get me to enjoy making desserts again, it is very much a reference book for total vegetable enjoyment. It has over 300 pages of inspiration for any vegetable you could imagine. In addition to straightforward recipes, there are also a bunch of handy quick-reference charts for grilling vegetables, salad dressings, and quick pasta inspiration, among other things. The perfectly styled photos, ease of preparation, and the key combination of streamlined-but-unique recipes make this book so inspiring! I already love to cook, but this collection makes me want to cook even more.

Some recipes from Love & Lemons Every Day that I’m looking forward to trying soon: Chimichurri Potato Salad, Yellow Squash Turmeric Tofu Scramble, Tahini Collard Green Slaw, Chickpea Harissa Veggie Burgers, and the Flourless Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies. You can click over here to get some more glances and information about this new favourite of mine.

I hope that everyone’s July is going well! That Mercury retrograde is hitting me HARD this week, but we’re powering through. Catch you back here real soon! More citrusy treats here: tahini shakes with cinnamon and lime, winter citrus salad with rosemary rooibos syrup, and vegan chocolate orange cheesecake.

Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (5)
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (6)
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (7)
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (8)

Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars

Creamy vegan lemon bars are naturally gluten-free and loaded with tart and zesty lemon flavour. Rich, delicious, and naturally sweetened.

5 from 14 votes

Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (9)

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes mins

Freezing Time: 8 hours hrs

Total Time: 8 hours hrs 25 minutes mins

Servings 16 bars



  • 9 soft Medjool dates pitted
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup gluten-free whole rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons filtered water


  • 1 14- ounce can coconut cream see notes!
  • 1 ¼ cups raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • cup maple syrup
  • teaspoon sea salt


  • Recipe from Love & Lemons Every Day by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Matthews.
  • Be sure to use coconut cream as opposed to the milk!
  • These instructions are directly from the book! The only thing I added was a splash of vanilla extract to the filling.


  • Make the crust: In a food processor, place the dates, walnuts, oats, and salt and process until the mixture comes together into a sticky ball. If necessary, gradually add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

  • Line a 7 x 9-inch or 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and press the crust to the edges of the pan. The crust is very sticky, so I like to use a sheet of parchment paper on top to help smooth it out. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the filling.

  • Make the filling: In a high-speed blender, puree the coconut cream, cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt until smooth. Pour the filling over the crust and freeze overnight. Let thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes before slicing into bars and serving.

Author: Laura Wright

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American, Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: 10 ingredients, all seasons, cashews, coconut cream, fall, fall winter, lemon, maple syrup, medjool dates, oats, spring, summer, vanilla, walnuts

10/07/2019 (Last Updated 18/03/2024)

Posted in: cashews, creamy, dessert, gluten free, oil free, raw, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter


  • Wilma B

    Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (10)
    This sounds delicious BUT going forward I am trying to create dishes that suite all family food sensitivities.

    Our son can’t have cashews and our daughter is low FODmap.
    In order to save money and not waste food I only now – collect and make recipes that address their health issues.
    Any SUBS ??


  • Jenn

    What would happen if I used coconut milk instead of coconut cream?


  • Henrike

    Thank you for the delicious sounding recipe! Can you clarify what “1 14 ounce can” (coconut cream) is? Maybe it’s because I’m in Europe that I don’t understand that. Did you mean 1 1/4 ounce? Thank you and all the best ❤️


    • Laura Wright

      So sorry for the confusion! It’s one 14 oz can. 414 ml if you convert it!


  • Sam

    Can you keep these on the counter or must they stay refrigerated?


  • IH

    Once they are done, do we stick the leftovers back in the freezer or do they keep in the refrigerator ??



  • Lana

    Made a batch last night and had a square this morn with my tea — I was impressed! Didn’t think it would taste so good. Thanks for the recipe!


  • Alyssa

    Hello, this looks delicious. I am allergic to wallnuts. Is it possible to replace it by something else? Alyssa


    • Laura

      Hi Alyssa,
      You could use pecans instead and get a similar result!


  • Sandra

    Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (11)
    Excellent. Served the dessert with blueberry compote.


  • Micayla

    Looks wonderful! Any ideas on how to incorporate some lavender in the recipe? I think it pairs really nicely with lemon.


    • Laura

      Hi Micayla! I would try crushing up about 1-2 teaspoons of culinary lavender and working it into the crust/base layer of this recipe.


  • Veronica

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to try these during my break home from college.


  • Sarah

    Do you soak the cashews before hand?


    • Laura

      Nope! If you have a high speed blender, there is no need to soak the cashews beforehand.


      • Leah

        Would it matter if you did soak them before hand?


        • Laura

          No I don’t think so! If anything, I think the filling mixture would blend up faster and would likely be even smoother/creamier.


  • Sophie

    Could I used roasted cashews instead of the raw ones? Thank you!!!


    • Laura

      Unfortunately I think roasted cashews might have too strong of a flavour for these lemon bars! They might taste more like cashew bars than lemon ones ;)


  • Marthe

    This recipe ist DELICIOUS. I´ve already made it with lemon juice and I also tried it oncewith pineapple juice and once with strawberry juice. The three of them were amazing


  • Dana

    My Love and Lemons cookbook lives on my kitchen counter along with my First Mess cookbook! Haven’t tried the lemon bars yet (but now I will!) but I can tell you the flourless almond cookies are fantastic (and also easy!).


  • Vanessa

    Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?


    • Laura

      I kept mine in the freezer for a couple weeks!


  • Suzanne

    This looks so good! Do you use this crust for any other recipes?


    • Laura

      I haven’t yet. I think it would be great as a raw and vegan cheesecake base. You could even roll it up into little energy bites.


      • Mejoule crust

        Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (12)
        I have used mejoule dates to make a crust for an all vegan chocolate tort, and it turned out perfectly.


  • Slaven

    These look amazing! Love lemon desserts in the summer!


  • Cassie Thuvan Tran

    Those lemon bars look so beautiful. The Love and Lemons’ cookbook is probably spectacular, so lovely, refined, and sophisticated! I will say, I probably will end up eating the crust recipe on its own!


  • Hanhna

    These look so good! I really want to try to make these. May I ask what brand of coconut cream do you use and where do you buy it? Thanks!


    • Laura

      I’ve used Thai Kitchen, Grace brand, and Trader Joe’s coconut cream in the past. All of them good! I find these in most supermarkets in their International section near the Caribbean or Thai food items that they have.


  • Lin Willett

    Just the ingredients for the crust have me ready to make this! Yum.


  • Harpreet

    These look great! I recently inherited a giant bag of limes … do you think these would be tasty made with limes instead of lemons?


    • Laura

      A creamy lime bar would be so refreshing and good! Especially with all of that coconut cream. Yum!


  • Kate

    I REALLY need to make these. Lemon desserts are our go to treats for the summer as they are often very refreshing. And they are so pretty!


Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe (gluten and dairy-free) | The First Mess (2024)


Are Krusteaz lemon bars dairy free? ›

This product is not dairy free as it lists 3 ingredients that contain dairy.

Why did my lemon bars crack? ›

Don't Over-Bake.

If you leave them in the oven too long, it can cause your bars to crack.

Does Krusteaz contain dairy? ›

Contains: wheat, milk, eggs.

Does Krusteaz contain milk? ›

Milk is included on the packaging as ingredient. I have been feeding myself and both my families krusteaze for 50 years and these are the most tasty and consistent pancakes always.

Why do my lemon bars smell eggy? ›

If your lemon bars have a strong eggy taste/smell, it's likely due to the lemon curd being overbaked. Be sure to take the lemon bars out of the oven as soon as they're done. Your oven may also be running a little hot.

Why did my lemon bars turn upside down? ›

Set a timer for 5 minutes after pulling the crust from the oven to ensure it doesn't cool too much—if the shortbread is allowed to reach room temperature, the uncooked lemon curd will slip off the top and pool in the bottom of the dish, turning your lemon bars upside down (sounds bananas until it happens to you!).

Why do my lemon bars taste bitter? ›

Lemon zest adds a tangy taste but can add a bitter taste as well. TIP: When grating lemon rind, watch out that you grate just the yellow rind and not the white one. The white part of the rind is very bitter, and when you accidentally take too much of it, the filling can get a bitter taste.

What allergens are in Krusteaz lemon bars? ›

Allergens. Contains: wheat, milk. May contain egg, soy and tree nuts.

Are lemons dairy free? ›

Lemon is dairy free. Lemon does not contain milk and should be safe for those with a milk allergy.

What is lemon bar crust made of? ›

Flour: The cookie crust starts with all-purpose flour, which also gives the filling structure. Butter: Two sticks of softened butter lends richness and flavor to the lemon bar crust. Sugar: You'll need two cups of white sugar (½ cup for the crust and 1 ½ cups for the filling).

Does Krusteaz muffin mix have dairy? ›

No. This product is not milk free as it lists 2 ingredients that contain milk.


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