Creamy, naturally sweetened vegan lemon bars made with 10 simple ingredients and a delicious gluten-free crust
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup coconut cream* (the hardened portion at the top of full-fat coconut milk)
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 large lemons yield ~1/2 cup or 120 ml)
- 1 heaping Tbsp lemon zest (1 large lemon yields ~1 heaping Tbsp or 4 g)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- 2 Tbsp organic powdered sugar (optional // for topping
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 4-5 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a high speed blender and mix on high until a fine meal is achieved.
- Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add maple syrup and melted coconut oil, starting with lesser end of range (4 Tbsp or 60 g as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and adding more if it’s too dry. Stir with a spoon to combine until a loose dough is formed. You should be able to squeeze the mixture between two fingers and form a dough instead of it crumbling. If too dry, add a bit more melted coconut oil.
- Transfer mixture to parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Then place parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object, such as a drinking glass, to press down firmly until it’s evenly distributed and well packed.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 375 F (190 C) and bake for 5-8 minutes more, or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C).
- Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to a high speed blender with coconut cream, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, and maple syrup. Mix on high until very creamy and smooth.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added a bit more lemon zest and maple syrup. It should be very lemony, and not overly sweet.
- Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes or until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears “jiggly” but not liquidy.
- Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered) – at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- To serve, slice and sift with powdered sugar (optional). Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, up to 4 days, though best within the first 2 days.