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Homemade Lemon Squares {Dairy Free}

I’m a huge fan of lemon squares, and homemade ones are the best! Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Perfect amazing lemon squares

Little Miss has a dairy allergy, which means I adapt a ton of recipes to work for her. When it comes to baked goods, it generally isn’t that hard, as I’ve gotten really experienced at working with coconut oil and other alternatives.

Most of the time, I make what sounds good to me, but sometimes I let her choose what she wants me to make.

Birthday treats is a perfect example. At our school, they still let us bring in treats to celebrate our kids’ birthdays.

They can even be homemade (witness the Minecraft cake squares I made for Mister Man last year), which means that Little Miss ends up with nothing on a fairly regular basis.

Not cool, right? Good news is that our school also allows me to bring in alternatives for her and store them in the staff lounge’s freezer so her teacher can pull them out as needed.

Typically, I send in cupcakes that are left over from a celebration at home since they’re easy and I already have them on hand. I’m not quite sure what happened at the beginning of this school year, but I had no cupcakes in my freezer – an unheard of situation.

I asked Little Miss what she wanted me to send in for her birthday, and she didn’t even hesitate when she asked for lemon squares.

Plate of lemon squares

Lemon squares? A nine year old wants lemon squares as her special treat over cake and chocolate?

I never said I had a typical child. Who am I to deny her though?

I had made lemon squares a month or so earlier for a friend’s get together and saved just one for Little Miss, and apparently it made an impact.

I had chosen purposefully to use coconut oil because the slight hint of coconut really paired well with the lemon to take the lemon squares up a notch. They.were.amazing.

Of course, if you’re a traditionalist, make this recipe with butter instead of the coconut oil in a one to one swap. But think about that coconut oil because it really made for some awesome lemon squares.

Best of all? This recipe comes together pretty quickly and is easy to make, which means that Little Miss had fun helping me put it together. Watching her face as she made her own special treat really made my day.

Baking with kids

And the lemon squares? I’m pretty sure they made hers!

What can I say, we love lemon around here! That’s why my mom asked for a white cake for her birthday with lemon curd filling.

Oh my word was that amazing. My son is already asking me to make my baked lemon donuts for his next birthday. I can’t say I’m unhappy about this trend!

How to Make Lemon Squares

(Note, I made these first in an 8×8 pan, but we loved them so much that I updated the recipe to make enough to fill a 9×13 pan – and make my family happy)

Make the crust

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Make your crust first. If your house is cool and your coconut oil is completely solid, place it in a glass dish in your microwave and warm it in 10 second increments until it is softened but not liquidy.

Add 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and salt to a bowl and mix until combined. Add the coconut oil and mix until crumbly and you can’t see the coconut oil.

Scoop your dough into a 9×13 pan, and press gently into all the corners. You want to make as even a layer as you can.

Bake your crust at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, until your crust is lightly golden. You want it to look a little dry around the edges.

Lemon squares ready to bake

Make the filling

While your crust is baking, make the filling, as you will pour it into your crust as soon as the crust has finished baking. In a new bowl, add your eggs and egg yolks and whisk until frothy.

Add the remaining 2 cups of granulated sugar, as well as the flour and lemon zest. Continue whisking until incorporated and the mixture has a consistent quality.

Add the lemon juice and whisk until the filling is light in texture.

When your crust is baked, reduce your oven temperature to 300 degrees. Immediately pour the lemon filling over your crust and return it to the oven.

Lemon filling over baked crust

Bake for 30 minutes until your filling is no longer jiggly when you wiggle the pan in the oven. At that point, remove your lemon squares.

Perfectly baked lemon squares

Cool your pan on a rack until they reach room temperature.

In the past, I struggled with how to cut them and keep them neat. I finally found that I had my best success when I cut them once the bars reach room temperature.

I then place them in the fridge for a few hours until they completely set. Only then do I remove them from the pan (after I sprinkled them with powdered sugar).

Sprinkle lemon squares with powdered sugar

These will keep in the fridge in a covered container for up to three days. Separate layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking to each other as you remove them. They also freeze for up to a month.

Lemon Squares {Dairy Free}

An easy recipe that is a dairy-free twist on a traditional favorite. The coconut oil elevates the bars to an amazing flavor profile, even for those who aren't avoiding dairy.
4.75 from 40 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24 bars
Calories: 167kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make crust first: Add flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt to a bowl and mix until combined. Add coconut oil and mix until crumbly.
    2 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 12 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Place dough in 9x13 pan and make an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, until crust is lightly golden.
  • Make filling while crust bakes. Add eggs and egg yolks to bowl and whisk until frothy. Add remaining 2 cups granulated sugar, with flour and lemon zest. Whisk until incorporated. Add lemon juice and whisk until light in texture.
    4 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 2 cups sugar, 1/3 cup flour, zest of 1 lemon, 1 cup lemon juice
  • Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Immediately pour lemon filling over crust and return to oven. Bake 30 minutes until your filling no longer jjggles, then remove.
  • Cool in pan on a rack until room temperature. Cut bars, then place pan in fridge until completely set. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar and remove from pan.
    Powdered sugar

Notes

  • If you prefer, you can use butter in place of the coconut oil in a one to one swap, but the coconut is a perfect complement to the lemon in these bars.
  • These will keep in the fridge in a covered container for up to three days. Separate layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking to each other as you remove them. They will also freeze for up to a month.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 61mg | Sugar: 23g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.


Homemade dairy free lemon squares

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  1. Jasmine says:

    HI Michelle.

    Do you have the recipe amounts for the 8*8 pan still?

    • Michelle says:

      Let me look and see if I can figure it out. I feel like I added 50% to everything, so doing 2/3 of the current recipe SHOULD work. Ironically, I just made these again on Wednesday, as they are my daughter’s favorite dessert and she wanted to take them for the last day of school. I’ll noodle around and see if I can figure it out!

  2. Krista says:

    Hi! I made these and love them, but it turns out my son may have a gluten sensitivity as well as dairy. Do you know if anyone has had luck making these with almond flour?

    • Emma says:

      I just made these with a cup4cup gluten-free flour substitute and used 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/4 brown sugar for the crust. It turned out divine and I can’t stop eating them now.

      What a fantastic recipe!!! Kudos to Michelle 🙂

      • Michelle says:

        That’s perfect! I’m so glad that worked out for you and you provided the details of what you did. We love it here, and I’m so glad it’s working for others!

    • Michelle says:

      Oh gluten is another hard one. I feel for you. I have not made these with almond flour, but it’s worth a try! I know my friends with gluten issues are able to use it fairly successfully in most baking applications. Fingers crossed and let me know how it goes!

  3. Ericka says:

    This recipes looks amazing! I am making these later in the day to surprise my 16yr old. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  4. Yuri says:

    I just finished making them with my 3 yr old who looooves lemon – she was sucking the lemons after I’d finished squeezing them! They’re in the oven now! I bfeed my 3 mth old who has an intolerance to milk protein so I have to find new non dairy recipes, thanks!!

    • Michelle says:

      I hope you enjoy them! My dairy free daughter loves that I make this for her. I have a ton of dairy free or easily adaptable recipes – there’s a dairy free tab if you need more! Good luck! Mine loves the lemon and will suck on the fruit, too 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    I don’t understand…I thought this was a dairy free recipe but it calls for eggs? Eggs are dairy.

    • Veronica says:

      @Sarah, dairy means contains milk. People can be intolerant to Lactose, a sugar present in milk. Often they can have goat or sheep milk, but the taste is definitely different.
      Eggs, on the other hand , in this case, are part of reproduction of chickens or, I like duck eggs for baking.
      You are confusing dairy with vegan. Vegetarians may or may not consume dairy and eggs. On the other hand, vegan people do not consume or wear anything that comes from animals.

    • Michelle says:

      Egg isn’t dairy. While it is sold in the dairy section, eggs come from chickens. Dairy comes from cows. Those with a dairy allergy are allergic to milk and milk products, which this recipe does not include 🙂

  6. ellen says:

    Have these in the oven as we speak! Will let you know how they turn out, im so excited as the sound wonderfully delicious xx

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Your lemon squares are a-mazing! Everyone raved about them..my husband, my kids, their friends, my book club ladies. I loved the snappy brown sugar texture of the crust paired with the tart gooey lemon curd. What a keeper this one is! I am a newbie to dairy-free baking so all your tips were very helpful and reassuring. Thank you!
    Jennifer
    Toronto, Ontario

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