A delicious buttery gluten free and keto shortbread base topped with a delicious, lemon filling! These lemon bars taste like the real deal and you won’t even miss the carbs!
I had a big old pile of lemons staring at me in the fridge that had to get used, and oddly enough I had a serious craving for a lemon bar.
That’s really all it takes these days to get my creative recipe developing juices going and I knocked this one out of the park.
I know baking can sometimes be intimidating, and keto baking can add a lot more stress for some as well. I promise however, these are easy, only require a handful of keto baking staples, and really are a great crowd pleaser.
I generously gave half of these to my neighbors because I couldn’t stop eating them. Best part? They freeze well… so if you’re like me and need to sometimes limit the availability of sweets you can make a batch and take a bar out and defrost as needed to.
Below you will find the full recipe for the Gluten Free Keto Lemon Bars, along with tips and tricks in this post and a tutorial video if that helps as well!
- Food Processor (works best… see notes below if you don’t have one)
- Measuring Cups/Spoons
- 9×9 Baking Pan
- Parchment Paper
The Keto Shortbread Base-
This base is my go to for shortbread. I used it as the base for my Keto and Gluten Free Samoa Girl Scout Cookie recipe and even worked as a gluten free and keto friendly pie crust too. What I love the most about this recipe is that it is only a handful of ingredients, a few pulses in the food processor, and it comes together in what feels like 5 minutes.
A lot of common questions I get about keto baking is usually in regards to using xanthan gum. Yes, it is necessary.
Xanthan gum acts as a binding agent in place of the gluten that’s been removed from this recipe (i.e swapping almond flour for a classic white flour). Because almond flour is a lot more dense, it often can get crumbly when its been baked.
Xanthan gum really works to help bind and keep the almond flour together in the way regular flour would bake up in my opinion. Your bars will be in tact, easy to eat, and won’t fall apart! If you don’t have xanthan gum some possible subs (though I haven’t tried) would be cornstarch or arrowroot root starch. Just calculate that into your total carbs at the end.
No food processor? Though I have to say the food processor is the best way to go, your other option would be to freeze your butter and grate it into the dry ingredients. Use a hand mixer then to combine everything thoroughly. I pre-bake the dough in a parchment paper covered pan (it makes like so easy), poke holes with a fork in it so it doesn’t bubble up and let it cool just slightly before adding the filling.
The Lemon Filling-
The filling is incredible. It reminds me so much of my grandma’s lemon meringue pie and I find it so rich and flavorful and a good balance between tart and sweet.
I tested this recipe two times and found a few tips I’d like to recommend for the filling. First, in a bowl beat your eggs very well. No whites should be seen. The importance of adding volume here helps with the final product.
Next, whisk the low carb sweetener (I prefer allulose or Lakanto personally) with the xanthan gum prior to adding it to the filling. It helps it all evenly dissolve, if you don’t do this you may end up with little chunks of xanthan gum inside your filling.
Finally, whisk in your lemon juice and blend everything together by hand until it looks like one solid, cohesive mixture. Slowly pour the mixture over the shortbread base and pop back in the oven (be sure to remember to bump the temperature down or they will over cook)!
They bake in about 22-25 minutes. The center should be set but slightly jiggly. Remove from the oven and let it rest a bit at room temperature before putting in the fridge. I find they set best after at least a few hours in the fridge.
I know… patience is hard.
Top with some low carb powdered sugar or leave and eat as is. They will last for a good week in the fridge (if you don’t eat them all by then). I also freeze them as well and defrost individual ones as desired for a late night treat too!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I did, and if you’re a lemon lover check out my Keto Ricotta Lemon Poppy Seed Scones recipe too! It’s easy and delicious as well.
- Keto Shortbread Base-
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour
- 3/4 cup Low Carb Sweetener (I like allulose or lakanto brand)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum (do NOT omit)
- 6 tbsp. Salted butter, diced and very cold
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
- 1 Egg
- Lemon Filling-
- 6 Eggs
- 3/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Low Carb Sweetener (I like allulose or lakanto brand)
- 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
- Optional) Powdered Low Carb Sweetener
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. (please note you will lower the temperature when you bake with the filling) and line a 9x9 inch pan with a parchment paper (or grease well but parchment is the best option).
- In a food processor, combine the almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, and xanthan gum together until combine. Add the very cold butter and pulse again until the mixture is combined well. Finish with the egg and the vanilla and blend until its one solid mixture that resembles cookie dough. If you do not have a food processor, see notes in the post above for how to best make the shortbread base.
- Press the base evenly into the 9x9 inch pan and use a fork to poke a few holes across the top (prevents air bubbles) and bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes. The edges should look lightly golden brown. Allow it to sit for a bit before adding the filling (I wait to make the filling once this comes out first).
- To make the filling, beat the 6 eggs very well in a bowl to start. In a separate bowl, whisk the sweetener and xanthan gum together well. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP or you may end up with chunks of undissolved xanthan gum in your filling. Combine the dry ingredients with the eggs and beat until combined well. Then mix in the lemon juice until its one cohesive mixture.
- Slowly pour the filling over the shortbread and then lower the oven temperature to 325 F.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes. The filling should be set in the center and slightly jiggly. Let it rest for a while on the stove top to cool and then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to finish setting. Cut into 16 bars and sprinkle with your favorite powdered low carb sweetener if desired. They store in the fridge well for up to 7 days and can be frozen and defrosted as well.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g