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  • Jefferson Adams

    Easy Gluten-Free Holiday Lemon Bars

    Jefferson Adams
    3 3
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      These easy gluten-free holiday lemon bars are a cinch to make, and sure to please even the pickiest lemon bar connoisseur.

    Image: CC BY 2.0--jlodder
    Caption: Image: CC BY 2.0--jlodder

    Celiac.com 11/27/2019 - Holiday times mean citrus, and lemon bars are both one of the great dessert favorites, and a great way to use some of the delicious fresh citrus that's in season. These easy gluten-free holiday lemon bars are simple to make and memorably tasty. If you like your lemon bars with a bit of a twist, here's a link to our popular recipe for Lavender Lemon Bars.


    • Shortbread Crust
    • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • ¾ cup King Arthur Flour gluten-free multi-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • ¼ cup (½ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
    • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

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    • 4 large eggs
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
    • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Flour gluten free multi-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Powdered sugar (for serving)

    Shortbread Crust
    Heat oven to 350°. Toast coconut on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes.

    Line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on all sides. 

    In a large mixing bowl, sift or mix flour, sugar and salt until combined.

    Add coconut, egg yolk, and butter and scrape in vanilla extract, or seeds (put the pod into a small jar of vodka to make extract for later). 

    Process until a dough forms. 

    Gather into a ball and press into bottom of prepared pan. 

    Bake crust until golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

    Lemon Filling
    While crust is baking, process eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and baking powder in a food processor until smooth. 

    Pour filling into warm crust and bake until filling is beginning to brown at the edges and is just set in the center, 25–30 minutes. 

    Move pan to a wire rack and let cool. Chill the lemon bars until cold, at least 2 hours.

    Just before serving, dust lemon bar with powdered sugar and cut into 2” squares.

    3 3

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    I look forward to trying these recipes. My child has battled gluten since age 14, in 2004 with misdiagnosed we never treated it, based on the fact doctor at the time said, “she was a diabetic and no need to change her diet cause she’s still growing.” Now that’s all changed. I’m determined to learn more about gluten products. 

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    3 hours ago, Bernadette Pimentel said:

    I look forward to trying these recipes. My child has battled gluten since age 14, in 2004 with misdiagnosed we never treated it, based on the fact doctor at the time said, “she was a diabetic and no need to change her diet cause she’s still growing.” Now that’s all changed. I’m determined to learn more about gluten products. 

    If your child is now an adult and is coming home for a visit,  I suggest that you purchased certified gluten-free items for her to eat and set them aside in your pantry away from other gluten-containing foods.  Ask her is she has specific needs as she might have other food intolerances.    Consider investing in toaster bags, parchment paper (used as a barrier) and a new colander.  

    I store all these things in a bin and keep it at my parent’s house.  Mom graciously stocks her pantry and refrigerator for items we can eat.  When I arrive, together we bake gluten-free treats for the holidays.  As much as I love ❤️ my mother, she does not walk in my shoes.  She just does not have a “gluten radar” (nor does the rest of my family) — she does not need to.  But over the years, we have worked everything out, keeping me safe.  We have a large family and I oversee the food to insure my safety and my immediate family’s safety.

    So make the lemon bars, but I would do it with her or research more as cross contamination is the largest concern (like a little bit of wheat flour might be in your sugar or someone likes to double dip in the mayonnaise jar leaving some bread crumbs).  

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    1 hour ago, Bernadette Pimentel said:

    Thank you, truly appreciate the feedback 

    I am sure you both must must be angry that she went undiagnosed for so long.  Just trying to manage her diabetes is already super challenging and to add malabsorption into the mix makes it even harder as well as feeling awful all the time.  

    It is great that you are there to support her.   Take care.  



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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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