Looking for a delicious dessert that’s both sweet with a hint of sour? Then these gluten free lemon lime bars totally have you covered!
This recipe has all the flavor of lemon bars and lime bars put together with a scratch-made gluten free shortbread style crust.
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The gluten-free guide below is based on personal experience and research. Always be sure to discuss any medical changes with your doctor for your personal medical needs. Additionally, this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure isn’t that interesting, but you can find it here.
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Why you'll love these gluten free lemon lime bars
- These lemon lime bars are cool and refreshing on a hot day.
- These gluten-free dessert bars are made from scratch–no jello here!
- One batch of this lemon lime dessert makes many bars! You’ll want to bring these gluten free lemon bars to your next potluck or outdoor cookout.
Do lemon bars contain gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and crosses of these grains.
A typical lemon bar recipe, or key lime bar recipe, uses wheat-based all purpose flour. Therefore, traditional lemon bars usually contain gluten.
These bars use a gluten free flour blend making them appropriate for a gluten free diet.
Are limes gluten free?
Limes and lemons are both citrus fruits.
Citrus fruits–and all fruit for that matter–are naturally gluten free! Yay!
Gluten Free Lemon Lime Bar Ingredients:
Most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, but you’ll find great deals on gluten-free ingredients for baking Thrive Market.
To make the shortbread crust of gluten free lemon dessert, you’ll need:
- Gluten free flour blend. There are many options available for all-purpose gluten free flour blends. But my absolute favorite is the blend by King Arthur Flour. You can snag a great deal on their flour here.
- Powdered sugar.
- Cornstarch. Most cornstarch is gluten free, but be sure to check the label to ensure it isn’t processed in a facility with gluten. We use this batch-tested and verified gluten free cornstarch.
- Cold butter. The cold butter is what gives it the wonderful shortbread flavor! Learn more about butter on a gluten free diet here.
To make the lemon lime filling, you’ll need:
- White granulated sugar.
- Half and half. Yes, traditional half and half is gluten free.
- Lemon. You’ll need the juice and the zest.
- Lime. You’ll need the juice and zest for this too.
Optionally, you can use some green food coloring to give your bars a greenish tint too. Some food colorings are processed with gluten containing ingredients, so I like to use Watkins since the company declares them to be gluten free.
Ingredient Modifications for this lemon lime bars recipe:
Can you use bottled lime juice in this recipe?
Sure, you definitely can use bottled lime juice in this recipe, but for the taste to really pop, you’ll still want to use lemon and lime zest.
Can you modify this recipe to make it gluten free key lime bars?
Sure--if you want to make gluten free key lime bars, be sure use fresh key limes and substitute the juice and zest for the total amounts of lemon and lime.
Can you make this recipe dairy-free?
You could make this recipe dairy free by using vegan butter sticks in place of the regular butter and subbing canned coconut milk for the half and half.
However, the crust may not firm up and brown the same way using vegan butter.
Can you make this an almond flour crust?
You sure can! Just be sure to use a finely ground almond flour such as this one by Anthony’s and not almond meal.
How to Make Gluten Free Lemon Bars:
To make these easy lime bars, you’ll first need to prep by setting your oven to 350 degrees F and lining a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.
How to make the Gluten Free Shortbread Crust
To make this crust, you’ll combine 2 cups of your gluten free flour with the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt until the ingredients are well distributed.
Then, cut in your pieces of butter. You can do this with a pastry cutter like this one, a food processor, or even use your hands.
Do this until you have a nice crumb.
Press the crust firmly into the parchment lined pan and bake for 15 minutes.
How to make the lemon lime filling
While the crust is cooking, whisk together the eggs, sugar, half and half, and 3 tablespoon of flour.
Evenly divide this mixture into two separate bowls.
In one bowl, stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
In the other bowl, stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and optional food color.
When the crust is done, pour the lemon mixture over the crust and put back into the oven for 10-12 minutes.
When the lemon mixture has set, carefully remove from the oven and pour the lime mixture on top.
Continue to bake for 10-12 minutes until the filling has set.
Cool the pan completely on a wire rack.
When the pan and bars are cool, remove from pan using the parchment paper to lift. Cut into even bars or squares.
Sift a bit more powdered sugar on top and sprinkle some more lemon and lime zest on it.
Store your bars in the refrigerator to keep them cool and firm.
While these bars make a great gluten free dessert just like gluten-free pound cake topped with strawberries, I also think they are perfect for a summer-time afternoon snack paired with a refreshing drink like this mixed berry iced tea recipe.
Frequently asked questions about lemon lime bars
Can I make these lemon bars ahead of time?
Sure, these will stay good for about 3 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze lemon bars?
Yes, you can freeze these bars! To do this, I would place on a plate or cookie sheet to freeze for about 2-3 hours. Once frozen, wrap each one individually with plastic cling wrap. Then store in a freezer bag or airtight container for 3 months. I love to freeze these and pull them out as a convenient gluten free birthday dessert option in case there won't be one available at a party!
KEEP READING FOR THE PRINTABLE RECIPE FOR LEMON LIME SQUARES!
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Gluten Free Lemon Lime Bars
- 2 cups gluten free 1:1 flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold butter cubed
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cup white granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup half and half
- 3 tablespoon gluten free 1:1 flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 4 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 drop green food coloring
- more zest for topping
- more powdered sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
Prepare the crust
- Combine the 2 cups of gluten free flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt for the crust in a medium bowl.
- Cut in the butter until it makes a nice crumb.
- Press dough firmly into the parchment lined pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven.
Prepare the filling
- While the crust is baking, whisk eggs, sugar, half and half, and remaining flour. Divide evenly into 2 separate bowls.
- Into one bowl, add lemon zest and juice. Into the other bowl, add the lime juice, lime zest, and food coloring if using.
- Pour lemon mixture over the hot crust. Bake 10-15 minutes, until set.
- Once the lemon mixture is set, carefully pour the lime mixture over it and bake another 10-12 minutes until set.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Lift from pan using the parchment paper and cut into bars.
- Garnish with sifted powdered sugar and zest.
- ingredient and equipment suggestions & substitutions,
- troubleshooting tips, and
- frequently asked questions
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