If you are a lover of lemon then these Keto Lemon Bars are perfect for you! Made with a buttery almond flour crust, then topped with delicious lemon curd, these easy and healthy sugar-free lemon bars are going to be a hit in your household.
If you are looking for the best keto lemon dessert then look no further because this keto lemon bar recipe is perfect for you.
I really hope you all enjoy these homemade keto lemon bars because there was a lot of time and frustration that went into getting them just right. I first thought to myself, how hard could it really be to make low carb lemon bars? Hahaha….well it was harder than I thought.
Making the crust was easy, but the filling was tricky. After 6 different attempts, I finally got the consistency and flavor just right! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these easy and healthy sugar-free lemon bars.
What are Lemon Bars?
Lemon bars are such a classic dessert! You might know them as lemon squares, but either way, they are the same thing. Lemon bars consist of a buttery, shortbread crust, then topped with a gooey, sticky, lemon curd filling. And finally covered with a dusting of powdered sugar.
The savory crust combined with a tart and tangy lemon curd gives you an incredible combination and leaves you with a dessert perfect for your family and your party guests.
Are Lemons Keto Friendly?
Lemons in moderation are totally fine for a keto lifestyle. Seeing that it’s a fruit it does contain some natural sugar, but don’t worry too much. Adding some fresh lemon to your water, or adding lemon juice to your keto desserts is great.
To break it down for you one lemon wedge has about 0.4 NET Carbs and only 0.1 of sugar.
One lemon contains about ¼ cup of lemon juice which has about 4 NET Carbs, which when added to something like keto lemon bars or Keto lemon pound cake, it doesn’t add much of anything.
Are Lemon Bars Low Carb?
Yes, these sugar-free lemon bars are definitely low carb! We use a buttery, and savory almond flour crust, then topped with a tangy lemon curd filling. Like all of our other keto and low carb desserts, these sugar-free lemon bars are made with a low carb sweetener making them sugar-free.
When I tell you that they are low carb, I really mean they are low carb….only 1.5 NET Carbs per bar to be exact, and only 129 calories too. Talk about a healthy keto lemon bar!
What Ingredients are in Low Carb Sugar-Free Lemon Bars?
- Almond Flour – This is our base for the crust. Almond flour makes a delicious buttery, shortbread style crust. It’s perfect in many different dessert bars.
- Butter – ¼ cup ( half stick) of melted butter.
- Salt – We just use a very small amount of salt to enhance the flavor.
- Egg – 1 egg is used to help bind the almond flour and butter together.
- Sweetener – I used ¼ cup of granulated Monk Fruit sweetener. Feel free to use your favorite one.
Lemon Curd Filling:
- Sweeteners – I found that using a combination of both granulated Monk Fruit, and powdered Swerve made the filling come out smooth and not too gritty.
- Almond Flour – Flour is always added to the filling to help thicken the curd. Instead of using all-purpose white flour, we replaced it with superfine almond flour. Keep in mind when using almond flour as a replacement, it’s not a 1:1 ratio.
- Eggs – Key ingredient to making lemon curd filling. The egg yolks especially make it thicker and creamier.
- Vanilla – Only a ½ tsp is added, but I like the hint of vanilla flavor it adds. Feel free to add it or leave it out.
- Lemon Juice – Can’t have lemon bars without the lemon juice. Use fresh-squeezed, it makes a difference.
- Lemon Zest – I don’t recommend skipping this ingredient. It adds that extra lemon flavor you want.
The Secret to Perfect Crust
These easy keto lemon squares have a delicious shortbread crust. The crust is made out of a combination of almond flour, egg, salt, butter and a low carb sweetener. Most dessert bars call for a bottom crust and this one is buttery and delicious.
Can I Use Lemons in the Filling?
Low carb lemon bars made with lemon curd should be made with fresh lemons. The taste and flavor of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are just the best.
This lemon filling recipe used ½ cup of fresh lemon juice which is approximately the juice of 2 lemons.
Can you use Meyer lemons? I personally haven’t tried making this recipe with Meyer lemons, because I haven’t been able to find them, but I think that it would be delicious. For those of you who don’t know, Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and an orange. They have the same burst of lemon flavor without the acidic tang.
I’m going to try and find some Meyer lemons and make another batch of these sugar-free lemon bars.
Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice?
Don’t use bottled lemon juice! I promise you that when you use fresh lemons it makes a world of difference. While store-bought bottles are definitely easy and convenient, you end up missing out on a lot of flavors. Something to remember is that when lemon is the “Star of the Show” always use fresh, it will give you a more vibrant flavor.
If you don’t own a citrus juicer, I highly recommend getting one. You can get one at the grocery store, Amazon, or any other store that sells kitchen gadgets.
Here are two different juicers I recommend:
I tried making this recipe 6 different times and each time I changed up the sweeteners I used. I tried using just granulated monk fruit, just powdered swerve and I couldn’t quite figure it out.
Finally, I came up with a combo of using ½ cup granulated monk fruit and ½ cup powdered swerve, and it was perfect!!
- Tip – Be sure to combine the two sweeteners together really well. Stir or whisk together until they are completely mixed.
Different Variations of Lemon Bars
Looking for recipe variations? Look below:
- Use Meyer Lemons – Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and an orange. They give you the lemon flavor without the bite.
- Top with fresh lemon slices, or sliced strawberries.
- Use a different citrus fruit – These bars would taste good with fresh lime or grapefruit instead of lemon.
Best Pan to Use
Use a glass 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish for these low carb lemon bars. A ceramic pan would work too, but I use my glass pans for most of my baking. I’ve tried using 9×13 pan but it came out way too thin. But if that’s the only size pan you have in your kitchen, then double the crust and the filling recipe.
I don’t recommend using a metal pan, because a lot of people have said that they can taste a slight metallic flavor in their keto lemon bars.
How to Make Keto Lemon Bars from Scratch
These low carb lemon bars with a lemon curd filling are easy to make and are the perfect keto lemon dessert. Follow these simple instructions for making easy sugar-free lemon bars:
Making the Crust
Let’s start by making our shortbread crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine 1 ½ cups of almond flour, 1 egg, ¼ cup melted butter, ¼ cup monk fruit, and ¼ tsp of salt. Using a spoon mix all the ingredients together.
Line your glass baking dish with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the pan and press down evenly into the pan.
DO NOT POKE HOLES IN THE CRUST!! You don’t want the lemon filling to seep through the crust.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden.
Preparing the Lemon Curd Filling
Now let’s move onto the lemon curd filling.
Zest your lemons and set aside, then move on to juicing them.
I use a hand juicer when juicing my lemons. I found that it takes about 2 lemons to get ½ cup of fresh lemon juice. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl add ¼ cup almond flour, ½ cup monk fruit, and ½ cup powdered swerve. Use a whisk or spoon to mix together, make sure it’s smooth. You don’t want any lumps at all.
Add the vanilla and 4 eggs and whisk.
Pour in the lemon juice and add the lemon zest. Whisk again until smooth.
Pour the lemon filling into the baked crust and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the lemon filling is set.
Be careful when pulling it out of the oven, you don’t want it to crack.
Let cool on the counter, then transfer to the fridge to chill up. Refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.
After it’s been chilled, pull the parchment paper out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, cut into 16 squares.
Then use a sifter and sprinkle the top with powdered swerve.
Serve and enjoy.
How to Tell When Lemon Bars are Done?
Keto lemon bar filling can be tricky. It can be tough at times to tell whether or not it’s cooked. You want to be able to slightly move the pan and have the filling not be runny. You want the filling to still be sticky and gooey.
If the crust cracked then it’s definitely cooked, in fact, you may have overcooked it.
How do you Know When Lemon Bar Filling is Set?
If the filling looks too loose and runny after the recommended bake time, then give them more time. Keep setting the timer for 1-2 minutes at a time to ensure you don’t overcook them.
Cutting Lemon Bars Neatly
Making sure that you use parchment paper on the bottom of the pan is key to getting neat lemon bars. This way you can pull it directly out of the pan and cut them on a cutting board.
I like to use a large chef’s knife to cut these lemon bars. Place it on a large cutting board and start cutting into 16 squares. Push down evenly when cutting, ensuring that you cut all the way through. Rinse the knife with hot water in between cuts, or wipe the knife with a paper towel.
- Use a glass dish – Metal pans can cause the lemon squares to have a slightly metallic taste.
- Fresh lemon juice – Bottled lemon juice doesn’t even come close to the real thing.
- Lemon zest is also key, as it adds another level of lemony flavor.
- Line the baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily pull it out.
- When cutting the squares, wipe the knife with a paper towel or rinse with hot water in between cuts.
- Double the recipe – use a 9×13 baking dish and double all the ingredients.
- Make sure the bars are completely cooled before cutting into them.
- Add the powdered sugar after the bars are cut into squares.
Why Are My Lemon Bars Runny?
If your lemon bars are too runny then it might be because you added too much lemon juice to the filling. I made that mistake one of my first attempts, and it didn’t work out so well.
I Don’t Taste Enough Lemon
If you don’t taste enough lemon then on your next batch I would add more lemon zest. The zest gives your gluten-free lemon bars that extra lemon pop that I find to be essential.
I wouldn’t add more lemon juice because then you are changing the filling consistency and may end up with a lemon curd filling that is too runny.
Why Do Lemon Bars Taste Metallic?
If you are tasting a metallic flavor in your low carb lemon squares then chances are it’s because you used a metal pan. Try not to use a metal pan, but use a glass baking dish instead and that icky metal taste should be gone.
Why Do My Lemon Bars Look Eggy?
Overcooking your gluten-free lemon bars can cause them to look and taste eggy, so try not to overcook them. I know it’s hard to find the right balance with these bars. I found that in my oven they took exactly 25 minutes, but it might be a little different in your oven.
My Lemon Bars Fall Apart
If you noticed that your lemon bars have fallen apart then it might have been because you overmixed your batter. When the batter is overmixed it can lead to cracks on the surface.
Also, make sure that you allow your gluten-free lemon bars to FULLY cool, otherwise, when you start cutting them they will come apart.
Why Do They Have a Crust On Top?
You may end up with crust on top of your lemon bars because there are air bubbles that got caught in the lemon filling. If you have these air bubbles, it’s ok, it’s completely normal. The taste doesn’t change at all.
Add some extra powdered sweetener and you won’t see those bubbles.
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
Gluten-Free – These keto lemon bars are completely gluten-free. The crust is made with almond flour, and the filling has a ¼ cup of almond flour in it as well.
Dairy-Free – Seeing that these lemon bars have butter in the crust they aren’t dairy-free. But that’s an easy solution for that, replace the butter with a vegan/dairy-free butter.
Vegan – There are eggs and butter in these sugar-free lemon bars so they are NOT vegan. But replace the butter with a vegan butter instead, I recommend using Earth Balance.
Then replace the eggs with 1 cup of coconut cream, and add 2 tbsp of arrowroot flour to help thicken it.
What to Serve with Keto Lemon Bars?
This is the best keto lemon bar recipe, but what makes them even better is adding a dollop of Keto Whipped Cream on top of it. MMMMM…..it’s so good trust me!
You also could add a scoop of Keto Vanilla Ice Cream on the side, because let’s face it, what dessert doesn’t taste better with ice cream?!
How to Store & Make Ahead
Now that you know how to make these low carb lemon bars, let’s talk about how to properly store them.
Can I Make These Ahead?
Actually making sugar-free lemon bars ahead of time is a great idea. Because they need time to chill in the fridge anyways, making them in the morning on the day you wish to serve them is perfect. But if you want to make them and store them in the freezer that’s an option too.
Do Lemon Bars Need to be Refrigerated?
These easy keto lemon bars can be kept out on the counter at room temperature for several hours. But if you don’t eat them all in one day or two then I would suggest putting them in the fridge. Cover them with plastic wrap or foil.
Can Lemon Bars Sit Out Overnight?
You can let your gluten-free lemon bars sit out overnight, but I wouldn’t let them sit out for more than that. They will last longer and stay fresher in the fridge.
How Long do they Last?
Keto lemon bars last about 2-3 days until they lose their freshness. After about 3 days they don’t taste nearly as good. But to be truthful, they have never even lasted that long in our house.
Can You Freeze Lemon Bars?
Yes freezing your low carb lemon bars is a great idea, especially if you can’t eat them all. I love having keto treats in my freezer that I can just pull out when I’m in the mood for something sweet.
What I would do is take each lemon square and wrap them individually in plastic wrap then in foil. Place them in the freezer, somewhere where they won’t get crushed. They will last about a month after being frozen.
When you are ready to eat one, pull it out and leave on the counter until it’s thawed.
Other Low Carb Dessert Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Keto Dessert recipes then try our:
All of them are Keto-friendly and low carb, and you and your family will love them!Print
If you are a lover of lemon then these Keto Lemon Bars are perfect for you! Made with a buttery almond flour crust, then topped with delicious low carb lemon curd, these easy and healthy sugar-free lemon bars are going to be a hit in your household.
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup granulated monk fruit
- ½ cup granulated monk fruit
- ½ cup powdered swerve
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla
- powdered swerve for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all the shortbread crust ingredients in a small bowl. Using a spoon, mix all the ingredients together. Cover an 8×8 or 9×9 glass pan with parchment paper.
- Place the crust into the pan and press down. DO NOT POKE HOLES INTO THE CRUST. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden.
- Zest and juice the lemons and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add the almond flour, monk fruit, and powdered swerve. Use a spoon or whisk to mix together, make sure it’s smooth. You don’t want any lumps at all.
- Add in the vanilla and eggs, then whisk until smooth. Then add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Pour the lemon filling into the baked crust and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is set.
- Carefully pull out of the oven and let cool. Once cooled then transfer to the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or until it’s completely chilled.
- Pull the parchment paper out and place the bars on a large cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife cut into 16 squares. Using a sifter, sprinkle the top of the bars with powdered swerve.
1.5 NET CARBS PER SQUARE
Use a glass dish. Metal pans can cause the lemon squares to have a slightly metallic taste.
Fresh lemon juice – Bottled lemon juice doesn’t even come close to the real thing.
Lemon zest is also key, it adds another level of lemony flavor.
Line the baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily pull it out.
When cutting the squares, wipe the knife with a paper towel or rinse with hot water in between cuts.
Double the recipe – use a 9×13 baking dish and double all the ingredients.
Make sure the bars are completely cooled before cutting into them.
Add the powdered sugar after the bars are cut into squares.
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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