These No-Bake, Vegan Lemon Bars are the BEST! They set up in about 6 hours or overnight in the freezer. They’re bursting with Lemon flavor, and they’re made from simple, easy, everyday pantry ingredients. If you’re a lemon fanatic (like myself) these bars might just become a new favorite on your dessert rotation. They’re a bit dangerous though – I’ve never been able to limit myself to just one a day!
There’s something about a lemon-flavored treat that I cannot resist. Even after a big meal, there’s always room for something bright, tangy, and just a tiny bit sweet. I’ve used organic cane sugar to sweeten these bars, but you could sub in any light-colored sugar of your choosing.
There’s only 1/2 cup of sugar in this recipe, so the sweetness is kept to the bare minimum, letting the light, bright, deliciously citrusy lemon flavor shine through. And it was healthier that way, too – which means I can eat more of them, right?
These bars use Coconut Cream in the lemon filling. To get the best results when separating your coconut cream from the coconut water in your can, refrigerate the can overnight. I always keep a couple of cans of Coconut Milk in the fridge so that it’s ready to go.
When you open the can, the top thick white layer is the coconut cream. Take a spoon and carefully scrape off this layer, taking care not to push it down as you go. Beneath the layer of coconut cream is basically just thick coconut water. If you push it down, the coconut water below will coat it and change the overall texture of your finished lemon bars.
Too much coconut water will make the bars freeze solid. You won’t’ be able to eat them straight out of the freezer, and you’ll have to let them thaw a bit first. Some of the creaminess is lost when coconut water gets in there, too. And we love the creaminess!
Quick Soaking Cashews
I almost always use the quick soak method for cashews. The standard method for soaking cashews takes hours or even overnight. And I never remember to do it ahead of time. Using boiling water to quick-soak really speeds up the process.
They won’t absorb as much water and be as soft as overnight soaking, but if you have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender you likely won’t notice a difference. But, if you’re using a regular blender a longer soak time makes the cashews a bit softer and easier to break up. So if you can, let them soak for 1-2 hours for use with a standard blender.
To quick-soak cashews, start with boiling water on your stovetop or kettle. Measure out your dry, raw cashews into a bowl. Add the boiling water to cover the cashews and let them sit for 20 minutes. Drain the cashews, and use them in any recipe that calls for soaked cashews.
These Vegan No-Bake Lemon Bars are
- Easy to make
- Made with just 9 everyday ingredients
- Rich and creamy
- Fresh and tangy
- BURSTING with lemon flavor
- Set up in the freezer – no oven required!
More Delicious Vegan Treats
- Lemon Cookie Dough Balls – Vegan, GF, No Bake
- Ginger Cookie Dough Balls – Vegan, GF, No Bake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls – Vegan, GF, No Bake
- Flourless Chocolate Peanut Cookies
- No Bake Peanut Butter Date Cookies with Salted Dark Chocolate
If you make these BEST Vegan Lemon Bars, let us know what you think in the comments below! Leave a rating, or show us your results on Instagram #plantednoshery. We love to see what you’ve come up with. Enjoy!
BEST Vegan Lemon Bars, No Bake, GF
- 1¼ cups Walnuts 150g
- 1½ cups Shredded unsweetened coconut 120g
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup Coconut oil, melted 55g
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp Coconut water from can, only if needed see instructions
- 1 cup Cashews, quick soaked see notes
- 1 can Coconut cream 220g (the thick white cream on the top half of the refrigerated can of coconut milk – see notes)
- 3 Lemons, juiced Can add 1 more lemon (~3 tbsp juice) for more intense lemon flavor if you're a lemon FANATIC (like me)
- 1 Lemon, zest
- ½ cup Organic cane sugar
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- For the crust:In a food processor, add the pitted dates and pulse to chop them finely. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix on high until a dough forms. ~ 1 minute. If your dough is crumbly and won't stay together, your dates may have been on the dry side. If that happens, add 1 tbsp of the bottom layer of coconut water from underneath the cream in the can of coconut milk. Blend again and it should stick together enough now to be pressed into the square pan. Another 1 tbsp of coconut water can be used, only if needed.Press the crust into your lined 8×8 square pan with a spoon or spatula to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- For the filling:Combine all of the lemon filling ingredients in a high powered blender or Vitamix. Start with the cashews and coconut cream, and then add the rest. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy. Use the tamper or stop and scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
- Remove the crust layer from the fridge and pour the lemon filling over top of the crust. Use a spoon or spatula to evenly spread the lemon filling over the crust.
- Once the lemon filling is evenly spread over the crust, place the uncovered pan into the freezer on a level area for at least 6 hours to firm up completely. If you take the bars out early, they will be soft, melt quickly and the lemon flavor will be very intense. They need to be fully frozen for the right texture and flavors to come out. If they still cut apart like cheesecake, freeze them longer. Once frozen, the bars are ready to serve. They're still easy to dig into with a fork, but with a much firmer texture like a well frozen ice cream instead of a soft cheesecake. Enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.