Gluten Free Strawberry Lemon Bars are the perfect sweet and tangy dessert to share with your friends and family this summer. Made with fresh lemon, strawberries and a gluten free buttery shortbread crust, these bars are everything you love about strawberry lemonade in a dessert!
I'm usually all about chocolate desserts but a really good fruity dessert on a hot summer's day? I'll make an exception for that.
These strawberry lemon bars remind me of a fresh strawberry pie and lemon cheesecake mashed together. You'll first make a buttery shortbread crust and then fill it with a simple strawberry lemon fruit topping. These gluten free strawberry lemonade bars are seriously the best!
Why You'll Love Making Strawberry Lemon Bars
They're cool, refreshing and great for summer!
You can use frozen strawberries, which are harvested at their peak and pack the most flavor.
There's nothing dry about the gluten free crust. It's soft, buttery and delicious.
Strawberry lemon bars are quick and easy yet elegant. They are a great addition to the dessert table at baby showers, bridal showers, or any spring and summer event.
🍋Ingredients You'll Need🍓
Gluten Free Lemon Bar Crust
- Gluten Free Flour Blend- is the base for the crust.
- Granulated Sugar - sweetens the crust and creates structure.
- Unsalted Butter - Since we're adding the butter to dry ingredients, it MUST be cold to achieve the right texture.
- Vanilla Extract - adds sweet, caramel-like flavor.
- Water - adds moisture and makes the crust spreadable.
Strawberry Lemon Filling
- Granulated Sugar - sweetens the filling and balances the tang from the lemon.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - adds bold lemon flavor.
- Fresh Lemon Zest - adds even more vibrant lemon flavor.
- Eggs - add moisture and soften the filling.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend- serves as a binding agent to hold the filling together and make it "crumbly."
- Frozen Strawberries - I used frozen because they're guaranteed to be perfectly ripe, and I like the texture it gives the filling.
📋 How To Make Strawberry Lemon Bars
Preheat oven and prepare baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside until later.
Strawberry Lemon Bar Crust:
1️⃣ In a medium bowl, combine gluten free flour and granulated sugar. Use 2 forks, 2 knives or a pastry cutter to cut in the COLD butter while slowing adding in vanilla extract and water. Continue adding liquids until a crumbly coarse mixture forms. This can also be done in a food processor on pulse mode.
2️⃣ Using CLEAN hands, gently press crust mixture into prepared baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Do no turn the oven off.
Strawberry Lemon Bar Filling:
1️⃣ While the crust is baking, in a medium bowl, add remaining gluten free flour, remaining sugar, fresh lemon juice, eggs and lemon zest. Whisk well to combine.
2️⃣ In a microwave safe bowl, microwave frozen strawberries until just thawed and can be mashed with a fork. Mash strawberries into a chutney-like texture, mostly syrup-like with some chunks of strawberry.
3️⃣ Once the crust is done baking, fill it with the lemon bar filling while it is still hot. Then, spoon the strawberry syrup over the lemon filling. With a spatula or back of a heavy spoon, gently spread strawberries in an even-layer on top of the filling.
4️⃣ Return baking dish to oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the center of the filling is firm. Bars will continue to set while standing, so let cool for at least four hours. Once cooled, cut into even sized squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
👩🏻🍳 Chef's Tips
I've already mentioned this, but it's important -the butter MUST be COLD. If the butter isn't cold enough, the crust won't hold it's shape once it goes into the oven.
The fresh fruit is in the form of lemon juice and lemon zest. PLEASE do not try and use store bought lemon juice for this recipe. Even though it might taste the same in other recipes, it does NOT taste the same in this one. Juicing and zesting the real deal makes all the difference.
Take a shortcut and use frozen strawberries. Simply microwave for 2 minutes to loosen them up and make them easier to mash. You can also do this in a small saucepan over medium heat.
When mashing up the strawberries, leave some whole chunky pieces for texture. The visible bits of strawberry make this dessert really pretty!
Be patient. Cut into squares once the dish has cooled completely. They need that time to set.
Instead of powdered sugar, drizzle a vanilla glaze over bars.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store strawberry lemonade bars in the fridge in an air tight container or seal-top bag for up to 5 days.
Freezing: These bars are great to make ahead and freeze. Freeze in a single-layer in a freezer safe container (or place parchment paper between layers to prevent the squares from sticking to each other). Freeze up to 3 months.
Thawing: Lemon bars should be thawed overnight in the fridge. They taste great eaten chilled and at room temperature.
More Gluten Free Desserts
Gluten Free Strawberry Lemon Bars
LEMON BAR CRUST
- 1 ½ cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter cold cut into small pieces
- ⅛ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp water
LEMON BAR FILLING
- 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Zest
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1 cup Frozen Strawberries
Lemon Bar Crust Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside or cover with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine gluten free flour and granulated sugar. Use 2 forks, 2 knives or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter while adding vanilla extract and water a little bit at a time. until a crumbly coarse mixture forms. This can also be done in a food processor on pulse mode
- Once crumbly coarse crust mixture is formed, press into 9x13 pan evenly and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
Lemon Bar Filling Instructions:
- While crust is baking, whisk together: remaining gluten free flour, remaining granulated sugar, ½ cup fresh lemon juice, 4 eggs and 1 tbsp lemon zest.
- In a microwave safe measuring cup, add 1 cup frozen strawberries and microwave for 2 minutes until strawberries can be mashed with a fork. Mash strawberries until chunky syrup-like texture is formed.
- Pour lemon bar filling over hot crust out of the oven. Spoon strawberry syrup over lemon bar filling and swirl on top of lemon bar filling until strawberry mixture is evenly on top of lemon bar filling.
- Bake 25 minutes or until filling set in the middle. Let cool for a minimum of four hours. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Store in fridge in air tight container for up to 5 days.
An average lemon will yield 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest. For a half cup of fresh lemon juice, you will need about 3-4 lemons.
The small amount of flour used in the filling creates a crumbly crust-like texture. Also, parts of the crust rise to the top of the filling because the filling dripped into any cracks in the crust.
You sure can. Frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries would be great.
Yes, but not so gooey that they don't hold their shape. If them seem too gooey, let them set a bit longer.