Keto Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

You’ll love these easy Keto Lemon Bars with a press-in Shortbread Crust made from almond flour. They taste bright and tangy, and they’re made with real lemon juice. These healthy low-carb lemon bars are deliciously sweet, as well as sugar-free and gluten-free.

stack of keto lemon bars with powdered sweetener

Keto Lemon Bars with an Easy Shortbread Crust

These keto lemon bars are a little taste of summer.  And in the winter months, these low-carb lemon treats will be your personal ray of sunshine. 

The filling is the perfect mixture of creamy, tangy, sweet!  I love using fresh lemon juice in these to get the freshest, brightest flavors! In order to achieve BRIGHT flavors, I recommend using fresh lemons.

These lemon bars are super easy to make, too. It’s as simple as whisking together the filling ingredients and pouring them over a press-in shortbread crust.

Each pan yields 16 small lemon bars, so you’ll have plenty if you decide to share.

Are Lemons Keto-Friendly?

Yes! Lemons are one of the fruits that are perfectly acceptable on a low-carb diet.  Lemons are full of antioxidants and vitamin C too, so go ahead and have a lemon wedge in your water!

In this recipe, we’ll use 2/3 cup of lemon juice, which has about 11 grams of carbs.  If you divide that by the 16 servings in this recipe, that comes out to less than 1 carb contributed by the juice itself.

keto shortbread crust made with almond flour

Ingredients in Keto Lemon Bars

These lemon bars are made with just a handful of common keto-friendly ingredients. 

Along with freshly squeezed lemon juice, egg, and butter you’ll also need:

Almond Flour.  Almond flour is one of the most common alternative flours used in keto baking.  I like to use almond flour with a super-fine texture made from blanched almonds.  A finely ground blanched almond flour will give you the lightest, most tender result in your lemon bars.

Sweetener. My preference is to use Swerve granulated sweetener in this recipe and sprinkle some Swerve Confectioner’s on top before serving.  But you could also use monk-fruit sweetener or allulose.  If you are planning on using a different sweetener, make sure to check out the back of the bag for the conversion instructions.  (Swerve is a 1:1 swap with sugar, but some brands are more or less concentrated.)

Ground Flaxseed. Keto baked goods need some kind of binder to replace the gluten found in wheat flour.  I like the nutty taste of flax meal in the crust for this recipe. If you don’t have any flaxseed meal handy, you can add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum instead.

How Do You Get More Juice from a Lemon?

Here are some tips to get the most juice out of your lemons:

  • Using a wooden reamer, hand juicer, or some sort of citrus squeezer gadget will help you get more juice out of a lemon than your hands alone.  If you don’t have any of those tools, you can try using a fork.
  • Microwaving the lemons for about 20 seconds each will help you squeeze out more juice, especially if you store lemons in the fridge.
  • Rolling the lemons with your hand/forearm against the counter will help burst some of the segments in the lemon, making it easier to juice once you’ve cut it open.  

 

low-carb lemon bars with sugar-free filling

How to Make Low-Carb Lemon Bars

This recipe starts with making an easy press-in shortbread crust.  To make the crust, combine melted butter with almond flour, a little sweetener and flaxseed meal.  Stir together until the almond flour is moistened, and looks like breadcrumbs.  

Pour the crust into a parchment-lined baking pan.  Spread it out with your fingers or a spatula, and start to press it in.  I like to use the back of a small measuring cup to press it down.  But you can also use your fingers!

Bake the crust for about 15 minutes in a 350F oven until it sets, and starts to brown. 

While the crust is baking, you can prepare the filling. Mix together the granulated sweetener and eggs, and whisk until smooth.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond flour, and stir well to combine. Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust, and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

After the filling is set, remove the bars from the oven, and let cool.  Once they’ve cooled completely, chill them in the fridge until cold — at least on hour, but you can even leave them overnight

Cut the lemon bars while they are cold out of the fridge, using a sharp knife.  Wipe the knife after each cut for the cleanest results.

Other Keto Baking Recipes

If you like baking keto treats, try these other recipes:

four keto lemon bars with low-carb almond flour crust

Tips for Baking Keto Lemon Bars

Here are some tips to help you achieve the best result:

  • Use a non-reactive metal pan or a glass pan.  Sometimes cheaper aluminum pans can transfer a metallic taste to citrus recipes like lemon bars.
  • Line the pan with parchment on all four sides and the bottom.  This will prevent sticking, of course.  And it will give you “a sling” of sorts to help you remove the bars from the pan before cutting them.
  • Use real lemons and zest– the bottled lemon juice won’t give you the best flavor.
  • Don’t dock the crust prior to baking.  It doesn’t need it, and you don’t want the lemon filling leaking underneath the crust.
  • To prevent cracking, you could cook these lemon bars in a water bath. Simply place your baking pan into a large baking sheet deep enough to allow for 1″ of water, and place it in the oven. Or if you can’t be bothered — just do what I do and cover them up with a layer of powdered sugar.  No one will notice the cracks because they will be distracted with how delicious the bars taste.
  • Chill before cutting. If you have the time to plan ahead, I highly recommend it for the cleanest cuts.

 

gluten-free keto lemon bars

How to Store and Freeze Lemon Bars

This recipe is really best when you can make it a few hours ahead of time, and give the bars time to chill in the fridge.

Any leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a lidded container for 3-4 days.  For longer storage, you can freeze lemons bars.  Cut them first, and freeze them flat on a baking sheet before transferring them to a container.

Keto Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Keto Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

You'll love these easy Keto Lemon Bars with a press-in Shortbread Crust made from almond flour. These healthy low-carb lemon bars are deliciously sweet, as well as sugar-free and gluten-free.

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup erythritol sweetener, like Swerve
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal (optional)
  • pinch salt

Lemon Filling

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup erythritol sweetener, like Swerve
  • 1/4 cup almond flour

To serve

  • 1/4 cup powdered sweetener

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make the crust. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, almond flour, sweetener, flaxseed meal, and salt. Mix until the almond flour is moistened, and looks like breadcrumbs.  
  3. Pour the crust into a parchment-lined baking pan.  Spread it out with your fingers or a spatula, and start to press it in.  Use the back of a small measuring cup or fingertips to press it down. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes in a 350F oven until it starts to brown. 
  4. Prepare the filling. Mix together the granulated sweetener and eggs, and whisk until smooth.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond flour, and stir well to combine. Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust, and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes, until set.
  5. Let cool completely, then chill them in the fridge until cold. Cut the cold bars with a sharp knife.  Wipe the knife after each cut for the cleanest cuts.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 58mg Sodium: 28mg Carbohydrates: 2g Net Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Carb count will vary with different ingredients and brands. It should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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keto lemon bars with a shortbread crust

 

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