Thick Raw Lemon Bars (Vegan, Paleo)

Lemon bars have always been a favorite dessert of mine.


My mom got me hooked on them as a little girl, and I pine for them whenever I cruise by a bakery display…out of desire necessity is born a recipe! 😀


This raw version is made up of a chewy, sweet, and slightly tangy bottom layer topped with a rich and creamy layer of lemon-y goodness…the sweetness offsets the lemon enough to keep you from puckering, while still maintaining the citrus flavor that makes these bars so fresh and clean.

Thick Raw Lemon Bars
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 12 bars
  • BASE:
  • 1 c. walnuts or pecans
  • ¼ c. unsweetened coconut
  • 6 large, soft dates (I used Medjool)
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • ½ t. water, as needed for combining
  • 6 T. coconut oil
  • 3 T. coconut butter
  • 3 T. maple syrup or raw honey
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 2 t. lemon zest
  • 9 drops stevia, to taste (or another 2-3 teaspoons of liquid sweetener)
  • dash of turmeric, for color (optional)
  1. Process together the ingredients for the bottom layer (add a little water if necessary to bring everything together).
  2. Make sure it is well combined, and press it into a small glass dish (I used a 7 x 5 inch Pyrex dish).
  3. Gently melt together the coconut oil with the coconut butter.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients, adding stevia to taste.
  5. Pour atop the bottom layer.
  6. Place into the fridge or freezer until set.
  7. Cut and enjoy!
Nutrition facts are based on using 120 grams of pecans and a combination of honey and stevia. Weight Watchers points (new system): 6
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/12 of recipe Calories: 191 Fat: 17.1 g Saturated fat: 9.5 g Unsaturated fat: 7.6 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 10.4 g Sugar: 7.8 g Sodium: 53 mg Fiber: 2.1 g Protein: 1.6 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

I have literally sat on my couch with a dish of these bars and a spoon and ate half of the pan! They are so addictive and surprisingly light that I didn’t even feel heavy after eating them.

…the obligatory bite shot…


My husband and I often fight over these, so they tend to get hidden stored in the vegetable drawer where certain bridegrooms don’t ever venture. Teehee.


What’s your favorite bakery pastry?

I also love the huge cookies!…oatmeal raisin is my favorite. :-)

Shared with: Make Your Own Monday, Natural Living Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Healthy 2day, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Eco-Kids Tuesday, Gluten-Free Friday, Raw Foods Thursday, Healthy Vegan Friday, The Pennywise Platter, Whole Foods Friday, Full Plate Thursday, Wellness Weekend


    • Lauren says

      Thanks Adrienne! I will have to check yours out as well. I’ve been meaning to try your bean fudge, but haven’t yet due to illness. Hopefully, this will be the week for it! :-)

    • Lauren says

      Haha, my husband and I were just saying how we can’t get enough lemons and limes lately! :-) They’re so refreshing!

  1. says

    Um, okay, I could kiss you for this recipe. OMG! I have to tell you, lemon is my FAVORITE. I would pick this out of a thousand chocolate cakes any day, Lauren. Just LOVE lemon bars, but hate the sugar laden ones. I used to make a lemon bar recipe with eggs, but it was always too egg-y for me. I will be making these this week. Can’t wait. They look so delicious and refreshing. Thank you for your awesome recipes, girl. YOU ROCK!!


    • Lauren says

      Wow! Thank you so much Amber! You write the nicest comments. :-) I hope they live up to your expectations. 😀

  2. says

    Wow, YUM, not much more I can say than YUM! Seriously, I can’t stop staring at the picture!! So very excited with all the entries this week! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Cindy from

    • Lauren says

      Thank you, thank you! You’re such a sweet girl! I was honestly worried that they wouldn’t live up to the hype they were getting, so it’s nice to hear when someone truly enjoys them! 😀 Thanks for sharing too!

  3. Sabrina says

    Do you have any sub ideas for walnuts as my daughter is allergic to them? Thanks for sharing this yummy looking recipe!

  4. Lorelei says

    OK, this may be a silly question but what is the “1/4 cup unsweetened coconut?” Is it coconut milk, flakes, cream? Thanks so much!

  5. says

    Hi Lauren,
    Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Hope to see you soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. says

    You’ve done it again – these look amazing!! Just saw these on Wheat Free Wednesday. Lemon bars are also one of my FAVORITES – I can’t wait to try your recipe! I’m going to have to PIN and share on FB (and with my sister who also loves lemon bars). YUM!

  7. J says

    These look great, but I’m a bit nervous about making them. Won’t they just fall apart at room temp since coconut oil is the main ingredient in the topping? I can put them in the freezer to set, but I had hoped to set them out for a party…

  8. says

    BEST. LEMON-SQUARES. EVER!!!! some of my notes on substiutions: u can use lime instead of lemon, or both. I had to use 1/3 to 1/2 of what the recipe recommends so as not to burn my tongue from lemon acid, (but I am perhaps sensitive to this). You can use apricots instead of dates (cheaper and lower glycemic), and the crust can be cashews mixed with walnuts; doesn’t have to be entirely made of walnuts. It’s really important to let this sit in the FREEZER for 30 minutes, and do NOT substitute any other kind of oil or butter for the coconut oil. Coconut butter completely changes the flavor ,but it’s OK and will do in a pinch (use less of it, spread it thinly, and freeze it for longer). Freezing also considerably cuts the acid of the lemon, interestingly enough.

  9. Cathy says

    Hi Lauren made these bars this morning and my base hasn’t set when I cut a slice off the base was left in dish with just a few crumbs attached to topping what am I doing wrong topping is divine though !

    • Lauren says

      Hmmm…was the base at room temperature when you poured on the topping (it should be)? Also, when the top layer gets too cold, it has a tendency to separate. I had to let mine thaw just a bit before cutting into them. I’m happy to hear you like the taste though! :-)

  10. Cathy says

    I will try taking them out of the fridge for a while before I cut my next slice don’t get me wrong it won’t go to waste just wish it didn’t taste so good when I next make afresh batch will let you know outcome x

  11. Devchenka says

    I used almonds because that is what i had for nuts, i would deff use double the amount lemon juice, i could not taste lemon enough the crust was taking over the flavor =) I will make this recipe again with some changes!

  12. Tami says

    I just made these for the first time tonite, they taste great, lots of lemon flavor but they didn’t seem to set well. The recipe I followed called for 6T of coconut oil, there was no mention of coconut butter, did you happen to update the recipe tonite?

    • Lauren says

      Hi Tami,

      I updated the recipe a while back because so many people were having trouble with beating the oil. I’m not sure why you would have still seen the old version… As far as setting, it sounds like you just didn’t chill them long enough? That recipe actually get very firm. It needs a few hours though. Sorry for any confusion!

  13. Nikki says

    Please help! Am I missing a step or something? I’ve tried these twice and all I get on top is a thin crunchy layer that cracks apart after it’s cooled. Nothing like your thick, creamy filling. I’m a newbie with coconut oil and butter so maybe I just asked a really dumb question! :-) but my husband LOVES lemon bars so I want to figure these out.

  14. Laura says

    They don’t just look amazing. They are amazing. I find so many recipes can please the eye and the pallet and still be considered healthy. These do all of the above.


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