Gluten-free lemon coconut bars for amateurs

Should I put off this post about a really tasty treat that would be great for Easter (or any festive springtime celebration, really) because we only managed one crappy cell-phone shot before they disappeared?

Sorry the photo doesn't truly capture how tasty these are, but as Grandma Annie-Bananie used to say, "That's just the way it is."

Sorry the photo doesn’t truly capture how tasty these are, but as Grandma Annie-Bananie used to say, “That’s just the way it is.”

Nah. We live life on the fly around here, careening into cool discoveries and maddening roadblocks with equal frequency, and this blog, for better or worse, tends to reflect that.

If you want to see awesome artsy photos of these bars, click here for the original recipe from greenkitchenstories. If you want to know how they worked out for a frequently flustered  family trying to figure out how to help a kid deal with a possible gluten issue, then keep reading.

Before we get to the recipe, here are the answers to a couple of key questions:

1. Is it hard to make your own almond flour?

Not really. We threw some raw almond slivers in our coffee grinder and that seemed to work out OK. Almond flour is expensive, as with so many things involved in a gluten-free diet, so we’re looking to save a bit where we can.

2. Do these bars taste OK if you don’t bother with the lemon zest?

As I mentioned earlier, these disappeared pretty quickly. Grandma Linda raved about them, though she agreed with Ben and I that the zest would’ve added a deeper “tang” that would make them even better. We plan to try that next time. But you can get by with just bottled lemon juice, as we did.

The recipe


Coconut "oil" looks and acts like Crisco at room temperature.

Coconut “oil” looks and acts like Crisco at room temperature.

5 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup almond flour (we ground slivered almonds in our coffee grinder)

1 pinch sea salt

2 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)


3 eggs + 2 egg yolks

6 tbsp maple syrup

1/3 cup lemon juice + 1 tbsp zest (we didn’t use the zest, as I mentioned above)

1/3 cup almond flour

Dust with 3 tbsp coconut flour (we used powdered sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the coconut oil (it’s solid at room temperature) in a sauce pan on low/medium heat. Add maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond flour and salt. Stir until everything is combined. Remove from the heat.

2. Crack two eggs, save the egg yolks for later and add the whites to the sauce pan while stirring. Keep stirring for about a minute; mixture should be getting sticky.

3. Line a 12×8 inch baking dish with baking paper (we just used baking spray) and pour the coconut mixture into it. Spread it over the bottom of the pan, using a spatula or your hands. Bake for 10-12 minutes while you get to work on the filling.

4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs + the 2 egg yolks. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat for two more minutes.

5. Pour the mixture over the baked crust in the baking dish. Bake 16-19 minutes or until edges are light brown and center is set.

6. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing up the bars. Dust with coconut flour or powdered sugar.

7. Now they’re ready to eat — and hopefully you will get better photos of these than we did!

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2 Responses to Gluten-free lemon coconut bars for amateurs

  1. GF too? Yum! I just might have to make these. 🙂

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