I’ve been dreaming about making no-bake lemon bars for a while now and finally got around to the idea a few weeks ago. The goal was to have absolutely no oven time required for both the crust and the lemon filling, while having solid bars that stay together nicely and, of course, taste delicious. The idea to include coconut in the mix came about naturally, since I knew that I would have to use coconut milk for the creamy lemon mousse anyway. I decided to take it one step further and incorporate dried coconut flakes into the crust, and I loved the way all of the flavors came together. I’ve made these bars three times within the past couple of weeks, and each time they disappeared before I knew it. Definitely a universal crowd pleaser.
We’ve got another step-by-step video for you today, which shows the fairly simple and very fun process of making these lemon bars. We are kind of addicted to the whole video-making thing now, so there are many more to come.
The no-bake crust here is very simple, consisting of macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, lemon juice/zest and a bit of sweetener. The yellow mousse mixture gets its lemony flavor from plenty of lemon juice, while a pinch of turmeric helps bring out that beautiful yellow color. The mousse comes together in the blender and hardens in the refrigerator overnight to a perfectly sliceable consistency, made possible by coconut milk and oil, as well as a bit of arrowroot powder. The whole package is just sweet enough, creamy and rich. I like to shape the bars into small squares, since they are quite satisfying and a few bites go a long way. Enjoy!
- 1⅓ cups macadamia nuts
- 1⅓ cups dried coconut flakes, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 3 tablespoons neutral coconut oil
- zest from 1 lemon - preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch sea salt
- 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk - refrigerated overnight
- 1½ teaspoons arrowroot powder
- 1¼ cups cashews - soaked for 2-4 hours
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon neutral coconut oil
- Place macadamia nuts in the freezer 30 minutes prior to making the crust. Put the chilled macadamia nuts and dried coconut flakes into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to achieve rice-sized pieces.
- To the food processor, add the maple syrup/honey, coconut oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, and pulse until mixture is well-combined and sticking together.
- Prepare an 8" x 8" baking dish and cover it with parchment paper - parchment paper should extend up the sides for lifting the bars out of the dish later. Spoon the crust into the dish and smooth it out into an even layer. Place in the freezer while making the mousse.
- Remove the can of coconut milk from the refrigerator and open it. The coconut fat should be accumulated at the top of the can. Scoop out the fat into a small saucepan. Measure 2 tablespoons of the remaining coconut water from the can and add it to the saucepan. Melt and bring to a simmer over medium low heat.
- Meanwhile, combine the arrowroot powder with 2 teaspoons of the remaining coconut water from the can in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour the arrowroot mixture into the simmering coconut fat and stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Combine the cashews, lemon juice, maple syrup/honey, turmeric, salt and vanilla in an upright blender and blend until smooth. Add the thickened coconut fat and coconut oil and blend to incorporate.
- Take the crust out of the freezer and pour the lemon mousse over the top, distributing it evenly and smoothing out with a spoon if needed. Place the dish in refrigerator until set, preferably overnight. Remove the bar out of the baking dish, lifting it up by the extended parchment paper. Place on a cutting board and slice into 16 square bars or bars of any shape of choice. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and serve. Store refrigerated in an air-tight container.
2. If you can get them, Meyer lemons work really well in this recipe.