Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you can't find the cookies, you can sub in your favorite graham cracker or crumb-style crust. The recipe in Go Dairy Free is the one that I use. Please note that the Prep time is hands on time only. Allow a few hours for the lemon bars to set.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16 bars 2\" each
  • 1⅓ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar powder (see Agar Note below)
  • ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 3 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch (if using arrowroot starch or tapioca starch, color and clarity will change)
  • 2 (6-ounce) boxes Trader Joe's or Enjoy Life Soft-Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup plain dairy-free milk beverage
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from two large lemons)
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish
  1. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the water in a medium saucepan, add the agar agar powder, and let it soak for 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and starch until the starch is dissolved.
  4. When the agar is done soaking, place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the agar mixture to a boil, whisking gently (do not incorporate any air) to prevent it from settling at the bottom of the pot. Boil for about 10 minutes, or until the agar is completely dissolved.
  5. While the agar cooks, press the cookies into your lined baking dish to evenly and completely cover the bottom.
  6. Add the sugar to the agar mixture in your pot and boil until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium. Whisk the lemon-starch mixture again, and then whisk it into the agar mixture. Add the milk beverage and lemon zest, and whisk constantly but gently, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. It must come to a boil to thicken.
  7. Pour the mixture into your prepared crust. Let it cool for 20 to 30 minutes, and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until the filling is set.
  8. Slice the lemon bars into squares. Use a sifter or a fine mesh strainer to sprinkle the bars with powdered sugar just before serving. (The bars will absorb the powdered sugar if left to sit).
  9. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Agar Note: Agar powder and agar flakes are not the same. This recipe calls for agar powder specifically. 1 teaspoon agar powder = 1 tablespoon agar flakes, but the flakes might also require additional cooking or preparation.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at