Lemon Poppy Seed Bars are a fresh, light and delicious zingy lemon dessert! They are made of a creamy lemon curd and a buttery shortbread pastry for the right balance of textures and sourness. Easy to make, packed with lemony flavors, it makes for the perfect sweet treat or dessert to celebrate Spring.
A healthy and fresh dessert to celebrate springtime
Spring is officially here! The sun has been shining here in Paris for at least the last days, the nature is coming back to life and days are getting longer. All this effervescence and vibrant nature inspired me a lot of recipes. And there’s nothing better than a fresh and lemony dessert to celebrate springtime! The bright yellow color and the zingy flavors behind these Lemon Poppy Seed Bars simply make me happy!
I have never been a big fan of lemon desserts, until I tried this one! It is the right balance of sweet and sour, lemony but not too much acidic, fresh and light but incredibly satisfying. The secret of this dessert is in the perfect balance between the zingy lemon curd and the rich and buttery shortbread pastry. The poppy seeds bring the little touch of crispiness in mouth.
These lemon poppy seed bars are easy to make with 10 wholesome ingredients. They are vegan, naturally gluten free thanks to rice flour and almond meal, sweetened with agave, and dairy free. A delicious and healthy dessert to please everyone!
Why you will love these lemon poppy seed bars
There are an infinity of reasons that will make you love these lemon poppy seed bars! The first one being that they are delicious, but also easy to make with simple wholesome ingredients.
These lemon poppy seed bars are:
- Light and fresh, perfect for the return of sunny days
- Super creamy with a buttery shortbread and crispy poppy seeds
- Lemony without being too much acidic
- Right balance of sweet and sour
- Naturally dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free
- Easy to make with only 10 simple ingredients
How to make these lemon poppy seed bars
These lemon poppy seed bars are very quick and easy to make. They only take about 25 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to bake, and then all you have to do is to patiently wait until they set in the fridge.
This simple recipe is all about flavors and textures, for a very light and fresh dessert. Lemon poppy seed bars are made of a shortbread pastry crust encrusted with poppy seeds for a crispy touch, and a layer of creamy lemon curd.
Make the shortbread pastry crust
The base of these lemon poppy seed bars is a pastry crust inspired by traditional shortbreads. It is rich and buttery enough to perfectly balance the sourness of the lemon curd and make these bars absolutely delicious.
This pastry crust is very easy to make. I used my go-to gluten free mix, the same than in my 5-ingredients Almond Cookies.
- Add almond meal, white rice flour and salt to a large mixing bowl.
- Add melted coconut oil and agave and mix using a spatula until well combined and a dough starts to form.
- Fold in the poppy speeds and mix to spread them evenly into the dough. At this stage, dough must be a little dry and crumbly, but sticky enough to hold its shape. Make the test by pressing a little portion of dough in the palms of your hands.
- Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of a parchment paper lined pan and flatten the surface with your fingers or using a flat object (like a cup or the bottom of a glass).
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust just begins to brown on top. Be careful during the last minutes of baking as the crust can brown very fast! You want to keep it white.
- Remove from the oven and allow the pastry crust to completely cool down in the pan before you pour the lemon curd on top.
Make the lemon curd
While the shortbread pastry crust is slowly cooling down, you can start to prepare the lemon curd. This lemon curd is a simple but so good cream made with coconut milk and cornstarch. It is super smooth and creamy, not too acidic, and bring a vibrant colorful touch.
To make the lemon curd, it’s particularly important that you stick to the instructions and follow the exact quantities. I always recommend to use metric system rather than cup, and to weigh all the ingredients with a scale. This is the guaranty of a perfectly creamy lemon curd!
- Mix the cornstarch with the lemon juice in a small saucepan off the heat, and whisk until the starch is completely dissolved in the liquid.
- Add the coconut milk and agave. Put the sauce pan on medium heat.
- When it starts to bubble, reduce to low heat and add the ground turmeric. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken and reach the consistency of a custard cream.
- Remove the lemon curd from heat and immediately pour on top of the fully cooled pastry crust. Tap the sides of the pan to spread the curd evenly and to smooth the surface.
- Place the pan in the fridge for about 3 hours, or until the lemon curd layer is set.
Tips to make the perfect lemon poppy seed bars
- Use metrics and weight the ingredients with a scale. Precision is very important in the kitchen, and especially with pastry where one pinch of something can change everything. Grams are far more accurate than cups and spoons. More generally, I recommend to always use metrics and weight all the ingredients with a scale.
- Don’t over bake the pastry crust. You want the crust to remain white with no coloration on top. Start with 8 minutes, check the color and aspect, and if necessary extend the baking time by 1 or 2 minutes. The crust is ready when it just starts to color on top.
- Allow the pastry crust to completely cool down. When just out of the oven, the pastry crust is still a little soft. It will dry and harden while cooling down, as the coconut oil solidify. It is very important that the crust is completely cooled before you pour the lemon curd on top to prevent it to become soggy.
- Use a whisk to mix the lemon curd. To avoid to create lumps in the cream, it’s important to first dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice before adding the coconut milk and agave. Use a whisk to mix all the ingredients and whisk constantly during all the cooking time to prevent the curd to stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
- Set in the fridge (not freezer). Contrary to other raw desserts, these lemon and poppy seed bars have to slowly cool down in the fridge – good things take time. The freezer will make the lemon curd crystalize too fast and create crispy grains that you definitely don’t want in your cream!
How to store these lemon poppy seed bars
These lemon poppy seed bars are best consumed the same day, when they’re still very fresh. It is the best time to enjoy the perfect balance between the very light and creamy lemon cream, the rich and buttery pastry and the crispy poppy seeds.
But if you resist the temptation to eat them all, you can store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days, but because of the moisture contained in the lemon curd, the crust can become a little soggy. However, the bars remain safe to consumption and the taste won’t be altered. On the contrary, I would say that the flavors tend to intensify with the time and they become even more delicious!
I also try to freeze them. While they still taste very good, this strongly affects the texture of the lemon curd which kind of crystallizes and becomes crispy and grainy. So I wouldn’t recommend to freeze these bars, except if you don’t have the choice or to avoid to waste them. Before to enjoy, just let the bar slowly defrost in the fridge.
For more healthy and raw bars, check out these recipes:
- Homemade vegan Twix bars GF
- Healthy Loaded Rice Krispies Bars GF
- Raw Coconut Chocolate Slices GF
- Mango Oats Crumble bars GF
- No bake Brookie bars GF
- Raw Coconut and Cookie dough bars GF
- Raw Coconut glazed Carrot Cake bars GF
I love to see your creations! Don’t forget to tag me @alicepages on your photos on Instagram and give your feedback in the comments below if you make this recipe at home! Your opinion is my best reward.Print
These lemon curd and poppy bars are a fresh, light and delicious healthy treat to celebrate Spring. They are made of a creamy lemon curd and a buttery gluten free pastry.
- 150 g blanched almond meal
- 50 g white rice flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 50 g melted coconut oil
- 50 g agave
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds (10 g)
- 30 g cornstarch
- 50 ml lemon juice
- 300 g coconut milk
- 30 g agave
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (for the color)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 6×6 inch (16cm x 16cm) square pan with parchment paper.
- Add almond meal, rice flour and salt to a large mixing bowl. Add melted coconut oil and agave and mix using a spatula until well combined. Fold in the poppy speed and mix to spread them evenly. The dough must be a little dry and crumbly, but sticky enough to hold its shape. Make the test by pressing a little portion of dough in the palms of your hands.
- Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan and flatten the surface with your fingers or using a flat object (like a cup or the bottom of a glass).
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust just begins to brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool down in the pan.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lemon curd. Mix the cornstarch with the lemon juice in a small saucepan off the heat, and whisk until it is completely dissolved. Add the coconut milk and agave. Put the sauce pan on medium heat. When it starts to bubble, reduce to low heat, add the turmeric and cook for 2-3 minutes while whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick like a custard cream.
- Remove the lemon curd from heat and immediately pour on top of the cooled crust. Tap the sides of the pan to spread the curd evenly and smooth the surface.
- Place the pan in the fridge for 3 hours or until the lemon custard is set. When ready to enjoy, remove from the pan and cut into 9 bars. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge.
- These lemon and poppy bars keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Because of the moisture from the lemon curd, the crust can become a little soggy. But they are still safe to consume and the taste won’t be altered.
- Make sure the crust is fully cooled down and hard before pouring the lemon curd on top.
Keywords: Lemon poppy seed bars, lemon bars, lemon curd, pastry, dessert, gluten free,
Recette version françaisePrint
Ces barres citron pavot vegan et sans gluten sont un dessert léger et gourmand pour célébrer le retour du printemps. Elles se composent d’une crème onctueuse délicatement parfumée au citron et d’un biscuit sablé aux graines de pavot.
- 150 g de poudre d’amande blanche
- 50 g de farine de riz blanc
- 1/4 c. à c. de sel
- 50 g d’huile de coco fondue
- 50 g de sirop d’agave
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds (10 g)
Crème au citron
- 30 g de fécule de maïs
- 50 ml de jus de citron
- 300 g de lait de coco
- 30 g de sirop d’agave
- 1/4 c. à c. de curcuma en poudre (pour la couleur)
- Préchauffer le four à 180°C et chemiser le fond et les bords d’un plat de dimensions environ 16cm x 16cm avec du papier sulfurisé. Laisser dépasser le papier des bords du plat pour faciliter le démoulage des barres.
- Dans un saladier, mélanger la poudre d’amande, la farine de riz et le sel. Ajouter l’huile de coco fondue et le sirop d’agave et mélanger. Ajouter les graines de pavot et mélanger pour bien incorporer tous les ingrédients. La pâte obtenue doit être légèrement friable mais suffisamment humide pour être modelée. Faites le test en pressant un bout de pâte entre vos doigts.
- Verser la pâte dans le plat et appuyer fermement avec les doigts ou utiliser un objet plat (comme le fond d’un verre) pour égaliser la surface.
- Enfourner pendant 8 à 10 minutes jusqu’à ce que la surface commence tout juste à colorer. Retirer du four et laisser le biscuit refroidir complètement dans le plat.
- Pendant ce temps, préparer la crème au citron. Dans une petite casserole hors du feu, délayer la fécule de maïs dans le jus de citron. Ajouter le lait de coco et le sirop d’agave et faire chauffer à feu moyen en remuant au fouet. Quand le mélange commence à bouillonner, réduire à feu doux. Ajouter le curcuma et laisser cuire pendant 2 à 3 minutes remuant constamment, jusqu’à ce que le mélange épaississe.
- Retirer du feu et verser immédiatement la crème sur le biscuit refroidi. Tapoter les bords du plat pour bien répartir la crème sur toute la surface.
- Placer le plat au réfrigérateur pendant 3 heures ou jusqu’à ce que le crème soit bien prise, moelleuse mais sèche au toucher. Quand c’est prêt, retirer délicatement du plat et découper en barres. Conserver au frais dans un récipient hermétique.
- Ces barres au citron se conservent jusqu’à 3 jours au réfrigérateur. L’humidité contenue dans la crème de citron en contact avec le biscuit peut la ramollir au bout d’un jour. Cependant, cela n’altère pas leur goût et elles restent délicieuses à consommer!
- Assurez-vous que le biscuit a complètement refroidi et durci avant de verser la crème de citron au dessus.
Keywords: Carrés citron pavot, crème de citron, citron pavot, dessert, sans gluten,