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Healthy Lemon Squares

Healthy Lemon Squares: These might be the best lemon squares you’ll ever find.

Soft homemade lemon squares from @choccoveredkt that have been described by readers as being "the best lemon bar recipe of all time... healthy or not!" Full recipe here: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/05/07/healthy-lemon-squares/

So it’s a happy coincidence they’re healthy, too! My roommate, who is obsessed with lemon desserts, took one bite and declared these “the best lemon squares on the face of the planet, healthy or not.”

healthy lemon squares

healthy lemon bars

Be sure to stock up on the ingredients, as this is a recipe you’ll want to make over and over again!

Soft homemade lemon bars from @choccoveredkt that have been described by readers as being "the best lemon bar recipe of all time... healthy or not!" Full recipe here: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/05/07/healthy-lemon-squares/

Healthy Lemon Squares

Healthy Lemon Squares

Total Time: 1h
Yield: 12-16 healthy lemon squares
Print This Recipe 5/5

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry or white flour (135g)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar or Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar (44g)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (50g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water or more coconut oil
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice (90g)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar or sf powdered sugar (linked above) (28g)
  • 1/16 tsp uncut stevia OR or 2 more tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 cup MoriNu silken-firm or lite tofu (This is not the same as the tofu in a grocery store’s refrigerator section. See “nutrition facts” link below for where to find this.) (240g)
  • zest of one lemon, optional but recommended for flavor
  • optional: a few drops yellow food coloring or tiny pinch turmeric, for color

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine crust ingredients, either in a food processor or by hand. (Make sure the oil is melted if combining by hand.) Press evenly into a well-greased 8×8 pan. (I used a piece of wax paper over the top, so it was easier to press down.) Cook 10 minutes, while simultaneously combining filling ingredients in a food processor or blender. After crust cooks, pour filling evenly on top and cook another 26 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then fridge uncovered for at least 2 hours (important, as this lets the custard set) before cutting with a sharp knife. If you’re having trouble cutting, leave out just a few minutes so the coconut oil softens. Makes 12-16 squares. These are best stored in the fridge.

View Nutrition Facts + Substitutions

lemon bars

These healthy lemon squares are so good, they have even me questioning my chocolate roots. But don’t worry; I’ve already made a chocolate version. I’m not a complete disgrace to chocolateness!

5/5 (1)

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Published on May 7, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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344 Comments

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  1. Margaux says

    I love these! Have made them twice already this week alone and will have to triple the batch to keep up with my husband’s habit of vacuuming down five at a time! Delicious, tart, and different. 😀

  2. Kay ren says

    Hi Katie! Just wanted to say that I made this recipe but substituted chestnut flour for the wheat flour in the crust and it worked really well!
    I had a really hard time finding chestnut flour. I looked for it for years, and I finally found some at a local grocer from the Aurora brand. Aurora is an Italian food company.
    I will probably be making more of your recipes with chestnut flour so I will let you know how they work… I made the gluten free breakfast pizza with chestnut flour instead of garbanzo bean flour… It worked but the chestnut flavour was pretty strong. Next time I will try it with half chestnut and half sorghum, I think.

  3. Erika says

    I’ve made these several times and they are SO GOOD! Thank you for coming up with lemon squares that won’t break my healthy streak 🙂

  4. Audrey says

    Yay! A healthy and wholesome lemon bar recipe!! Can’t wait for payday so I can make these 🙂

    Quick question. Are the nutrition facts based on 12 bars or 16? Sorry if you’ve answered this already.

  5. Deborah says

    question about the baking time/appearance of lemon squares. i baked mine for 25 minutes (minute less than the 26 min recommended because my oven tends to run ‘hot’. when i pulled them out they didn’t look nice and evenly yellowish on top but had areas that were darker. i wonder why? if my oven cooks unevenly for some reason, could this cause this? i’m not sure what would cause it to do so?? it’s an electric oven probably about 14 years old. hotpoint. just your regular standard oven that was there when we moved in. i did not use yellow food coloring but used about a 1/4 – a 1/2 tsp of tumeric for coloring. i noticed you added some powdered sugar to on of the photo shots, but there was another that the bare top was exposed and look perfectly yellow and fairly even in color, no darker spots. any ideas? won’t know until tomorrow how they taste, but when i tasted the inside of the food processor bowl as i was scraping the last little bit out, they tasted amazing. i used fresh squeezed lemon juice and added a nice dose of fresh grated lemon zest as well. ??? everything else was by the book.

  6. deborah says

    these are fantastic. every recipe i’ve tried on katie’s blog has been a winner thus far. but i have a special love of these bars. i love lemon but have diabetes and haven’t been able to eat a conventional lemon bar dessert in years because the sugar content is so high. i vastly prefer these bars, even if calories and sugar were not an issue. so light, so flavorful! and yet i am satisfied with just one or two very small bars. its’ amazing. i used fresh lemon juice and my own fresh lemon zest from the lemons. i’m in lemon heaven. when i made the bars they weren’t quite as beautiful as katie’s photo shoot, probably because my oven needed cleaning and may have baked a bit unevenly 😉 but the taste was astonishing regardless. i used tumeric for coloring and not a tiny amount and i had no problem with the taste of the tumeric, maybe it was masked by the lemon blitz to my taste buds. i would bring these to my next social event, except my family loves them too much to share. you must make this recipe.

  7. IC says

    So I tried making these, with some substitutions, and counting down the 2+ hours of chilling time to try it out. If it turns out well, which I’m sure it will, I will try making a key lime version and throwing some coconut flakes in with the crust.

    Regarding a non-soy option I went to this great restaurant, Karyn’s Raw in Chicago, and she had a lemon pie using young coconut. Amazing…

  8. Megan says

    I love your recipes – we are GF, DF, SF, and Egg free around here, so finding your blog has been an answer to prayer! I really want to make these lemon squares, but I couldn’t find a comment where someone subbed the flour for GF flour – do you know if it works out with a GF flour? Thanks so much!
    p.s. I have a recipe I want to send you to see if you can work your genius on it to make it easier to make and yummier!

  9. Elysa says

    I can’t wait to try these. Go Katie!! 🙂 I have just found your site and have shared it with about 10 people already. I took your mounds bars to my chiropractor today! Except I made them into Almond Joys, with an almond on top. 🙂 They were very excited… as they are big into GF, SF, raw, and healthy eating, etc. I shared your site with them too!

    Regarding Tofu, I saw one post talking about most Tofu being non organic and gmo, Wildwood Tofu is Organic and Non-GMO. I am not sure about shelf-stable, but they do have a silken version which I bought today and plan to try. Not sure about the crust… if anyone has made one GF please post and share. Maybe I will poke around the site and see if I can find an alternative… or just make it crust-less.

    • Elysa says

      UPDATE – I tried to Wildwood Silken. Did not work. Was really sour. Not sure if it was due to the tofu or due to an “ingredient amount” issue. I tried to be very careful to stick to the recipe. One thing I wonder is if you can substitute xyla equally for sugar. I don’t think you can. It is not as sweet. So I am not sure the conversion there, but I suspect that was the crux of the issue. Looked all over today for MoriNu… no luck. Finally had to order from Amazon. Will try again. This time maybe taste the pudding before I bake.

  10. Liz says

    I made these for a fundraiser bake sale at work and they went so quickly!! These were so delicious and I will definitely be making them again. Thanks for the recipe! You rock!

  11. Kate says

    Mine just came out of the fridge- They’re so good!! I omitted the lemon zest and instead put in 8 drops of lemon essential oil (I have doTERRA oils, so they’re safe to ingest) and it was wonderful! I’m such a fan of lemon squares, but they’re so jam packed with sugar that I pretty much never have them. I knew I just had to try this recipe and I’m glad I did! I think I’m getting hooked on your blog 🙂

  12. Emma Elizabeth says

    Dear Katie (I apologise, I hope it is alright with you for me to use your name rather than CCK)

    You are a blogging genius and an all-round amazing baker, cook and writer!
    I happened to stumble across your blog one afternoon whilst procrastinating, and wow…just wow; there are no suitable synonyms to sum up how much I LOVE everything about ChocolateCoveredKatie. I have to admit, I was dubious to follow this recipe using tofu, as firstly, I am only seventeen, therefore my expenditure is not excessive, and because..well, it’s tofu…but I am, and forever will be irrevocably addicted! I halved the recipe and ate it all by myself…not feeling the slightest bit sluggish or weighed down from a carb overload.
    You truly are an inspiration…I have recently created my own blog, but no matter how passionate I am about writing posts, I cannot find the time! 🙁
    But, I will be eternally grateful to my English teacher setting my daunting homework, and enabling me to find this wondrous blog!
    Is it possible to love someone whom you have not met, communicated with (until just now) or heard speak before? Too late…

    – Emma Elizabeth
    England, United Kingdom

  13. debbie says

    just a note…with your titel font, your “s” at the end of words looks rather like an “f” which gives an unfortunate result at first glance when the recipe is for “bars”….!

  14. Tani says

    Hi Katie,
    I just made these, and made sure I followed EXACTLY to the teaspoon. I made the base first, and saw immediately there was not enough to cover my pan, not nearly enough, so I doubled the mixture for the base, but kept the top qty the same as I did not have enough tofu. I entered everything onto a calorie counting site, and with around 20 one inch (tiny!) slices, it worked out to be 85 calories. And I used sugar free. Whats the difference?

  15. Jennifer says

    I made these and they were delicious! Taste even better the day after when kept in the fridge. I tried with medium firm regular tofu and it was fine, doesn’t mix as well (i’m guessing because of the water), so next time I’ll try firm tofu. Only thing is i had to double the crust portion because the amount specified wouldn’t even cover the pan. Otherwise, a keeper!

  16. Elle says

    Just for anyone who was wondering about using refrigerated silken tofu, it was successful for me! Set up perfectly and had no trace of soy taste.

  17. Angela says

    These were super yummy and so exciting for this vegan whose fave dessert used to be lemon bars. BUT in my opinion although they were perfect for vegans missing lemon bars and yummy as a dessert in their own right, they were too different to keep non-vegan lemon bar aficionados happy. I’m thinking of trying making them again and adding shredded coconut and calling them “creamy lemon-coconut custard squares” or something like that when I serve them to my non-adventurous-non-health-conscious friends. That way they aren’t expecting something specific and will be able to enjoy how completely yummy these are!

  18. Julia K says

    Katie!!!

    I just made my mom your lemon squares for Mother’s Day! I was going to make her a chocolate cake but she /insisted/ on those (she isn’t even vegan). It is her favorite desert of all time OVER chocolate. The whole thing was gone within a couple of hours (yes, I helped). Btw your filling for the lemon squares makes fantastic ice cream and an amazing base for smoothies (I use Xylitol in place of sugar)! This is my favorite vegan dessert of all time, but they also make a great addition brunch and breakfast. Seriously, thank you so much for the recipe!

    Best,
    Julia

  19. Fleur says

    Love this Katie! Clearspring organic silken tofu (also in a box, non refrigerated like mori nu) works perfectly! And organic too:-)

  20. sara says

    Making this recipe right now! Just wanted to let everyone know. . . As of Spring 2015, Costco in South Carolina sells Mori Nu tofu. Comes in a big pack, 12.3 oz individual boxes.

  21. Sacha says

    Im a huge Pinterest fan but I notice a big difference between Australian and what I believe are American products. I’ve looked at a lot of your recipes and there are a few common ingredients that Australia doesn’t sell or needs to be ordered on line I guess….. I.e canned pumpkin and mori ni silken firm?? Don’t even know what to substitute this for. I would love to try your recipes and is only some feedback due to my frustrations.

    • Kia says

      Are you able to find a different brand of non-refrigerated silken tofu where you live? I get the impression that the texture, and not the brand (Mori-Nu is the brand), is more important. There are different levels of firmness available when you buy non-refrigerated silken tofu: Extra firm silken, firm silken, & soft silken are only some available. Each one is suitable for different recipes.

      Calling local health food, and local Asian food stores might be fruitful! In fact, I just looked it up online, and Coles Australia might carry a brand called TLY Joyce silken firm tofu: http://shop.coles.com.au/online/national/tly-joyce-tofu-silken-firm. Contacting your local vegetarian society might also be helpful!

      And regarding the pumpkin, yeah, you can totally cut a pumpkin or squash in half, roast cut-side-down, and scoop out and blend the insides. This works as a great substitute for canned pumpkin. It’s more work, but fresher, and awesome when pumpkin is in season!

  22. Lucy says

    Oh wow I LOVE these! They’re so delicious, and taste just like the real thing (but with tons of cholesterol-free protein 🙂 ) I had to try these with leftover tofu from the greek yogurt cheesecake (also yummy!).

  23. Nitya says

    Came out great! No question there will be several encores 🙂 FYI though, I used regular powdered sugar and when checking calories I got 87 cals a square (for a batch of 16, using the measurements in the recipe). Still thrilled about them.

  24. Janet says

    I’ve tried the one minute chocolate cake and deep dish cookie pie with good results, so was looking forward to healthier lemon bars, because they are a favorite. There is a suggestion that if the filling is not enough, add .5 additional ingredients. I would recommend this, and it must be what is pictured because the crust to filling ratio without doing that is about 50/50. Also, I looked at several other crust recipes and there is too much flour in this one. It would be better with less flour and more coconut oil, I think. The flavor and texture are good, but I will try again with these tweaks.

  25. Whitley says

    I was a little skeptical to make these (my first time cooking with tofu), but I whipped them up tonight and they really were DELICIOUS! So good and I can’t believe they’re healthy! I am working hard to lose weight, but have a major sweet tooth. Your blog has already been a lifesaver for helping me make some positive life changes. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!! 🙂

  26. Kia says

    I just made these using Earth Balance instead of coconut oil to really showcase the lemon flavour. Oh my goodness! The filling is SO SO good: Tangy and sweet and possibly the best lemon dessert I’ve ever tasted. For the filling, I used an entire package of Mori-Nu Extra Firm silken tofu (349 g) and multiplied the remaining ingredients by 1.5. Katie, thanks for the recipe! I bet you could make a custard dessert variation!

  27. SGM says

    Hi Katie!

    Just wanted to let you and your readers know that I experimented in making tartlets using this recipe and they came out great! Everyone loved them! I split the crust (which I made using gf flour btw) into cupcake pans (12 total), baked for about 7 min. Then baked it again with the filling for about 19 min. They looked done (some of the tops cracked) so not sure if that was too much time or just enough. I figured it was enough since some of the edges were brown. The crust did not brown (not sure if it was supposed to). They held pretty well. 🙂

  28. Sarah says

    Hi, how is this 45 calories a piece? The virgin coconut oil is already around 470 calories. And the flour is around 400. That’s already 54 calories for 16 lemon squares!!

  29. Heidi says

    Hi Katie,
    I followed the recipe exactly, and the flavor is delicious, but the lemon filling came out so thin, only about 1/4″! I swear it is thinner than the crust, so I don’t think my pan was too big. Should there be 2 cups of tofu in the recipe? I would really like this to work, because it was delicious.

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