Coconut Lemon Bars

by | Apr 10, 2017 | All, Desserts

This delicious recipe for Coconut Lemon Bars is bursting with bright citrus flavors and just a hint of the tropics in the coconut shortbread crust. 

Coconut Lemon Bars placed on a sheet pan and sprinkled with powdered sugar and garnished with lemon slices.

These Coconut Lemon Bars deliver on the fresh flavors we’re all craving this time of year. Light and bright with the perfect sweet-tart pucker, our Coconut Lemon Bars add a tropical flair to the traditional lemon bar recipe.

Are you a lemon lover like me? Well then these Coconut Lemon Bars are for you! Filled with a half cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a full two tablespoons of lemon zest, you definitely get a beautiful balance of tang and sweetness in every bite.

A healthy addition of toasted coconut gives the sturdy shortbread crust just a bit of chew. Though I could eat the coconut shortbread crust on its own (new recipe, perhaps?), it’s the marriage of the crust and the lemon filling that make these Coconut Lemon Bars stand out from other lemon bar recipes.Individual coconut lemon bars sprinkled with powdered sugar layered on parchment paper and a sheet pan. Garnished with lemon slices.

I have leftover lemon juice from this Coconut Lemon Bars recipe. Can I freeze the leftover juice? 

Yes! I sometimes need to zest an extra lemon to get the right amount of zest for this recipe, but I don’t need the juice from the zested lemon. What to do? Squeeze that zested lemon, pour the juice into ice cube molds and freeze for the next time you need a few tablespoons of fresh juice for a recipe!

Can I adapt this recipe for Coconut Lemon Bars to make them gluten-free? 

Absolutely! Yes! Simply swap in the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe with the gluten-free flour of your choice. I’ve had great success with the Cup 4 Cup brand.

How to store Lemon Bars

I prefer my lemon bars cold so I opt to store them in the refrigerator, but you can also keep them covered on the countertop for 2-3 days (if they last that long!)

Spring is filled with all sorts of reasons to make these Coconut Lemon Bars. On our calendar alone, there is a wedding shower, baptism, a graduation and, of course, Mother’s Day. Pick any occasion (or none at all) to whip up a pan of these Coconut Lemon Bars. They are the perfect spring dessert for everyone.

Image of Coconut Lemon Bars on a sheet pan. Garnished with powdered sugar and lemon slices.

Even a die-hard Coconut Lemon Bar lover like myself needs variety now and then. Check out these tasty recipes inspired by lemon squares:


Recommended Equipment for this recipe

Collage picture of two images of coconut lemon bars sliced on a sheet pan and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Yield: 12-16

Coconut Lemon Bars

Sheet pan filled with cut squares of Coconut Lemon Bars that have been dusted with powdered sugar and topped with fresh lemon slices.
This delicious recipe for Coconut Lemon Bars is bursting with bright citrus flavors and just a hint of the tropics in the coconut shortbread crust. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes



  • 3/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 packed tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 pan with enough parchment paper so that there is some overlap on the sides (to help lift the bars out of the pan later). Spray paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Spread coconut on a sheet pan and bake until golden brown, shaking the pan every few minutes as needed. This should take about 10 minutes. Allow coconut to cool.
  3. Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add coconut and butter and process until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Pour into pan and press crust into even layer. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is starting to turn golden brown.

To make the filling:

  1. While the crust is baking, place all filling ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and mix thoroughly. Take crust out of oven and pour filling over hot crust. Return to oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the center starts to spring back when touched. You may have to tent with foil about halfway through the baking time if the top of your bars is browning faster than you'd like.
  2. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, lift parchment from the pan and cut bars. Sift powdered sugar over bars, if desired.


I have made this recipe with gluten-free flour, and the results were also delicious.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 3g

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Hi, I’m Anna, a former corporate communications nerd turned food fanatic. Turns out I like cooking for others A LOT more than explaining HR policies to them. C’mon over!


  1. Avatar

    Loved the Coconut Lemon bars. They were big hit with family and friends! Thanks

    • Avatar

      Yay, so glad you liked them! I love a good classic lemon bar, but the addition of coconut is a tasty twist.


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