These easy coconut lemon bars feature a buttery base, tangy lemon curd, and the sweet and tropical taste of coconut.
They are like traditional lemon bars, but with a coconut shortbread crust, topped with a tangy lemon filling and coconut. They are great to make ahead of time and store very well in the fridge!
The lemons used in these easy lemon coconut bars can be up to you! For a really tangy lemon flavor, use regular lemon varieties such as Lisbon, Yen Ben, or Eureka.
If you like a less tangy lemon taste but are still big on flavor, then use the Meyer lemon. Meyer lemons are a cross between lemon and orange so it is sweeter than other varieties.
You can also switch things up and use different citrus fruits like lime or grapefruit, or a mixture. If using sweet citrus such as an orange, it's best to mix this with a bit of fresh lemon juice too to bring the acidity and increase the flavor. Pure orange juice can fall a bit flat.
The coconut shortbread base
Just like in a classic lemon bar, the base layer is a buttery shortbread crust. Shortbread has a very high butter content and this makes it very tender and buttery when baked.
This shortbread coconut crust contains no added liquid except for the slightly softened butter. It's the butter that holds it together.
Shredded or desiccated coconut is added to the mixture too, and the coconut flavor becomes stronger when it's toasted as it's baked.
The lemon curd
The top layer of the coconut lemon bars is made of lemon curd. However, unlike when making lemon curd on its own, this lemon curd doesn't need to be cooked before it's poured on the slice.
The ingredients are simply whisked in a bowl and poured straight over the baked base. The curd is then topped with extra coconut and baked again until set.
Use a 23 x 23 cm (9x9 inches) square baking pan or a similar-sized baking dish.
This coconut lemon bar recipe makes approximately 16 slices.
This lemon coconut bars recipe uses simple ingredients. Find the amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Lemons - A regular lemon makes the tangiest slice, while a Meyer lemon is a bit sweeter. You'll need half cup lemon juice.
- All-purpose flour - this is used in the shortbread base
- Granulated sugar - cuts through the lemon bar tartness
- Butter - a key ingredient in the buttery crust
- Large Eggs - this helps the creamy lemon curd filling set
- Coconut - The addition of coconut brings delicious texture and flavor. Shredded coconut brings the most texture but you can use desiccated coconut too.
- Salt - enhances the flavor
- Icing sugar for dusting
Step by Step instructions
Line a 9x9 inch /23cm pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, coconut, lemon zest, salt, and sugar for the base in a food processor. Turn the food processor on and feed in the butter until it becomes a soft mixture that sticks together.
Alternatively, if you've got no food processor, rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or use a pastry cutter.
Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake this in the oven for around 20-22 minutes until lightly golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare the filling ingredients.
The lemon curd
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and the sugar together first to get rid of any flour lumps. Then add in the eggs, lemon juice, zest, and salt and whisk to combine. Carefully pour this over the hot crust. Top with shredded coconut.
Bake the lemon bars again for approximately minutes until the lemon curd has set. Slightly shaking the pan will show if it has set or not. There should be no real wobble to the curd.
Every oven is different so keep an eye on them and take care not to overcook the bars.
Once baked, cool the lemon squares to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before slicing with a sharp knife.
Dust confectioners' sugar over the top at the time of serving.
Store the coconut lemon bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze the bars for up to three months.
More lemon recipes
- 200g (1 ½ cup* + 2 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 30g (¼ cup) shredded or desiccated coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 170g (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 30g (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- 120g (½ cup) fresh lemon juice
- 30g (¼ cup) shredded coconut for topping, sweetened or unsweetened
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9x9 inch (23x23cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, coconut, lemon zest, salt, and sugar for the base in a food processor. Turn the food processor on and feed in the butter until it becomes a soft mixture that sticks together. Alternatively, if you've got no food processor, rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or use a pastry cutter.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake this in the oven for between 20-22 minutes until lightly browned on the sides.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour and the sugar together first to get rid of any flour lumps. Then add in the eggs, lemon juice, zest, and salt, and whisk to combine.
- Carefully pour this over the baked base. Sprinkle over the coconut.
- Bake the lemon bars again for approximately 20-22 minutes until the lemon curd has set. Slightly shaking the pan will show if it has set or not. There should be no real wobble to the curd. Take care not to overcook the bars.
- Once baked, cool the lemon bars to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top at the time of serving.
*The cup sizes are US size which is smaller than metric. For best results, use kitchen scales and measure with grams.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g
Coconut lemon bars FAQs
Lemon bars can be frozen for up to three months. They can be frozen individually or as one whole.
Yes, they are best stored in the fridge.
This could be either a sign of undercooked or overcooked bars. If they're undercooked, the curd won't be set, however, if they're overcooked the eggs in the curd will scramble and separate and cause liquid to seep out.