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Low Carb Lemon Bars





Willpower is a muscle in the brain that can get over worked! You NEED to limit temptations! You only have a finite amount of willpower as you go through the day, so you should be careful to conserve it and try to save it for the emergencies. Work and family obligations may be using all of your willpower and you end up giving in to food temptations.

Here are some tips:

1. Clean out your pantry. Other people in your house don’t need that stuff either.

2. Don’t put it those temptations near you. Just putting food where you can see it next to you depletes your willpower.

3. Cravings, frustrations, desires — all become overwhelming. MAKE “HEALTHIFIED” low carb lemon bars. I keep things like that in my freezer AT ALL TIMES! Especially in the summer, I feel no desire to eat the sugar and wheat-filled treats that are going to set me off course… it is a down-hill spiral!

4. In the short term, self-control is a limited resource. But over the long term, it can act more like a muscle. Practice Practice Practice = better willpower. It will get easier everyday.

5. Supplements like Bifido bacteria, 5-HTP, l-glutamine, Magnesium, zinc and some others I recommended all help with those nasty cravings and temptations!

To read more on neurotransmitters and the brain, check out my book Secrets to Controlling Your Weight Cravings and Mood.

Click HERE to find.

Thank you for your love and support!


Low Carb Lemon Bars

Low Carb Lemon Bars


3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt

CRUST: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a square glass pan. In a medium bowl, mix ingredients. This will be a thick cookie crust; press onto bottom of pan. Place in oven to pre-bake the crust. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3 large eggs
1/2 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)
1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
4 TBS lemon juice

In a medium bowl, beat the ingredients for the filling until well combined. Pour the mixture evenly over the pre-baked crust and bakeLow Carb Lemon Bars again for about 15-20 minutes or until set. Let cool. Store in fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Makes about 16 bars.


Traditional Lemon Bar = 160 calories, 8g fat, 1.9g protein, 19g carbs, trace fiber

“Healthified” Lemon Bar = 112 calories, 10g fat, 3g protein, 2.5g carbs, 1.2g fiber

This recipe and many other yummy treats can be found in this cookbook: The Art of Healthy Eating: KIDS


Low Carb Lemon Bars

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Hi Maris this looks good. I’d like to try but I am getting very confused with the sugar substitutes used. I live in Oman and I can only get Stevia in the raw and Splenda powder, no liquid forms. Can I just use these?. Loving cooking from Low Carbing Among Friends it’s the best cookbook I’ve ever spent money on and you have inspired me to bake more, if only I could work out the sugar stuff. Thanks

    • My recipes will call for erythritol and stevia glycerite. I use these separate to help keep my costs down.
      In any recipe you can use ZSweet, Truvia, Organic Zero, Xylitol or Just Like Sugar. In order to use
      a different product, use the same amount of sweetener for the amount of erythritol in the recipe
      and omit the stevia (except for Organic Zero, that is only erythritol and you will still need stevia
      for sweetness).

      1 cup erythritol and 1 tsp stevia = 1 cup ZSweet
      1 cup erythritol and 1 tsp stevia = 1 cup Truvia
      1 cup erythritol and 1 tsp stevia = 1 cup Xylitol
      1 cup erythritol and 1 tsp stevia = 1 cup Just Like Sugar
      1 cup erythritol and 1 tsp stevia = 1 cup Organic Zero and 1 tsp stevia

      NOTE: If a recipe calls for a specific sweetener, the final product will not be the same if you
      substitute a different sweetener, for example, ice cream will not be soft if you use all erythritol
      instead of Just Like Sugar.

      BUT if you use the same amount of Splenda as Truvia…it should turn out.

      Thanks for your kind words!!!

      Happy Baking!

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s the difference between erythritol and xylitol? I mean, why do you need 1 tsp stevia with erythritol and not with xylitol?

    • Erythritol isn’t as sweet as xylitol so you need the extra sweetness. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have dogs in your family, be extra careful using Xylitol. Even a small amount is toxic to dogs. I encourage you to look into it.

      Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes! I’ve been wanting a good lemon bar, so will be trying this very soon!

    • Yes, xylitol is toxic to dogs as is chocolate and onions. 🙂

    • April says:

      I thought Splenda and Truvia were both highly toxic? Is that wrong?

    • I don’t recommend Splenda or Truvia. 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you NOT recommend Splenda or Truvia? Truvia is Stevia & erythritol and that is what is in your recipes (erythritol + stevia).

    • Lori says:

      Order the Swerve on line. It is totally worth it. They ship quickly and the way food taste is important. Swerve rocks!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I made these this morning. The crust never did set up. I think it has waaay too much fat in it to allow that. It was a batter going into the pan. I baked it twice as long as called for. When I tasted the final product, it was also extremely salty. The filling would have been tasty, had it not oozed into the never-did-firm-up salty bottom layer. I rechecked the measurements. A whole teaspoon of salt in the crust of an 8″ dessert? Really?

    • Hmmm, did you use unsalted butter? or salted…this can make a difference.

      I will remake them and let you know.

      I did have a lot of people post on facebook that they made them today and really liked them…


    • Anonymous says:

      No, I used Nutiva organic extra-virgin coconut oil, which has no salt in it.

    • Thia says:

      There are solids in butter. There are no solids in coconut oil. I wouldnt think they would be workable substitutes, with that much quantity. Maybe if only a tablespoon or so. (Yes, I see the recipe calls for it.) I would try coconut butter, or half and half of each (coconut butter and coconut oil.)

    • Anonymous says:

      mine had way too much fat in it ,too. I followed it perfectly, usinf half coconut oil and half butter…first too wet and soggy,then too hard.

  • Anonymous says:

    Since everybody else’s turned out good, maybe I’m just really sensitive to saltiness today, although that’s generally not the case. Still don’t know why my crust was soupy.
    The coconut oil was liquid when I measured it. Maybe butter is the way to go. Have you actually made this with coconut oil?

  • I made them yesterday (also with coconut oil) and my crust didn’t quite set up either, until the bars totally cooled. I didn’t find the crust salty. Even though the lemon part sort of melded into the crust part they still taste good and we enjoyed them. In fact, my husband said the best part was the crust! Thanks for the recipe!

  • I loved these. I didn’t think that my crust was set up, but once it cooled, it was fine. I didn’t cool my crust all the way either. I was too impatient. I would cut the salt even more (I used salted butter) and make more filling and less sweetness. I’ve been low carb for over 6 years and this is the best crust I’ve ever had! The best dessert other than swedish cream 😉

  • Elisa says:

    I made these this morning. The bars had great flavor and the crust was definitely the best part. One question though.. was some flour supposed to go into the filling? Mine definitely didn’t raise like the picture and I was wondering if adding some of the coconut flour into the filling would help…

    Very lemony and delicious though! Bought two of your books the other day btw.

  • Thanks so much for these recipes:)! You do a great job. I almost always replace the substitute with xylitol because that’s what I have on hand. I also usually use less since my sweet tooth is leaving me (mostly) since giving up sugar and starch (and nutra sweet!!!)

    **I often grind the xylitol in a coffee grinder to make it less gritty**

    • Thanks! The grinder is a great tip for the xylitol. After a month or so of sugar/grain free eating your sweet tooth definitely reduces a lot! Some of my clients start leaving out the sweetener entirely in some of my recipes after a while. 😉

  • Lenna says:

    This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it. I have a couple questions for you. I’ve never tried coconut flour and don’t like coconuts. Does it taste like coconut? It’s really expensive and I don’t want to buy it if it does taste like coconut. Can I sub extra almond flour or maybe flax meal? Also, is the stevia you use just plain liquid stevia or is it powder form? Thanks, Lenna

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • I accidentally used 3/4 cup coconut flour and 1/4 cup almond flour(my containers weren’t labeled) and the crust was set when I took it out of the oven after 15 min. Just made the correct recipe and it wasn’t set when I took it out, cooked it an extra 5 min., it was a little firmer. I put it in the fridge after it cooled some and it set up good, still not as good as the “wrong” recipe though. I’ll let you know the if there is a crust taste difference.

  • After everything was cooled I put it in the fridge the crust set well and it turned out great! I did use Xylitol though, I found that I like the taste better in “treats”. The “wrong” crust is still good, crunchier. You might like to try it one day!

    Thanks so much for the great recipes! My daughter is looking forward to the protein popovers.

  • Anonymous says:

    What is the conversion rate from truvia to clear liquid sweet leaf stevia or stevia in the raw, as these are what I have? I actually prefer to use the liquid stevia. Thanks for your assistance. Shontesa@hotmail.com

  • Laura Greene says:

    I love, love, love lemon bars! These look great! 🙂
    I have coconut flour, but is there anything I might substitute for the almond flour?

    Thanks so much!

  • Jenni says:

    Maria, I made these tonight and they are terrific! I used 1/2 kerrygold butter and 1/2 coconut oil (which was melty due to temp) and they came out perfectly. I can invision many uses for the crust. Delish!

  • Ellen R says:

    Maria – bear with me, I’m a newbie at this type of baking – I made the lemon bars but had a big problem with the erythritol recrystallizing. My finished bars are really crunchy like there are granules in them. Do you have any advice? I baked the crust for almost 10 mins longer than directed and it was barely brown and mixed up the filling as directed… I just didn’t expect the crunchiness. Is that a characteristic of using erythritol or is there a way to avoid that granular texture? Thanks so much for your help.

  • Anonymous says:

    What nutrient are we missing if we never seem to feel full. I tend to eat and eat and eat and never seem to feel full. I recall reading something about this in your books but I can’t recall what I read. Help!

  • Vivian says:

    I just took these out of the oven and they did great! I used half coconut oil and half butter in the crust and baked 22 minutes, until lightly browned, then cut the sweetener in half (in both crust and filling). I have been sugar free for years so most things have to have the sweetness cut for me… They cut beautifully and taste divine! Perfect for summer! Thanks so much, Maria!!

  • MrsW says:

    Made these tonight. When making healthy versions of things we should not expect the same output…. this was very tasty but my crust was very mushy and never set up. it also seemed like the filling turned into a light and thin layer on my crust. I used Ideal sweetener, I wonder if that played a part. Also I used half coco oil and half coco butter, melted……shld I have used it in its solid form? Anywho, I will tweak for texture but the flavors were wonderful. I just wish mine looked like your pic! Lol

    • I don’t think that “we shouldn’t expect the same output” is a correct statement. As you can see by the comments, many people had success with this recipe. The combination of ingredients can be nuanced but I think many times the recipes come out as good if not sometime better that the traditional ones. Not sure what went wrong on yours. Someone else used half butter and half coconut oil and it turned out good for them. Maybe your oven needs a little higher temp or more cook time for these?

  • MrsW says:

    I think that came out wrong, the whole output statement was more directed towards my perception of when cooking healthy versions of our unhealthy desires it can be a common misconception to expect the same texture/taste/etc. I am not sure what i did exactly that did not reap the same output as yours and the others but i look forward to trying it again. thanks so much for all of the recipes. definitely what i have been looking for! i have been wanting to try healthier versions of things we know are bad for us, and have a healthier way to get the same kind of foods. i really like using coconut products and the different meal/flours. I am just trying to deal with the difference in textures. light and fluffy where flour and gluten usually exist is not easily mimicked with these ingredients. . . . at least i haven’t yet found the right recipe! lol

  • Stacy says:

    Maria – do you use butter or coconut oil when you make it?

  • Ms Shell says:

    I made this last week and like others mentioned it took a minute for the crust to SET, but i just left it in there MUCH longer until I thought it was set. Then I topped it. Trying to get used to the sugar aftertaste, but all in all I liked it!!

  • These are awesome! I used half butter and half coconut oil and added lemon zest to the filling. So tart and tasty and the crust was so good! It didn’t get stuck in your throat like so many bread substitutes. Now how do I keep from eating half the pan at once?

  • Kapu says:

    I also made these at 12:45am because i was craving something sweet and quick to make. turned out great. used unsalted butter because thats all i had. do wish i had more of the lemon layer but my TURN THEIR NOSE UP TO MY HEALTHIFIED COOKING kids ate them. for sure making this again. loved the crust. thinking about using it for fruit pizza. can you healthify that for me? 🙂

  • Melanie says:

    My kids loved these! Thanks for the great recipes Maria. This is my second time baking with Swerve. I find I get a weird sensation on the sides of my tongue after eating it — almost like a kid that eats too much candy :). Does that go for all erythritol-based products? If I cut back on the amount of Swerve per some of the notes above, will that mess up the recipe (not enough “bulk”)?

    I used half butter/half coconut oil for the crust. I baked the second layer for 27 minutes before it was set, let it cool for a couple of hours, and then chilled in the fridge for another couple of hours. The texture was perfect.

  • Maria, thanks for coming to the rescue with this great recipe. I made them a few months ago and had an extreme craving for them today, so I made my second batch tonight. Ahhhhhhh! They turned out extremely well this time, but I did extend both baking times quite a bit. I think it just depends on ovens, etc.

  • Amy Morris says:

    Made these last night. Yum! I used just coconut oil in the crust, baked it until lightly browned, and cooled it in the freezer until it was set before topping it with the lemon mixture. For the lemon, I made 1 1/2 of the recipe, using 5 eggs and almost 8 Tbs of lemon juice. Baked until set and cooled in the freezer before cutting. DELICIOUS!

  • melissa f says:

    Just made them! Yummy! Who can eat just 1? No problems with my crust. It was flakey, just the right texture. My family loved it! They usally don’t like the desserts I make since I’ve been doing primal SF/LC…My husbands birthday is this weekend and I plan on making the crust and topping with a german chocolate topping. Thank you for a wonderful Sunday dessert!!!

  • Thank you! Glad you liked them. 😉

  • I just made the Lemon Bars and my husband and I could not wait for them to cool, so we ate some hot. It is awesome hot! Now, we will be good and wait for them to cool. They are SO GOOD. I am getting ready to make the Flourless Chocolate Torte. It sounds good too. I love that my husband is supportive of the changes I am making and likes these recipes. He taste tested the lemon bars a few times just to make sure they were good! I have five of your books and love your blog. Thanks for all of your work.

  • Lucy says:

    Hi Maria, what size pan for these delist looking bars? Thanks

  • Blondee says:

    I just made these…magnificent!

  • Jen Myers says:

    This is the second recipe I have made of yours. I have to say I’m very impressed. These lemon bars are delicious! I did add in some lemon zest for that extra lemony deliciousness! Mine didn’t come out as thick as yours but the taste is superb. I can’t wait to make another one of your great recipes! Thanks!!

  • Jess says:

    Can u substitute honey as the sweetener? If so do you recommend reducing measurements of the other ingredients?

  • Anonymous says:

    Just curious if anyone has tried coconut sugar instead of the sugar substitutes?

  • These are totally yummy!!!!!

    Can’t wait to have one tomorrow with breakfast and some tea!!!!

  • Tanya says:

    Hey Maria,
    I just wanted to let you know that I used this crust, and made a fruit pizza out of it. Amazing!!!!

  • Penny Buxton says:

    I just made these using coconut oil and substituting xylitol for the sweetener. I, too, had to bake the crust twice as long as the recipe specified and even then the filling still mixed in with the crust when I poured it on top (it didn’t go on top, it just combined with the crust). I let them cool a few minutes before trying one and they’re good but need more lemon for my taste. I hope they’ll firm up more like other reviewers have indicated after they cool a while. If I make these again I will use butter instead of coconut oil.

  • karen says:

    Oh Wow! I made these today and Yum Yum and Yum… I read all the comments first about the crust not setting up well and knowing I wanted to use my 12 bar pan (about 2″ individual squares) so I put all the crust measurements then added a bit more almond flour. Crust cooked exactly 20 minutes came out perfect golden brown. Put the pan in the refrigerator to cool while making the filling.

    My only problem is my non-stick, unfortunately stuck so had to mess up these pretty little beauties to eat them.

    Think I might make the filling but lots more of it for a lemon meringue pie 🙂

  • Karen says:

    Can coconut palm sugar be used as a sub for the sweetener? I’ve been having good luck using it in baked goods and it’s natural, low glycemic. Thanks!

    • cemmerich says:

      I don’t recommend coconut sugar. Sugar is still sugar in our bodies. Its glycemic index is 35, about the same as peanut M&M’s.

  • Sandra says:

    Made these using a 8 x 11 glass dish and the crust was really thin. Let cool in fridge, then topped with lemon mixture. Results weren’t great, but I mixed 4 oz cream cheese with a couple tsp of sweetener and 1 pkg of true lemon. Then spread on half of dessert and topped the cream cheese layer with the other half of dessert. Placed in freezer and yummy! I used 1/2 coco oil and 1/2 butter for the crust and completely left out sweetener. Maybe that’s why the crust was so thin. My new favorite sweetener ( as recommended by Maira ) is Sweet Luv Sugar Replacement. No aftertaste and no cooling effect or crunch!! I’ll try these again.

  • jodi says:

    darn. just made these and the crust was really gritty 🙁

  • Jamie Rebecca says:

    Just made these. DELICIOUS. I did exactly as you instructed and didn’t have any problems. I did add some lemon zest in the crust. The swerve is leaving a weird taste/feeling on my tongue! But I’m not really caring because I wanted these baaaad! Thank you!

  • Jillian says:

    I have often have a problem with my baked good not coming out done when I cook using the times stated in the recipes. Do you use a convection oven? I know they cook baked goods faster than conventional….if you do any idea how much longer us conventional oven users need to bake?

  • Jillian says:


  • Candace says:

    So made the mistake of letting the crust COMPLETELY cool before adding the filling. The filling just will not set up in the oven. I’ve had it in there over 30min now and followed the filling exactly.

  • jenny says:

    This is a great recipe! I just made these last night and they turned out perfect! I used powdered Swerve in the crust and filling. After searching the internet for keto-friendly lemon bars, I decided to try these because of the simplicity. This will be my go-to recipe now. Thank you

  • Saoirse says:

    Thank you! My family and friends loved these and I didn’t tell them they are sugar free. Took to a BBQ and they were pretty and tasty. I used regular Swerve in the crust and confectioners in the filling plus zest of one lemon. I did have to bake both layers much longer than suggested, but every oven is different. Not hard to check every 5min til it’s done.

  • Jennie says:

    Thanks for a great recipe. Really enjoyed making these and found the other comments useful in adapting it slightly. I used butter rather than the intended coconut oil and half a cup of coconut flour and half a cup of almond flour. I think the increased ratio of coconut flour helped absorb more liquid than if it had been more almond flour, certainly made a nice base. While it was not crisp, it did set nicely and was almost like a dense sponge.
    I increased the volume of the top layer with an extra egg and half the juice of a lime and would do this again as I prefer a bigger lemon ratio to the crust.
    For both layers I used xylitol which worked fine. However, when I make this next time, I will reduce the amount from half a cup to a quarter. Even my sugar loving children said they were much too sweet. I think I would add some zest to the base too.
    Many thanks for a lovely recipe that tastes indulgent while cutting down on the carbs. Will definitely make again!

  • Mary Beth says:

    I made these today and used butter instead of the coconut oil after reading the other reviews. I am a big fan of Swerve and although it is pricey, it is well worth it!! They came out delicious. They were a lttlel brown on top after baking 20 minutes, but the filling did not seem set before that. However I made a bit of glaze using Swerve confectioners , some lemon juice, and cream, and they are delicious!! Thanks for the recipe. One of the easier keto dessert recipes I have made!

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