If you’re looking for an exciting twist on a classic, this lavender lemon bars recipe is perfect!
Sweet, lemony bars with the added floral element of lavender are such a special summer dessert.
My husband’s favorite desserts are, hands down, citrus dessert, and more often than not, he asks me to make gluten free lemon bars for his birthday dessert.
I first learned about the lemon-lavender combination from some friends who grew lavender on their farm, and so put lavender in everything they could. If it wasn’t for them, I would never have tried making these, but it’s lends an air of sophistication to a simple dessert.
How do you add lavender to lemon bars?
In this recipe, we use real lavender buds to make lavender sugar, which we’ll sift out before adding the sugar to the lemon bars.
There are many lavender infused recipes that use techniques such as making and adding lavender tea, using artificial lavender flavoring, lavender extract, or lavender essential oil.
For for this, we want a noticeable, natural, but not over powdering scent.
Making lavender sugar is simple, and effective.
Where do I get lavender?
Depending on your area, you may or may not be able to find lavender locally, or even grow it yourself.
I have found lavender at Hobby Lobby in the past, as well Whole Foods.
However I actually ordered dried culinary lavender from Amazon for this recipe, and was very happy with how well preserved it was.
Are these lemon bars gluten-free?
You know that almost every recipe on Frugal Farm Wife is gluten free, with the exception of sourdough recipes. This is mostly because my husband has celiac disease, so we do our best to blend backwoods homestead living with modern food allergy cooking. 😉
That said, Yep! These are super easy to make gluten free.
However, the recipe is nearly the same as using wheat based crust, so feel free to swap gluten-free flour, for all purpose flour.
Pro tip for making gluten-free lavender lemon bars: Skip greasing the pan, or lining it with parchment paper. Making it too easy for your crust to lose its grip on the pan can cause it to float to the top, leaving you with upside down lemon bars. Still tasty, but not as easy to serve.
Can I make these lemon bars without lavender?
Of course! But you’re definitely missing out if you do. Just skip the lavender sugar infusion. You can also use the more traditional recipe I linked to above, or try our paleo lemon bars.
Ingredients for Lavender Lemon Bars
As elegant as these lemon bars are, the ingredients are actually very simple, and the only real difference from traditional lemon bars is the addition of lavender buds.
for the shortbread crust:
- Flour. Of course you can use all-purpose white flour, but for us gluten-free folks, it’s a little more involved. I use a mixture of super fine rice flour and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. I find that using a super fine flour helps keep the crust intact throughout the baking process.
- Powered sugar. Using this, as opposed to granulated sugar, helps distribute the sugar evenly, and keeps the crust super smooth
- Butter. Of course, it wouldn’t be shortbread crust without butter. You can use salted, or unsalted butter here.
For the filling, we have just a few more ingredients.
- Eggs. These are what create the custard effect, essentially the gel that makes the lemon bar we all know and love.
- Granulated sugar. Sugar not only counters the tartness of the lemon, but it acts as a liquid in baking and impacts the texture of your bar. Not only that, but in this recipe, it serves as a vehicle for the lavender flavor.
- Lavender buds. Packed with oils that carry the flavor, dried lavender buds are incredibly potent. In this lavender lemon bar recipe, we use them by blending them with the sugar, then sifting out the bigger pieces.
- Lemon Juice. It wouldn’t be a lemon bar without lemon! This acts as your main flavor, and the liquid in our recipe
- Cornstarch aids in thickening the filling. While the eggs are responsible for the main custard, the cornstarch helps keep it stable.
- Lemon Zest. While optional, lemon zest adds a deeper dimension to the lemon flavor profile, and in my opinion, is worth buying a lemon for.
How to Make Lavender Lemon bars
As mentioned above, we use lavender buds to make lavender sugar to flavor these bars.
- So the first step is to blend your lavender and sugar together. Simple pulse it in a food processor or blender, and set aside to infuse
- Next up, make the crust by mixing flour and powdered sugar together in a bowl, then mixing in softened butter until you have a dough.
- Press that into a 9×9 inch baking dish, and bake for 12 minutes until the crust is set.
- While the crust bakes, sift the lavender buds out of the sugar with a sieve, and whisk in eggs, lemon juice, cornstarch, and lemon zest
- Pour the filling into the hot crust, and bake for 20 minutes, until the filling is set
- Remove the lemon bars from the oven and sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar.
Let cool before cutting and serving.
Lavender Lemon Bars Recipe
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup gluten free flour – I use a 1/2 cup super fine rice flour, and 1/4 cup or arrowroot powder, or King Arthur’s All purpose gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons dried lavender buds
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Combine granulated sugar and lavender buds together, pulse in a blender or food processor 2-3 times, and set aside while you make the crust
- Combine crust ingredients and mix well
- Press into the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking pan
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just is just beginning to turn a light golden brown
- While crust is baking, sift lavender buds out of sugar
- While sugar and eggs together, then beat in cornstarch, and lemon zest
- When crust is done baking, remove from oven, and gently pour filling into crust
- Place back in oven and bake an additional 10-12 minutes until filling is set, and slightly brown around the edges
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle with additional powdered sugar
- Let lavender lemon bars cool completely before cutting and serving
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roller baller says
I tried making this cake and changed the recipe a bit in terms of lemon ratio to reduce the sweetness because I am at risk of diabetes and luckily the taste really surprised me.