Luscious Vegetarian Coconut-Lemon Bars

Total Time
1hr 55mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 35 mins

This reminds me of the coconut and lemon pies that my grandma used to make. It's the best of both in a bar! Cooking time includes time needed to "set".

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Grate the zest from 2 large or 3 medium lemons, then squeeze the lemons to obtain the 1/2 lemon juice for the recipe.
  2. Combine lemon juice and agar flakes in a small non-reactive saucepan (stove method) or a 2 cup heatproof measuring cup (microwave method) and set aside for 15 minutes or until the agar has softened.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Grease an 8x8 baking pan.
  5. Whisk flour and 1/4 cup cane juice together in a medium bowl.
  6. Add margarine in small chunks and cut in with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles small crumbs.
  7. Press crumb mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake for about 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven or until lightly browned at the edges.
  9. Let crumb base cool.
  10. If you will be using the stove to heat the lemon mixture, place the saucepan with the lemon and agar on the burner and bring to a boil over medium low heat.
  11. Simmer, whisking every few minutes, until the agar dissolves; about 10 minutes.
  12. If you will be using the microwave to heat the lemon mixture, place the heatproof measuring cup with the lemon mixture into the microwave and cook on high for 1 minute.
  13. Remove the cup from the microwave and stir.
  14. Continue to cook the mixture on high at 30 second intervals, stirring well after each time.
  15. The agar should be dissolved after about 2 minutes of cooking, though this depends on the microwave.
  16. Now, combine 3/4 cup cane juice with the arrowroot powder in a small saucepan.
  17. Add the coconut milk and stir together.
  18. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat, stir, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.
  19. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice mixture, lemon zest and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut.
  20. Pour lemon filling into the baking pan on top of the crust and cool for about 15 minutes.
  21. Lightly press toasted coconut onto surface of cooled filling.
  22. Allow pan to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour now to let the mixture totally set.
  23. At this point, either serve the coconut lemon bars or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  24. Bring the bars to room temperature before serving.
  25. Dust with powdered sugar, slice into 12 bars and serve.
  26. NOTE: It is very important that your agar flakes be fresh or their jelling power may be lessened.
  27. To test your agar for this recipe, put a spoonful of the prepared lemon mixture on a small plate and chill it for 15 minutes.
  28. The mixture should be firm.
  29. If it isn't, dissolve some more agar and stir it into your lemon mixture and repeat the test until the mixture jells properly.