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No-bake Lemon Squares

Well, I have made quite a few attempts to get these just right, and here they are! The no-bake lemon squares of my dreams. What, like you don’t dream of these things?! Well if you don’t, you just may after trying them. I had first attempted it with various butters like almond and sunflower seed butter, but it wasn’t quite right. Then it dawned on me that I needed my agar agar flakes to get a better consistency. I Messed around with that a bit… And happened to find out I had a recipe in my possession that would help me connect the dots from one of my go-to cookbooks, Veganomicon (their recipe posted here). Those genius ladies made me realize I needed some arrowroot powder too. Done. The crust is easy-peasy and all are edible without baking. The dates and coconut oil hold it together perfectly. Oh and of course… This is all gluten-free and vegan (use syrup instead of honey if you don’t eat honey!).

The best part about it is it doesn’t need to be overnight… Only a few hours to set. And who doesn’t love a “set it and forget it” dessert? You’re busy, you’re getting stuff done, and then you also made lemon squares… Because that’s how you roll.


gluten-free & vegan



  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 tbsp agar flakes
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Lemon zest from 2 lemons (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)


  1. Place parchment paper in a 9×9 square dish. Add water and agar agar flakes in a medium saucepan, let sit for 15 minutes (no heat yet).
  2. Meanwhile, make the crust: combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until combined. Press crust mixture into the dish on top of parchment paper in a single layer on the bottom and refrigerate.
  3. Prep the lemons by setting aside the zest and separately, the juice. Add the arrowroot powder to the juice and stir, set aside.
  4. Return to the saucepan after 15 minutes and heat over medium heat bringing the mixture to a boil for approx. 10 minutes, whisk the agar and water as it heats.
  5. Add sweetener and turmeric, then lower heat a bit. Add lemon juice with arrowroot and zest, keep mixing. You should see it getting thicker and thicker, keep whisking for 5 minutes. Add the milk, stir in until incorporated.
  6. Turn the heat off, and let it sit for approx. 20 minutes to cool. After, pour the mixture over the chilled crust and place everything back in the refrigerator for at least 4+ hours to set until the top has turned into a jello-like consistency and jiggles.
  7. Slice and serve the squares!


Hope you enjoy!
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-Alison Marras
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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  1. Yum!! I also love that you use turmeric in these. I just love how turmeric gives foods a bright yellow color plus some added nutrition 🙂

  2. Love your take on lemon bars, Alison. These look gorgeous and absolutely delicious. Agar agar is such a magical ingredient! 🙂

  3. Delicious, Alison! I have Veganomicon too and it is such a great resource! I’ve made many things from it and continue to be inspired! These look delicious and I love their color! Thank you for sharing!

      • Hey again, I just realized I have agar agar powder instead of flakes : What do I need to do? Any tips? Making this tomorrow 🙂

          • OMG! 5 stars <3The best ever. I am making a second batch already. I made 1/2 of the quantity. My husband and I finished them nothing left for our friends to have. (We’re terrible hosts, right???). Am making it in a spring-form base now. Too lemony for me, but added extra sweetener. Also, I think you missed out where to add almond milk in. I added it with sweetener. Agar-agar worked perfect. Am taking step-by-step photos for my blog. Will definitely link it back to yours.

          • Woohoo! So glad you guys cleaned the plate 🙂 and hey, it happens… after all you had to test it out before serving, right?! It’s polite and thoughtful is what it is. 😉

            Thanks for the feedback! You’re right, I forgot the milk step… I added it in at the end but I don’t think it matters much, will edit that right now. Can’t wait to see yours!

          • Awww. you made me feel better. You have no idea how gorgeous it turned out. I made a cake instead of squares 🙂 My blog turns 1 this 20th. Posting it then 🙂

            I am making some chocolate drizzle for the top. I think it will cut through the lemon’y’ness.

            Thanks for the recipe Ali <3

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