Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Bars

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These gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie bars are perfect for Spring! Full of lemon flavor, they are chewy and light, sweet and tart. An easy dessert that is great for entertaining, the whole family will love these lemony cookie bars! 
An aerieal view of a white and black plate filled with lemon poppy seed cookie bars topped with lemon glaze and poppy seeds and fresh lemons.

An aerieal view of a white and black plate filled with lemon poppy seed cookie bars topped with lemon glaze and poppy seeds and fresh lemons.

These gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie bars are perfect for Spring! Full of lemon flavor, they are chewy and light, sweet and tart. An easy dessert that is great for entertaining, the whole family will love these lemony cookie bars!

It’s officially SPRING! And Spring means lemon desserts! My absolute favorite! I’ve grown up a lemon lover my whole life and it takes every fiber of my being to not make every recipe filled with lemon during the Spring and summertime.

So I’ll do my best to not bombard you with all things lemon. However, if you’re like me and LOVE lemon, these gluten-free lemon poppyseed sugar cookie bars are for you!

We have a chewy and light gluten-free lemon sugar cookie base topped with a tart lemon glaze. Absolute perfection! This is definitely more of a chewy sugar cookie than the shortbread kind. It tastes just like Spring, too!

They have a great tangy lemon flavor from using both the zest and juice from the lemons. I LOVE to mix my citrus zest with the sugar before creaming the sugar and butter together.

This really brings out the lemon flavor. The oils from the lemon get released which brings out a ton of flavor. Not to mention, it smells absolutely AMAZING in the kitchen! The lemon zest is not to be missed!

A pan of lemon poppy seed sugar cookie bars on a white table with slices of cookie bars on the table, a white and black napkin and half of a fresh lemon.

I’m the type of person who likes their mouth to pucker and their cheeks to hurt a bit when they eat a lemon dessert. Lemon desserts need to be FULL of lemon flavor if you ask me.

None of this “Oh what’s that light citrus flavor?” Nope. Lemon needs to make your taste buds dance with each bite. These cookie bars do just that – smack you in the face with lemon! If you love lemon, you’ll love them!

These gluten-free lemon cookie bars would make a great dessert for Easter, for a spring time potluck, or even a bridal shower. I plan on making another batch to bring to Easter this weekend, and I know they’ll be gobbled up quite fast.

Did you know these also freeze super well? I’ve been keeping some in my freezer for when I’m craving something sweet and just defrost for about 10 minutes on the counter. They taste great a little cold!

For you lemon lovers, if you haven’t tried my gluten-free vegan lemon poppy seed muffins already, then definitely check those out, too!

A front view of a stack of four gluten-free lemon poppy seed bars with slices of lemon.

Tips for Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Bars

I’ve learned a few tips and tricks from testing these gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie bars in my kitchen that I hope will help you along the way!

  • You could easily make these gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie bars dairy-free by using a dairy-free butter like Earth Balance. I’ve done it, and it’s delicious!
  • Do not skip the lemon zest. It totally makes the recipe! On that note, don’t use the lemon juice from a bottle either. Fresh is best, here! Lemon is definitely the star of the show here so treat it with kindness and use real lemons, friends!
  • Can I make these poppy seed bars with limes instead? MOST DEF. Lime sounds delicious and I can guarantee I’ll be doing that in the future.
  • Poppy seeds are expensive and sometimes hard to find. I get that. If you don’t like poppy seeds (WHAT?), can’t find them, or they are a bajillion dollars at the store (been there), you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. They’re just kind of fun and pretty and add some texture. But lemon cookie bars are cool, too.

A white and back plate with a few gluten-free lemon poppy seed sugar cookie bars and half of a lemon in the upper right corner.

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Bars Recipe

To make this recipe, you’ll need some baking basics, like sugar, butter, eggs, baking soda, baking powder and gluten-free flour (see link in recipe for my favorite blend). You’ll also need two fresh lemons and poppy seeds! This recipe is so easy to make and is definitely a crowd pleaser. You’ll love how quick they come together!

An aerieal view of a white and black plate filled with lemon poppy seed cookie bars topped with lemon glaze and poppy seeds and fresh lemons.

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Bars

These gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie bars are perfect for Spring! Full of lemon flavor, they are chewy and light, sweet and tart. An easy dessert that is great for entertaining, the whole family will love these lemony cookie bars! 
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 182kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

For the Cookie Bars:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (from one lemon)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (from one lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend

For the Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (from one lemon)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (from one lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Grease the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your hands until lemon is worked into the sugar and has started to release the oils and is fragrant. It will take a few minutes. 
  • Cream together lemon sugar mixture and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add egg and lemon juice to the mixture and beat for 2 minutes, until egg is fully incorporated. 
  • Mix in baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt and stir to combine. 
  • Add the gluten-free flour blend in two parts, mixing in between, until flour is fully incorporated. Spoon dough into the prepared baking dish and spread with a spatula. If the dough is too sticky, spray a spatula with cooking spray to help spread it out. 
  • Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. Let cool completely before adding the glaze. 
  • To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk to combine, until no clumps of powdered sugar remain. Pour the glaze over the cooled cookie bars and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle poppyseeds over the top. Allow to set completely before cutting. 

Notes

  • You could easily make these gluten-free lemon poppy seed cookie bars dairy-free by using a dairy-free butter like Earth Balance. I've done it, and it's delicious!
  • Do not skip the lemon zest. It totally makes the recipe! On that note, don't use the lemon juice from a bottle either. Fresh is best, here! Lemon is definitely the star of the show here so treat it with kindness and use real lemons, friends!

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ADashofMegnut or tag #adashofmegnut!

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