Low-sugar lemon bars without sketchy fake sugars? Here’s how to make them.
When life hands you lemons, you could be basic and make lemonade. Or you could do one better and make lemon bars. And if you’re at a loss as to how to turn this sugary-sweet summer treat into a better-for-you dessert, chefs Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey reveal a healthy version that’s light, tangy, and not too sweet in the latest episode of our YouTube series Alt-Baking Bootcamp.
So how to make a low-sugar treat that doesn’t taste, well, sad? Rigden and Dorsey opt for honey instead of refined sugar. Rigden says that honey is twice as sweet as white sugar, “so when you’re using it as a substitute you want to be aware and halve the amount that you usually use.” (That also means less sugar overall which, hooray!)
From a baking science perspective, honey (which is an emulsifier), makes the crust nice and soft. Dorsey says the liquid sweetener “won’t set so firmly that it feels like you’re biting a biscuit, but will still kind of have that soft texture that we’re looking for.”
To top it all off (literally), Rigden and Dorsey use unsweetened shredded coconut on their finished bars. “We’re not using powdered sugar like you would find in the classic recipe, but we still love the look of that,” Rigden says. “And we love just a little extra texture and crunch from shredded coconut.” Dorsey adds that if you toast your shredded coconut, it adds a little caramelization and a toasty note to your lemon bars.
Want to try these healthy lemon bars for yourself? For the full recipe, be sure to watch the full video above.