Gluten-free Lemon & Coconut Slice

paleo lemon coconut slice recipe

This is a 4th generation recipe, passed on from Pam Johnston from The Family Foodie to Bob’s Red Mill, then adapted by a friend of mine, passed on to me, and finally tweaked by me to become a healthier version of this classic treat.

This lemon and coconut slice contains a little sugar, although I reduced it significantly from the original recipe. It also contains some gluten-free flour, so it’s not 100% paleo but is perfectly suited to those who want a lovely lemon slice with healthier ingredients.

Lemon and coconut is a superb combination and works well in this delicious slice.

Gluten-free Lemon & Coconut Slice

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Gluten-free Lemon & Coconut Slice

Gluten-free Lemon & Coconut Slice

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking



For the crust
2/3 cup gluten-free flour, sifted

Heaped 1/4 cup of almond meal

15 macadamia nuts

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened

6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1x1cm cubes (about 80 grams)

For lemon custard
4 large eggs

1/2 cup low GI sugar such as coconut sugar or a sugar-free alternative

1 tbsp lemon zest (zest of about 1 lemon)

Juice from 1 whole lemon

¼ cup water

¼ cup gluten-free flour

½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

2/3 cups desiccated coconut for the topping


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line an 8 x 8” square pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to use as a handle. Lightly coat with coconut oil. My friend used a 9 x 9” pan and it still worked.

Using a blender or a food processor, grind the macadamia nuts into coarse powder. In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, nuts, salt, and desiccated coconut; stir to combine dry ingredients.

Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold butter, working the mixture until the butter has been reduced to pea-size crumbs. Use your hand to knead the butter into the dry mixture. I used a food processor on a slow setting for this whole process.

crust batter

When all dry ingredients have been incorporated, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway until the crust is just beginning to brown slightly. Mine baked a bit too quickly so I had to reduce the heat of the oven to 150C.

crust cooking

While the crust bakes, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, and baking powder.

Remove the hot crust from the oven and pour the custard over the top immediately; return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

custard cooking

Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup coconut over the custard. Bake for another 10 minutes, just until the lemon topping is all set and coconut flakes are golden brown (If you aren’t using the coconut topping, just bake for 20-22 minutes, until the lemon custard is set at the centre.)

Transfer the pan to a rack and let the slices block cool down. Use the foil to transfer the pastry to a work surface to cut into square slices or bars.


Assuming you have any left over, these slices can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.

Lemon & coconut slice

My final product! They definitely look different from my friend’s or Pam’s bars and the bottom turned out a little crumbly but I have to say that they tasted scrumptious. I kind of like they’re not perfect, makes them look rustic.

Gluten-free Lemon & Coconut Slice

About the author: I share tasty recipes, tips, and meal plans to help you get healthier and lose weight. I am a qualified nutrition coach with an Advanced Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. More about me here.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.


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  1. Hey Irena thanks for this yummy recipe! Have you tried it with coconut flour instead, and what do you think about using Natvia sweetener instead of sugar?

    1. Hey Rachel, the original recipe had 1/4 cup of coconut flour but as I couldn’t find any in the shop yesterday I used all GF all purpose and almond meal. I plan to make this again with the coconut flour instead and see how that turns out. As far as sugar goes, I prefer a little cane sugar, honey or maple syrup. Haven’t tried it with Natvia as I don’t use that very often. Our bodies react to ‘fake’ and real sugars in a very similar way so I just pick whatever is closest to its natural form. Let me know if you try it with Natvia and coconut 🙂

  2. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find
    almost all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web site!

  3. Quick question, why are you using refined sugar? I thought the emphasis of paleo was cutting out refined sugars and grains? Does this recipe work with honey or maple?

    1. Well, if you read in the summary above the recipe, I explain that it’s called Cheeky because I used a little sugar 😉 You might be able to use honey or maple but because it was a hand-me-down recipe that had actual sugar in the custard, I didn’t want to alter that part too much as I didn’t know how a change might affect the consistency of the custard. I did however reduce the amount of sugar used to 1/2 cup of low GI cane sugar rather than a super refined white caster sugar, you would be getting less than 5gm per slice. It was a good enough trade off for me. You can give it a go with honey or maple, I haven’t tested it that way. The amount of glucose/fructose will be the same, it will just be from a more natural source. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Firstly I really like your website! I’m doing my research on Paleo now and getting ready to start on the weekend.

    I think I’ll give this a go with Palm Sugar and Rice Flour if I can’t find coconut flour. I think this would be a nice treat for my sons lunch box occasionally. Do you have any other recipes that would be suitble for the kids lunch box? It’s the one place I’m struggling a little to find recipes for.

    1. Kids lunch boxes is definitely something I’ve been planning to cover as I’ve had a lot of people asking for it. Working on it 🙂

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