YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS RECIPE!! I was silly and bought like a 5lb pack of navel oranges so of course I had to bake with some. This recipe is similar to the more common recipe for lemon squares but made healthier and with orange juice and orange zest. If you prefer lemon, you can definitely swap the juice and zest with lemon, but the sweetness might need to be adjusted as lemon is quite tart (based on your taste preference).
If you’re looking for a no bake option, I’d suggest the reader favourite, my No Bake Matcha Oatmeal Bars. You guys love this recipe and rightfully so as it tastes like ice cream!
My No Bake Toasted Coconut Lemon Torte is absolutely delicious as well and can easily be made into bars using an 8×8 pan instead of in a pie pan.
I used an 8×8 aluminum baking pan like this one, lined with parchment paper. I highly recommend using parchment paper in 99% of recipes because it avoids the stress of food sticking and it is so easy to remove the bars to cut without mess. You can use a different sized pan BUT – it may change the cooking time depending on the thickness of your crust and filling. The ratio of filling to crust was also perfect with the 8×8 pan. I’m not a fan of super thick crusts so it was perfect.
These orange bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free but you would never know it! I used a mix of refined sugar and coconut sugar to create these bars but feel free to use one or the other. Coconut sugar will darken the filling a bit but the taste is still 10/10.
The bars (still in the baking pan) should be allowed to cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack and then refrigerated to set for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. I ended up setting mine overnight (just due to timing) and I definitely got nice clean cuts. I don’t recommend cutting while warm as the filling will be a mess.
The oranges on top are just for presentation and look pretty if you are serving these at a dinner party. I prefer the bars almost right out of the refrigerator so decorate with icing sugar and orange slices (if wanted) just prior to serving. Funnily enough, growing up marmalade was not my favourite so I was a bit hesitant of all the rind I used but it totally works in this recipe! The orange rind and pulp in the orange juice add SO much flavour and add a nice kick when you get a bit in your mouth.
I recommend consuming the bars within 4 days of baking or freezing them up to a month or so. To freeze, slice the bars as normal and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet for 1 hour (the bars shouldn’t be touching). After that pop them into a container, separating the bar layers with the parchment paper to avoid any sticking. The initial freeze for 1 hour will help to keep the bars separated from each other so when you want to eat only a few, you can grab just what you’re ready to consume and defrost in the refrigerator. If you’re freezing the entire batch, skip the icing sugar and just put it on when you’re ready to eat.
I can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe! I know you’re going to love it as much as I do!