Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust

This recipe had me at lemongrass. These lemongrass squares with coconut shortbread crust are sweet, tart, buttery and delicious!

Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust l www.SimplyScratch.com

I’m a huge lemon fan! Lemon zest in my pancakes, lemon juice over my fish and definitely lemon in my bars! And the simple fact that this recipe calls for both lemons and lemongrass totally excited me!

I first spotted this recipe in my March issue of Bon Appétit. There is a section dedicated to lemongrass, with recipes like a Lemongrass Mojito and Malaysian Beef Curry, but this recipe won me over with its simple ingredients, easy approach and what turned out to be delicious results!!

From the moment I took the first bite of this dessert I knew this was a keeper. The coconut shortbread crust is flakey and tasty, which would be great all by its self. But the lemongrass filling!!! Oh my word… it’s… it’s…  ooey and gooey and oh so lemony! Words cannot EVEN describe how I love these bars. And since I am writing about my new favorite dessert… I think it fitting that I eat one while I type… for creative purposes.

Here you have it… just don’t forget the salt!

Butter a 9x13x2 metal pan.

In a large mixing bowl; add the coconut, flour, powdered sugar and kosher salt.

Mix until combined.

Cube up the room temperature butter…

… And add it to the flour mixture.

Mix on low until the dough forms wet crumbles.

Pour it into the buttered pan.

With your fingers press it evenly on the bottom and up the sides about 1/2 an inch up the sides of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden. Once the crust is removed you should reduce the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees.

Grab the lemongrass. I found mine next to the herbs at my grocery store. I actually ended up using 5 of these little stalks even though three are pictured.

Slice up thinly and add along with the sugar to a food processor.

Pulse until the lemongrass is blended in with the sugar. Mmm lemongrass sugar… I bet this would be yummy in iced tea! Mmm iced tea…:)

Juice two lemons which should be enough for 5 tablespoons of fresh juice.

Pour through a mesh strainer to catch the pulp and seeds, then add to the sugar mixture; pulse for about 30 seconds.

Next add the three eggs and pulse for 10-15 seconds.

Finally add in the flour…

… And a pinch of kosher salt.

Blend until smooth and glorious.

Pour into the hot crust.

Lean over and take a deep breath. AHHHH! Now place in the oven for 22-23 minutes or until filling is firm.

Remove and let cool.


Get the powdered sugar ready.

and sprinkle until you heart is content!!

I am thrilled to tell ya that Bon Appetit featured my version on their site! Click here to check it out!


Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 12 bars

Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust

Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust
This recipe had me at lemongrass. These lemongrass squares with coconut shortbread crust are sweet, tart, buttery and delicious!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes



  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan


  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 3-5 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layer removed, finely chopped (scant 1/2 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 (heaping) tablespoon of powdered sugar, for dusting



  1. Preheat oven to 350° and butter a 9x13x2 metal baking pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer combine the flour, coconut, powdered sugar and kosher salt into the mixing bowl and mix on low until combined. Add butter; beat on low until the dough comes together in wet clumps. With your fingers; press dough onto the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake crust until golden {edges may be darker}, for about 20-25 minutes.


  1. Place the sugar and lemongrass into a food processor; pulse until the lemongrass is finely ground, about a minute. Pour in the lemon juice and process for 30 seconds. Add eggs, process to blend for 10-15 seconds. Add the flour and a pinch of kosher salt; pulse until smooth.
  2. Reduce the heat to 325°. Pour the lemongrass mixture onto the hot coconut crust and place in the oven for 22-23 minutes or until the filling is firm. Cool in pan on a wire rack until cool. Cut in to twelve squares, dust with powdered sugar and serve!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 54mg Sodium: 140mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 29g Protein: 4g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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23 Responses to “Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust”

  1. #
    Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks — March 25, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Oh Laurie ! You outdid yourself this time! I love Lemongrass and this looks fantastic…I want to make this!

  2. #
    Pretend Chef — March 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    That coconut shortbread crust sounds like the perfect pair for the lemongrass. These look so yummy!

  3. #
    Nichole — March 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I have never used lemongrass – excited to give it a try!

  4. #
    Sarah — March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Gorgeous! I definitely dog-eared this page of my Bon Appetit as well, and I can't wait to pick up some rumored lemon grass at the Farmer's Market this weekend. Lovely post!

  5. #
    Katerina — March 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    These bars contain two of my husband's favorite ingredients; lemon and coconut. He would go crazy if I made them for him. I am keeping this! First time at your beautiful blog!

  6. #
    Sandra — March 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Coconut and Lemon…mmm I am all over those! You always have amazing tutorial photos, and thanks for sharing!I Love this recipe!!!!

  7. #
    Ang — March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Holy smokes this looks good. I'm getting that sharp feeling on the side of my jaw just looking at the photos.

    BTW, I have an award for you on my site. I sure love reading your posts and your such a talented woman.

  8. #
    briarrose — March 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Beautiful job….lemon and coconut is a wonderful flavor combination.

  9. #
    Erika — March 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I am so making this ASAP!

  10. #
    SILVIA NAVARRO — March 26, 2011 at 1:06 am

    awesome post!!!
    love your style!!
    follow u now!


  11. #
    Veronica — March 26, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Looks good! Love the idea of having a coconut crust!

  12. #
    Amanda — March 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    what an amaaaazing combination! genius.

  13. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — March 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks guys! I've been eating this like it's going out of style! Soo flippin' delicious!

  14. #
    Kita — March 29, 2011 at 3:04 am

    I was just going through my Bon Appetit and saw this (Im waaay behind on my magazines). I didn't tear out any of the lemongrass recipes but now I wish I had. These look beautiful.

  15. #
    Jennifer — March 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    These look fantastic! So bright and delicious!

  16. #
    hmariek — March 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    All I can say is wow. Beautiful step by step pictures! I just LOVE your site! These lemon bars look so perfect 🙂

  17. #
    Tiffany — April 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I'm a HUGE lemongrass fan too! (I make my chai with it)! And I've been on a shortbread kick lately. Thanks for sharing!

  18. #
    turquoise22 — April 24, 2011 at 2:07 am

    oh my gosh, YUM! Great shots too!

  19. #
    Marti — April 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Great idea: LEMONGRASS in the lemon bars!

    My local international market sets lemongrass already processed and frozen. Think I might pull out some of the HUGE pack that I bought and make these tonight. Thanks!

  20. #
    chefshellina — April 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    OMG this looks incredible! Thanks for sharing- I can't wait to try it!

  21. #
    meredith in sock monkey slippers — January 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I saw this too in Bon Appetit and made it right away. They are fabulous and a favorite around here! You made them look gorgeous!!!!

  22. #
    Francis Self — July 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Zest the lemon and add to mix. Yummy!


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