A Kick Of Lemon: Coconut Shortbread Lemongrass Bars

Sarah Schiffman is impressed with this coconut shortbread recipe from Ivy Manning and Bon Appetit.
Text And Photo By Sarah Schiffman

These lemongrass bars are entirely amazing.

Soft and snappy and subtly sweet, with a good, firm kick of lemon- they have officially untethered me from my familiar lemon bar anchors.

The quiet tartness of the lemongrass ripples over your tongue in tangy waves, fighting the good fight with the sugar, keeping it in check.

And they boast a golden, buttery shortbread crust that trails a lacy perfume of coconut and completely steals the show.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Coconut Shortbread Lemongrass Bars
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Beautiful coconut shortbread with a slight lemony kick
Serves: 8-12
  • For the crust:
  • 1½ cups (170g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (75g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (115g) plus three tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • For the Filling
  • 1¼ cups (280g) granulated sugar
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, bottom 4 inches only, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (31g) flour
  • ¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar
  1. For the crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (176 C). Butter a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Using an electric mixer, beat flour, coconut, powdered sugar and salt until well blended. Add butter and beat on low speed until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom and ½ inch up sides of pan. Bake crust until it turns golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  3. Make the filling:
  4. Place sugar and lemongrass in a food processor and pulse until lemongrass is finely ground, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and process until well blended. Add eggs and process to blend. Add flour and a pinch of salt and pulse until smooth.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (162 C). Pour filling over hot crust and bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
  6. Once completely cooled, cut as desired, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  1. Sarah, these look amazing. I’ll always pick shortbread if offered the biscuit barrel/cookie jar and the lemongrass sounds delicious. My mouth is watering but I’ll have to hold off making these as I’m off out for an umpteen-course meal and if I catch the scent of these, there’s no way I’d abstain.

    1. Hester- that sounds like a good plan. We flew through two batches of these last weekend. I’m a shortbread fan myself and this crust is so incredible that I think I might have to try it out on its own. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’m sure that these are delicious! Did the lemongrass actually process well? I usually infuse it in dishes b/c I haven’t figured out a way to leave it in without the fibers sticking around. I’m excited to try these!

    1. I was actually suprised at how well the lemongrass processed- after about a minute in the food processor it was almost completely incorportated into the sugar with no stringy fibers. Happy cooking!

  3. So, I am in the process of making these, when I realized that the recipe is printed incorrectly. For the filling, it says to added powdered sugar as the last ingredient. The instructions call for flour. I had already added the powdered sugar when I realized. I checked a couple other sites for the correct ingredient and added the flour also. They are in the oven and smell wonderful – but I’m hoping the additional sugar doesn’t mess with the consistency or make them too sweet. Argh!

    1. Hi Samantha- so sorry for the confusion! And thanks for finding the mistake- It should call for 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of powedered sugar for sprinkling at the end. I’ve submitted a note for the changes to be made.

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