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Vegan Lemon Apple Pie Shortbread Bar

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

If you’ve been following my page for awhile, then by now you probably know that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I’ve always been a savory kind of girl, no matter what the circumstances. I even often indulged in dinner foods for breakfast. So believe me when I say that if I actually take the time and effort to make baked goods, then it means something! That being said, I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a sweet treat of what I like to call “lemon apple pie bars”. 

I was browsing the aisles during one of our many Trader Joe’s trips, and I saw a section that was showcasing their boxes of  “Lemon Shortbread Bar Mix”. I took a look at the ingredients and lo and behold, the mix is ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN! I was so excited to see that, I nearly threw 10 boxes into the cart on my last trip. Of course I only bought one, but that doesn’t change the fact that these bars are the best treat for you to make to satisfy a sweet lemon craving! 

The mix is only three dollars (thank you TJ’s for being amazingly cheap) and contains sugar, unbleached flour, powdered sugar, natural flavors, salt, lemon juice powder, & citric acid. The original plan was to make the lemon bars as is, but things took a turn when I realized that the only vegan egg alternative I had was applesauce, so I went with it. Thus mistakenly turning them into mini apple pie squares. My boyfriend said they might even slightly resemble the ones that McDonald’s sells, except vegan… of course ;) 

Anyway, let’s get to it. You won’t want to waste another minute! 


For the crust: 

• Trader Joe’s Lemon Shortbread Bar CRUST Mix 

• 8 tbsp vegan butter, softened 

For the filling:

• Filling box mix 

• 3/4 cup applesauce or Vegan egg alternative equaling up to 3 eggs 

• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 


• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 

• Spray or rub butter onto 8x8 inch baking pan 

• Add the contents of the box mix to a large bowl 

• Add softened butter to the bowl 

• Mix bowl contents until it looks crumbly, scraping down the sides. Continue to mix until it’s a dough-like texture 

• Press the dough into the prepared 8x8 pan 

• Prick dough all over with a fork 

• Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown 

• Remove from oven 

• To prepare the filling, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F 

• Empty the contents of the filling packet into a medium bowl 

• Add the applesauce (or vegan egg alternative) & lemon juice to the bowl 

• Pour it over the hot crust 

• Put it back in the oven for 25 minutes or until the center of filling is set 

• Allow to cool completely before slicing 

• Dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional) 


  • To make them taste like apple, you’ll want to use applesauce as your egg alternative instead of anything else 

  • I used an 11x7 pan because that’s all I had, so I would like to say that you can use any pan size as long as it’s within range, but the recipe calls for an 8x8 if you have it. 

  • I recommend putting them in the fridge for an hour before you slice them. I waited an hour and they came out great. Then you can heat them up if you would like, but refrigerate them first. 

I hope you enjoy them! 

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