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Cheeky Paleo Lemon & Coconut Slices


paleo lemon coconut slice recipe

Recipe: Cheeky Paleo Lemon & Coconut Slice

This is a 4th generation recipe – passed on from Pam Johnston from The Family Foodie to Bob’s Red Mill, then adapted by my patisserie extraordinaire friend from San Fran Jessica Lee and passed on to me, and finally tweaked by me to become a cheeky paleo treat. Why is it cheeky I hear you ask? Well it does contain a little sugar, although I reduced it significantly from the original recipe. It also contains a bit of GF flour, which together with that small amount of sugar isn’t an optimal Paleo choice. However, when it comes to making better choices with treats, this sweet slice with superb combination of lemon & coconut is a definite keeper in my eyes.



  • 2/3 cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, sifted
  • just a little over 1/4 cup Almond Meal
  • 15 Macadamia nuts
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • 6 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1x1cm cubes (about 80 grams)

Lemon Custard

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar – I used Low GI natural cane sugar
  • Juice from 1 whole medium lemon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest – the zest from 1 lemon will give around 1 tbsp.
  • ¼ cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cups desiccated coconut for the topping
lemon coconut slice


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
  2. Line an 8 x 8” square pan with foil, leaving enough overhang to use as a handle. Lightly coat the foil with non-stick spray or use some paper towel to brush with olive oil lightly. (Jessica used a 9 x 9” pan and it still worked!)
  3. Using a blender or food processor, grind Macadamia nuts into course 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 slow setting for this whole process.
  4. 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.
  5. While the crust bakes, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, and baking powder.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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
  9. Assuming you have any left over, these slices can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.
crust batter
Press the crust mixture on the bottom of the baking tray firmly and evenly.
crust cooking
Crust is out of the oven to pour the custard mix over it. Mine is a little more brown than it should be, must be my oven or the shelf I used was too high.
custard cooking
Our custard is almost set, time to add coconut for some roasting.
It’s ready to be set aside to cool down.
paleo lemon coconut slice
My final product! They definitely look different to Jessica and Pam’s bars and the bottom turned out a little crumbly but I have to say that they taste scrumptious. I kind of like they’re not perfect, makes them look rustic. Did I say I hardly ever bake sweets?

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45
Number of servings: 8-10 slices


  1. 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 :)

  2. 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 :)

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    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!

  4. 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 :-)

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