Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars (Gluten Free)

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Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Bars are so easy to make and fun to decorate. It’s the perfect holiday recipe to make with the kids. You make them simply gluten free using a basic 1:1 flour blend. Just mix the dough, press into a pan, bake, and cover with frosting and sprinkles! No chilling, rolling, cutting required.

Looking for more gluten free cookies? Try Gluten Free Snowball Cookies and Gluten Free Snickerdoodles!

Three gluten free sugar cookie bars in a pyramid on a white plate

The Easy Way to Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies may be a holiday staple, but if your kids are anything like mine, they might just be more work than they are worth. And more effort than mine are ready to commit too.

All that time chilling the dough. Then the fuss of rolling them out and cutting them with cookie cutters. And the frustration of breaking them while frosting or messing up on attempts at intricate designs.

All they want to do is slather the with frosting and cover them with sprinkles. Oh heck, let’s be real. They actually just want me to do all the work and they get to eat them.

That’s why we love to make bars instead.

A gluten free sugar cookie bar on a piece of parchment paper with more bars in the background

Make it easy

Mix the dough, press it into a pan, bake, and cool. Then just frost and decorate. And by decorate I mean just scatter sprinkles haphazardly. And you don’t even have to make your own frosting.

Make it fast

It is easier to keep the kids engaged when there isn’t a lot of extra waiting time. There is no need to chill the dough, roll it out, or fuss with scooping or cookie cutters.

Make a lot

Some recipes for sugar cookie bars only make enough for a 13×9 inch pan. This fills a half sheet pan, so it is double that amount. Depending on how large you cut them, you can easily get over 70 cookies. Perfect to bring to a cookie exchange, share with family and friends, or package as gifts for the kids’ teachers.

Make it fun

No delicate designs from piping borders and flooding. Just scatter any kind of sprinkles or colored sugar or nonpareils over the frosted sugar cookie bars. It can be done carefully or haphazardly, and by the time you cut them, they look gorgeous. 

Make it simply gluten free

We’ve been making sugar cookie bars since my oldest we just a tiny little guy. But I didn’t want to miss out on this fun activity and sweet treat since I went gluten free, so I started making them with my favorite 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour.

Since the point is keeping it easy and fun, I didn’t want to add the additional step of blending multiple gluten free flours and starches

Sure, in the future I will test out the combination of individual flours, but for now I am making my life easy and trying to help you make your holiday season simply gluten free!

Tops of Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars with red and green sprinkles on the corner of a slate platter

Let’s talk about what you need and how simple these are to make.

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

What you’ll need

For the cookies

For decorating

  • Frosting – you can use your favorite buttercream frosting recipe or storebought vanilla frosting. You also have the option to color it with food coloring, if desired. This is slightly adapted from a recipe for Sugar Cookie Bars from The Girl Who Ate Everything, and she has a cream cheese frosting you can use too!
  • Sprinkles, jimmies, nonpareils, etc. – we used Christmas sprinkles, but you can decorate these sugar cookie bars for any occasion or holiday.

GLUTEN FREE NOTE: Be sure to read the labels for your frosting and decorations.

Popular brands of frosting like Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Duncan Hines are gluten free at the time of writing this post, but things can always change so check with the labels or manufacturer. Some store brands contain gluten ingredients.

The most common brand of sprinkles, Wilton, uses shared equipment so there is a risk of cross-contamination. But there are brands, including Betty Crocker, that are. Read labels and learn more about gluten free sprinkles!

Equipment

  • Half sheet pan – this is a 13×18-inch rimmed cookie sheet or baking pan. I like these NordicWare Aluminum Half Sheet Pans. I use them all the time for these bar cookies and regular cookies, as well as roasted vegetables or sheet pan meals.
  • Parchment paper – makes it easier to lift out the entire pan of cookies at once for cutting.
  • Bowls – you’ll need one for sifting the flour and the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl for making the dough.
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer – this is a thick, sticky dough, so I recommend a KitchenAid Stand Mixer or a heavy-duty hand mixer.
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Sifter or whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Small offset spatula – I like to use one of these for frosting.
Four gluten free sugar cookie bars on a white plate with some on parchment paper

Making the cookies

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375°F.

PRO TIP: I like to line my baking pan with parchment paper and let it overhang the edges a bit. After frosting and decorating the cookies, it’s easy to lift them all out at once so you can cut them more neatly and easily on a cutting board.

  1. As with most cookie recipes, you’ll sift together the dry ingredients, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until combined.
  3. Now spread the dough evenly on the prepared baking sheet.

PRO TIP: The dough will be sticky, so spraying oil or cooking spray on your hands and/or a spatula makes it easier to press into the pan all the way to the edges and corners.

  1. Bake at 375° for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. You don’t want them to get very dark or they turn out dry, so they might not look done. That’s why the toothpick test is important.
  2. Cool completely in the pan, then lift them out using the parchment paper and place the entire sheet of cookies on a work surface.
  3. Spread a nice layer of frosting over the top and decorate as desired. Cover with sprinkles or you can even pipe designs with colored frosting. Cut into squares.

PRO TIP: A serrated knife works best.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Bars spread out on a sheet of parchment paper

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make the dough ahead?

Yes, you can make the cookie dough several hours or even a day in advance. Just cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. You may need to let it warm up slightly to be able to press the dough balls.

But really, since you don’t have to chill it, I’d recommend just baking the gluten free sugar cookie bars right away. Let them cool and wrap them tightly if you don’t want to frost them right away.

The bar cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to a week if sealed well in an airtight container. I recommend placing them in plastic storage containers either in a single layer or with wax paper between the layers.

Can they be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze them for up to two months.

You can freeze them before you have frosted them, but then you will have to decorate each cookie individually.

Or freeze the frosted sugar cookie bars. Let the frosting harden just a bit. You can even pop them in the fridge briefly. Then gently place them in a plastic freezer storage bag with wax paper between the layers.

Press out all of the air before sealing. Then place the bag in a cookie tin or plastic storage container. This helps keep them from getting crushed and crumbly while you have them in the freezer.

They thaw quite quickly at room temperature.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Bars with Christmas sprinkles on a slate platter
Tablet displaying cover of Simple Gluten Free Holiday Cookies and Candies eBook

More gluten free bars and brownies

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Bars with Christmas sprinkles on a slate platter

Sugar Cookie Bars

With this easy recipe and a 1-to-1 gluten free baking blend, you can bake these buttery and delicious cookies that are simple to make and fun to decorate. Use your favorite store-bought or homemade frosting, gather some sprinkles, and get the kids in the kitchen to help. No chilling, rolling, or cutting required.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Servings: 96 sugar cookie bars

Ingredients

  • 5 cups 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour (recommended: Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Frosting, storebought or homemade, and colored with food coloring, if desired
  • Sprinkles, jimmies, nonpareils, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven with 375°F, and line a 13×18 inch pan with parchment paper (or grease it, but the parchment makes it easier to lift out the entire cookie at once).
  • In a large bowl sift together flour, salt, and baking soda or add to the bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, in a large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Mix in the vanilla.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly qdd the flour mixture to wet mixture and mix just until combined.
  • Spread on the prepared baking sheet. The dough will be sticky. I find spraying oil or cooking spray on my hands and/or a spatula makes it easier to press into the pan all the way to the edges and corners.
  • Bake at 375°F for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean (they won't look done, so do the toothpick test).
  • Cool completely. Using the parchment paper, lift the entire sheet of cookies out of the pan and place on a work surface or large cutting board. remove from the pan if desired, frost and decorate.
  • Spread a layer of frosting over the cookie bars and decorate with sprinkles, colored frosting, or other decorations.
  • Cut into small squares approximately 1 1/2 inches x 1 1/2 inches. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze for up to two months.

Notes

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depending on the type and amount of frosting and decorations used.
Nutrition Facts
Sugar Cookie Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 bar)
Calories 79 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 42mg2%
Potassium 12mg0%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 69IU1%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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