Perfect for bake sales, family gatherings, and afternoon treats, this Gluten Free Cookie Bars recipe is a gluten-free, vegan-friendly take on classic Monster cookie bars. Soft and slightly chewy they’re baked to golden perfection and are studded with chocolate in every bite.
Have you ever heard of Monster cookie bars? Originating in Michigan, they’re a Midwest staple we adore. Think of a combination of peanut butter oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies with a texture similar to blondies, and you’ve got Monster cookie bars! Soft and sweet, they’re a childhood favorite perfect for every occasion.
However, they aren’t typically gluten-free or super allergy-friendly. So, we decided to change that with our homemade gluten-free cookie bars recipe! Featuring all the same taste and texture you look for in a Monster cookie bar, they’re made with simple ingredients and allergy-friendly swaps for a tasty treat everyone can enjoy.
Our New Favorite Gluten Free Cookie Bars!
Our whole team has tried and tested multiple rounds of this simple cookie bar recipe. We’ve even given them to our friends and family!
No matter who’s eating them, they’re always a hit. Not only are they super tasty, but they’re also:
- Made with a handful of simple, budget-friendly ingredients.
- Gluten-free, nut-free, with dairy-free and vegan-friendly options.
- With minimal prep needed, it has a total time of just over 30 minutes.
- Great for making ahead of time and perfect for feeding a crowd.
What’s In Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars?
One of the reasons the classic gluten-free monster cookie recipe is so popular is that it comes together with pantry staple ingredients. Naturally, these cookie bars are the same! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Coconut Oil or Plant-Based Vegan Butter – Used to add richness to the flavor and create a soft, tender texture.
- Almond butter or Seed Butter – We use creamy no-stir almond butter, but any other nut or seed butter you prefer like sunflower butter, or cashew butter tastes great, too.
- Coconut Sugar – Helps sweeten the cookie bars while keeping them moist and preventing a blood sugar spike.
- Flax Egg – One of our favorite vegan egg substitutes, flax eggs are made by combining flaxseeds and water to replicate the consistency of an egg and provide structure to the batter.
- Gluten-Free Flour Blend – A combination of fine blanched almond flour and gluten-free oat flour forms the base of the bars.
Ingredient Swap: If preferred, you can replace the oat flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour without xanthan gum.
- Non-Dairy Milk – Use your favorite non-dairy milk as needed to thin out the batter until the ingredients are smooth.
- Dairy-Free Chocolate – Dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks and dark chocolate gems give these gluten free cookie bars the classic Monster cookie taste. Feel free to use dairy-free options as needed to make these bars vegan-friendly.
- Gluten-Free Rolled Oats – Technically optional but highly recommended, oats add a slightly chewy texture we love.
- Baking Staples – You’ll also need pure vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt to enhance the flavor of the ingredients and help the bars hold their shape.
How to Make the Best Gluten Free Cookie Bars Recipe
These gluten free cookie bars come together in minutes, making them great for those times when you need something sweet in a pinch!
- Prepare. Preheat the oven, and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients until smooth.
- Whisk the Dry Ingredients. In a second, medium-sized bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together until there are no clumps.
- Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients. Working in batches, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Add the Mix-Ins. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips, chocolate gems, and oats, if using.
- Bake. Press the batter into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake until the bars are lightly browned and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean.
- Enjoy! Let the cookie bars cool for 10 minutes. Then, place them in the fridge to set before slicing them into squares.
Tips and Tricks
These monster cookie bars are pretty failproof as they are. However, we have a few extra notes to ensure they turn out perfectly every time you bake.
- Don’t Overmix. Combine the ingredients for the batter just until they’re smooth and no clumps remain. Continuing to mix will overwork the dough and cause your bars to become tough and dense.
- Add Milk as Needed. The batter will be thick and similar to cookie dough. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk to help thin it out until the batter is well mixed.
- Avoid Overbaking. Keep a close eye on your cookie bars, and check on them after 20 minutes of baking. They may look slightly underdone, but they’ll continue to cook and set as they cool.
- Cool Completely. It’s tempting to dig in right away, but letting your bars cool is crucial. Otherwise, they’ll fall apart when sliced into!
How to Store
These gluten free cookie bars are an awesome make-ahead dessert!
- Room Temperature: Once cooled, they can be transferred to an airtight container and kept at room temperature for up to 5-7 days.
- Refrigerator: Transfer your bars to the fridge for up to 10-12 days.
- Freezer: For a longer-lasting option, transfer cooled bars to a freezer-safe container or sealable bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Use wax paper to help separate the bars, fi desired. Then, to serve, let them thaw in the fridge overnight, and enjoy!
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Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!