Frosted Shortbread Bars (gluten, dairy free)

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If you’re craving a sweet, sugary cookie that’s quick to make, you’ll love these frosted shortbread bars. They’re easy to put together, and they’re gluten-free as well as dairy-free.

Important tips for making these cookies

The most important tip for making these cookies is to make sure you don’t overbake them. Shortbread is a tad crumbly by nature, but if you overbake these the cookie will be dry and fall apart. You want them to be just set in the center with hardly any color on the edges. Let them cool completely before cutting into them or frosting them.

dairy free shortbread cookie

Gluten Free Flour

I’m using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 baking flour in this recipe, and I recommend you try it too! I always have consistent, great results with this flour, and most of the time my family can’t tell what I’ve made is gluten-free. Since gluten-free flours differ in terms of ingredients, it’s important to note that your flour may behave differently than mine, giving you different results in your cookie. You’ll also want to make sure your flour contains xanthan gum, as it works as a binder and helps prevent the cookies from falling apart.

gluten free dairy free shortbread

Frosting and Storing

I like to add freeze-dried strawberries to my frosting to give them a natural pink color and a hint of strawberry flavor, but it’s not required. Because we’re using a butter substitute here, you’ll want to store your cookies covered in the refrigerator. You can pre-slice them if you’d like, then take one out to get to room temperature before you’d like to eat them. I find that setting them out on the counter for about 30 minutes when the kitchen temperature is around 70°F is enough time to allow them to warm up and soften.

gluten and dairy free cookies
dairy free gluten free sugar cookies
5 from 1 vote

Shortbread Cookies With Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (dairy-free, gluten-free)

Buttery, crumbly, classic shortbread cookies topped with a delicious strawberry cream cheese frosting. Made without dairy or gluten!
Servings 12
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins


  • cup vegan buttery sticks softened
  • cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour I use Bob's Red Mill
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For The Frosting

  • 3/4 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vegan buttery sticks softened. I like Earth Balance
  • 4 ounces dairy-free cream cheese I like Violife
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Make The Cookies

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Add your buttery sticks and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the mixture until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add your egg and almond extract until just combined.
  • Slowly mix in your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  • Press the dough evenly in to your baking dish using a spatula or the back of a measuring cup.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes and be sure not to overbake or it will result in a dry, crumbly cookie that may fall apart. You want the edges to be just starting to brown.
  • Place your pan on a wire cooling rack and allow the cookies to fully cool before you frost them.

Make The Frosting

  • Grind your dried strawberries in a high-powered blender or a small food processor until they're crushed down into a fine powder. A few small chunks will be ok and add a bit of texture.
  • Beat together the butter and cream cheese using a hand-held or stand mixer.
  • Beat in your vanilla extract and a little bit of the powdered sugar at a time. Continue adding in your sugar until it's all added in and beat it until it's smooth. Add in your powdered strawberries and beat it until it's well combined.
  • Gently frost your cookies, spreading the frosting out evenly.
  • Store your cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Calories: 369kcal
Course: Dessert


Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 181mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 4mg
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Did you make these shortbread cookies?

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