Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars (gluten free/dairy free option)

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Ah, frosted sugar cookies. The perfect, quintessential cookie for every occasion. It’s great for parties, holidays, barbecues, potlucks, or just because you’re craving a cookie. This recipe is everything you love about the bakery classic but there’s no scooping, shaping, or rolling of dough. Just spread all that sweet batter in a pan and bake it up. Frosting these cookies takes about 1/4 of the time, too. And if you’re looking for a gluten or dairy-free option, this recipe’s for you.

dairy free cookie

Tips for achieving a great cookie

The most important tip to remember when baking these cookies is to not overbake them. Let me repeat: DO NOT OVERBAKE! We’ve all been there. I overbaked these exact cookies during my third test run when I forgot to set a timer and was helping my son with sixth-grade math (make it stop!). When overbaked, these cookies come out dry and crumbly, and that’s not the way they’re intended to be. Bake these until they seem just set in the middle with hardly any color on the edges. That’s what gives these cookies that nice, slight chewiness on the outside and a soft, tender center. They should look like this:

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer a few commonly asked questions about making these cookies:

What if I don’t need these to be gluten or dairy-free?

I’ve tested these cookies with traditional flour, gluten free flour, regular dairy products, and nondairy products. All options turned out great!

How do I make these cookies gluten free?

My gluten free flour of choice is Bob’s Red Mill. I love this flour because it tastes great, the texture is as close to the real thing as I’ve found, and it always yields consistent results when replacing traditional all-purpose flour. If you decide to use another flour you’ll want to make sure it includes xantham gum or your cookies may come out dry and fall apart.

How do I make these cookies dairy free?

I had great results making these dairy free using Earth Balance Unsalted Buttery Sticks. If you have a favorite unsalted butter you’d like to use please do, but I don’t recommend using the kind that comes in the tub. Those have produced varied results for me when using in baked goods, so I recommend sticking with a stick butter.

gluten free sugar cookie bars

Add sprinkles! (optional)

These cookies are great with or without sprinkles, so go with what you like. Sprinkles are a great way to make these festive for birthdays or holidays, and they also do a great job of covering up any imperfections on your frosting. Good ingredients are the key to a good cookie, and sprinkles are no exception. Use ingredients that suit your dietary needs and taste great, and you’ll end up with great results 99% of the time. I don’t like any of those super fancy sprinkles with giant hard pieces. They just took away too much of the cookie’s soft, tender texture for me. But, use what you like.

Storing these cookies

Since we’re using cream cheese in this frosting I recommend storing these cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have a baking dish with a lid, that’s a great solution so you don’t have to transfer the cookies. You don’t want to cut these and store them on top of each other because the frosting will end up a mess. If you have to do that, use a piece of parchment paper between each piece. You can cut the paper to the appropriate size per cookie.

These will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days, but they don’t usually last that long. You can leave them out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before eating to soften and warm up a bit.

frosted sugar cookie bars dairy free

Other recipes you might like:

Did you make these frosted sugar cookies?

Please let me know how they turned out for you! Leave a comment below and rate the recipe.

Be sure to snap a pic! Tag @milkfreemom on Instagram and hashtag it #milkfreemom

4.75 from 4 votes

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars (gluten free, dairy-free)

In this recipe, we take the classic frosted sugar cookie and make it much easier by baking them into bars! These are soft, sweet, and fun to make for any occasion.
Servings 24
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Frosting Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter Earth Balance Buttery Sticks are great for dairy free
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter Earth Balance buttery sticks to make it dairy free
  • 4 oz cream cheese Violife is great for dairy free
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For The Cookies

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand or stand mixer. It will take 2-3 minutes to mix, and you want to keep going until it looks fluffy. It might look curdled or separated at first. Keep beating. It will blend well and have a light, fluffy texture.
  • Beat in the eggs and vanilla, and continue mixing it for about a minute.
  • Gently stir in the rest of the cookie ingredients with a wooden spoon until just combined. You don't want to overmix here or your cookies will be tough.
  • Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Add in your cookie dough and spread it out evenly in the pan.
  • Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes and then check them. They should be barely set in the middle and pale in color. You don't want any brown edges here. If you don't think they're cooked, continue to bake them but check them every minute to be sure you don't overbake or they'll be dry.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before you frost them.

For The Frosting

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
  • Slowly beat in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time and beat it for several minutes. The frosting should be nice and fluffy. Splash in your vanilla and beat it for another minute or two.
  • Spread your frosting evenly over the cookies and enjoy!


Calories: 182kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free cookies, sugar cookie


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
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