These healthy no bake sugar cookie bars are soft, chewy and loaded with holiday flavor but completely guilt-free- Even the protein packed frosting! Made with no butter, oil, flour or granulated sugar, these no bake sugar cookie bars are naturally gluten free, vegan, dairy free and come with a tested paleo option!
Welcome to the biggest oxymoron of the century.
A sugar cookie inspired recipe without any refined sugar.
Thank you, Ma’am.
Can we talk sugar cookies for a minute? Okay, good.
Growing up, during the holiday months, my sister and I would occasionally be gifted sugar cookies. Those days, they were delicious, plain cookies with a disgraceful hard artificial frosting…in pink. On the other hand, we had Niki who LOVED the pink frosting (with sprinkles!) but hated the cookie part.
In one of the rarest of occasions ever, we shared. I would eat the bottom cookie part and she would eat the frosting. It was a gloriously disgraceful sight.
Eventually, the sugar cookie phase left, mainly because my mum thought what my sister and I did was repulsive. She suggested I eat plain cookies instead (I recall she pointed to the fruit bowl…) and she told Niki that the tooth fairy had gone on vacation.
I think that scarred Niki for life.
If you’ve been a long-term reader here, you know that we don’t do things the standard way here. As such, I’ve taken all the best bits of a sugar cookie and given it a healthy (NO) bake-over!
My intentions with today’s recipe is to combine the best parts of a sugar cookie but give it a healthy makeover. As always, it has to taste pretty similar and just as easy to whip up!
Let’s compare the two…
A traditional sugar cookie- Soft and chewy vanilla flavored cookie with a hardened frosting with sprinkles. They are usually made with butter, flour, oil, MULTIPLE sources of sugar and an overly processed icing.
My sugar cookie twist? A delicious soft and chewy ‘sugar’ cookie base which requires to baking whatsoever, coupled with a thick vanilla cookie frosting which is completely healthy and packed with protein. My ingredients? Let’s just say its a full 180 from what its traditional counterparts have!
Oh, and even though they are called ‘sugar’ cookies, there isn’t an inch of the granulated white stuff in this.
Sugar Sugar (cookie) how you look so fine.
These healthy no bake sugar cookie bars have a thick, soft and chewy base, topped with a creamy protein packed frosting- They may look sinful but they are completely guilt-free! These sugar cookie bars are the perfect healthy twist on traditional holiday, Christmas, and festive treats, and make the perfect snack, dessert or anytime treat! Unlike traditional sugar cookies, these contain no butter, no oil, no wheat or white flour (there’s even a grain free option!), granulated sugar or any nasties- Although you’d never be able to tell!
I thank the use of coconut flour and smart swaps in the cookie base for achieving this! Bonus? They don’t even need an oven- A simple one bowl recipe with barely any time needed from prep to plate! Depending on which option you choose Depending on which option you choose (and which frosting you use- This one is the vanilla protein frosting), this recipe is completely paleo, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free and grain free!
For the frosting, the one pictured here is using a protein frosting (check out this page for my tried and tested favorites), but for those who want a non-protein option, check out the coconut cream based alternatives! Or well, you could just frost it any way you like….
HACK! For those of you with nut allergies, I’d recommend swapping out the nut butter with either a sweetened sunflower seed butter or a soy nut butter. Using tahini or an unsweetened nut butter alternative leaves it a little bitter and oily.
Make these healthy no bake sugar cookie bars minus the sugar part (hello, oxymoron) and enjoy these on your own.
No artificial hardened frosting here.
Healthy No Bake Sugar Cookie Bars
For the sugar cookie base
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour OR almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- pinch cinnamon
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder See above recipe card for my recommendations- Optional
- 2 T granulated sweetener of choice I used a stevia blend
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp butter extract optional
- 1/2 cup cashew butter can sub for any nut butter or nut free alternative
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup sub for honey or maple syrup for paleo option
- 1 T + milk of choice*
For the protein frosting
For the coconut butter frosting
- 4-6 T coconut butter melted
- 2 T granulated sweetener of choice or pure maple syrup
- Dairy free milk to thin out
For the sugar cookie base
Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with tin foil and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your flours, protein powder, cinnamon and granulated sweetener and set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, melt your cashew butter with the brown rice syrup (or maple/honey). Whisk in the vanilla extract and optional butter extract and pour into the dry mixture. Mix very well until fully incorporated. Using a tablespoon, add milk of choice until a very thick batter is formed.
Pour batter in the lined baking pan and press firmly in place. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sweetener and optional sprinkles and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until firm. Once firm, add frosting of choice and refrigerate for another 30 minutes to firm up before slicing.
To make frosting(s)
Combine all ingredients and use milk of choice to thin out until a very thick frosting is formed.
No bake sugar cookie bars should be kept refrigerated, but can be frozen too.
These would be perfect to wrap individually and gift to others for a healthy holiday treat!
More delicious holiday inspired recipes? Gotcha covered!
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A delicious warming drink in loaf form!
Did you ever eat those artificially frosted sugar cookies?
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