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, paleo, keto and low carb- They are also sugar free!
Keto Low Carb Sugar Cookie Bars
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.
Healthy Paleo Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
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.
Instead, we use monk fruit sweetened maple syrup and granulated monk fruit for the sweetness- Both of these are super low carb and 100% sugar-free- they are also keto-friendly and vegan!
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 grains, 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, sugar free, keto, dairy free and grain free!
It’s the ultimate keto and vegan holiday dessert, perfect for Christmas, Thanksgiving or anytime really!
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 (Keto, Low Carb, Paleo, Vegan)
For the sugar cookie base
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- pinch cinnamon
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder Optional
- 2 tablespoon granulated sweetener of choice I used a monk fruit sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon butter extract optional
- 1/2 cup cashew butter can sub for any nut butter or nut free alternative
- 1/2 cup sticky sweetener of choice I used a monk fruit sweetened maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk of choice * See notes
For the protein frosting
- 3 scoops vanilla protein powder see recommendations above
- 1-2 tablespoon granulated sweetener of choice optional
- 1 tablespoon Milk of choice to form a batter
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sweetener of choice to sprinkle over the top
- Sprinkles of choice optional
For the coconut butter frosting
- 4-6 tablespoon coconut butter melted
- 2 tablespoon sticky sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoon milk of choice
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 sticky sweetener of choice. 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.
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if sugar-less sugar cookies are wrong, I don’t ever wanna be right! Lol i’m picturing you and Nikki fighting over who gets to eat their part of the cookie first haha.
LOL! We shared well because she liked the gross frosting!
Sugar cookies without any sugar? I don’t believe you. Actually, these look delicious. I bought a bag of truvia baking blend over the weekend so I could make brownies. Then I forgot to make them…..
Sugar cookies used to be my least prefered Christmas cookies because I never liked the frosting. When I started to get into the Christmas cookie baking aka took it over because my mum hates to bake (I can’t blame her) I discovered how delicious they are pre-frosting. So I always put aside some for me. Double win as nobody but me liked them that ‘boring’ 🙂
When I make those bars I will definitely omit the frosting again. The only frosting I ever really liked was cream cheese frosting. Now I think you actually know all of this anyway and I wonder why I even bother writing this comment 😛
Ohhhh these would be so good with a thick, cream cheese frosting!!!
I can not wait to make these (minus the coconut flour, I’ll let you know how it works out). Also this post cracked me up as always. Especially the “sugar sugar how you look so fine” 🙂 Thanks for another yummy recipe, brother!!
That song is in my head now. Kt smallzz and kt cakes and sister cakes.
Sugar cookies have always been one of my favorites with loads of soft, sweet frosting. Team frosting all the way.
Frosting + spoon = Go to town.
Or cream cheese tub + sugar. lol
Oh, you can’t leave me hangin’ like that, Arman! Did the tooth fairy ever come back from vacation?? Inquiring minds (like mine…and Niki’s…) need to know! Also, these sugar cookie bars look delicious. I love sugar cookies…they’re probably my favorite cookie. And frosted sugar cookies? Yes, please! I rarely indulge in them now, but I used to love ’em when I was a kid!
I now have a HUGE hankering for your treats, Arman. Wow. I blame you for all my midnight snacking. Have you ever tried the Lofthouse soft sugar cookies?? Those are my sugar cookies of choice. Or the Pillsbury ones with the holiday pictures on them that you literally just throw into the oven to bake.
But these are healthy, so I guess I’ll eat these instead (and have the others for dessert).
Omg. Lofthouse. Stop. I love the ones that come in those rectangular paper packages too.
Hey there! I am new to using protein powder in recipes and I have a bag of Jay Robb unflavored protein isolate. Should I add extra vanilla flavoring to the recipe, just use what I have, or is the vanilla flavored powder a must for this recipe? Thanks for your tips!
Hi Laurie! Unflavored protein powder should be fine, you may want to add some granulated sweetener, as the protein powders I used were all sweetened 🙂
What does the nut butter replace in this recipe?
Is it possible to use it instead of eggs and oil (?) in other recipes I use? Thanks!
Hi Arman! If I used white sugar instead of the stevia blend, no butter extract(but maybe a tbsp of real butter) almond butter, vanilla whey protein powder, and honey for the other sweetener- would it still taste like a sugar cookie bar?
Hi Evelyn! That sounds fine- I would omit the butter completely, but I’d be wary of the whey protein powder- whey tends to be incredibly sticky and hard to form 🙂
Thanks! Do you think if I still used whey(since that’s all I have on hand right now) but put the bars in the freezer, that they would firm up alright and taste good too?
How big of a protein scoop do you use, since size might vary depending on brand…
Hi Hope, my scoops are 32-34 grams 🙂
Thank you for this recipe! It was a winner in my house. I used 34g/scoop for protein powder and a maple syrup/honey blend because I din not have enough maple! Oh, and I added a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients.