Gluten-Free Shortbread Bars

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Soft, buttery, and soy-free, these vegan Gluten-Free Shortbread Bars are made with just six based ingredients and are ready in 30 minutes! Add your own flavorings or enjoy as is! These bars are a popular treat in our house, and we suspect they’ll be popular in yours, too! {Gluten-Free + Soy-Free + Vegan}


  • 1 cup allergen-friendly spread (I like Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread – tub version)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups gluten-free baking flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons water
  • Vanilla, almond, or lemon extracts, optional


  1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter for 30 seconds on a LOW to MEDIUM speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar to the butter and blend until combined. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, continuing to blend on a LOW to MEDIUM speed. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, blending in between each addition, and then add any flavorings, as desired. Spread the dough into the greased pan.
  4. Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until desired level of doneness is achieved.
  5. Cover leftovers and store at room temperature for two to three days.


    • Add flavors. Think vanilla, lemon, or almond extracts to change the flavor. If adding a teaspoon or less, you shouldn’t need to adjust the other ingredients. Drizzle with melted chocolate or add fresh or (if the bars are still warm) frozen fruit. So delicious!
    • When the dough comes out crumbly: Add a splash or two more of water. I will also add an extra slurp of vanilla, almond, lemon, or whatever flavors I’m using.
    • When the dough comes out to soft: Sprinkle in more flour and cream the ingredients together again.
    • Having made this recipe A LOT, I find the butter/margarine/spread has a big impact on how the recipe behaves. The allergen-friendly stick butters tend to produce a dryer shortbread (I add a little extra liquid – see above), while the tub butters produce a softer shortbread.
    • The dough will not spread during the baking process. So it’s a good idea to spread the dough in the pan as evenly as possible.