Butterscotch Bars -- Gluten-Free

Butterscotch Bars – Gluten-Free

“Yum!” I heard as I was setting up a photo of the Butterscotch Bars I’d just baked.  I turned around to see my husband grabbing a whole handful of them from the pan as he was finishing his first mouthful.  He’s usually not so interested in my gluten-free cookies, but these really were outstanding.

So often it’s the simpler recipes that are best.  This gluten-free recipe for bars is like that.  Tender, chewy – with the delicate flavor of butter and brown sugar and vanilla.

Butterscotch Bars -- Gluten-Free

Butterscotch Bars -- Gluten-Free

Bars are versatile, stackable, packable, convenient…and they’re also easier to make than cookies.  Spread them in a pan, bake them and cut them into squares.  Then watch out for hungry snackers!

Butterscotch Bars – Gluten-Free


1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed

1/4 Cup Butter, softened

2 Egg Whites, large

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1-1/4 Cups Gluten-free Flour Mix (if using a mix, check ingredients for baking powder, salt and xanthan gum – if so, don’t add more)

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum

Cooking Oil


Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking oil.

In small mixing bowl, beat sugars and butter at medium speed until well-blended (4-5 minutes).

Add egg whites and vanilla; beat well.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum; mix well.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.

Spread batter evenly in prepared 8-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned and center is done.

Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Cut into 16 pieces.

These bars are gluten-free (no wheat, barley or rye) and nut-free.  This is an adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light.

Linked to:

-Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

-The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays

– Miz Helen’s Country Cottage’s Full Plate Thursday

– The Whole Gang’s Real Food Weekly

– The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday

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  • lisa

    February 3, 2013

    i made the recipe with better batter pre mix -it never got done on the inside and the outside was brown-any tips

    • Pat

      February 3, 2013

      Lisa, I have not used Better Batter so I can’t say for sure, but since Better Batter has xanthan gum in it, I hope you did not add any extra with your ingredients — that might have made the bars more gooey in the center. They are supposed to be slightly chewy, but not gooey. Another possibility is if your oven controls run a little hot, the bars may have baked a little fast, giving them a brown color on the outside before they were quite done inside. I hope that helps.

      If you try them again, let me know how they turn out and what you did differently.

  • Michelle

    April 22, 2011

    Your recipe does not call for any xanthan gum….is that a mistake, or do they turn out fine without it?

    • Pat

      April 22, 2011

      Michelle —
      The gluten-free flour mix I used was Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix. It has some xanthan gum in it, as well as white rice flour and garbanzo bean flour. I didn’t add the extra baking powder or salt, either, since those were also in the BRM mix. The bars had a good, chewy texture.

      I should have listed xanthan gum as an optional ingredient with the baking powder and salt. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

      Many times with baked goods I leave out the xanthan gum and don’t miss it — although I do use it with good results sometimes, like these bars. Next time I might try a different flour mix on these, without any xanthan, to see how they turn out. I’d love to know if you try them, what your results are.

  • Miz Helen

    April 21, 2011

    Hi Pat,
    When the Hubby grabs the goodies we know they are good. Butterscotch is one of our favorite flavors and would be great in a bar. Your recipe looks really delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week! Have a wonderful week end!

  • Linda

    April 20, 2011

    Yum! These would be easy to make dairy free with a butter substitute. Thanks for participating in the dessert bar challenge.

    • Pat

      April 20, 2011

      Yes, I think they would–let me know if you try it.

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