Magic Cookie Bars were always my absolute favorite dessert my Grammy made during the holiday season. Chocolatey, coconutty, crunchy and sweet, truly what's NOT to love?! Well, I can think of a few things. Traditionally magic cookie bars are made using sweetened condensed milk, sweetened coconut flakes, and contain gluten. All things my tum just can't handle anymore. So, it made the list of favorite Christmas treats to clean up! I don't always create vegan friendly desserts, but these gluten free magic cookie bars easily transformed into a vegan refined sugar free dessert so I thought I'd make all my vegan friends happy and create these vegan gluten free magic cookie bars for them!
I use mostly simple, clean ingredients in my version of these vegan magic cookie bars. Instead of using sweetened condensed milk, I opted for coconut cream instead. It lends itself well to a lighter, airy-er texture and also makes this refined sugar free dessert a little less sickly sweet. If sickly sweet is your thing though, you can add your favorite liquid sweetener, like maple syrup, into the coconut cream to add a touch of sweetness you might be missing from this refined sugar free dessert.
Here is what you will need to make these Vegan Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars:
- Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs: I'm linking to my most favorite gluten free graham cracker crumbs that help to make these vegan magic cookie bars come together in a snap. If you aren't keen on ordering, you could use gluten free graham crackers and blitz in a food processor to create crumbs.
- Coconut Cream: If you can find 14oz cans, that will be the easiest route for you to go. Otherwise, stock up on coconut cream in 6 packs. It won't go to waste! If you're into dairy free ice cream, you can try one of my many recipes, like my favorite dairy free maple bourbon pecan ice cream recipe!
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes: These are just a gut friendlier alternative to sweetened coconut flakes. The choice is yours, but if you're looking to keep this a refined sugar free dessert, opt for unsweetened. You can always add a little maple syrup if you're dying for the extra sweetness!
- 8x8 Baking Pan: My grammy's original recipe used a 9x13 baking pan, but I found the vegan gluten free magic cookie bars to come out far too thin for my liking this way, so I recommend using an 8x8 pan for this recipe.
Makes 18 bars
For the Crust
1 1/2 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or vegan butter, melted
For the Filling
14oz coconut cream
1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
optional: 1 tsp maple syrup for sweetness
Pre-heat oven to 350F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
Spread gluten free graham cracker crumbs as evenly as possible along the bottom of the pan. Melt butter and pour evenly oven graham cracker crumbs, pressing down firmly until all graham cracker crumbs have been soaked with butter and are evenly coating the pan.
If using maple syrup, add coconut cream to a medium mixing bowl and gently mix in maple syrup with a fork.
Pour coconut cream evenly on top of graham cracker and butter mixture, smoothing out to cover evenly using a silicone spatula.
Add coconut flakes gradually until coconut milk is fully covered. Top with chocolate chips and additional coconut if desired.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until coconut milk is set.
Allow magic cookie bars to cool 10 minutes, then chill in the fridge to set an additional 20 minutes before cutting into bars.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.