Butterscotch Bars

With a lack of allergy-friendly butterscotch chips on the market, I decided to create a homemade butterscotch base. If you can use butter, feel free to substitute, but Earth Balance Buttery Spread makes darn good butterscotch for these moist and chewy bars. Please note that shortening isn’t a suitable replacement, since it doesn’t emulsify when heated.

Makes: 16 2-inch bars
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


  • 2 cups (475 mL) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) dairy-free, soy-free margarine or buttery spread
  • 1 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup canned coconut milk* (shaken to distribute coconut cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (475 mL) Cybele’s Basic Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below) or Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend
  • 2 tsp double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) shredded unsweetened coconut

Cybele’s Basic Gluten-Free Flour Blend

  • 4 cups (950 mL) brown rice flour*
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) tapioca flour or starch
  • 1 1/3 cups (320 mL) potato starch


  1. Mix until all ingredients are well-distributed. Then store in an airtight container.

Recipe Tips

*A Note on Coconut       Coconut is technically a fruit. While most allergists do not consider it a tree nut, if you are nut allergic, ask your doctor if coconut is safe for you.

When measuring flours and starches scoop into the measuring cups then level off with the back of a knife. Do not use the measuring cup to scoop.

*For best results: Use Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour or Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour (which is also quite fine). However, the Bob's product does carry a tree nut "may contain" warning. If using another brown rice flour instead, place in a spice grinder or food processor and blend for 1 minute to get the find grind needed for these recipes.


  1. Combine brown sugar and margarine in a heavy pot over very low heat. Cook while stirring continuously until melted and just starting to bubble, about 10 minutes. Don’t rush or you risk burning the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from setting up. It will become thick, like caramel.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8×8- inch pan.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat in egg replacer until creamy. Mix in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Add dry ingredients to pot with butterscotch and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Add coconut and mix until well-distributed.
  5. Transfer dough to the greased pan. Press dough to edges of pan and smooth into an even layer; it will be very sticky and dense.
  6. Bake 30 minutes in center of oven, or until it has a rich golden hue, glossy top and is beginning to pull away from the pan’s edges. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

is the author of three cookbooks, including the new Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking and The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook. Visit her at http://cybelesfreetoeat.com.