These gluten free raspberry bars are an allergy friendly version of my grandma's raspberry coconut bars. SO good, no one will miss the gluten!
When I was a kid, my grandmother made the most fabulous raspberry coconut bars.
They started with a cookie base that wasn't super sweet - almost like a shortbread - topped with raspberry jam and a coconut mixture that was crispy on top and chewy underneath.
The jam would ooze out the sides while the raspberry coconut squares were baking, caramelizing on the side of the pan - the crunchy little panels of caramelized raspberry was one of my favourite parts!
A variety of contrasting textures - the soft cookie, the jam, and the crunchy, crystallized coconut mixture - made it fun to eat.
I also loved the contrasting levels of sweetness, from the tart raspberry and the fairly neutral base, to the sweet coconut topping.
It was tasty, but it was also like ... a little sensory party in my mouth. LOL.
Anyway, when I found out that I could no longer handle gluten, I knew that I’d have to come up with a gluten free raspberry bars recipe - one that was heavily based on her recipe.
Gluten-Free Raspberry Bars Ingredients
While many of the ingredients for these gluten-free raspberry squares are pretty basic - butter, sugar, eggs, milk, etc - there are a few ingredients you may not have worked with:
This recipe was developed using a specific mixture of gluten-free flours and starch, for the best taste and texture.
While an all-purpose flour may work, it won’t produce the same results. As gluten-free all purpose flours all have different formulations, I cannot speak to whether any particular one would work well in here.
How to Make Gluten Free Raspberry Coconut Bars
Full recipe follows, but here's the pictorial overview:
In stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla, beat until everything is fully incorporated and smooth.
In a large bowl, mix together flours, starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this dry mix to the mixer bowl, and carefully mix until well incorporated and smooth.
Wrap dough in plastic film, chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C), Grease bottom and sides of 9 x 13" pan with shortening or pan spray. (or line with parchment paper, as I do).
Spread dough over bottom of pant, pressing to form a crust of relatively even thickness.
Spread raspberry preserves evenly over the crust.
Whisk eggs until foamy. Add sugar, whisk until well combined. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine well.
Drop spoonfuls of the coconut mixture all over the raspberry layer, and gently spread to create a solid layer.
Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Cool to almost room temperature before cutting into squares.
Gluten-Free Raspberry Squares Variations
Personally, they only thing I ever vary on this recipe is the filling. There are three main ways I do this:
Swap out the Jam
... swap out the jam, swap it out, while your feet are stompin and the jam is pumpin...
Prefer strawberry jam? Go for it.
Able to get your hands on blackcurrant jam? I could be blaspheming my late grandma, but honestly? Blackcurrant is even better!
Concord Grape Jam bars? Awesome.
Black raspberry jam, blackberry jam, apricot preserves, any kind of mixed fruit spread... even kiwi jam. Pretty much anything goes!
As for the raspberry, you can use anything labelled “jam” or “preserves”, seedless or not.
Also, while the amount I call for is what she used, TBH.. Sometimes I add more jam. It’s all good.
Add Fresh Fruit
While I don’t recommend just swapping the jam our for fresh fruit entirely, chopping up some fresh berries to toss over the jam is a fun variation to do.
This works well with the traditional raspberry, and with many of the variations - blackberry, black raspberry, strawberries, etc.
Just chop them small, or puree them.
If you’re using more than a handful or so, I recommend tossing them with a tablespoon or two of sugar, and a teaspoon of corn starch before spreading over the jam.
Add some Flavour
Sprinkling the zest of 1 lime over the jam gives a nice flavour boost. A bit of lemon or orange zest also work well!
A little bit of cinnamon works nicely with blueberry jam.
More Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes!
Looking for even more fantastic gluten-free desserts that *everyone* will love? Look no further!
Gluten-Free Brandied Apple Crisp
Gluten Free Butter Tart Bars
Gluten-Free Doughnut Holes
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Pie
Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bar Brownies
Gluten-Free Puffed Rice Bars
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Schmoo Torte
Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Pudding
Also, be sure to check out our collection of Gluten Free Cookie Recipes!
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Gluten Free Raspberry Bars
- 1 9 x 13 Baking Dish
- ¾ cup Raspberry preserves
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar
- 3 cups Shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoon Butter melted
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- In stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla, beat until everything is fully incorporated and smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix together flours, starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this dry mix to the mixer bowl, and carefully mix until well incorporated and smooth.
- Wrap dough in plastic film, chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C), Grease bottom and sides of 9 x 13" pan with shortening or pan spray.
- Spread dough over bottom of pant, pressing to form a crust of relatively even thickness.
- Spread raspberry preserves evenly over the crust.
- Whisk eggs until foamy. Add sugar, whisk until well combined. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine well.
- Drop spoonfuls of the coconut mixture all over the raspberry layer, and gently spread to create a solid layer.
- Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool to almost room temperature before cutting into squares, allow to fully cool before lifting from pan and serving.