Gluten-Free Zucchini Nut Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
It’s August and my gardens are in full production. That means that zucchini’s are plentiful in my kitchen and they show up everywhere in the meals and desserts I prepare.
Every year I search for new and different ways to prepare this prolific vegetable, trying new recipes, and experimenting with tried-and-true family favorites to adapt into gluten-free versions that are tasty and unique. And, while zucchini bar recipes are shared by many cooks across the internet, you’ll find that this recipe is a little different because it’s baked in a jellyroll pan. Baking in a jellyroll pan makes it thinner, less like a cake, and more bar like than most of the recipes I’ve found. The basic mix has been adapted from a zucchini bread recipe passed to me by my mom years ago.
One quality you can always depend on when including zucchini and other grated vegetables in recipes is that they add a perfect moistness and sweetness to what you’re making. Using them in your bread, bar, and muffin recipes are another great way to sneak veggies into your picky eaters’ diet.
Whatever your reason for incorporating the prolific zucchini into your baking and cooking, you’ll find this easy to make bar is a great accompaniment to serve along with yogurt and berries for breakfast, as a quick afternoon snack by itself, or as a simple dessert with lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Zucchini Nut Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- mixing bowls
- 10" x 15" Jellyroll pan
For the Bars
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 4 tablespoons heavy Cream
- 2 tablespoons Butter softened
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Pecans or Walnuts for topping chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl, whisk together, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl add the eggs, grated zucchini, milk, oil, and vanilla, and stir to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together, stirring into a smooth batter.
- Prepare a 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan by lightly spraying the bottom and sides with a gluten-free vegetable-based cooking spray. Spread the batter evenly in the pan, and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
- While the bars are baking, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of the cream, and the vanilla in a large bowl. Stir together with a hand-held electric mixer to combine the ingredients. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and blend the mixture to a smooth spreading consistency, adding more cream if necessary.
- Spread the frosting in an even layer over the cooled bars, top with chopped nuts, cut into 24 evenly spaced squares to serve.
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(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)