Frosted Strawberry Shortbread Bars


On Memorial Day, our family usually gets together with our neighbors for a cookout where everyone brings their traditional offerings. It wouldn’t be a party without certain casseroles, coleslaws, salads, and desserts. Sometimes I like to mix things up, though and bring something new … like strawberry shortcake. A great dish, but not very portable or easy to eat at a picnic. But then it occurred to me – what if I ditch the shortcake and opt for frosted shortbread bars instead?

Strawberry Shortbread Bars - A delicious dairy-free recipe for barbecues, potlucks and more (vegan, too!)

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingThese Strawberry Shortbread Bars combine the flavors of strawberry shortcake in easy-to-eat bar cookies. I couldn’t resist making things a bit messier by adding So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Coconut Milk ice cream to my plate, though, and I won’t blame you if you do the same.

If possible, plan ahead! These strawberry shortbread bars do require a bit of last-minute assembly so they don’t get soggy, but I think they’re worth the effort. Happy Memorial Day!

Strawberry Shortbread Bars - A delicious dairy-free recipe for barbecues, potlucks and more (vegan, too!)

Special Diet Notes: Strawberry Shortbread Bars

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan / plant-based and vegetarian. But please do choose your ingredients wisely (like the margarine, yogurt, and ice cream) when making these shortbread bars if you do have allergen-free needs.

Strawberry Shortbread Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
To keep these allergy-friendly, we use So Delicious Dairy Free ingredients in these bars, including the milk alternative, yogurt, and ice cream. For strictly soy-free, be sure to select a dairy-free, soy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance.
Serves: About 2 dozen bars
Dairy-free Buttercream Frosting:
Dairy-Free Shortbread Bars:
  • 1 cup dairy-free margarine (I use Fleischman’s Unsalted)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
To Serve:
For the Frosting:
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the dairy-free margarine and salt with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the confectioners' sugar gradually, while beating the mixture at a low speed.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, turn the mixer up to high, and beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  4. Chill while you prepare the bars.
For the Shortbread Bars:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF, and line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the dairy-free margarine and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together.
  4. Spread the dough in the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Let the cookies cool completely before cutting them into bars and removing them from the pan.
To Assemble:
  1. Frost the individual cookies with the dairy-free buttercream icing right before leaving for your picnic or cookout. The icing recipe makes 2-1/2 cups; refrigerate the unused icing for another use. (It's great on chocolate cake!)
  2. Take the prepared strawberries in a separate container and place a few slices on each bar immediately before serving.
  3. Serve with dairy-free ice cream if desired.

About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. Her previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sarah was a 'mom blogger' for many years but now mostly hangs out on Go Dairy Free and Instagram.


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  4. Strawberry shortcake is absolutely the best! And congrats for making it a dish that dairy-free folks can enjoy too. I’ve been curious about using coconut in its various forms as a dairy substitute and this would be a great dish for me to try out for that reason.

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  7. I love shortbread, it’s probably one of my favorite desserts. if I can find some good lookin’ strawberries at the farmers market this weekend, these are on the plan!

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