Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten Free Cookie Bars

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 23, 2021
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Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten Free Cookie Bars

About these Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten Free Cookie Bars:

They’re all I’ve ever wanted in a vanilla brownie, enrobed in a magical trio of coffee, chocolate, and pecans. Not to be outshined by brown sugar and butter, lending notes of toffee. No mixer needed. And once you’ve shared a pan with friends — you’ll be expected to tote to every picnic, potluck, and barbecue from now on.

The tops are crackly, the crumb is soft, yet dense. Far from cake, but not as chewy as a cookie. Uniquely rich, but not too sweet.

I adapted this recipe to be gluten-free, originating from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, by Sarah Kieffer (more about her, and the brilliant book below). It took me several tries to find success, but my gut instinct to use teff flour turned out right, it was just the ratio of starch that needed tweaking. I also wanted to make them gum-free, so initially I used a small bit of psyllium husk to act as the binder, but two important things through testing:

  • The regular version in Sarah’s book is for a 9×13 inch pan, and calls for one egg. I wanted to make a half batch (8×8 inch pan) since it’s just the two of us, but halving one egg isn’t realistic. Turns out that using one egg in the half batch makes up for the loss of binding that you’d normally get from all-purpose flour. So no psyllium husk needed.
  • As much as you want to eat them warm from the oven, they need more time than you think to cool and relax. This allows them to sink into their best selves and cut into perfect slices. When I didn’t do this, the bars shed more crumbs than I preferred.

Coffee Chocolate Chunk Blondies Coffee Chocolate Chunk Blondies {made with teff flour, gluten-free} Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten-Free Blondies {made with teff flour}

About The Vanilla Bean Baking Book:

Minnesota may be known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but it’s also home to some very talented food writers and creatives. Sarah Kieffer is one of them, the natural beauty, the baker by nature, the maker of  The Vanilla Bean Blog. I love what she creates for numerous reasons. Her writing for its classical heart and soul. Her photographs for their simple, stunning beauty and emotions they evoke…..

A giant cinnamon bun that one could only be lucky enough to tear layers from. Tiny treats, with her babes tiny hands that whisper “mother.” 

I’ve gotten to know Sarah since meeting her at Zoe’s house, about 5 years ago. She told me about her love for the place where she started – The Blue Heron Cafe in Winona, her quest for the perfect pie crust, and aspiration to create timeless recipes to pass on to her kids.

Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten-Free Blondies {crackly tops, dense bite, perfect dessert}

As I read Sarah’s blog religiously, every entry made me wish there was a story or recipe every day, instead of once a week. She made me think, and rethink.

To not rush.
To embrace the process.
To make mistakes, in life and cooking.
To share food, and wisdom.
To delight in the result.

From Sarah herself: 
“Take recipes you love, and make them yours. Change them, expand on them, simplify them. Make meals with them for your family and friends: let them set up atmosphere; invoke laughter. Create your own food history.”

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is not just one that will sit on your coffee table because it’s shockingly pretty. It will become your baking bible that’s shockingly pretty, that acquires stains and tattered pages. For its techniques that Sarah has perfected, to timeless classics for every level, and flavor combinations we wouldn’t dream of on our own. These are recipes for today’s baker, for our generation.

xo, Amanda

Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten-Free Blondies {made with teff flour}

If you make these Gluten Fee Cookie Bars, be sure to tag me on Instagram with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen or @heartbeetkitchen!

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Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten-Free Blondies {made with teff flour}

Coffee laced gluten free blondies with dark chocolate chunks!
No ratings yet
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Total Time :30 minutes
Yield: 16 bars
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 58 grams teff flour
  • 58 grams tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 85 grams salted butter
  • 140 grams brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brewed strong coffee (or espresso)
  • 3/4 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 42 grams toasted chopped pecans
  • 86 grams dark chocolate chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, whisk together teff flour, tapioca starch, baking powder. Set aside.
  • On the stovetop, melt the butter on low heat, then whisk in brown sugar. Remove from stovetop, whisk for 20 seconds, then pour in coffee and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly, then add egg and whisk until smooth.
  • Whisk in dry mixture, in three additions. Then stir in pecans and chocolate. Let batter sit for 15 minutes.
  • Pour into a greased, parchment lined pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and let cool completely, minimum of 3 hours.


Don't doubt the heavy dose of vanilla, and never use imitation vanilla extract. *As much as you want to eat these warm, let them cool for several hours, even refrigerator them if you'd like for a few hours. If you don't they will slice with more crumbs than you'd like.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which I may receive a small amount of commission from should you decide to purchase.

Coffee Chocolate Chunk Gluten-Free Blondies {crackly tops, dense bite, perfect dessert}
Vanilla Bean Baking Book

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January 17, 2017


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  1. Becky

    What is a good online source for conversions from grams to cups?

    • amandapaa

      Hi Becky! With flours, it isn’t possible to do a gram to cup conversion because they all have different weights. So one cup of teff flour might equal xxx weight, and brown rice flour is a different weight. It can also to depend on the brand. This is the reason I use grams when creating baking recipes, because the precision is important.

  2. Jana du Plessis

    These brownies look heavenly! I am imagining them with a hint of cardamom, and are almost already running to the grocery store to get the ingredients:P

    • amandapaa

      oh, a few pinches of cardamom would be lovely in these blondie bars!

  3. Anna

    Hello, Amanda! I can’t find teff flour in Russia. Frankly, we don’t know anything about this grain here:) How can I replace it (not necessarily gf)?

    • amandapaa

      hello anna! i’m sorry i can’t be of more help, but i haven’t tested it with any other grain to replace the teff. i would think buckwheat flour would be your best bet.

  4. Emily | Gather & Dine

    Hi Amanda! Need to bring a gluten-free desert for a Super Bowl party and I’m thinking of trying these. :) Quick question- the tablespoon of coffee is brewed coffee, right? Not coffee grinds or instant coffee?

    • amandapaa

      yes, brewed coffee is correct! hope you enjoy. xo

  5. Cheri

    Made this and shared it this evening. Everyone loved it! Thanks so much.

    • amandapaa

      oh yay! so glad you enjoyed and thank you for sharing your success with the recipe. xo

  6. Claudia | The Brick Kitchen

    These are my favourite flavours! Especially the coffee. Coffee in baking is always, always a winner for me! I wonder what it would be like with ground coffee (not instant) – I made the momofuku compost cookies recently and the ground coffee just brought such a strong flavour and worked well in a cookie dough. Need to get a copy of Sarah’s book!

    • amandapaa

      oooo… i like that idea of grinding a tablespoon or so of coffee and trying that! and yes, chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven. thanks for stopping by Claudia. xo

  7. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    Beautiful post about Sarah’s book! It’s one of my new favorites and I can’t wait to try these coffee blondies.

  8. Macy @ Paleo Crumbs

    These look so scrumptious!

  9. Tori//

    These look like some epically delicious treats to enjoy anytime!

    • amandapaa

      anytime is right!

  10. Sherrie

    Sarah’s heart and Sarah’s book are both made of gold. And these blondies seem like something I’d really enjoy. I really appreciate your dedication to testing and testing and more testing to make sure this gluten-free version was just so. I have some teff already, but I need to grab some tapioca starch. These are going on my ‘things I want to bake list’. xx

    • amandapaa

      Both of those things, yes! We’ll all have to get together next time you come and visit. And I remember saying you got a bag of teff flour, so yes, just that tapioca starch (which I use all the time) is needed! xo

  11. Dinner Diva

    I haven’t used Teff flour . I ‘ve used other
    Gluten-free flours with great success. Do you use
    Coconut flour much?
    Photos and recipe looks great- I’ll definitely try
    Your recipe soon.

    • amandapaa

      hi! i don’t use coconut flour much, as it one of the most absorbent gf flours, which makes recipe development with it tricky. teff flour has an amazing nutty flour, and thickens a bit when wet, which helps it to hold things together.