Chocolate Peppermint Layer Bars, Gluten Free

Chocolate Peppermint 7 Layer Bars, Gluten Free.

Even when I could eat them, I always thought that graham crackers were only good for dunking in milk. Now that I can’t eat graham crackers or regular milk, sometimes I get slightly nostalgic for that little slice of heartburn. 

When it came time to reinvent GF Seven Layer Bars without graham cracker crumbs, I figured there must be a better way. And there is. It’s called little chocolate cookies.

Find some tiny crispy GF chocolate cookies you like and grind them up in the processor or blender. Add a little butter (and an egg) and there you have it. The very better bottom of the layer bars, without a trace of heartburn (graham) to be found. Make the chocolate cookies from your favorite recipe or buy Pamela’s or even Annie’s chocolate and vanilla GF bunnies (a little vanilla cookie never hurt). Or use any other small GF chocolate cookie that you enjoy.

The topping is similar but slightly different from the old-fashioned layer bar recipe. Use unsweetened coconut since the condensed milk is already sweet. Add marshmallows and really dark chocolate chips. And the best part – add some Junior Mints to the top along with the marshmallows and heat those for about 8 minutes at the end of the baking time. Top with a few more handfuls of chocolate chips or more junior mints, let it cool (takes forever) and slice into small bars.

For the longest time I thought Junior Mints were not gluten-free, but they are. If you are unsure or in the part of the world where they are not gluten-free, use another chocolate covered mint, like York, or even Andes Mints broken into pieces.

If you love chocolate and peppermint, this one’s for you.

Chocolate Peppermint 7 Layer Bars, Gluten Free.

Chocolate Peppermint Layer Bars, Gluten Free
These little chocolate minty bars are even better the day after they're baked. The mint and chocolate are a little more lively. Use a serrated knife to cut them for best results. Freezing the bars right before slicing seems to help make the whole process a little neater - marshmallows are never easy to slice. Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk and not the evaporated stuff. If junior mints are not GF in your part of the world, use another chocolate mint that is GF, like Yorks or Andes.
  • 450 grams chocolate cookie crumbs (2½ to 3 cups)
  • 105 grams unsalted butter, melted (7 tablespoons)
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 396 grams condensed milk (not evaporated) (one 14 ounce can, Eagle)
  • 60 grams flaked or shredded unsweetened coconut (1 cup)
  • 340 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 136 grams mini marshmallows (2 cups)
  • 113 grams Junior Mints (one 4-ounce box)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil all the way up all sides and over the edge.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor pulse cookies until finely ground. Add melted butter, egg and peppermint extract. Pulse until well combined. Press into prepared pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the center is beginning to look set. Remove pan.
  3. Top with entire can of condensed milk. Add coconut, most of the chocolate chips spreading evenly. Bake 20 minutes more. Remove pan from oven.
  4. Top with remaining chocolate chips, marshmallows and junior mints. Bake about 8 minutes more or until marshmallows are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan. It may take hours to cool completely. Place pan in the freezer or refrigerator for ten minutes before slicing for easier handling. These actually taste more minty the 2nd day. Store at room temperature.

Chocolate Peppermint 7 Layer Bars, Gluten Free.


  1. These were a huge hit. I also have to do dairy-free with the GF attributes so I did some checking on making DF sweetened condensed milk. I reduced coconut milk with sugar added but never really got as dense a product as the canned but I have some Coco Lopez cream of coconut for my next time. Those extreme chocolate bite cookies suggested smelled amazing. I’m sure they really made it so good. Oh, I also subbed a coconut oil spread for the butter in the crust. I marked it a keeper. Love your site.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thanks, Linda. That sounds fabulous – Glad the coconut oil worked out – I might just have to try that!