These rich, vegan candy bars are made from a delicious coconut & almond base with a thick, smooth date & almond butter caramel on top. I started making these bars a while ago as a substitute for candy bars a.k.a. junk food. I tried to get rid of all the highly processed, packaged foods with artificial sugars in them from my apartnment. I found that this made me feel so much better, but I still craved candy (I’m looking at you Twix bars and Snickers bars) especially after dinner or late at night. So, I made these decadent raw caramel candy bars that are free of dairy, gluten, and refined sugar as a healthy alternative that tastes just as naughty.
They’ve still got a decent amount of sugar in them, albeit natural unrefined sugar from dates and brown rice syrup. But still, you want to eat these sparingly. They’re super duper rich and will fill you up fast, so trust me when I say a little goes a long way. I keep them in my freezer to have whenever I want to treat myself or if I’m feeling down. Remember, you deserve to indulge every now and then. Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on life’s pleasures!
I’m really excited to share this recipe because it’s actually one of my favorites. These candy bars are not only healthier for you than most candy bars out there, but also they’re just so darn good you won’t believe they’re made with all natural, real whole foods. For me, it’s really important to keep my fridge & freezer stocked with treats like this. Number 1: it keeps me sane. For some reason, knowing I have a yummy candy bar just waiting for me eases my mind and prevents me from feeling the urge to binge eat. Number 2: life’s too short to not eat candy. And hey, if it happens to be healthier for you then that’s even better.
I could eat date caramel straight up on it’s own. That’s how much I love it. Really, I like anything with dates and could not live without them. I recommend using Medjool dates for the most caramel-like flavor if you can find them, but if not any dates will do. If your dates aren’t soft, I recommend soaking then in hot water for 30 minutes-1 hour beforehand that way you can make sure your caramel turns out perfectly smooth. I threw some almond butter in the caramel too, because it helps achieve a really nice, thick & chewy consistency.
I wish I could be a candy maker. I grew up going to candy shops a lot. Whenever we went on vacation or on road trips, we’d make a stop to load up on fudge and chocolates. It’s a happy pastime of mine. I used to sit there and watch them churn the chocolate or pull the toffee and think how cool of a job that would be. I wonder if “professional vegan candy maker” is a job these days. Not sure, but I’d be pretty excited to make vegan candy for the rest of my life and share it with the world.
I’m curious to know what you all think of this recipe! So if you make these raw caramel candy bars, please share with me on Instagram. I love seeing your photos and reading all of your comments. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and don’t forget to treat yourself to something sweet!
- 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 4-5 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp brown rice syrup
- 1 tbsp cacao butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Add rolled oats, almonds, and coconut to a food processor.
- Process until mixture is completely broken down into a flour-like consistency.
- Add in dates and brown rice syrup and process until a sticky ball of dough forms.
- Transfer base into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper.
- Slightly wet your hands and press down the base, smoothing it out into an even layer.
- Place in the freezer while you make the caramel.
- Slightly melt your cacao butter by slowly microwaving it or heating it in a pan over low heat. Be sure to stir occasionally so it doesn't burn.
- Add cacao butter, dates, almond butter, and vanilla to a food processor.
- Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides until you get a thick caramel.
- Spread the caramel evenly over the base, smoothing it out with slightly wet hands or the back of a wet spoon.
- Place in the freezer for 1 hour to help them to set.
- Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes before cutting into bars.