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grain-free oil-free vegan coconut cream bars

Coconut Cream Bars


  • Author: Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 9 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description

Super easy to throw together no-bake creamy and sweet coconut cream slices. This recipe is gluten-free and grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free and uses no added oils, and is easy to make nut-free.


Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 ½ cups soft honey dates, pitted*
  • 1 cup thick toasted coconut chips (see notes**)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • optional: ¼ cup dried pineapple chunks or chips

Coconut Cream:

  • 5 tbsp coconut butter (manna)***
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or a nut-free plant milk of your choice)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Process all base ingredients in a good processor into a sticky crumble. The final consistency should look roughly like this:
  2. Transfer the base mixture into a square 6″ x 6″ parchment-lined storage container. Press down firmly into an even crust. Cover with a second piece of parchment paper and use a  flat-bottomed object (a bit like an “iron”) to smooth out the top of the base layer. Remove the parchment from the top of the base and discard. Freeze this layer while working on the next step.
  3. Make sure all filling ingredients are at room temperature (it helps if the coconut butter is slightly warmed so that it blends more easily). Blend all cream layer ingredients in a small blender (I used my magic bullet for that) until smooth. Pour this mixture over the  prepared crust.
  4. Tap the container lightly on the counter to smooth out the top and release air bubbles. Freeze for 1 hour (or refrigerate overnight) to set. Then slice into slices and enjoy! Keep the bars refrigerated.

Notes

**Honey dates have a particular sweet and slightly gritty texture to them, while still being soft and sticky, which is why I used them in this recipe. Other dates, like medjool, might be a bit too soft / pasty, or if too firm (like some deglet nour), might not be sticky enough. If you use another kind of date you might therefore need to adjust the recipe slightly — i.e. if your mixture is too pasty / sticky, add more almonds or almond flour, or if too chunky and not moist enough add another tbsp of water (or more as needed) to get to the right texture.

**For the coconut chips, you’ll want to use ones that are as similar to these in texture and consistency (crisp, thick, and nicely toasted). They add a good dose of coconut flavor to this cake. I used these. You can usually find them at health food shops and the natural aisle of many grocery stores, or online (amazon or iherb etc.).  If you can’t find those, look for something similar, just keep in mind that if you’re using finer chips, for example, you might need to make a bit more of the crust as they’ll process into a finer consistency. For a raw version, there are similar coconut chips available that are raw. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can use almonds or other nuts / seeds of your choice.

***Coconut butter / manna is a product made by the blending of shredded coconut (sort of like a nut butter, but from coconut). It’s not the same as coconut oil. A common brand available in stores in North America is Nutiva. You can also make your own at home if you’ve got a good food processor (there are instructions and a video tutorial on how to do that in my book Unconventional Treats).