A no-bake vegan oatmeal fudge bar that uses dates, cocoa powder, and coconut oil in place of chocolate chips and condensed milk! Rich, chocolatey, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
You can thank my fellow pumpkin-obsessed Edmontonians for the fact that I’m not bombarding you guys with another pumpkin recipe today. Thank them or call them mean and nasty names depending on which side of the pumpkin love/hate spectrum you fall on.
I think it’s pretty obvious which side I gravitate towards, which is why I
almost had a [small] fit when I was in the store the other day only to discover that they were completely sold out of my favourite brand of canned pumpkin. I even combed through the rows and rows (and rows!) of pumpkin pie filling hoping to find one stuffed away somewhere, but no such luck. No pumpkin in sight.
This was problematic for a couple of reasons. First, it meant that I can no longer play nice and have to start greedily hoarding pumpkin like it’s my job (sorry!). But more importantly, it meant that I could no longer make the pumpkin bars that I had in mind. I mean, I guess I could have bought one of the pumpkins that was taunting me from a few feet away and roasted/pureed it myself, but that felt a little too much like work, and I wasn’t that desperate… especially since I remembered that I had a 2 lb. bag of dates waiting for me at home.
Or at least what used to be a 2 lb. bag of dates… Somewhere within the last two weeks, my 2 lb. bag of dates turned into a 1 lb. bag of dates… but losing half a pound a week is a perfectly healthy rate of weight loss 😉 Aaaaand that’s the story of how these No-Bake Vegan Oatmeal Fudge Bars were born #coolstorybro…
These aren’t your typical oatmeal fudge bars, though… Rather than being loaded with chocolate and condensed milk, the fudge in these bars is made up of dates and cocoa. Yup, you heard me right — dates and cocoa. I was originally planning on making a plain oatmeal date bar, but when the chocolate craving strikes, you don’t mess around. And if you have a hard time believing that dates and cocoa combined can make a rich, chocolatey, irresistible fudge, I’ll have you know that not one person that I shared these with had any idea… not one. And I may or may not have had to whip up extra fudge because I couldn’t help myself and did a little too much taste testing before I actually managed to get it from the food processor to the pan. It’s that good.
As for the crust, it tastes incredibly buttery without actually containing any butter. In fact, these bars are vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar free. They melt in your mouth and are ridiculously addictive, but full of wholesome ingredients so you don’t have to feel bad about enjoying an extra square or two!
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. brown rice syrup*
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- For the filling:
- 1 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 – 4 Tbsp. water**
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a food processor, process oats, almond flour, almonds, and salt until the oats and almonds have broken down and the mixture resembles a rough crumble. Add brown rice syrup and coconut oil, and continue processing until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the dough begins to stick together.
- Reserving 1/2 cup of the oat mixture, transfer the remaining dough into your prepared baking pan, using your fingers or a spatula to ensure that it is pressed down firmly and evenly.
- To make the filling, add the dates, cocoa powder, and water to the now empty food processor, and process until the dates have broken down into a paste. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and add a splash of water if the mixture is being stubborn. You don’t want to add too much, though, since you want the paste to be quite thick.
- When you’re happy with the consistency, transfer the date fudge to the baking pan and use a spatula that’s been sprayed with cooking spray to spread it evenly over the oat mixture. Sprinkle the reserved dough over the top and gently press it down with your fingers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars. Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge.
Looking for more no-bake recipes? Try one of these!
No-Bake Double Chocolate Fudge Protein Bites
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
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Great website thanks for sharing.
I just made these tonight and boy oh boy are these delicious! New recipe for me and it’s a keeper! I ended up spraying my spatula on both sides several times in order to get the date fudge to spread without pulling up the crust. Slow and steady is the key and even if you get crust mixed in it’s still super tasty. Thanks!
These look so good! I love using dates to sweeten desserts. They taste so good and it’s a perk that they’re healthier than just plain sugar 🙂
Is there anything that can substitute the coconut? Wish I liked coconut knowing how healthy it is but I just don’t. Would love to still make this though.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Hi Cindy. You could try with another neutral tasting oil, but the coconut helps keep them together since it’s solid at room temperature. You could probably get away with using 1 Tbsp instead of 2, and you really can’t taste the coconut at all.
Tracey @ A Taste of Trace
OH.MY.GOSH. These bars are SO GOOD! The few that made it back from the party where I initially served them are just begging to be eaten and I’m having to use very strong will power to not eat them all!! So yummy 🙂
Yum! I have a question, though. How come my crust didn’t stick together? It’s like sand particles with a little moistur(consistency – wise). But I have to use a spoon to scoop most of it out of the pan. What I did differenly: doubled the recipe, used honey instead of brown rice syrup, and mad email own almond flour with 1 cup almonds and 1 tbsp. Sugar in the food processor. Any suggestions?
OH wow these look fantastic!!! And I love the name of your blog! It;s one of my favorite books and movies 🙂 Thanks so much for linking with us at the #Friday Foodies! You have been pinned! Glad to have connected with you!
Mmm. I’m not a big fan of dates, but these look so good I might become one!
I’m so excited to try these…raw, vegan AND sweet. All just up my alley. Thanks.
Nathalie C. | Devoted Foodie
I totally feel you, the exact something happened to me! I had the perfect pumpkin recipe planned out for Monday but, I couldn’t find my can opener (moved about a month ago). This meant I couldn’t open the cans of pumpkin I had bought and I couldn’t make my pumpkin recipe 🙁 Fortunately I had plenty of dates, haha. Smoothies it was! It actually worked out great so I’m not even complaining. These bar look delicious by the way!
delicious…….ii hope try them soon!
Thalia @ butter and brioche
These bars look so incredibly delicious! Love that they are vegan, no bake and how healthy the recipe is.. need to recreate the recipe asap!
holy yum thanks for this!! i love me a good chewy date layer on any baked good 🙂
So easy!!! These look amazing, must make soon 😀
Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift
Well hot damn. If these don’t just make me want to run straight to the kitchen!
Just kidding. I’m already there and knee deep in dates. They’re kind of my love language, you know.
Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness
Yay for recipes involving dates!! I love the date/ coco powder combo. I’m not even mad about the no pumpkin! 🙂 Although, yes, it might be time to start hoarding the good canned pumpkin in case of supply shortage, zombie apocalypse, etc. There is literally no down side to this decision 🙂
Thanks for these amazing recipe! I live in Paris since recently and have no oven so your no-bake recipes is great to have <3
Confession: I ate all the cocoa/date filling for a recipe once.
I adore the oat + fudge filling! Those textures and flavors together are just the best, especially when they’re so healthy. Ugh, I’ve only had the disappearing pumpkin puree once at 0ur store and when you have your heart set on it, it is crushing! 😉 And I hate it when people are just like, get the filling instead. No, you don’t get it, it is NOT the same. Not even close 🙂
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
These look delicious! I’ve been on the hunt for some good after school snacks to make for my kids and these are perfect! Pinning! I’m following you now too…love your blog! If you have a free moment later this week, I’d be honored if you would link them up with our Foodie Fridays. We go live at 9 pm EST on Thursday nights. Have a wonderful week!
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Thanks, Michelle! I’ll definitely make a note to link up on Thursday night!