3-Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 24, 2013

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I may not have my costume picked out or a pumpkin carved yet (how the heck is it Oct 24th?), but the vegan candy options are a-go. That is, if they last until the weekend.

I’ve been working on these layer bars for a few weeks now. It took a bit of patience to get the thickness of the layers juuust right, but lo and behold I finally nailed something worth sharing.

Me likey. Me likey a lot.

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If you are looking for a fun and incredibly tasty Halloween treat (or really, a treat for any special occasion!), I hope you’ll give these a whirl. They just about made our dreams come true.

3layerveganchocolatebar

4.9 from 12 reviews
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3-Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

By

These bars are bursting with three of my favourite flavours – almond, coconut, and chocolate! How could you go wrong? A soft and nutty toasted almond-oat crust forms the base. If you’ve made my Chilled Chocolate Pie, you can probably attest to how good this press-in crust is! The middle layer is made up of a no-bake almond butter “fudge” enhanced with rice crisp cereal for a wicked crispy texture. The bars are topped with a dark chocolate “macaroon” coating and garnished with big flakes of toasted coconut. I know.

Yield
18 small bars
Prep time
Cook time
Chill time
1 hour

Ingredients:

For the base:
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour*
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oat
For the middle layer:
  • 1 cup raw or roasted almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life brand for soy-free)
  • 1/2 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4-1/3 cup toasted unsweetened large coconut flakes (such as Let's Do...Organic brand)*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. For the crust: Add the almonds into a food processor and process until a fine meal forms, just larger than sand. Now add the oat flour, oil, syrup, and salt and process until combined and sticky. Finally, add the cup of rolled oats and process until the oats are chopped and the dough comes together, but the oats still have a bit of texture to them. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. Crumble the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Press the dough into the pan evenly, wetting fingers if necessary to prevent sticking. Smooth out the dough with a pastry roller and use your fingertips to press in the edges until even.  Poke a few holes with a fork to let air escape. Bake, uncovered, for around 13 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.
  3. For the middle layer: In a medium saucepan, stir the almond butter, oil, syrup, vanilla, and salt and heat over medium until the coconut oil is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk if necessary. Remove from heat. When the crust has cooled for 10 minutes or so, stir the rice crisp cereal into the almond butter mixture and pour this mixture on top of the crust. Smooth out and place in the freezer on a flat surface for 40-45 minutes, until the middle layer is completely solid. While the mixture freezes, toast the large coconut flakes (see note below). After the middle layer is frozen, remove from freezer and lift out the bar. Slice into 6 rows vertically and then slice 3 rows horizontally to make 18 small bars. Place bars in the freezer once again while you prepare the chocolate topping.
  4. For the chocolate topping: In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and coconut oil over low-medium heat. When half the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth. Stir in the shredded coconut. Remove bars from the freezer and spoon a small amount of chocolate on top of each bar. Immediately, sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes. Return the bars to the freezer until the chocolate is set. Serve immediately (bars will melt quickly, so I wouldn't suggest keeping them out too long). Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition Information

Tips:

1) To make 1/2 cup oat flour, add 1/2 cup rolled oats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a flour forms. 2) To toast the large coconut flakes, spread onto a baking sheet and toast at 350F for only 3-4 minutes, until golden and fragrant. After cooling, I crumbled the flakes up into smaller pieces for easier sprinkling. 3) For a fun twist, try making these bars using my homemade Nutella instead of almond butter!

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By the way, thank you for your comments in my last post! It’s comforting to know that many of you have been through the same thing and it all worked out in the end. Here’s to good luck house hunting vibes for all. :)

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

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Melinda @ Love Melinda January 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm

These are awesome! Everyone asks for the recipe!

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AnaG February 14, 2014 at 10:33 am

I made these yesterday and they are fabulous!! It’s been such a challenge for me to be dairy, gluten and refined sugar free and your recipes really help me to stay on track. Thank you!!

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Lili February 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I thought I had all the ingredients to this but no rice crispier. I do have BRM hulled millet and have added it to banana bread for a crunch so that will be my sub. I will let you know how it turned out. Can’t wait to make

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Melanie February 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm

To quote my (non-vegan) mom when she tasted these,”this May be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.” :)

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Becca March 10, 2014 at 6:09 pm

These were sooo good!! I did not have choc chips for the top layer, so I melted some coconut oil with raw cocoa powder and some maple syrup. I also did not have any rice cerael, so I crumbled up a brown rice cake and that was perfect. It turned out perfect!

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Nicole March 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm

So funny Becca, i made the exact same chocolate topping and couldn’t find brown rice cereal without sugar added so purchased a rice cake too! *high five* to us for being creative! Turned out amazing.

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Lucy March 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

I have just made these – they are stunning – if this is an example of what you can come up with – then I am buying your book! Good job I have American cups as UK based!

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Sophie March 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Just made these and they’re currently in the freezer ! Cant wait to taste!

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Corinna April 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Okay here’s the deal. I’ve been racking my brain for a GF, dairy free, and cane sugar free fix for my sweet tooth. This not only fulfilled my sweet tooth and fit my needs, but it rocked my world (and most of my friends’ worlds too). Absolutely delish! I’m officially addicted to Angela’s food brain.

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Kristin April 23, 2014 at 6:14 am

This looks so yummy!! Sadly I don’t have any rice puffs, (NOT using kellogg’s), but I have ordered some and as soon as they arrive this is the first recipe I’m making. Can’t think of a better thing to nibble on during the final days of my dissertation writing… I may have to make a batch without the rice puffs actually, not sure I can restrain myself… =) Thank’s for another AMAZING recipe! (this is my new favourite blog by a mile!)

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Kristin August 1, 2014 at 6:27 am

So, I couldn’t wait for the rice puffs and used rolled oats that I toasted in the frying pan with some honey first, they turned out fantastic, best snack I think I’ve ever made, they are dangerously delishious!!

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Melanie May 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm

These are SO GOOD!!!!!

Like, drop everything you are doing this second and make them now, they are THAT good.

I made these when my sister came home for the weekend and I am pretty sure we devoured the entire batch in 2 days. They are a delightful indulgence, without making yourself feel “too” guilty afterwards. I even caught my dad sneaking a few extra, so he was definitely a huge fan and keeps asking me to make them again. I didn’t tell him until afterwards that they were vegan, because he makes fun of my vegan food usually! (He’s a real meat-and-potatoes kinda guy). However he still loved them :)

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Audra June 6, 2014 at 6:41 am

Hello my name is Audra and I am a 3 layer coconut bar addict since late last year. I ate an entire pan on March 25/26 after I delivered my 3rd child, since a friend made them for me and brought them in the hospital 4 hours after delivering! They were my biggest craving and since I had gestational diabetes and could not have them for 11 weeks I have been making a pan (or 2) a week now and eating at least half by myself. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these! Please help me find a way to loose the weight! Love your site Angela!!

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Sarah June 11, 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi Ange!

I goofed a bit with these… I decided to multitask and make about 5 different granola-type bar recipes at once (only one giant mess to clean!), which meant I rushed through the directions and got ahead of myself. I put the base in the freezer like I had done with other recipes, completely ignoring the part about baking it first. Of course I noticed the minute I poured on the middle layer, but figured it was too late to try and scrape it all off. Do you think there’s any reason the bottom layer wouldn’t work or hold together raw (as long as they’re kept cold, as you suggested)? I know it TASTES good ;) Thanks!

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Carla June 19, 2014 at 8:38 am

Hi, I’m just wondering why you bake the base? All of the ingredients are safe to eat raw and since it’s better for you to eat them raw, why not just leave the base as is before baking?

Also, I agree with Coral on the coconut oil debate. It’s not our enemy. It is extremely good for us and there are no other oils that are going to firm up in order to keep the bar gelled together and intact so yes, there’s a very good reason for using it!

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Stephanie Collins September 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Made these today and they were delicious! Took them to a potluck and there were none left – lots of great comments about them! Will definitely make again

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lauren October 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm
Recipe Rating:

Not as hard as it looks and totally worth it anyway. Awesome!

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Nancy October 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

What does the * next to the gluten free oat flour and the flake coconut mean. I scrolled down to see if it referenced something, but couldn’t find anything. Thank you.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 27, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Hi Nancy,

It is in the note for preparation instructions.

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Niki November 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm

A friend of mine just directed me to this receipt of yours! Made my mouth water! LOL! I was looking for something like this for my Dad for Thanksgiving because he loves chocolate and almonds.

Also love the idea of using homemade Nutella with this! Will be using that receipt as well.

Thanks! Can’t wait to try these!!

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Kristina January 7, 2015 at 8:35 pm
Recipe Rating:

Just made these tonight. They’re delicious! I modified the last part and didn’t cut the squares until I spread the chocolate/coconut topping and left it in the fridge to harden for a bit…then just cut the bars afterwards :) I LOVE the crispy rice…yum!

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LauraMD March 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

GET IN MY BELLY… I will also be sending half of these beauties w/ the Mister!

I made that beautiful Superfood Crunch salad today so I had extra coconut. What a perfect way to use it!

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Ruby March 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Hi,

This looks so amazing. Do you think I’d be able to use substitute melted butter for some of the coconut oil?

Thanks

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Shannon March 15, 2015 at 10:48 am

Probably!

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Shannon March 15, 2015 at 10:46 am

I just wanted to say that even not following this recipe exactly, the end result is amazing! I needed to make something gluten free and vegan for a party this afternoon with little notice, so of course I started searching OSG! These came up, and I started making them before I realized I had maaaaybe 1/2 cup of coconut oil left! I reduced the amount in the base and the filling, added a touch of water to hold together the crust, and upped my nut butter amount in the filling and they are still fantastic!Thanks Angela for this amazing recipe!

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Autumn April 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made these and they are amazing. My husband loved them left out of the fridge for a bit. Soft and gooey. The rice crispies inside give these bars the right amount of crunch and texture.

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Jess May 31, 2015 at 10:25 pm
Recipe Rating:

These are soooooo good! They didn’t stand a chance in my house! They are, however, a little bit time consuming (I have three little ones to run after all day). Can’t wait to make them again! Thanks for sharing! :)

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Mandy July 2, 2015 at 9:28 am
Recipe Rating:

Made these last night! They are so delicious! Easy recipe to follow. I have to take them to friends, so I don’t eat them all. Thank you for the great and healthy recipes!

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Kristi July 28, 2015 at 7:59 am
Recipe Rating:

I made these bars yesterday for a family get-together and everyone loved them. They are rich and full of delicious flavor. I made a double batch in a 13×9 pan. Now I have leftovers. Lucky me!

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Neta November 16, 2015 at 7:38 am

Sounds good and looks great :)
I have a class tomorrow and I think we’ll make it with the kids.
Thanks!

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Jessica November 28, 2015 at 10:37 am
Recipe Rating:

Looks so delicious….my grandmother used to make same cookies. She added a lot of butter. Apparently butter makes it taste so good.

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Yuki February 6, 2016 at 8:56 pm
Recipe Rating:

Hi Angela! I tried this lovely bar right after I found this recipe and……. it tastes beyond amazing!!!!! Thank you so so so much for sharing the recipe with us:))

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Dan April 2, 2016 at 3:34 am

I had a lot of fun making the different layers,
but I found the final product very greasey and waxy.
too much oil? coconut flavor was overwhelming.

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Angela Liddon April 21, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Hi Dan, I find the coconut oil becomes more noticeable as it warms, so serving the bars chilled straight from the fridge may help with the texture you’re noticing. Cold, they should have a firmer feel. I haven’t tried reducing the oil, but you could experiment with that if you wanted. I’d love to hear how it goes!

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Mandi Dy May 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Do you use refined or unrefined coconut oil?

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Nelly June 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

I dont necessarily like coconut, but these chocolate bars look great! I might have to try it and substitute the coconut for something else.

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Jason @ Inflatable Boarder July 6, 2016 at 9:22 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is a fantastic vegan recipe that gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up from me!

Cannot. Eat. Just. One. (seriously!)

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Angela Liddon July 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Haha, I have trouble eating just one too, Jason! Glad to know I’m not alone. ;)

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Amber July 19, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Only thing I recommend doing differently with this recipe is pouring the chocolate mixture on top of the entire pan of bars BEFORE they’re cut. Makes it easier. Then, just let the chocolate set up in the fridge before lifting out the whole thing from the pan and cutting the bars with a knife dipped in hot water.

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Tobias October 31, 2016 at 3:36 pm
Recipe Rating:

Amazing recipe Angela. I’ve been baking different variations of oatmeal based flapjacks to take with me on trips. Your chocolate bars sound like a slightly more unhealthy but super yummy alternative :)

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Kaitlyn November 27, 2016 at 11:28 am
Recipe Rating:

I absolutelt love these and want to make them for a friend who has an allergy to coconut. Do you think/know if using palm oil would substitute well for coconut oil in this recipe?

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Cyndie January 10, 2017 at 11:53 am
Recipe Rating:

This was out of this world delicious

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Alex October 11, 2018 at 8:18 am

I’ve been looking for the perfect vegan/GF recipe for a halloween party — Found it! This looks crazy yummy. I wish I could make these right now! What a great alternative treat to all the crappy candy of the holiday. I’m making these first thing tomorrow.

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