Easy Homemade Vegan Turtles Candy
These homemade vegan turtles candies are easy to make with just 3 simple ingredients. All you need to make them is dates, chocolate and pecans. They’re perfect for Christmas.
These chocolate pecan turtles are so easy to make you’ll love making them all holiday season! They feature crunchy pecan clusters with chewy caramel coated in chocolate for the most delicious Christmas treat.
These sweet treats make a great gift, are easy to make in large batches and can be stored in the freezer so are perfect for making in advance. It’s also such an easy recipe, it’s fun to get kids involved for a Christmas time activity.
These are always a hit and sure to disappear quick so I’d recommend a double batch to stash in the freezer. While you’re at it, make a batch of these Chocolate Snowball Cookies, Vegan Rum Balls and Homemade Vegan Ferrero Rocher too!
- Dates: You’ll need some soft, moist dates for this recipe. Medjool, sayer or deglect noor work the best. If your dates are dry, you’ll need to soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain before using.
- Dairy-free chocolate: I used Enjoy Life Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips but you can use any dairy-free chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate. White chocolate works as variation.
- Pecans: You’ll need about 3/4 cup of raw pecans halves for this recipe.
Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete ingredient list with measurements.
Step 1. Make the “caramel.”
To make the caramel part of the turtles, blend the dates into a thick, doughy paste. I would recommend using a food processor for this.
I also like to add a generous pinch of sea salt. Once you’ve blended them up, roll the dough into 16 balls and place on a baking tray.
Step 2. Prepare the turtles.
The pecans will form the head and legs of the little turtles. I used 3 pecans per turtle but you could just do 2, or use 4 or 5 pecan halves and make them a little bigger.
Quick Note: You can either put the pecans on the bottom or in the middle for this recipe. I prefer them with the “caramel” on the bottom and the pecans in the middle, as pictured below.
To try them with the pecans on the bottom and caramel in the middle, more like the store-bought Turtles candy, simply flip them over after sticking the pecans in and then add the melted chocolate over the date mixture.
Just make sure you get some chocolate on the pecans so it helps hold it all together.
Step 3. Add the chocolate
Finally, melt the chocolate in 15 to 30-second intervals in the microwave or stovetop using a double boiler. Melt until it’s completely smooth and creamy.
Use a spoon to cover each turtle with chocolate to make the turtle shells until no chocolate remains.
Step 4. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Place the turtles in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate has hardened. They’re now ready to enjoy!
- The turtles are ok at room temperature for some time but the chocolate will melt if they get too warm.
- Suggested to store in fridge for freezer in an airtight container.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
- Store in the freezer in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
- They can be enjoyed straight from the freezer!
More Christmas Desserts
Here are some more yummy Christmas treats you’ll love:
- Vegan Rum Balls: Amazing no-bake vegan rum balls.
- Gluten-Free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies: Pecan and coconut thumbprints.
- Easy Vegan Eggnog: Perfect to go with your turtles!
- No-Bake Vegan Nanaimo Bars: These are amazing – a must-try!!
- Coconut Chocolate Macaroons: No-bake, fun and easy to make!
- Vegan Pecan Pie Bars: Baked pecan bars.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
You’ll love the combination of pecans, date caramel and chocolate in these addictive homemade turtle candies. Perfect for the Christmas season!
- Add the dates and sea salt to a food processor and process for about 20-30 seconds until they form a one, big ball of dough. If your dates are dry, you may need to add a little warm water to get them to blend. Add 1 tsp of water at at time and process until they form a thick doughy ball.
- Roll the dough into 16 ball and place on a large baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper.
- Flatten each ball slightly then press 3 pecan halves onto each disc so that most of each pecan is on the dough but some of each one sticks off the edge. The pecans will touch in the middle and form a little triangle on the outside. Think of one pecan as the head and the other two as the legs.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in 15-second increments in the microwave, stirring every 15-seconds until smooth and creamy, or melt it stovetop using a double boiler stovetop over simmering water until the chocolate melts.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate to each turtle until you use up all the chocolate. Smooth the chocolate with the back of a spoon so it covers most of the pecans and all of the date dough. A little bit of each pecan should be left sticking out.
- Place the entire baking tray in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate has hardened. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 2 months.
You can either put the pecans on the bottom or in the middle for this recipe. I prefer them with the “caramel” on the bottom and the pecans in the middle. To try them with the pecans on the bottom and caramel in the middle like a more traditional turtle, simply flip them over after sticking the pecans in and then add the melted chocolate over the date mixture. Just make sure you get some chocolate on the pecans so it helps hold it all together.
If you find the chocolate is too thick making it difficult to spread over the caramel, you can stir in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil to thin it out and make it easier to work with.
Keywords: easy, 3-ingredient, Christmas, gift, homemade