These homemade no-bake vegan Nanaimo bars are surprisingly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. These amazing sweet treats are rich, decadent and taste just like the classic Christmas dessert!
For the Chocolate Coconut Crust
- 1 cup packed, soft pitted dates (220 g)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (25 g)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened fine shredded coconut (50 g)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or walnut pieces (60 g)
For the Custard Filling
- 1 cup raw cashews (140 g)
- 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp thick and creamy full-fat coconut milk (105 g)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil (45 g, measured solid)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (85 g)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate (120 g)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (30 g, optional)
- If you’re using a high-speed blender, soak the cashews for 15 minutes (longer is ok) in boiled water before proceeding with the recipe. If you do not have a high-speed blender, soak the cashews in room temperature water for at least 8 hours up to overnight.
- When you’re ready to make the recipe, line a standard-sized loaf pan with parchment paper so that there are two flaps sticking out either side.
- To make the chocolate crust, add the ingredients to a food processor and mix into a crumbly dough. The dough will seem a bit crumbly but should stick together if you press it with your fingers. Use your hands to firmly press the dough into the prepared loaf pan to form one even layer.
- To make the custard filling, drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender with the coconut oil, coconut milk (see notes), turmeric, vanilla and maple syrup. Start blending on low then slowly increase the speed until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan over the chocolate crust. Place the entire pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set. Once it’s firm, you can add the chocolate ganache.
- To make the chocolate, add the chocolate and vegan butter to a small bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 15-20 seconds. When it’s mostly melted but still a bit lumpy, gently stir until it’s smooth and creamy. If you prefer, melt the chocolate stovetop using a double boiler.
- Gently spread the chocolate over the set custard filling until smooth.
- Set the pan in the fridge for 20-25 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.
- Gently run a knife along the ends of the pan where there is no parchment paper then use the flaps of parchment to lift the entire bar out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and slice into 8 large squares or 16 small bars. They are quite rich and decadent so I like to do 16 smaller mini-bars.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 2 months. If storing in the freezer, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. They are best stored in the fridge.
There are lots of helpful tips and notes in the post above so be sure to have a read before you start making the recipe.
The butter in the ganache is optional makes it a little softer like ganache and prevents the chocolate from cracking when sliced. Almond or cashew butter also works.
Keywords: vegan nanaimo bars, no-bake nanaimo bars