These easy coffee energy bars taste like a vanilla latte and are easy to make in minutes with just 4 healthy ingredients.

Stack of 4 energy bars on a cutting board. Coffee beans scattered around.

These yummy coffee energy bars are made with just 4 simple ingredients: coffee beans, oats, dates and vanilla!

They take just minutes to whip up and are perfect for a sweet snack or dessert with a little boost of caffeine. If you love the flavour of a vanilla latte, these are the energy bars for you!

Highlights

  • Soft and chewy texture.
  • Hints of vanilla, caramel and coffee.
  • No baking is required!
  • Just 4 ingredients.
  • Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free.
  • No added sugar.

Ingredient Notes

Oats, dates, coffee beans and vanilla in labelled containers.

For the full ingredient list with amounts and the written instructions, scroll down to the recipe card. The following sections cover a few notes about the ingredients and step-by-step instructions photos for visual reference.

  • Oats: You can use quick oats, rolled oats (old-fashioned oats). Use gluten-free certified oats if needed.
  • Dates: Any variety of dates work as long as they’re soft and moist. I like medjool dates and sayer dates the best for date energy bars.
  • Coffee Beans: Use your favourite regular or decaf whole coffee beans. You could also use ground coffee but I like adding whole beans for some crunch.
  • Vanilla: Use a good quality pure vanilla extract for the best flavour. If you only have artificial extract, that’s ok too though.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend into a thick, sticky dough you can easily press between your fingers.

Quick Tip: If the mixture is too crumbly (this may happen if your dates were too dry) to pinch between your fingers, add 1 tsp warm water and process again. That should do the trick but if not, repeat 1-2 times until the dough reaches a sticky consistency.

Dates, oats, coffee beans and vanilla in a food processor.

Line a 7-8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper so it sticks out over the sides of the pan then transfer the dough to the pan.

Raw coffee energy bar dough in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Use your hands to firmly press the dough into the pan, taking a few minutes to really work it into the corners and smooth the surface of the bars.

Energy bars in a ceramic baking dish with handles, sitting on a cutting board.

Place the entire pan in the freezer for 1 hour to firm then lift the bars out of the pan, slice and enjoy!

Energy bars cut into 8 portions on cutting board.

Notes

  • Serving Size: This recipe can be made into 8 large energy bars or 16 smaller squares. I like to even cut the squares in half to make 32 bite-sized bars. That way I can grab just one or have a few!
  • Dates: It’s important to use soft, moist dates. If your dates are overly dry, soak them (pitted) in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using them in the recipe.
  • Gluten-Free Option: The recipe is gluten-free as written but be sure to use gluten-free certified oats if needed.
  • Caffeine: Be sure to use decaf coffee beans if you’re sensitive to caffeine or plan to enjoy these later in the day. The recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of beans so the amount of caffeine in each bar is quite low, however, it’s still something to be aware of.

Variations & Additions

  • You can use any variety of nuts instead of oats. Try walnuts, cashews, pecans or a mixture of nuts.
  • Try replacing half of the oats with shredded coconut or adding up to 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
  • For sweetener bars, add 2 tbsp maple syrup.
  • Add up to 1/2 cup chocolate chips, cacao nibs or chopped dark chocolate for a treat.
  • Try almond extract instead of vanilla extra for almond latte-inspired bars.
  • Drizzle the bars with melted chocolate or add a layer of melted chocolate before putting them in the freezer.
  • You could also top them with this chocolate ganache for more of a dessert.
Close up of a stack of 5 energy bars with coffee beans in them. Bars sit on a cutting board.

Storing

  • Fridge: Up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.
  • Freezer: Up to 3 months in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag. They don’t freeze solid so can be enjoyed straight from the freezer.
  • Room Temperature: If taking to-go, the bars are fine at room temperature for up to 3 days or longer but they’ll start to get very soft. Freeze beforehand then keep cool for best results.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review.

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Stack of 4 energy bars on a cutting board. Coffee beans scattered around.

No-Bake Vanilla Espresso Date Energy Bars

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These no-bake vegan vanilla espresso date energy bars are energizing and delicious. You can roll them into balls, cut into squares or into larger energy bars. Easy to make with just 4 simple ingredients!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until it forms a thick, sticky dough you can easily pinch together between your fingers. If the mixture seems to crumbly (this may occur if your dates were too dry), add 1 tsp warm water and process again. That should do the trick, if not, repeat 1-2 times as needed.
  2. Line a 7-8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper so the paper sticks out over at least 2 sides of the pan. This will help you lift the bars out when they’re ready.
  3. Firmly press the dough into the pan, taking a few minutes to really work it into the corners and smooth out the surface. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer for at least 1 hour to firm. This isn’t totally necessary if you need the bars right away but I enjoy them when they’re a bit firmer.
  4. Lift the bars out of the pan and cut the bars into 8 large bars or 16 squares.

Notes

Dates: It’s important to use soft, moist dates in this recipe. If your dates are overly dry, soak them (pitted) in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before processed with the recipe.

Substitutions: Oats can be replaced with cashews for a cashew coffee bar. 

Additions: For sweeter bars, add up to 2 tbsp of maple syrup. For a treat, add up to to 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate.

Storing: Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months. If taking to-go, they’re okay at room temperature for 1-3 days but will start to get soft, keep cool if possible for best results.

Caffeine: If you’re sensitive to caffeine, be sure to use decaf beans.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 square
  • Calories: 130 calories
  • Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Keywords: coffee energy bars, no-bake coffee bars, date energy bars

Originally published on August 8, 2017.