I'll say it: coconut chocolate bars are the bomb.
ESPECIALLY when they're no bake dessert bars you probably already have all the ingredients to make.
With a crunchy and chewy base made from nuts and coconut, and filled with a rich cacao and sunflower seed butter fudge, these coconut chocolate bars are easy, fuss free, and are gluten free, vegetarian, and paleo.
Ingredients needed for coconut chocolate bars
As I wrote above, you probably have most—if not all—of the ingredients you need for these no bake bars on hand. And guess what? No sweetened condensed milk!
For the base/topping, you'll need:
- unsweetened coconut shreds (preferably toasted)
- walnuts (preferably toasted)
- cashews (preferably toasted)
- maple syrup
- sunflower seed butter (OR peanut butter)
Mix all that together, and you get a crunchy and chewy base and topping for these fudgy no bake bars.
For the chocolate filling, you'll make a no bake fudge using:
- sunflower seed butter (OR peanut butter)
- coconut oil
- raw honey
- cacao powder (OR cocoa powder)
- vanilla extract
(Psst - I've got a recipe just for this "peanut butter" fudge, too!)
How to make no bake coconut chocolate bars
The goal for this recipe was to make a really simple, straightforward dessert bar that's also gluten free and paleo-friendly.
With that said, here's a quick walkthrough for these coconut chocolate bars!
— Chop the nuts. Pretty straightforward! Obviously you'll want to spread the nutty flavor across the bars, so chop pretty well.
— Mix together the base. Then take ⅔ of the mixture and press into a square cake pan.
— Stir the filling together. Make sure the coconut oil and honey are melted so everything is smooth!
— Pour the "fudge" over the base. Then sprinkle the remaining topping on top.
— Refrigerate until set. Then dig in!!
Variations for this no bake dessert recipe
No bake recipes like these coconut chocolate bars provide an insane amount of leeway with variations and adjustments!
Here are just a few of my suggestions for ways to make this recipe your own:
— Use different nuts. Really, you could use any combination of nuts in place of the walnuts and cashews! You can always use all walnuts or all cashews as well.
— Swap the sunflower seed butter for peanut butter (or any nut butter). I like using sunflower seed butter because it's so smooth and crazy flavorful, but peanut butter would work just fine! Also, I have dreams of using hazelnut butter for this recipe... you can totally steal that dream.
— Use all maple syrup or all honey. If you're missing either real maple syrup or honey, you can use all of the other. However, I do personally prefer having both in this recipe. Raw honey tends to solidify a bit when cold, which helps the fudge part of these bars keep their shape. On the other hand, I like the flavor of maple syrup with the nuts and coconut.
Have any other suggestions for variations? Please put them in the comments!
Last tip for this recipe: toast the coconut and nuts
Okay, so I KNOW this technically goes against the "no bake" part of this recipe.
BUT I highly suggest toasting the coconut and nuts!
Whenever I'm using coconut or nuts as a "mix in" in baking recipes, I usually toast them beforehand whether or not the recipe calls for it. You'll get more flavor — and isn't that why you're mixing nuts/coconut in anyway?
To toast 'em, just spread the coconut and/or nuts on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Done!
I've included the toasting instructions as an optional step in the recipe.
Make sure to let these ingredients cool a little bit before mixing into the base!
How to serve these no bake bars
Since they need to be chilled, these bars will make an excellent spring/summer treat. You know, on those hot days when you really want a treat but making ice cream is too much of a pain.
These coconut fudge bars freeze incredibly well, too, and they taste fantastic straight out of the freezer!
I can definitely see these being a big hit at summer potlucks and BBQs, and I'll probably be making them numerous times throughout the year...sometimes to share, and sometimes all for myself. A girl's got to live, you know.
More gluten free dessert recipes for hot summer days
- Dairy Free Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars (Paleo, No Bake)
- Mango Basil Popsicles
- Fruity Dairy Free Ice Cream Floats
- Paleo No Bake "Peanut Butter" Bars
These coconut fudge bars have a chewy & crunchy base filled with rich cacao and sunflower seed butter fudge. Gluten free, paleo, keto, and vegetarian!
- OPTIONAL: Toast the coconut, cashews, and walnuts. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut shreds, copped walnuts, and chopped cashews evenly on the baking sheet. Toast for about 7 minutes, until the shreds are golden brown. Remove from oven, turn oven off, and let cool.
- Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together maple syrup and ¼ cup of sunflower seed butter until smooth. Stir in the coconut, walnuts, cashews, and salt. Separate out about ⅔ of this mixture and press into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining sunflower seed butter, vanilla, honey, cacao powder and melted coconut oil. Stir until smooth. Pour evenly over the crust in the pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture overtop. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze until firm enough to cut into squares. Store covered in the fridge or freezer (you can eat them right out of the freezer, if desired).
- Serving Size: 1 square
Keywords: Coconut Chocolate Bars