No-Bake Almond Joy Bars (Vegan, Paleo)

Sometimes you feel like a nut.

healthy-almond-joy-bars

And that’s when you should reach for one of these almond joy bars. They have all the flavors of the popular candy bar you love, including almond, coconut, and chocolate, but unlike their processed counterparts, they are naturally-sweetened and loaded with fiber and healthy fats.

These bars were inspired by my No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars, but this variation features an almond flavored “cookie” crust made with almond flour and a dash of almond extract, and is then topped with a quick coconut filling. The result is an easy and delicious bar, without the effort that would go into recreating an actual chocolate-covered candy bar.

They store well in the freezer, too, so you can always have a healthier chocolate treat on hand when your sweet tooth strikes!

No-Bake Almond Joy Bars (Vegan)
Makes 15 bars

Adapted from No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
Pinch of salt

Coconut Filling:
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (I use this brand)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon water

Chocolate Topping:
1/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup (at room temperature)

Directions:

Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. To prepare the crust, combine the almond meal, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond extract, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir well until a sticky dough is formed. Press it evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and set aside.

To prepare the coconut filling, combine all of the filling ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir well. Spread the coconut mixture over the crust, then use a spatula to smooth the top. Set aside.

layer-bar-recipe

To prepare the chocolate topping, combine all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and use a whisk to create a silky smooth chocolate sauce. (If any of your ingredients are cold, this sauce will firm up. If that happens, simply place the bowl in a warm area or in a hot water bath briefly to liquify the ingredients again.) Pour the chocolate sauce over the top of the coconut layer and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the pan in the freezer to set until firm, about one to two hours.

Pull on the parchment paper to easily remove the solid bar from the pan, then slice into bars and serve directly from the freezer. These bars will soften fairly quickly if left at room temperature, so it’s important to keep them chilled until ready to serve.

chocolate-coconut bars

These bars should store well in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.

4.7 from 11 reviews
No-Bake Almond Joy Bars (Vegan, Paleo)
Author: 
Serves: 15
 
An easy chocolate coconut layer bar with a delectable almond flavored cookie crust.
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
Coconut Filling:
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
Chocolate Topping:
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (at room temperature)
Instructions
  1. Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. To prepare the crust, combine the almond meal, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond extract, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir well until a sticky dough is formed. Press it evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and set aside.
  2. To prepare the coconut filling, combine all of the filling ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir well. Spread the coconut mixture over the crust, then use a spatula to smooth the top. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the chocolate topping, combine all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and use a whisk to create a silky smooth chocolate sauce. (If any of your ingredients are cold, this sauce will firm up. If that happens, simply place the bowl in a warm area or in a hot water bath briefly to liquify the ingredients again.) Pour the chocolate sauce over the top of the coconut layer and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the pan in the freezer to set until firm, about one to two hours.
  4. Pull on the parchment paper to easily remove the solid bar from the pan, then slice into bars and serve directly from the freezer. These bars will soften fairly quickly if left at room temperature, so it's important to keep them chilled until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What is your favorite candy bar?

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

69 thoughts on “No-Bake Almond Joy Bars (Vegan, Paleo)

  1. misa

    Thanks for the recipe

    Can I ask if I can use wet almond meal directly from almond milk or I have to dry it first

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      This recipe was developed with ground whole almonds– not the almond pulp that is leftover from making almond milk. Using the almond pulp will probably affect the results, since it will contain less fat and less flavor. I definitely wouldn’t use it wet, but let us know if you have any success using the dried version. (You may need to add more oil and sweetener to compensate for the texture and flavor.)

      Reply
  2. Heather

    This recipe looks great! But I feel like every time I try a healthy dessert recipe it never turns out right! Are there any “rules” I should be aware of? I just tried a dairy free coconut milk cupcake recipe this morning and it was way too wet and never ended up cooking through, and I wasted a bunch of ingredients πŸ™ What am I most likely doing wrong?

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      This recipe is more likely to turn out well because there’s no baking involved. With baking, there is more room for error, because it’s more of a scientific process– if you substitute any ingredient or measure incorrectly, it can go terribly wrong! Was the cupcake recipe made with coconut flour? That usually has the most problems, because if you’re even off by a teaspoon with the flour measurement it can affect the results.

      Reply
  3. Emily @ Glitz Glam Gluten-Free

    Omigosh ,these bars look absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to make them asap! I made your peanut butter ones for my family, but Almond Joy bars have always been my fave! If you could figure out a butterfinger dupe that would be amazing too!

    Reply
    1. Laura

      Butterfingers are my favorite too and probably the worst candy bar you can eat!!! oh well. And they get stuck in your teeth so they make you feel like you’re getting at least one cavity every time you eat one.

      Also love health bars. And Peppermint patties which aren’t too high in calories.

      Reply
    2. Kayla

      There is a recipe on this site already for homemade butterfingers. I’ve made them before and they are delicious!! You just have to search for “butterfinger”. Megan always has the best recipes!! Thanks, Megan!!

      Reply
      1. Megan Post author

        Thanks, Kayla! The butterfingers are my favorite– I can’t wait to make them for Halloween this year! πŸ™‚

        Reply
  4. Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    Almond joys were my favorite growing up. This is a must make as I have them up when I started eating clean. Oh I’m so excited! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be looking up the peanut butter recipe everyone is raving about as well!

    Reply
  5. Angela

    Was so excited to make these and did…ended up so disappointed. The flavor is ok…which I could fine tune. The bars are no way as thick of coconut or chocolate like the picture. For these to turn out looking like these, you will need to double the coconut and chocolaye mixture.

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I also wonder what size pan you used. I used a standard loaf pan, which created the layers you see in the pictures above. Using a larger pan would result in thinner bars, though!

      Reply
    2. Missie

      I agree I just made these using a slightly larger loaf pan, I doubled the recipe to allow for this, expecting leftover. But the layers were still much thinner than picture. I’d have to at least triple if not quadruple the recipe to achieve this.

      Still tasted great though and easy to make!

      Reply
  6. Kim

    I made these this afternoon and love them! So easy, so quick, so yummy!! Love having healthier versions of treats available in the freezer. Thank you for all your great recipes!!

    Reply
  7. Nicole B.

    I have to admit, that as soon as I saw your blog post paired with a picture, I gasped. They look so good and I love that they aren’t bad for you! Pinned!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      It will probably change the flavor slightly, but yes, I think it would work. It might make the chocolate layer thicker, but if you warmed the mixture slightly I think it would thin out and be easier to pour.

      Reply
  8. Kathleen Schell

    Is almond flour the same as almond meal? I have almond flour on hand from a previous recipe, I ordered the brand used by Megan in another of her fantastic recipes. Thanks

    Reply
  9. kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy

    These look divine – we dont get almond joy bars over here but i want to give these a try. Do you find the raw cacao powder sets funny? I have tried using it for sauce before and it can separate but maybe I am not using enough coconut oil?

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      My other go-to sweeteners are honey and coconut nectar, so you could experiment with those, if you like! Please let us know if you have any success.

      Reply
  10. Deanna

    This recipe sounds scrumptious! I can’t wait to try it out.

    For carb information, I think you can look at the carbs in each of the ingredients you are using (add the carbs up using the amount per serving and the amount used, then divide by how many bars you make. That would be your carb/calorie count per bar. I believe that’s the way to do it…if not let me know…because I’ve been doing it wrong. LOL

    Reply
  11. Jess T

    Question, I have an auto-immune disease and my doctor put me on a dietary restriction of no sugar. I can only use raw honey as a sweetener. Can you substitute honey here for the maple syrup?

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Yes, but you may not need as much honey as it has a stronger flavor than maple syrup. You may also need to thin it out for the chocolate layer, to make it easier to spread.

      Reply
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  13. Felicity

    Hi there! I’m from Greece and coconut oil is both difficult to find as well as a pricey option.. Do you think I could substitute olive oil for coconut oil in this recipe? Also, replace maple syrup with honey? (a lot of changes!)
    Looks like a delicious dessert and can’t wait to make it, hopefully with ingredients that I can find more easily πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Olive oil won’t work, but butter would! You need a fat source that solidifies when chilled. Honey should work fine, but it will change the taste a bit.

      Reply
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  15. Becca

    Delicious! I made the exact recipe except I used lite coconut milk instead of water to add more coconut flavor. Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply
  16. Shelley

    I still cannot find your recipe for pumpkin cookies on your cookie site. Thank you for answering my earlier question.

    Reply
  17. Sylvie

    Thanks Megan.
    These are absolutely TERRIFIC ! Love them πŸ™‚
    I think I’m gonna make them often πŸ™‚

    Reply
  18. Amy

    Hi, so I’m attempting to cook and bake, which I am just hopeless at. I thought these would be simple, and followed everything to a T. It looked good until it came to the chocolate coating… What I got was a wet thin chocolate that seeped right into the coconut as soon as I poured it on. I tried to spread it around, but succeeding only in spreading chocolate coated coconut all over. Looks like rice krispies on top. Should I have done something to thicken it slightly so I got that pretty pour and nice thick layer of chocolate? It’s in the freezer now, but I fear I messed it up (like I do everything I make) and it’ll likely go straight into the trash.

    Any suggestions on what to do would be wonderful.

    Reply
  19. Shana

    You had me at coconut flour chocolate chip cookies!

    Got a craving for chocolate chip cookies this morning (at 7am, please don’t judge) and decided to go in search of an easy allergen-free recipe when I stumbled upon your site. I LOVE it. I’ve been to a lot of healthier cooking and paleo sites over the last year and sadly I have never come across Detoxinista before but you have instantly become my favorite, I can already tell. Can’t wait to spend some time digging through that recipe box!

    It is now 8am and I am so very happily inhaling my plate of cookies. Incidentally, I didn’t have any maple syrup so I used no sugar apple butter, a little water, and a few drops of stevia. They have a nice caramely taste-almost buttery.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  20. Jacki

    Loved this recipe! I didn’t make the crust because I didn’t have the almond meal. I spread the coconut filling into a 9×13 dish and pressed it down good. Added whole toasted almonds and chilled for a few hours. Then poured the melted chocolate on top, put back in fridge for one hour. Until set. Cut into bite size pieces and Bam! Awesome!!

    Reply
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  22. Jules

    Everyone in the house loved these – even the ones that have no dietary restrictions. I would only probably add another layer of chocolate next time, only keep in the fridge (not the freezer), and make a double batch.

    Reply
  23. Mark

    I made a batch of these, following the recipe exactly. They are very tasty however my finished product looked nothing like yours. The chocolate topping was very thinly spread, nowhere near the thickness that is suggested in the photographs. Its almost as if the photos are of a double recipe; the height of each layer is easily twice that of the recipe’s yield.

    Reply
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  26. Nancy

    I’m in the process of making these and it occurred to me that “Almond joy has nuts. Mounds don’t. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.” So I guess since these don’t have actual whole almond in them, they might resemble Mounds more than almond joy, even with the almond meal crust πŸ™‚

    Reply
  27. Natasha

    This recipe is okay. The middle texture is too dry it needs something to moisten it. Maybe coconut cream next time. However I found that if you warm slightly and add a slice of fresh strawberry it is 10 times better.

    Reply
  28. Lavamom

    The almond meal crust is delicious, and you can’t go wrong with the chocolate topping, but my coconut middle was crumbly and did not hold together. The coconut never really absorbed the maple syrup very well. Your picture makes the coconut look thick and integrated. I did not use the brand you link to, I used bulk dehydrated coconut from Whole Foods. Any ideas? Also, after removing from the freezer, do you wait a bit before you cut them? I cut them right away, and the chocolate topping cracked and separated from the filling. Thank you for any help!

    Reply
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  31. Britt

    These were absolutely perfect! The only change I made was to use slightly less maple syrup in both the coconut and chocolate (about a half a TBSP less in each). My husband loved them and asked me to make them again immediately. An absolute winner. Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply
  32. Carolyn

    I made these last weekend, and they did not disappoint! They reminded me of Tastykake’s Coconut Tandy Kakes, from days gone by. ( I used to eat them cold, from the refrigerator.) I’m making these again today, and I’m sure I’ll keep this recipe as a favorite. Thank you!

    Reply
  33. Barbra Donachy

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ve been playing around with it as a base recipe and it works great. I posted it on my blog (www.cutterlight.com) and linked back here.
    Thanks again for posting.
    Greetings from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia!

    Reply
  34. Mari

    I just made these tonight as a healthier Easter treat for my paleo boyfriend- they came out great but I had one tiny screw-up: my coconut filling was your typical shredded pieces, and my coconut oil was thin, so it was not dense (it was mostly just seasoned coated coconut. When I poured the liquidy chocolate sauce onto, it didn’t form a third layer, it kind of sank into the coconut. I was a bit disappointed, but it’s mostly cosmetic! Has anyone else had this issue? Your filling looks very dense and creamy… how do you achieve that consistency? I’m thinking next time I might try pressing the filling more firmly into the crust. Thoughts?

    Reply
  35. Claire at Stuffed Sweet Potato Monday

    These are great! Made them for my gluten-free brother. I’m vegan so it’s hard to find meals and desserts that please the whole family. Will definitely go back to these.

    I added a little ground flax to the almond meal crust. I was hoping that would help it stick together even more, and add a little darker color for contrast. Next time I’ll double the chocolate on top. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply

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