These walnut date bars are the ultimate no-bake dessert recipe. They consist of three simple layers: a vegan shortbread crust, walnut, date and coconut filling and a fudgy chocolate topping. This walnut bars recipe is paleo, vegan and gluten free.
I'm in full-on "no-bake" mode over here. Meaning, lots of fun, raw dessert recipes will be popping up on the blog in the near future. I'm starting off with these vegan walnut date bars.
And guys, I'm not kidding when I say this is the BEST way to incorporate walnuts into a recipe!
Walnut Date Bars
These bars have 3 dreamy layers, all paleo, vegan and gluten free:
- shortbread cookie crust made from walnuts and coconut flour
- crumble filling made with dates, walnuts and coconut
- fudgy chocolate topping made with nut butter and dark chocolate
I've been making these walnut crumble bars for years and they always turn out perfectly! Plus, they're kid approved - great for putting in lunches or enjoying as a healthy dessert.
These gluten free walnut date bars are made with whole food ingredients and they consist of three layers. Here's what you need to make them:
- coconut flour
- coconut oil
- honey (maple syrup for vegan)
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- almond butter
- chocolate chips
The crust is made up of walnuts, coconut flour, coconut oil, a little honey and salt. Although I have only tested the shortbread crust with coconut flour, ground oats, almond flour or a gluten free blend should work as well. You may have to adjust the quantities though.
The crumble filling is made with walnuts, dates, shredded coconut, vanilla and salt. The dates act as a sweetener and a binder for the filling. If you cannot consume dates, another dried fruit will work instead. For instance, dried figs or raisins.
Lastly, the topping is made with almond butter and dark chocolate. The almond butter makes the topping soft and silky smooth, like fudge. Any variety of nut/seed butter will work as a replacement.
How To Make Walnut Bars
These bars are made layer by layer.
First, make the crust. Place all crust ingredients in a food processor (or high powered blender) and blend until the mixture starts to clump.
Next, pour the crust into a lined 8" x 8" or 7" x 11" baking dish. I lined my dish with parchment paper, but foil works well too.
Firmly press the crust into the dish so that it lays in a level, even layer.
The filling is made in a similar manner as the crust. Simply, place all filling ingredients in the food processor and blend until the mixture starts to clump. Note: it's best to use soft dates. Either microwave them (on high) for 10 seconds, or place them in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes and then drain the water.
Spread the filling over the crust, then use your hands to firmly press it down.
Lastly, to make the topping, melt the dark chocolate on the stove top, over low heat. Once melted, turn off the heat and mix in the nut butter. I used almond butter but any nut or seed butter works. In fact, you could even substitute with coconut cream.
Pour the topping over the filling and smooth it to the edges of the dish.
Chill the Bars
Lastly, chill the walnut chocolate bars in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
After chilling, cut the bars to desired size and enjoy!
I recommend storing these walnut date bars in the fridge. However, you may keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature. The bars won't last as long this way. But, let's be honest, they won't stick around long enough to go bad anyway! 😉
Another option is to store these dark chocolate walnut bars in the freezer. To soften, you can defrost them for a few minutes prior to eating.
More No Bake Desserts
If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of my other no-bake bars:
These no-bake walnut date bars have a soft shortbread crust, crumbly walnut and date filling and a fudgy chocolate topping.
- ½ cup coconut flour (60g)
- ½ cup walnut halves (505g)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil, room temp
- 1 Tbsp raw honey (maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g Medjool dates, pitted (8-10 dates)
- 1 cup walnut halves (110g)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (50g)
- pinch of salt
- 2 oz dark chocolate
- ⅓ cup drippy almond butter
- For the crust: place all crust ingredients in food processor or high powdered blender. Blend, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary, until dough starts to clump.
- Remove crust mixture from food processor and firmly press into a lined 8" x 8" baking pan.
- For the filling: place all filling ingredients in food processor and blend until mixture starts to clump.
- Remove filling from food processor, scatter over crust and firmly press down with your hands.
- For the topping: place dark chocolate in a small sauce pan. Melt on the stove top, over low heat. Once fully melted, remove from heat and mix in nut butter.
- Pour topping over filling.
- Set bars in fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
- Remove bars from baking pan, cut to desired size and eat!
Keywords: no bake dessert, walnut date bars, walnut crumble bars, layered cookie bars, paleo desserts, vegan desserts, walnut dessert recipe, dark chocolate walnut date recipe