These vegan pumpkin spice Nanaimo bars feature a press-in walnut date crust, cashew-maple filling infused with real pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices, and raw chocolate topping for a divine fall dessert that’s incredibly good for you!
DATE WALNUT CRUST
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 8 soft, pitted Medjool dates (a heaping 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa or raw cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
CASHEW MAPLE PUMPKIN SPICE FILLING
- 1 1/2 cups soaked and drained raw cashews
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey
- 1/3 cup chopped cacao butter, melted (may sub coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
RAW CHOCOLATE TOPPING
- 3 tablespoons chopped cacao butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa or raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- MAKE THE BASE: Place the walnut halves, chopped dates, shredded coconut, cocoa, and sea salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until the mixture resembles coarse grains of sand and is sticky. If, for some reason, the mixture is not sticking together, it’s likely because your dates were not soft enough. If this happens to you, add a tablespoon of almond milk or a teaspoon of coconut oil. This will help the mixture come together.
- Line a 8×8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Press the date-walnut mixture into the pan, doing your best to press down into an even layer. Set aside while you make the middle layer.
- MAKE THE MIDDLE LAYER: Add the soaked cashews, maple syrup or honey, melted cacao butter, pumpkin, vanilla, salt, lemon juice, non-dairy milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and cloves to an upright blender. (A Vitamix or Blendtec works best here; if you don’t have one, a regular blender will work, but it won’t get as smooth.) Start blending on the lower speed and gradually increase the speed. Blend until ultra smooth, without any chunks of cashews in the mixture. This will take a bit of time, but be patient! 🙂
- Pour the cashew filling over the base and put into the freezer for three hours to firm up.
- MAKE THE RAW CHOCOLATE TOPPING: Melt the cacao butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup or honey, and non-dairy milk. Remove the Nanaimo bar from the freezer, pour the raw chocolate over top, and tilt the pan a few times to spread the chocolate evenly. Return the pan to the freezer for one more hour.
- SLICE THE BARS: Once the raw chocolate topping is firm, remove the pumpkin spice Nanaimo bar from the freezer and lift it out of the pan. Place on a cutting board. Run a knife under hot water to facilitate slicing, then slice the bar into 16 squares.
- Store the bars in the freezer and remove from the freezer ten minutes before enjoying to allow them to soften.
If you don’t have any cacao butter, you can use raw virgin coconut oil instead.
Prep time listed does not include 4 hours of freezing time.
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Canadian
Keywords: vegan pumpkin spice Nanaimo bars no-bake