Easy, no-bake oat fudge bars that are vegan, gluten-free, and SO decadent-tasting!
Date Cashew Oat Crust
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup soft, juicy pitted Medjool dates (about 12)
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon water, if needed
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (I am referring to the solid cream that separates to the top of a can of coconut milk when refrigerated overnight)
- Start by preparing the pan: Line an 8×8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, with overhang for ease of lifting out after.
- Make the crust: Place the cashews and rolled oats in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Process into a meal. Next, add the coconut, dates, salt, and coconut oil. Process until a sticky dough forms. You might need to add a tablespoon of water if it isn’t sticking together, even after a minute or two of processing. The fresher and stickier your dates are, the better.
- Crumble 1/2 cup of the dough into a small dish and set aside. Crumble the remaining dough into the prepared baking dish. Use your fingers to firmly press the dough into an even layer.
- Make the fudge layer: Place the coconut cream and chocolate chips in a small saucepan. (If you have a double boiler or some way to safely place your saucepan over another saucepan of simmering water, use that- but I just used a small saucepan for this and it worked fine.) Melt over low heat, whisking often, until smooth and uniform.
- Pour the fudge over the prepared crust. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread it in an even layer.
- Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of dough over top. Transfer into the freezer and freeze for 4 hours, or until the chocolate fudge layer is firm.
- Allow the bar to soften for a couple of minutes before slicing. You can slice into nine large squares, as my gluttonous self did, or, if you exhibit self restraint, you could go for 12-16 more reasonably sized bars.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. I stored mine in the fridge and found that the texture was perfect!
It is very important to use only the solid coconut cream that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk when refrigerated for twelve hours. The water will make the fudge too runny and it probably won’t solidify. You can discard the remaining coconut cream and water in the can, or save it for another use, such as a smoothie. Some brands work better than others in terms of the cream separating from the water. I have had success with Whole Foods 365 Organic, as well as Earth’s Choice Organic.
Keywords: no-bake oat fudge bars gluten-free vegan