This three-layered raw dessert is hands down one of the most delicious, decadent, and addictive treats I’ve ever made. First, there’s a chewy cookie dough base (that’s already delicious on its own), then there’s a luscious, ooey gooey, golden caramel layer (consisting mostly of medjool dates and almond butter), and to top it off, there’s a rich, smooth, velvety chocolate layer. It’s three of the best flavors in the world, frozen into one heavenly slice. My boyfriend’s eyes light up every time I make this, and if you bring this to a dinner party, I guarantee you’ll be everyone’s favorite person in the room.
This no-bake treat is vegan, butter-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and made with all natural, good-for-you ingredients. It keeps well in the freezer, so you’ll have something sweet to look forward to for weeks. Like any treat, they should be enjoyed in moderation—just because they’re made with wholesome ingredients doesn’t mean they’re the equivalent of a salad. They’re rich and nutrient-dense, so a small slice is all you need to satisfy your sweet cravings (okay, maybe two). Next time you’re in the mood to indulge or need a crowd-pleasing treat, I highly recommend this caramel slice. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Cookie Dough Base
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours
- 2/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 2/3 cup coconut flakes
- 4 dates, pitted and soaked in warm water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 14 dates)
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cacao butter (see notes below)
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Small pinch of sea salt
- Food processor (I love my Magimix)
- Baking pan (I used a 9.25″ x 3.25″ loaf pan)
- Double boiler (you can make your own with a saucepan and a heatproof mixing bowl)
- Cookie dough base adapted from Cleanfooddirtycity.
- This dessert keeps well in the freezer for up to a month, although best enjoyed fresh.
- For the chocolate topping, you can also melt 70-75% dark chocolate instead. I prefer the taste and texture of raw chocolate for this recipe, but it’s a good alternative when you don’t have all the ingredients.
- I order cacao butter on Amazon (I love this one or this one). I found that using cacao butter instead of coconut oil for the raw chocolate created a smoother, glossier, and tastier finish and didn’t melt as quickly out of the freezer. I learned this tip from Minimalist Baker, My New Roots, and my latest favorite cookbook ‘Clean Cakes’ by Henrietta Inman.
Prep time: 30 min / Freezing time: 3-4 hours / Total time: 4 hours and 30 min
Cuisine: Vegan, raw, dairy free, gluten free
Make Cookie Dough Base
- Add soaked cashews (1 cup, soaked for 4-6 hours), rolled oats (2/3 cup), coconut flakes (2/3 cup), and salt (1/4 tsp) to a food processor. Process for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients are finely ground.
- Add 4 medjool dates (pitted and soaked in warm water for 15-30 seconds) to food processor and blend until well combined into mixture. The dates will bind the mixture together and create a smooth but sticky consistency. If the mixture isn’t sticking together, add 1 tbsp of warm water and process again.
- Line baking pan with non-stick parchment paper. Press dough into the base of the pan and spread evenly. If the dough is sticking to your hands, dab them lightly with cold water. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place into freezer while you make the caramel filling.
Make Caramel Filling
- Add medjool dates (1 1/4 cup, about 14 dates, pitted), almond butter (1/3 cup), maple syrup (2 tbsp), coconut oil (1 tbsp, melted over low heat), vanilla extract (1 tsp), and salt (1/4 tsp) to food processor. Process for 1-2 minutes until ingredients are well combined into a smooth and even filling. If the mixture isn’t sticking together or lacking creaminess, add 1 tbsp of warm water and blend again.
- Layer the caramel filling on top of the cookie dough base and spread evenly with a spatula. Cover pan and place back into freezer while you make the raw chocolate topping.
Make Chocolate Topping
- Melt cacao butter (1/2 cup) using a double boiler. You can create a double boiler using a saucepan and a large heatproof mixing bowl. Add 1-2” of water to saucepan and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a very low simmer. Stack mixing bowl on top of saucepan (making sure bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Add cacao butter into the bowl for it to melt. Once cacao butter is melted, remove bowl from heat. (Note: Make sure not to overheat the cacao butter as it will alter the taste and appearance of the final chocolate.)
- After removing cacao butter from heat, add cacao powder (1/3 cup), maple syrup (3 tbsp), vanilla extract (1/2 tsp), and a pinch of salt to the mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined, and the texture is smooth and glossy.
- Pour the chocolate mixture evenly on top of the caramel filling. Cover pan and place back into freezer. Let it set overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.
Slice & Serve
- When the caramel slice is ready, remove from freezer and leave it at room temperature for about 1-2 minutes so that it’s easier to slice. To help prevent the chocolate layer from cracking as you slice it, you can run a knife under hot water and wipe it before using. Slice into smaller pieces and store in freezer for up to a month.
Grab a slice, close your eyes, and savor every bite!
Let me know if you try this recipe. Would love to know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment or #thehealthyhour on Instagram.
Photographs by Frances F. Denny