Homemade Almond Joy Bars (vegan + paleo)

VeganGluten-FreePaleoSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyKid-FriendlyVegetarianEgg-FreeDairy Free

Craving a candy bar, unsure about all the sugar and added ingredients? These Homemade Almond Joy Bars are just as delicious as the classic treat, and they’re made without dairy or refined sugar! It’s just coconut, almonds, and delicious dark chocolate.

Vegan Almond Joy Bars

Almond Joy candy bars: do you love them or skip them? When I asked on my stories it seemed like there were two extremes: people either said they were their favorite candy, or they HATED them. I’m on Team Almond Joy all the way, though! Coconut, almond, and chocolate?! Those are three of my favorite things! Plus, when you make your own vegan Homemade Almond Joy Bars, you can decide how many almonds you want in each bar, so if the almond is your favorite part…double up!

Easy Homemade Almond Joy
Ingredients in a Homemade Almond Joy

Ingredients in Vegan Homemade Almond Joy Bars

This recipe has two parts: the coconut base with an almond topping, then the chocolate that covers it all up! The coconut nest is super easy to make, so the most time-consuming part is also the most delicious part: dunking it in chocolate! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Vegan Almond Joy Bars:

  • Shredded coconut – Go with unsweetened shredded (not flaked) coconut for this recipe. Double check your coconut shreds. The sweetened options have lots of refined sugar added, which we don’t need in this recipe!
  • Coconut oil – This is what we’ll be using to bind the coconut mound together. Your coconut oil should be completely melted so it’s easy to measure and distribute evenly throughout!
  • Pure maple syrup – My go-to sweetener! Pure maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, and it’s a totally natural way to sweeten your recipes without any added refined sugar.
  • Raw almonds – This recipe only calls for 6, but you can use more if you want extra almonds in your Almond Joys! You can also omit these if you’re nut-free, which will make a vegan, refined sugar-free Mounds bar. Yum!
  • Vegan chocolate chips – I love the Hu brand of chocolate chips! They’re free of refined sugar and melt perfectly for a treat like this one. You can find Hu chocolate at most big grocery stores now, including Target, Sprouts, and Whole Foods!

How to Make an Almond Joy at Home

I’m excited to show you how simple this process is! Homemade candy can feel overwhelming, but these bars are actually so easy to make, and it’s a great recipe to get little ones involved in the kitchen.

  1. Start by processing the coconut base: shredded coconut, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. It only needs to be pulsed a couple times, until it’s all combined! Don’t overdo it; Almond Joy bars have quite a bit of texture.
  2. Portion the coconut mixture into six mounds. I use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to make sure they’re even! Place each scoop on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and then use your hands to shape them into small, rectangular bars. You can dampen your hands with water if you’re worried about sticking!
  3. Press an almond in the top of each bar. I like to push it down a bit so it kind of nestles into the coconut! Skip this step for a nut-free Mounds bar.
  4. Now we freeze! The bars will need about an hour to harden completely. This is the hardest part of the recipe…waiting for them to be ready!
  5. Right before pulling the bars out, melt vegan chocolate completely in a small bowl. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and completely dunk each bar in chocolate. I’ve found that using two forks makes this easiest! Place the Almond Joy bars back on the parchment paper and return them to the freezer for about 10 minutes so the chocolate can set.

I love to eat these bars straight out of the freezer! It’s such a delicious dessert (or snack for when my sweet tooth is being extra demanding!). If you like a gooier Almond Joy, let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes. The more time they spend out of the freezer the softer they’ll get! You can store these bars in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Sugar-Free Almond Joy Bars

Health Benefits of Shredded Coconut

While most fruits are higher in carbs, coconut provides healthful fats and protein! They contain manganese, which supports bone health and your metabolic functions, as well as copper and iron. One cup of dried coconut provides 18 grams of fiber, which is great for digestive health! Even though this is a sweet treat that you probably aren’t relying on for a majority of your daily nutrition, it’s still nice to know that it’s doing your body some good.

Dark Chocolate Almond Joy Bar

All About Chocolate

Years of nutrition research has shown that chocolate isn’t just junk food and may actually provide health benefits! But what kind of chocolate can actually be considered healthy? The health benefits of chocolate come from antioxidants called flavanols found in the cocoa solids (as opposed to the cocoa butter). When consumed in large amounts, studies have shown that flavanols in chocolate may lower high blood pressure, promote lung health, decrease the risk of diabetes, benefit the brain function, improve your mood, and benefit the vascular system. Amazing! Dark chocolate has a rich, intense flavor, contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids, and provides a number of important minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium. Compared with milk chocolate, you are getting more cacao solids and thus more flavanols.  Flavanols provide a dark pigment, so visually you can look for darker color, which usually means more nutritional benefits! The label for store-bought chocolate will also tell you what percentage of cacao it contains. Usually, the greater percentage the better!

Easy Almond Joy Recipe

These Homemade Almond Joy Bars are vegan (that means no dairy or eggs!), paleo, soy-free, and made without any refined sugar. I love making treats that everyone can enjoy at parties and holidays! If you make these, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your homemade candy fun! You can also leave a review below, which I really appreciate!

Almond Joy Without Dairy
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Vegan Almond Joy Bars

Homemade Almond Joy Bars (vegan + paleo)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Craving a candy bar, unsure about all the sugar and added ingredients? These Homemade Almond Joy Bars are just as delicious as the classic treat, and they’re made without dairy or refined sugar! It’s just coconut, almonds, and delicious dark chocolate.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 6 whole raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips, melted

Instructions

  1. In a mini food processor, combine the coconut, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla and salt.  Pulse a couple times until well combined.  Scrape down the sides with a mini spatula if needed.  Do not over process as you do want to have some texture to the mixture.  See notes if you do not have a food processor.
  2. Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the mixture into 6 mounds.  Place each scoop of coconut onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or cutting board (any small flat surface that can fit in your refrigerator).  Use your hands to shape the coconut into small bars (rectangles that are about 2-inches long and 1-inch wide.
  3. Place one almond into the center, top of each mound of coconut.  Press slightly so it is nestled partially into the coconut.  If you are nut-free you can omit the almond and just make Mounds (coconut + chocolate coating).
  4. Place the baking sheet/cutting board in the freezer and allow the candies to harden for at least one hour.
  5. Just before pulling them out of the freezer, melt your chocolate completely in a small bowl.
  6. Remove the coconut/almond center from the freezer and use two forks to carefully dunk each candy into the melted chocolate to cover it completely on all sides.  Place each candy back on the parchment paper and place them back in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
  7. Enjoy straight from the freezer (you can allow them to thaw at room temperature before enjoying for a gooier center).  Or, store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks (with parchment paper between each bar).  The more they sit out at room temperature the softer the center will be.

Notes

If you do not have a food processor you can combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl.  The consistency is slightly better when you process them together but the recipe still works when you stir them by hand.

If you are nut-free you can omit the almonds and make these into Mound bars

  • Category: Candy/Dessert
  • Method: Food Processor and Freezer

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2 Comments

  1. Lucy

    These are delicious! Almond joys are my favorite candy but I have a newly discovered soy allergy and can’t have almost any store-bought candy. These are a fabulous substitution!






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Lucy! I’m so happy you enjoyed these and they helped fill in the gap with your soy allergy. Thank you for the five star rating!
      Best, Elaine

      Reply

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