An instant dessert favorite: Almond Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars finished with a smooth and creamy almond butter topping! These gluten-free and vegan treats are made without refined sugar, and I've been craving them non-stop since my first batch...which is no problem since they're quick and easy to make!
I first introduced these bars on my Instagram story when I experimented with a smooth almond butter topping, and everyone was immediately interested! This is one of the really fun things about social media: sharing what I'm working on and getting a glimpse of the recipes that are going to be crowd favorites. These Almond Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars are totally one of those crowd favorites that I cannot wait for you to try! They're essentially a rice crispy treat, but made without marshmallows or stovetop time...plus a DREAMY topping! Making these is as easy as stirring ingredients, pressing them into a pan, stirring the topping, and drizzling. I store them in my freezer and have one almost every night!
Ingredients in Almond Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars
This recipe is made up completely from pantry ingredients...which means that even if I'm not planning on making them, I still keep these items on hand in case a craving strikes. I take chocolate very seriously! I keep the batch in the freezer, then put one on the countertop at room temperature for a few minutes before I bite in.
- Dark chocolate chips - I grab Hu brand chocolate chips for vegan, refined sugar-free chocolate. I stir melted chocolate into the bars, and I also drizzle it overtop for a super appealing look!
- Coconut oil - Your coconut oil should be in liquid form so it stirs in easily. If it's cooler where you live, you may need to pop it in the microwave for a bit!
- Almond butter - The smoother and runnier the better! My favorite variety is Trader Joe's raw creamy almond butter. It has the best texture and flavor. I've found that a new jar works best. You can also store your almond butter jar upside down to help the oils stay evenly distributed! For a nut-free version, sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter or tahini would work great.
- Pure maple syrup - I use pure maple syrup to sweeten so many of my recipes that I buy it in bulk! It's made from just one ingredient: boiled-down sap from maple trees. This keeps my favorite desserts free of refined sugar while adding delicious, natural sweetness.
- Vanilla and salt - Just a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt makes the almond and chocolate flavors pop in a big way.
- Brown rice crisp cereal - Look for a cereal that's certified gluten-free and free of refined sugar. I usually use One Degree Organics brand!
Creamy Almond Butter Topping
Once the crispy treats are made, I pop the pan in the freezer for a few minutes while I whip up an almond butter topping. This creamy and indulgent topping takes these treats straight to the top of my list of favorite desserts! Almond butter, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt are already in the bars, so we're just whipping up a little extra to spread overtop with a drizzle of chocolate!
All About Almond Butter
This recipe has creamy raw almond butter in both the crispy treats and the creamy topping, which gives it a delicious sweet and subtle nutty flavor AND adds plant-based protein into your treat. It's actually pretty easy to make your own Homemade Raw Creamy Almond Butter, which has just one ingredient: almonds! Almonds are low in carbohydrates and high in protein. They also offer fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and calcium.
Gluten-Free Almond Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars
The cereal aisle can feel discouraging when you're shopping with dietary restrictions! I've found a couple favorites that I rely on for short, clean ingredient lists. For vegan rice crispy treats I use One Degree Organics gluten-free sprouted brown rice crispy cereal. It's lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, keeping it refined sugar-free, and the texture creates the perfect crunch in these bars! Delicious and crunchy!
More Rice Crispy Treat Recipes:
I hope you make and love these vegan (no dairy or eggs!), gluten-free, soy-free Almond Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars. They're even free of refined sugar, which is so exciting for a dessert I crave as often as this one! I would absolutely LOVE it if you tagged me on Instagram so I can see your creations. I also appreciate it more than you know when you drop a review below my recipe posts. It's a wonderful way you can support my business!
More Sweet Treats
- Healthy Flourless Monster Cookies (vegan + gluten-free)
- Easy Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars (vegan + gluten-free)
- No-Bake Fudgy Quinoa-Chia Bites
- Homemade Almond Joy Bars (vegan + paleo)
- Easy 5-Ingredient Vegan Peppermint Patties (gluten-free + paleo)
- No-Bake Vegan and Gluten-Free Cheesecake
- Vegan Almond Butter Cups (refined sugar-free + gluten-free)
- Homemade Chocolate Candy Bars (vegan + gluten-free)
- Vegan Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (paleo + refined sugar-free)
- Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)
- Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
For the chocolate rice crispy layer
- ½ cup vegan, refined sugar-free dark chocolate chips, melted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup runny unsweetened, unsalted creamy raw almond butter (a new jar works best here)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups gluten-free unsweetened brown rice crisp cereal
- ¼ teaspoon of fine salt
For the almond butter layer
- ⅔ cup raw creamy almond butter (runny works best here)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
Chocolate Drizzle Layer
- ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate chips, melted
- Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- For the chocolate rice crispy layer: Place melted chocolate and melted coconut oil in large mixing bowl. Add almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and well combined, about 1 minute. Next stir in the brown rice crisp cereal and salt until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, and use a spatula to flatten the top so it is even and well compact. Alternatively, you could place a new sheet of parchment paper overtop the treats and then use the bottom of a glass to press the mixture down without it sticking to the bottom of the glass. Place baking pan in the freezer to set while you prepare the next layer.
- For the almond butter layer: In a clean mixing bowl whisk well to combine the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Pour overtop the chocolate rice crispy layer and place back in the freezer for 2 hours to set.
- Drizzle melted chocolate overtop the almond butter layer. Place in the freezer for a couple minutes to set the chocolate drizzle layer.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the parchment paper to remove the bars from the baking pan. Allow to thaw a couple minutes at room temperature then slice into 16 bars. Serve.
- The rice crispy treats can be stored covered in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. The treats will slightly soften at room temperature within 10-15 minutes.
For an alternate base try using my almond butter rice crispy treats as the first layer. So good in this recipe too!
- Prep Time: 15
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Freezer
Keywords: chocolate rice crispy treats