Make these vegan cookie dough bars for a no-bake snack or dessert that’s luxurious, yet completely fuss-free. With chewy, soft cookie dough and date caramel followed by a smooth chocolate layer, they will become your new favourite treat! Gluten-free and made from just 7 ingredients.

Vegan-caramel-cookie-dough-bars

Cookie dough. You just can’t not love it. It’s definitely one of life’s simple pleasures. As I only do egg-free baking, whenever I make cookies, it’s so hard not to eat half of the dough throughout the process.

And if you’re anything like me, today is your lucky day. You have to run to the kitchen and make these cookie dough bars ASAP, because they make cookie dough even better. Give them a go, and you will exactly what I mean!

Caramel bars on a sheet of parchment paper

Okay, where do I even start?! It took me a few tries to get this recipe just right, because I wanted the texture to be reminiscent of the most decadent cookie dough that melts in your mouth. And that’s exactly what you get with the final result! With just a few ingredients, you end up with a chewy cookie dough layer that’s perfectly sweetened, with a nutty undertone.

Vegan no-bake snacks with three layers

Next up, we have the date caramel. This really levels up these cookie dough bars. Medjool dates are a fantastic ingredient because the sweetness is just on point, and after soaking, they easily create the most amazing dense caramel texture. I like to make a little extra just to snack on by itself!

Caramel cookie dough bars on a table

Finally, we have the dark chocolate layer. This is an absolute necessity, adding a delightful crunch and an extra level of indulgence. And you definitely don’t have to worry about doing lots of work in the kitchen! You’ll be amazed by how easy these are to make using just 7 ingredients.

Ingredients and substitutions

Ingredients for vegan cookie dough bars
  • Medjool dates. These are used to make the caramel layer, as well as to sweeten the cookie dough.
  • Gluten-free oats. These are the main ingredient for the cookie dough. If you want to, you can also use store-bought oat flour.
  • Maple syrup. Or any other liquid sweetener of your choice. Sugar won’t work, as the addition of liquid sweetener helps the ingredients stick together.
  • Vanilla extract. This helps to give cookie dough its distinctive flavour.
  • Peanut butter. You can use any nut or seed butter of your choice.
  • Dark chocolate. You can also vegan milk chocolate.
  • Coconut oil. This will be melted together with the chocolate to make the chocolate glaze layer.
Vegan snack bars with caramel and chocolate

This is a summary of the instructions, together with step-by-step photos. For full measurements, scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post.

It’s so incredibly easy! Start by soaking the dates in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain them afterwards.

Now add the gluten-free oats, maple syrup, a portion of the dates, vanilla extract, and peanut butter to a blender or food processor. Blend until thoroughly mixed together.

Vegan cookie dough ingredients in a blender

Transfer the cookie dough to a rectangular pan lined with parchment paper. Press it down into an even layer.

Make the date caramel by adding the rest of the dates and peanut butter to the blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Then, add the date caramel on top of the cookie dough and smooth out using a spatula.

Leave to set in the freezer for 30 minutes. Use this time to make the chocolate glaze. Add the dark chocolate and melted coconut oil to a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan with water simmering over a low heat. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water and leave it until the chocolate melts, stirring using a spatula if necessary.

Pour the chocolate glaze over the caramel layer and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes more. Remove from the pan, serve and enjoy!

Frequently-asked questions

Caramel cookie dough bars with chocolate
Are these cookie dough bars gluten-free?

Yes, as long as you use gluten-free oat flour.

How do I store them?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I would not recommend storing them in the freezer for longer than the preparation time as they may become brittle.

What type of pan should I use?

You can use any rectangular pan of your choice. As I like the bars to be quite thick, I typically use a standard bread loaf pan.

Chocolate cookie dough bars with a date caramels

Tips and tricks for success

  • Make sure that you don’t leave the chocolate in the heatproof bowl for too long, as this may cause it to curdle.
  • Blend the cookie dough ingredients thoroughly, as this will lead to a smoother texture.
  • In order to slice the cookie dough bars, dip the knife in warm water and wipe it clean before slicing. This will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t crumble.
  • You can stir nuts, seeds or chocolate chips into the cookie dough layer before leaving it to set for a fun variation.

Other no-bake dessert recipes

Vegan caramel cookie dough bars

Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite chocolatey snack? If you give these vegan cookie dough bars a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating.

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    Vegan-caramel-cookie-dough-bars

    Get the Recipe: Vegan Cookie Dough Bars (No-bake, Gluten-free)

    These vegan cookie dough bars with chocolate and a luxurious caramel layer are an easy no-bake dessert or snack! Gluten-free, and made using just 7 simple ingredients.
    5 from 4 votes

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/3 cup pitted medjool dates, tightly packed
    • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 6 tbsp smooth peanut butter
    • 5 oz dark chocolate
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil

    Equipment

    • Mixing bowl x 2
    • Strainer or colander
    • Blender or food processor
    • Rectangular pan
    • Parchment paper
    • Spatula

    Instructions 

    • Soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain them afterwards.
    • Add the gluten-free oats, maple syrup, 2/3 cup of the dates, vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup peanut butter to a blender or food processor. Blend until thoroughly mixed together.
    • Transfer the cookie dough to a rectangular pan lined with parchment paper. Press it down into an even layer.
    • Make the date caramel by adding the rest of the dates and peanut butter to the blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Then, add the date caramel on top of the cookie dough and smooth out using a spatula. Leave to set in the freezer for 30 minutes.
    • Make the chocolate glaze. Add the dark chocolate and melted coconut oil to a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan with water simmering over a low heat. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water and leave it until the chocolate melts, stirring using a spatula if necessary.
    • Pour the chocolate glaze over the caramel layer and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes more. Remove from the pan, serve and enjoy!

    Video

    Calories: 434kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 79mg, Potassium: 630mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 71IU, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 4mg
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    Vegan cookie dough bars