No Bake Vegan Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips

For the sake of maintaining the integrity, believability, and the all-around legit-ness of the technically virtual but oh-so-actual real-life bond that you and I have between our screens, I do my best to minimize superlatives when writing about my recipes. Therefore, it is not without serious reflection and utter sincerity that I say…holy smokes, good gosh golly almighty, and bless your chocolate-loving heart! These no-bake Vegan Cookie Dough Bars are THE BEST healthy dessert to come out of my kitchen, perhaps EVER.

No Bake VEGAN Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars! Flourless, eggless, NO BUTTER OR OIL! This easy, healthy treat is made with wholesome ingredients like peanut butter, oats, dates, and maple syrup. Gluten free! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

I’m not sure how many times I can tell you something is “the best” before the phrase loses its oomph, but I am willing to risk one more on this dynamite dessert. Yes the recipe is vegan, but no matter what diet you do or no not follow, I can promise you will be jumping up and down with every bite of this sweet, chocolate-studded treat.

Easy VEGAN Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars. NO FLOUR, NO BUTTER, and NO OIL! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Let’s review the recipe highlights.

Short version:

  • We are eating what tastes like a slab of straight-from-the-bowl, old-school, butter-and-sugar-laden peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough.

Long(er) version:

  • This vegan cookie dough contains no refined sugar. It’s naturally sweetened with dates and a touch of maple syrup.
  • No butter or oil. Instead, the rich taste and luscious texture of the vegan cookie dough bars comes from heart-healthy peanut butter (or almond butter if you prefer).
  • 100% whole grains. I used rolled oats, meaning that the bars are also gluten free for those with dietary concerns. That’s right, no flour.
  • LOTS OF DARK CHOCOLATE. In the bars, on the bars. Life is good.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips. Easy, healthy, and made with whole foods like oats, almond flour, and maple syrup. Like eating a bowl of cookie dough! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

These Vegan Cookie Dough Bars have become a fixture in our home. They fulfill my midafternoon craving for something sweet without sending me into a sugar coma. Ben takes them to the office to eat with his lunch. I’ve even introduced them to multiple friends, none of whom could believe they don’t contain a spec of butter, refined sugar, or flour.

I’ve made these Vegan Cookie Dough Bars both with and without the extra layer of chocolate on top.

Without the chocolate, they remind me a little of Larabars and other similar fruit-and-nut based energy bars, minus the weird chewiness. They are certainly sweet enough to pass for dessert but are not SO sweet that you’d be reprimanded for eating one with your morning coffee or for a post-workout snack.

WITH the chocolate, however, boy oh boy. That is where you’ll find me, my superlatives, and depending upon how long you wait, nothing but an empty container and a telltale chocolate smear on face.

These amazing vegan cookie dough bars taste like a bowl of old fashioned peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough! No bake, healthy, and gluten free. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

These no-bake Vegan Cookie Dough Bars can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator and freeze beautifully, so in the unlikely event you don’t eat them all right away, they’ll be happy to wait for you.

If you like this vegan cookie dough recipe, don’t miss these other healthy, chocolaty treats:

Tools I used to make these Vegan Cookie Dough Bars:
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Vegan Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter

Vegan Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter. An easy no bake dessert that tastes decadent but is made from wholesome ingredients.

Yield: 1 (8x4) pan, about 10 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough filling:

  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten free if needed)
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter (I used the natural, drippy kind that is stored in the refrigerator)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (about 2 ounces; dairy free if needed)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING (optional):

  • 2/3 cup chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips (about 4 ounces; dairy free if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. If your dates are at all dry, place them in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit 5 minutes, then drain. Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  2. Add the oats and pulse until the oats are broken down and the mixture forms a sticky ball that sticks to the sides of the bowl. Add the almond flour, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and pulse until the mixture forms a smooth paste, stopping to scrape the bowl and break up the ingredients as needed. If the mixture seems very dry (this may happen depending upon the moisture content in your dates and nut butter), add water 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough just sticks together when you press it with your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  3. Line an 8×4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some of the paper hanging out on two sides like handles. Scoop the dough into the pan and press it into an even layer, pressing it all the way into the corners. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, until set.
  4. For the chocolate topping: In a microwave-safe bowl or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the chocolate. If microwaving, check and stir it every 15 seconds to prevent burning. When the chocolate is almost but not yet completely melted, remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil until completely melted and smooth. Spread the melted chocolate over the cooled bars, then return them to the freezer for 10 to 20 additional minutes to set completely. Remove from the pan using the parchment overhang, slice, and enjoy.
  • Store leftover bars in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • I haven’t tried subbing additional oats for the almond flour, but I think this could work.
  • Additions: If you like, you can add a tablespoon or two of additional healthy mix-ins, such as flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, or chia seeds. This may alter the consistency of the bars, so if they seem to dry, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the mixture holds together.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 10), including the chocolate topping

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 200 Calories
  • Total Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Sodium: 30mg
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Protein: 4g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

34 comments

  1. Greetings from Nepal,Erin!
    Anything no-bake is right up my alley! Thank you for sharing the recipe! This looks so adorable and delicious!
    But I have to ask, can honey be a substitute for the maple syrup ? Where I live maple syrup is not available in the markets
    Would love to hear back from you as soon as posible . Cannot wait to try this on my own this weekend! xx

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Ushmana! I can’t believe this recipe made it all the way to Nepal. So nice to e-meet you:) Yes! honey will be a perfect substitute. I hope you love the recipe!

  2. I’m OBSESSED!!! making these asap with my kids!

  3. OMG!! These look fantastic and I have all the ingredients!!! It’s a sign from the heavens!! Will be making ASAP as well. Will definitely report back.  :-)

  4. As a fellow Wisconsin holistic nutrition coach, I absolutely love reading your blog (you’re hilarious) plus your recipes are amazeballs.  I’ll be sharing this bad boy with my clients today! 

    Rating: 5
  5. Lexi @Lexi'scleankitchen Reply

    You had me at chocolate + peanut butter! Cannot wait to make this!

  6. Pass one through the screen please!

  7. These sound delicious, but my daughter has a peanut allergy and I have a nut allergy. Wondering if there’s any other substitute we could make or if we should just let this recipe pass by?

  8. These look amazing, can’t wait to try them!

  9. These look amazing! Can you recommend a substitution for the maple syrup? I am one of the odd ones that just absolutely does not like the smell or taste of maple syrup. Thank You!

    • Hi Ava, honey would be a good substitute, but if you would like to keep the bars vegan, I’d also suggest brown rice syrup. I hope you enjoy the bars!

  10. Could I use whole wheat flour in place of almond flour?

    • Hi Lauren, sorry, but the two act completely differently and have different protein content, fat content, and moisture levels. If you don’t have almond flour on hand but have whole almonds, you could make your own by grinding up almonds and sifting out the large chunks before using.

  11. I almost didn’t read this recipe after learning that these were like peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough.  I HATE peanut butter cookies, and always have.  My introduction to them was in cooking class in the 7th grade, back in 1956, and I like them no better now than I did then.  So I’m glad that one can sub cashew butter or almond butter.  These bars sound like a nice snack.

  12. Wow, this recipe simply could not get any better. It’s vegan, it doesn’t require any baking, and it combines cookie dough with chocolate chips. It’s heavenly!!

    Rating: 5
  13. I have yet to try recipes using dates, but I clearly need to get on it! I’m hooked on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars and want to start making something similar from scratch…especially because I can top it with that beautiful silky dark chocolate. 

    And even as an omnivore who is gluten- and lactose-tolerant, these look wonderful!

    – MAK

    • I’d love to know what you think if you do give this recipe a try, Margaret Ann! (Those bars are so easy to get hooked on…)

  14. Hi Erin,  I’m anxious to try these.  Can I use coconut flour instead of almond flour?  Thank you!  

    • Hi Cathy, coconut flour and almond flour behave very differently, so it wouldn’t be a straight swap. I’ve only made them with almond flour, so you’d be experimenting! I’d stick with almond flour to be safe.

  15. I had to comment on this one. So easy, delicious, and indulgent! I made a batch for the kids and I to share but now I have them hidden in the freezer for just myself to enjoy : ) And I don’t feel guilty when I do!
    You certainly have every right to call these “the best”

    Your recipes are always a winner around here and I always look forward to trying them out.

    • Sherrie, thank you so much for this sweet comment and for giving these bars a try! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoy them! :)

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