Mini Raw, Vegan Almond Joy Bars
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raw vegan almond joy bars

Hi all! Thanks for the warm responses to Meghan Telpner’s interview–and her marvelous recipe for Orange Zest-Infused Stew!

Are you ready for a treat? I was browsing through Food52 this week (I’m one of their columnists, but I also love getting inspired by all of the creativity on the site), and I saw this recipe for mini almond joys, created by Kristin Rosenau of Pastry Affair. They looked easy and delicious, which is how I like my desserts to be. They were already darn near close to a raw food recipe, but I decided to put a homemade raw, vegan spin on them, using the simple homemade raw chocolate coating or chip recipe that I learned from Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman. The results? Bite-sized (almond) joy. 

This recipe calls for cacao butter in the raw chocolate coating. If you don’t want to invest in the cacao butter, or you can’t find it, that’s cool; just go ahead and follow the Food52 instructions for using melted chocolate. That said, cacao butter is a fragrant, beautiful, and fascinating ingredient, and a little goes quite a long way. I’ve had the same bag I got on Amazon for months, and each time I make a batch of chocolate, I get a lot out of it. So in spite of the price tag, it’s worth checking out cacao butter for yourself–you can peek at the one I’ve used here!

Otherwise, this recipe is a cinch. Just watch.

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Mini Raw, Vegan Almond Joy Bars (Inspired by Food52 and Pastry Affair)

Author - Gena Hamshaw


  • For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • For the coating:
  • 1/3 cup melted cacao butter
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 12 almonds


  • 1. In a food processor fitted with the "S" blade, process all filling ingredients till well mixed and uniform. They'll be a little wet, but they should stick together well.
  • 2. Shape the filling into twelve mini rectangles. Place them on a parchment lined shallow casserole or baking pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 3. Set up a double boiler, using a medium sized mixing bowl. Melt the cacao butter, then whisk in the cacao powder, syrup, and sea salt.
  • 4. Take each mini bar and dip it into the coating, quickly placing it back on the parchment. Return them to the fridge for 10-15 minutes, or until one coating has set. Repeat the process, so that each has a double coat.
  • 5. Press one almond on top of each mini bar. Return them to the fridge for another 15 minutes (or more), to let them set. When ready to serve, let them sit outside the fridge for about 15 minutes, then share them!

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See? Easy. Easy, but delightful.

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I was never a coconut person growing up–raw foods actually converted me–but I do recall Almond Joys with fondness, and these little raw, vegan snacks are a pretty wonderful adaptation. They’ve also been post-bacc tested, which is currently my ultimate barometer of recipe success.

Make some this weekend, and enjoy every bite!


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Categories: Raw Desserts, Snacks
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Raw, Soy Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less

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  1. Can’t wait to try this for a bf who’s crazy about Almond Joy bars and asked for a raw substitute. Using Cocoa butter is so worth it, smells so darn good. I’ve had mine in a cupboard here in Hawaii for a year and it’s still fine. I melt it in my dehydrator to keep everything nice and raw.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. These look absolutely heavenly! I can’t wait to try them; however, I do have a question. You mentioned to another poster that we can use melted dark chocolate instead of the cacao butter, so does the dark chocolate replace the powder and the butter? If so, do we use 2/3 c of the dark chocolate and still mix in the other items? Thanks

    • Yes indeed, Stacy! Use 2/3 cup melted dark chocolate to replace the entire chocolate coating recipe. Enjoy it 🙂

  3. The Almond Joys were amazing!! Love this recipe!
    I kept the almond on the coconut before I covered it with chocolate.

  4. I made these and they are delicious, I didn’t have an y vanilla extract, so I used almond extract instead and a pinch of vanilla powder. YUM

  5. Can agave be used in place of the maple syrup please?

    I’ve just dicovered you unique and fascinating site, and am looking forward to working my through all he interesting and different areas. A lot of thought and time go into all the you write, I love your integrity and ethos.


  6. I can’t wait to make these and all my non-vegan friends will finally see it’s not all about eating plants lol Sooooo gooood 🙂

  7. I can see why they are joy bars. But having a little too much joy (bars) might be the temptation they provide.

  8. Almond joys were one of my favorite candies as a junk food eating teenager, and these are a perfect way to bring these back into my life– in a healthier way of course. Thanks for sharing as always Gena 🙂

  9. I followed the link from the most recent post to this recipe…and boy I’m glad I did! These look delicious and have just gone onto my “to do” list, Thanks.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing these delicious Almond Bars with us and would love to try in this weekend.

  11. These look perfect. They remind me of the dark chocolate coconut squares I love at my favorite vegan place here in LA, Real Food Daily, but with an almond on top. I can’t wait to make them!

    I’m Jenni, by the way. I just started a new health and fitness blog today. Yours has been a favorite of mine for some time, though. I always love everything you have to say. You’re a great inspiration, Gena!

  12. Oh yes! Almond Joy bars were my favorite when I was a kid. After trick-or-treating on Halloween I would trade candy with my brother until I had all the Almond Joys! Nowadays I don’t eat candy anymore, so I am very excited to have found this healthy alternative 🙂

    • Ana, you can’t, because coconut butter has solids in it that won’t make for smooth chocolate. If you don’t have cacao butter, just try melted dark chocolate!

    • You could sub coconut oil for a smooth chocolate. You’d have to keep them in the fridge though.

  13. Whoa. My sister is going to DIE when I make these for her. I was flipping through your choosing raw facebook photos today, and she told me she wanted everything 🙂 Love the pink nails too!