No-Bake Crispy Caramel Squares

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Crispy Caramel Squares | Healthy Vegan Treat | World of Vegan | #vegan #caramel #squares #snack #treat #worldofvegan
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It’s not easy to find recipes that combine super healthy ingredients and a decadent, delicious flavor! These no-bake crispy caramel squares from the Clean Desserts cookbook by Karielyn Tillmann are a perfect on-the-go snack and the best after-dinner treat. Let’s dive into the delightful process of preparing these sweet vegan creations!

No-Bake Delight!

This recipe is fantastic for so many reasons. Using very few clean ingredients, we can make a healthy and nutritious treat without even using an oven! Yup! No baking required here. So convenient!

So what exactly do we need to whip these bars up? As the main ingredients, we have Medjool dates, which give it the caramel flavor and incredible sweetness, the creamy and beloved peanut butter which makes them rich and sticky, rice crispies to give it texture and crunch, and finally, coconut oil to bring it all together.  

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Crispy Caramel Squares

Author: Karielyn Tillman
5 from 4 votes
These amazing Crispy Caramel Squares are the perfect go-to snack for kids and adults alike! Enjoy them with a warm glass of oat milk or some delicious back tea. 
Crispy Caramel Squares stacked on a plate topped with chocolate.
Prep Time 10 minutes
to freeze the bars 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 7 bars


For the peanut butter crispy layer:

  • 3 cups brown rice cereal crispies, unsweetened
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the caramel layer:

  • 1 cup medjool dates
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the chocolate topping:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


For the peanut butter crispy layer:

  • Prepare an 8 × 8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add all ingredients for the peanut butter crispy layer to a food processor and process until the cereal is broken down into small pieces and everything is well combined, taking care to not over process.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly on the bottom of the dish. Place an extra piece of parchment paper on top of the peanut butter crispy mixture and press it down very tight and compact. Set aside.

For the caramel layer:

  • Add all ingredients for the caramel layer to a food processor and process until the dates are broken down into small pieces and everything is well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread it evenly over the top of the peanut butter crispy layer.

For the chocolate topping:

  • Add all ingredients for the chocolate topping to a small saucepan and melt on lowest heat, stirring until it is completely melted and smooth, taking care to not let it burn.
  • Pour the chocolate topping evenly over the top of the caramel layer.
  • Place the baking dish in the freezer overnight, or until the squares are firm.
  • Remove the baking dish from the freezer and cut it into 16 squares or 8 large bars.


Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve, because the squares will get soft if left out at room temperature.


Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 830IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 6mg
Course — Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine — American
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

Dreamy & Gooey Medjool Dates!

When you attempt to prepare no-bake (or raw) sweet vegan recipes, you’ll probably need some dates. But which dates are the best? There are several varieties of dates, like the dayri, deglet noor and the famous Medjool. Let’s start by saying that they are ALL incredibly delicious on their own, not all are soft and squishy enough to work well in recipes like this.

The king dates will always be the Medjool variety! It’s caramel consistency, and softness makes them such a heavenly treat but also so perfect for baking. But even these vary in quality and texture. If they’ve had their pits removed or have been sitting on shelves for ages, they dry out and will lose their soft and pliable consistency. The fresher, the better!

If you’ve been wondering how to make the easiest vegan caramel (or dulce de leche), then Medjool dates will show up big time. Add a cup of soft, fresh dates plus a bit of water and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to your blender or food processor and blend until creamy.  This is so good! I’ve used it to make vegan snickers or even as the filling for a vegan banoffee pie. Please try it! 

Crispy Caramel Squares | Healthy Vegan Treat | World of Vegan | #vegan #caramel #squares #snack #treat #worldofvegan

Can I Make The Crispy Caramel Squares if I Have a Nut Allergy?

Absolutely! Even if this recipe calls for peanut butter you can make substitutions in order to make it allergy-friendly. Instead of the nut butter, you can use sunflower butter (also known as sun butter). It’s super yummy and it will not change the consistency of the bars. 

You can also try pumpkin seed butter which is full of important nutrients like zinc and magnesium. If you can’t find any of these alternatives you can always try to make your own! Buy some sunflower or pumpkin seeds in bulk and process them until you get a creamy butter consistency. Pretty awesome! 

About The Cookbook!

The Clean Desserts cookbook is truly a gem for those with gluten intolerances or those looking for healthy and clean sweet alternatives. It’s full of amazingly delicious recipes that require absolutely no baking! It’s definitely one of those must-have vegan cookbooks. If you have a friend with a gluten sensitivity then this would be such a great gift! 

The author, Karielyn Tillmann, has a huge selection of guilt-free indulgences on her blog The Healthy Family & Home and has found a passion for creating unprocessed clean vegan recipes. 

Crispy Caramel Squares | Healthy Vegan Treat | World of Vegan | #vegan #caramel #squares #snack #treat #worldofvegan

Need More Easy Vegan Snack Ideas? 

Excerpted from Clean Desserts: Delicious No-Bake Vegan & Gluten-Free Cookies, Bars, Balls, and More, with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2019 by Karielyn Tillman. Photographs by Karielyn Tillman. 

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5 from 4 votes

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    These are like a healthier vegan version of scotcharoos that I’ve been making for decades!! A bit more work to make, but super yummy.

  2. Dying to make these super sweet squares! My two favorite foods are dates and peanut butter, so it sounds like this recipe was made just for me! Brown rice krispies will give these the best crunch, too. I’m only worried that the bars will be so delicious, I might eat the entire pan myself! (oh, well! lol)

  3. Amanda Meth says:

    5 stars
    These look SO GOOD. I love the concept of making a caramel sauce out of dates and I LOVE that you included a nut-free option for the sauce. Wonder how these would turn out with tahini!

  4. 5 stars
    These are crazy good! My hubby made them when we had a hankering for something sweet. Make sure you use the soft squishy medjool dates—not the dried out hard ones 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    This is so clever! Who would’ve thought medjool dates and peanut butter would create the caramel flavor. These are easy and delicious!

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