2-Ingredient Vegan PayDay Bites

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Bowl of our homemade Vegan PayDay Bites candy made with dates and nuts

If you’ve followed along for a while, you likely know we have a thing for Snickers bars (and candy bars in general).

Another favorite? PayDays — delicious caramel nougat coated in salty peanuts. What’s not to love?!

These 2-ingredient, 15-minute vegan PayDays are my healthier, vegan-ized take on the classic candy bar.

Dates, cashews, and peanuts on a purple background for making our PayDay Candy Bar Recipe

It starts with adding fresh pitted dates to a food processor along with a little sea salt (optional) for enhanced deliciousness.

The dates get processed into small bits, clump together in a ball, and are then ready to form into bites. We’re already off to a good start.

Rolling a homemade Vegan PayDay Bite inspired by PayDay Candy Bars

Next, roll the bites in roasted, salted nuts to give these candies a satisfying crunch!

Any remaining nuts are more finely mixed in the food processor and used to coat the surface of the bites.

Spoonful of crushed peanuts and cashews for making homemade PayDay Bars
Small plate of PayDay Candy Bites made with our simple 2-ingredient recipe

We hope you LOVE these candies. They’re:

& So delicious!

These bites make the perfect treat to enjoy this Halloween. They’re also a healthier dessert or snack to have around the house any time of year when salty-sweet cravings strike.

More DIY Candies

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plate filled with a batch of our homemade PayDay Candy recipe

2-Ingredient Vegan PayDay Bites

These caramelly, delicious, 2-ingredient vegan PayDay-inspired bites are a healthier take on the classic candy bar. Gluten-free, naturally sweetened, and only 15 minutes to make!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Vegan PayDay Bites on a purple background
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 16 (bites)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 1 ¼ cup roasted salted nuts (we chose peanuts and cashews // or sub desiccated coconut)
  • 2 cups packed, pitted Medjool dates (sticky and fresh!* // measured after pitting // 1 cup contains ~19 dates)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional)


  • Add nuts to a food processor and pulse several times to loosely “chop.” You aren’t looking for a meal — just chopped. Set aside on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
  • To the food processor, add pitted dates and sea salt and process until small bits remain or a ball forms. Scoop out ~16 even bites (you can use this scoop!) and roll them into balls with your hands. They will be a little sticky — that’s okay!
  • Begin rolling date bites into the nut mixture to coat, pressing down gently to encourage sticking. Continue until each date bite is thoroughly coated with nuts. (Optional: To coat even more thoroughly, you can pulse any remaining nuts into a loose meal in the food processor and then roll date bites through again to coat — the finer texture will cause more nuts to stick).
  • Enjoy as is or transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or the freezer up to 1 month (sometimes longer). If frozen, let thaw slightly before enjoying.



*It’s important to use dates that are fresh and sticky. If your dates are hard and dried out, try this: Soak in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly to bring them back to life. Proceed with the recipe as instructed!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional salt and with 3/4 cup peanuts and 1/2 cup cashews for 16 bites.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 bites Calories: 223 Carbohydrates: 45.6 g Protein: 3.4 g Fat: 5.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Sodium: 56 mg Potassium: 464 mg Fiber: 4.5 g Sugar: 38.4 g

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My Rating:

  1. Kim says

    I’m curious if anyone has tried making these without a food processor? Since dates are so sticky, is it possible to chop them finely by hand and still have them be pliable and sticky enough to form a ball?

  2. Kim says

    I love this idea so much! It’s so simple and so good. I personally prefer lightly sweet desserts like this recipe but I made these for some friends. I wanted to make them a little sweeter, so I made the mistake of adding granulated sugar to the peanut mixture. When I tried to roll the date balls in the nuts, all that stuck was the sugar! So don’t make the same mistake I did. I tried again without the sugar and they were great, although I already also mixed some sugar into the date puree and I don’t think it negatively affected it much. I think it would be best to follow the recipe as is, or maybe try mixing in a little liquid sweetener like agave into the date puree only, if you really need it to be sweeter. Anyway, my friends and I loved them and I will definitely make these again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Kim! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed!

  3. Kristina Lynn says

    Another one of your recipes that I have bookmarked! :) These were delicious!!!!! I don’t know about anyone else but to me and everyone that tried them, they tasted just like a PayDay candy bar!! They were a major hit! They’re the perfect combination of salty and sweet! 😋 Thank you for sharing! I love your site and look forward to more of your recipes! 😊💕

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad to hear it, Kristina! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  4. Larissa says

    This recipe is delicious! I don’t know that I would compare it to actual Paydays (though I admire everyone’s sense of imagination). They are still so good and so addicting, and I’m still thinking about them months after I made them. I think this quarantine calls for making them again!

  5. Deanne says

    Hi!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I have never had dates before and they are pretty good. This will definitely be a snack I will continue to make in the future.

    What size processor do you use? 10 cup?

  6. Katie says

    Hi! First of all this site is my favorite! Second: today my motor burned out of my food processor with the dates, it’s the second time this happened this first one was with the brownies with the dates. I’m torn between getting my food processor repairs or purchasing the one that you linked. Has this happened with that one and all the dates you’ve chopped in it? Thanks so much for everything

  7. Lorene Borunda-Frey says

    So I know I am not rating this recipe or
    others, however I want to send out a HUGE thank you and hug for ALL the recipes you have created!! You are always my go to when I want to make a meal for friends or just an everyday meal for family!! I have you book and it’s always at hand!! And thank you for all the other great online recipes!! People love my cooking thanks to you! ❤️

  8. Casey Dillahay says

    Ya know, I love PAY-DAY bars and I thought, no way is this going to taste like the real thing. Its going to taste like “yeah, I can see why they would describe this as a pay-day.” Then I made them…OMG! thats a frickin’ PAY-DAY! Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m not going to share.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Casey. We are so glad you think so! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  9. Rebecca says

    Absolutely Delicious! The recipe worked exactly as directed and was easier than I expected! I served them as dessert for a group of young people and they all wanted more! I had to promise to make them again.

  10. Christy says

    I made this as the treat for our Halloween. My husband loves peanuts and dates. I always have them around. He also loved these snack bites, and so did I! I was a Payday junkie when I was younger, and these definitely invoke that sweet candy memory (key element is the SALTED roasted peanuts). So simple and so awesome! Genius idea. I’m looking forward to trying the peanut/cashew combination you mention. I imagine it may give a nougat type effect. Coolness. I love your recipes. Thank you!

  11. Ala says

    My boss was just asking me today who would pick a Payday from the pile of Halloween candy XD I would most *definitely* pick these bites, though–so yummy!

  12. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    Oh I LOVE the combination of dates and cashews! Would this recipe work with another variety of dates? Honey dates are my absolute favorite and they have a beautifully sweet flavor and sticky texture–they’d work wonderfully in terms of flavor in this recipe!

  13. Sheila K Malone says

    I went to share this on facebook as I have shared many of your recipes with family and friends however this time I was told I could not share it. I was told it was either unavailable or I did not have the right to share it. My daughter and son-in-law are vegans and they love the recepies I have shared. My 6 year old Great-grandson loves candy so I was trying to share when I I was prevented from doing so.

  14. Nan says

    Thank you! ThAnK you! THANK YOU! Now I won’t have to stare those packages of Paydays down at the register anymore…I added a tablespoon of peanut flour/powder (nothing but ground peanuts) to make it even more peanutier and a little less sticky (I had some super fresh smushy dates and with 19 of them, the consistency was still wet, maybe mine were oversized) and ate six of these last night! Soooo good, and even though I over ate, didn’t feel guilty or have a sugar hangover this morning. Love this recipe so much! THANK you!!!!!

  15. La Vita says

    Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of dates, do you know of an alternate to use cause I love paydays. I’m trying to cut out sugar in my diet.

    Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that’s tough. I can’t think of another alternative that’s low / no sugar! Maybe another dried fruit, but that doesn’t help with sugar content. Let us know if you test anything out!

  16. Shan Bush says

    I just finished up cooking your noodle free pad Thai for the umpteenth time and then see this!???Omg…OH MY GAWD! Running out right now to get these ingredients!

  17. Anna Viehbeck says

    Ok this is perfect because:
    1. I feel wasteful when I eat Medjools just straight out of the bag by themselves (cause they’re pricey and also beg to be paired with another flavour);
    2. I want a Medjool dessert fast!
    Solution: I usually put something in the middle of the date (dark choc, almond, etc) or I search for recipes like this one!