Have you ever had a 7-layer bar? If not, have you even lived?
When I was working at a coffee shop many years ago, the baker would often make 7-layer bars to sell, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a long time to recreate them “healthier” and vegan. Today is that day, friends. Let’s bake!
The base for this decadent 10-ingredient dessert is an almond-oat crust naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup that originated from our Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars!
The result is a crispy, salty, slightly sweet crust that makes the perfect foundation for these ooey, gooey bars.
Now that you have one layer down, there are still six layers to go:
Total swoon! After a short bake in the oven, your bars are ready to devour (the best part).
We hope you LOVE these bars! They’re:
Easy to make
& Uber delicious
These would make the perfect dessert for a party, a shower, or a dinner party. They are also great to make and have around the house for something sweet. Although watch out! It’s hard to have just one. ;)
For more desserts, check out our Peanut Butter Fudge, Easy Vegan Fudge, Vegan Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls, Peanut Butter & Jelly Snack Bars, Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars, and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars!
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!
Vegan 7 Layer Bars
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup raw almonds (organic when possible // we don’t recommend sprouted almonds, which burn easily in the oven)
- 1/3 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 whole medjool dates (pitted // if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
- 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil*
- 1 cup packed pitted dates (pitted // if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
- 1-2 Tbsp water
- 1 pinch sea salt
COCONUT BUTTER + FLAKES
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (divided // process 2 1/2 cups (175 g) into coconut butter, reserve 1/2 cup (35 g) for topping)
- 3/4 cup chopped raw pecans (or other nut or seed of choice)
- 1/3 cup creamy salted peanut butter (or sub other nut/seed butter of choice)
- 2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (we prefer Enjoy Life brand // or sub cacao nibs for a less rich dessert)
- Prepare crust by preheating oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Line an 8×8-inch baking dish (or use multiple pans if making a larger batch) with parchment paper and extend paper up over the edges.
- Add maple syrup, dates, and coconut oil and pulse until a “dough” forms that holds together when you squeeze it between your fingers. If it appears too dry, add more dates or water for moisture.
- Add crust to the parchment-lined pan and use your hands to spread it into an even layer, pushing the crust up to the edges of the pan so it contains the filling well. To achieve a uniform layer, cover a flat-bottom object (such as a drinking glass) with parchment paper and press down firmly.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Then remove from oven and set aside.
- In the meantime, prepare date paste by adding dates to a food processor and blending until small bits remain or a ball forms. Then add water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a spreadable caramel paste forms. Add a pinch of salt and blend once more.
- Begin layering: To the crust, add date paste and then pecans, peanut butter, coconut butter, coconut flakes, and lastly chocolate chips.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes more or until the edges are golden brown and the toppings are slightly toasted. Be careful not to burn the coconut flakes.
- Remove from oven to cool for at least 20 minutes. Then carefully cut and serve warm. Otherwise, let cool until the chocolate and coconut butter are firm – 6 hours or overnight. To speed cooling time, you can also chill in the freezer or refrigerator. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*In place of the date caramel, for even more decadent bars sub a batch of our Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 24 bars calculated with the oil (I cut them into 9 bars for photos, but they’re quite rich and we would recommend smaller servings).