These No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars are melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter bars with crunchy chocolate chips and soft chocolate ganache.
It’s an easy, nourishing, edible cookie dough recipe perfect as a vegan snack for cookie-dough lovers.
I love balancing the texture and taste of no-bake desserts while making them super healthy and nutritious.
What Are No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars?
These healthy no-bake cookie dough bars are an absolute treat. They will fix your cookie dough cravings in no time.
Plus, they are loaded with plant-based protein, fiber, and even a touch of iron! So keep reading to learn how to make your no-bake vegan cookie dough bars.
Ingredients and Substitutions
All you need are only need 7 pantry ingredients to make these peanut butter cookie dough bars.
- Peanut Butter – Make sure you are using pure peanut butter with no added sugar and no added oil, or the result would be very different. You can also use any nut butter you like. A fresh jar of natural almond butter would also work. Find out how to pick vegan peanut butter.
- Maple Syrup or agave syrup, or brown rice syrup for a low GI option. You need a liquid sweetener to make this no-bake vegan cookie dough recipe. Don’t be tempted to use brown sugar or coconut sugar. The cookie dough won’t come together.
- Almond Flour – I am using blanched fine almond flour for the best result. Almond meal would also work, but it would leave a gritty texture and would dry out the bars. You can also use oat flour as a swap for almond flour. The same amount of fine oat flour would work very well.
- Coconut Flour – You need this combination of flavors to reach the best cookie dough texture. Don’t replace coconut flour with more almond flour or all-purpose flour. In fact, raw flour is not edible. Only coconut flour, nut flours, and seed flours are safe raw flour options.
- Coconut Oil – If you don’t like coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil. It has no coconut flavor. However, you can’t use liquid oil or vegan unsalted butter. The success of these healthy cookie dough bars is to use solid oil at room temperatures like coconut oil or cocoa butter.
- Dark Chocolate Chips – Chocolate chip cookie dough is delicious with vegan dark chocolate chip or vegan milk chocolate chip. Yes, you can find mini chocolate chips tagged as ‘milk’ but vegan. Some healthy brands use a combination of coconut sugar, cocoa butter, and non-dairy milk in their recipe.
- Vanilla Extract – for taste.
- Salt – to boost the flavors of chocolate.
- Dark Chocolate – to make the top layer. I use plant-based 70% or more dark chocolate.
How To Make No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars
Edible cookie dough bars are easy to make.
If you are concerned about eating raw flour, read my article about the raw flours that are safe to eat. This healthy cookie dough bar recipe is made with raw ingredients to preserve all the nutrients and vitamins from each ingredient.
Plus, it is a refined sugar-free recipe. There are no high-sugar ingredients like sweetened condensed milk or white sugar needed in this recipe.
- First, you need to combine the liquid ingredients in a small bowl.
- Bring the maple syrup, creamy peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a bowl and stir until smooth. If your peanut butter is not runny, or you use cashew butter or almond butter, the mixture may be difficult to stir.
- Next, stir in the raw flours: coconut flour and almond flour (or oat flour if preferred!), and sea salt. Finally, add the vegan chocolate chips halfway.
- Stir until the batter is consistent and no more lumps of flour can be seen.
- Once the dough it ready, prepare a large baking dish with lightly oiled parchment paper and place the cookie dough in it. Press the dough with your fingers at first and smoothen it with a silicone spatula.
- The size of the pan will impact the thickness of the cookie dough layer. I like to use a 9×6-inch pan or an 8-inch square pan. For a thick cookie dough layer, opt for a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Also, always make sure you line the oaf pan with parchment paper, or the cookie dough bars will be difficult to lift out of the pan.
- Melt the chocolate layer ingredients in a mixing bowl while you put the pan in the fridge to set.
- Pour the melted ingredients on the peanut butter base and spread it all over the pan in an even layer.
- Take the pan with the no-bake cookie dough bar to the freezer again to set.
- Take the no-bake bars out of the freezer, lift them out of the pan, and cut them into 15, 16, or 18 squares. The fastest method is to pop the loaf pan in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Tips for Perfect No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars
- You can bring all the liquid base ingredients to the microwave for 20 seconds to soften the nut butter. Otherwise, you can combine all the ingredients in a saucepan under medium heat. Be careful. If you warm the liquid mixture, it can melt the chocolate chips, so wait a few minutes for the dough to reach room temperature before stirring in the chocolate chips.
- The peanut butter layer can also be made in a food processor. However, if you do so, I recommend adding the chocolate chips using the pulse mode of the food processor to avoid breaking the chips.
- The chocolate layer on top of these healthy cookie dough bars is a soft chocolate ganache that combines dark chocolate and coconut oil. You can add some flavor to the ganache by adding a pinch of sea salt or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Also, if you don’t have coconut oil, the chocolate ganache can be made with vegan unsalted butter!
These vegan cookie dough bars can be stored in an airtight box in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the bars in a zip-lock bag. Defrost them on the counter for 2 hours before eating or enjoy half frozen.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can turn these no-bake cookie dough bars into a post-workout vegan protein-loaded snack.
To do so, replace coconut flour with vanilla pea protein powder. You will reach a similar cookie dough texture.
However, depending on the protein powder brand you use, you may have to add less or more power to reach the same texture.
If your protein powder dries out the batter significantly, add a splash of unsweetened almond milk or water into the batter until it’s soft and easy to spread as a bar.
See my video for tips on raw cookie dough texture.
You can make these bars nut-free. Below are some simple swaps to make a nut-free vegan snack.
– Peanut butter – replace with sunflower seed butter. Make sure the jar is fresh, with oil on top, or the bars would be dry.
– Almond flour – replace with the same amount of oat flour or sesame flour, or sunflower seed flour. These three nut-free flours can be made at home by blending the seeds or oat in a blender for 30 seconds.
More Vegan Snack Recipes
I have plenty of no-bake vegan snack recipes for you to try. My favorites are:
Did You Like This Recipe?
No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars
Cookie dough bar
- a pinch Sea Salt
- Line a 9-inch x 5-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla.
- Combine with a spatula until creamy and evenly combined.
- Stir in almond flour and coconut flour with a spatula. When it starts to be difficult to stir, add the chocolate chips and knead the dough with your hands.
- Transfer the cookie dough into the prepared pan and press the dough all over the pan to form an even layer.
- Freeze 10 minutes while you are making the chocolate layer
- In a small saucepan, add dark chocolate and coconut oil. Melt them on medium heat, stirring all the time to prevent the chocolate from burning. You can also melt the mixture in the microwave using a glass bowl. Microwave 1 minute, stir, and repeat by 30-second bursts until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Remove the bar from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate onto the cookie dough bar.
- Spread the chocolate evenly, then bring the pan back to the freezer for 5-8 minutes until the chocolate layer is set.
- Cut into 16 small bars and store bars into an airtight box in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the bars in a zip-lock bag. Defrost on the counter for 2 hours before eating or enjoy half frozen.