Chocolate Coconut Bars (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
These Chocolate Coconut Bars have three irresistible layers – a chocolate shortbread crust, a melt-in-your-mouth coconut butter filling, and a chocolate topping with toasted coconut! Any coconut lover is going to love these gluten-free, Paleo + vegan dessert bars.
It’s been a little bit since I last sat down to write a post – in fact, I haven’t written one since I got home from my trip to CUBA! Holy cow, you guys, it was AMAZING.
I’ve traveled a lot (somewhere around 30 countries, and counting) but Cuba definitely stands out as one of the most unique places I’ve ever been to. Largely in part to the fact they’ve essentially been a time capsule for the past 50ish years.
I’m planning on doing a big Cuba recap post since so many people have asked to see the photos from my trip and hear about where we went and what we did. Because of that, I won’t go into too many details here – that post will hopefully be up later this week.
I must say though, it’s an incredibly beautiful country with such a compelling, interesting history and some of the kindest, most welcoming people I’ve ever met. Add a trip to Cuba to your bucket list, and try to cross it off before Wifi takes over the country. Being disconnected was one of the best things about the trip!
Since getting back…I’ve been doing Whole30. If you don’t know what Whole30 is, you can read about it (and all of it’s rules) here. Essentially though, it’s eliminating ALL processed foods from your diet, and sticking to primarily meat, veggies + fruit.
So baked goods? They’re majorly out, but I still HAD to share the recipe for these chocolate coconut bars with you guys, because they’re super delicious and I need to live vicariously through others enjoyment of treats this month :)
So let’s talk sweets! These Chocolate Coconut Bars start with a simple chocolate shortbread crust – it’s made with coconut flour to replicate that sandy shortbread texture from traditional shortbread. Cocoa powder makes it chocolatey, with a touch of maple syrup to sweeten.
Once the crust is all baked, it’s topped with a smooth + sweet layer of coconut butter filling. A simple chocolate made from coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup is layered on top of that, and the whole thing is sprinkled with toasted flaked coconut.
After they set in the fridge, you’re ready to cut and serve! These Chocolate Coconut Bars are entirely gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo-friendly, AND vegan – but they’ll still be devoured as quickly as any other treat ;)
These layered bars seriously melt in your mouth, and the coconut and chocolate flavors pair together so perfectly. They’re the perfect thing to satiate your sweet tooth. Enjoy!
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Chocolate Coconut Bars (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 16 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the chocolate crust
- ¾ cup (96g) coconut flour
- ¼ cup (30g) cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup (112g) coconut oil, solid
For the coconut filling
- ½ cup coconut butter (liquid)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping
- ¼ cup (64g) coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup (30g) cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅓ cup flaked coconut (toasted)
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 14×5” tart pan (what I used), 9” tart pan, or 8×8” square pan with coconut oil (I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well if your pan doesn’t have a removable bottom).
- Combine coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and stir until fully combined and a smooth dough forms, pressing out any clumps of coconut oil.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan. Dock the dough (press indentations into the dough with a fork) to prevent it from puffing up and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the dough looks dry and baked through. Let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted coconut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and pour over the cooled crust. Spread into an even layer and place in the fridge to harden.
- While the coconut layer hardens, make the chocolate topping. In a bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup. Pour over the coconut layer and smooth to even out. Sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut.
- Place in the fridge to harden completely before cutting into squares to serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
So glad you had a fun trip, Rachel! I can’t wait to hear more about it and see pictures! Now these bars…JUST what I need on this dreary Monday morning! I love how pretty they are, especially with those layers. Looks delicious!
Thanks so much Gayle!! Just what I need on a Monday too :)
You seriously make the best treats ever, these sound so good – and I am always in awe of how beautifully you cut the bars up!
Aww thank you so much Phi!
I can’t wait to see your Cuba adventure photos (and the Cuban-inspired recipes that are sure to follow!)
Oh wow, Rachel!! I have a friend in Cuba right now, so I can’t wait to hear not only your adventures, but his too! I’ve heard it’s pretty fabulous. Indeed, being unplugged for an extended period of time is SO important! Good for you! And too, that you’re doing Whole30! Changing the way we eat is always a challenge… These bars are sooo delicious my dear! You are SO creative! Welcome back!
These look insanely delicious and I’m looking forward to the Cuba post and pics!
Thanks so much Kevin!
I love the look of these bars Rachel. I too am doing the Whole30 this month – Day15 today so halfway there! I hope yours is going well. I’m feeling great but starting to get a chocolate itch so I’m definitely going to be giving these a go as soon as the 30 days are complete!
Congrats on being halfway done, Georgina!! I’m only 6 days in, but loving it so far. Hope you give these a go once you’re done!
Cuba sounds like such an interesting place to go. Really fun!
Sometimes I really crave chocolate and coconut, so I’m so happy to find these bars. And the layers are so pretty!
I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip! I can’t wait to hear more about it. And these bars … you are making me sooo hungry with these right now!
Thanks so much girl!!
Those bars look incredible!
I love these bars, those layers are everything!
ahhh Cuba sounds amazing!! And these bars look so darned delicious-the layers are GORGEOUS
Thank you so much! a few days ago I found the twix recipe and since them I made it 3 times, it is amazing!
I just tried this one and having trouble with the middle layer – when I add the maple to the coconut butter and oil it’s not liquid anymore and looks really bad… am I missing something? do I have to cook it the same way the twix middle layer?
Hi Eli! Are all the liquids relatively at the same temperature? If they’re totally different, that could cause the separation. Melting them together briefly over low heat similar to the Twix Bars should fix the problem. Hope this helps, sorry you’re having trouble!
Could you perhaps tell me how long they keep in the fridge? And is it possible to freeze them?
I am about to make these (with a slight adjustment) and I am excited to make, bake and taste!
Hope you love them, Hye! I kept them for about 6 or 7 days in the fridge before they were gone and they were still good – you might even be able to get a few more days out of them before the crust will start to taste stale. I’m not sure how the middle coconut butter layer will do in the freezer, but if you try it, be sure to report back on how they freeze. Enjoy!
Don’t worry, it will not hold more than 4-5 days because those are so good!
If you want it to hold longer, make the Twix after these are ready and eat one of each! :-)
Love your photos to go along with your fantastic recipes!
A problem I’ve always been facing with using the Coconut Oil as a glaze/layer is when you take it out too long out of the fridge to take it to friends’ places it melts in less than 20-30 mins. Have you managed to find a way to combat this?
Hi Rosh – unfortunately that’s just one of coconut oil’s properties, because it melts at warm room temperature. I always recommend keeping these in the fridge when you’re not eating them so they don’t get soft. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent them from melting besides keeping them below the melting point.
I made them! They are delicious! I especially love the bottom layer. To me, it tastes like a chocolate graham cracker crust. I could easily see it being used as a paleo pie crust :) I tried to make my own coconut butter, but my food processor is old and useless, so that did not go well. I ended up just using finely shredded coconut instead of the butter, and it still tastes great.
Thanks so much for your feedback, Shannon! I’m so glad you enjoyed them.