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Gluten-Free Vegan Nanaimo Bars

Gluten-Free Vegan Nanaimo Bars

Gluten-Free Vegan Nanaimo Bars made with a date, almond, and coconut base, a dairy-free buttercream middle, and a rich chocolate top. A healthier take on the favorite no-bake layered bar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 bars
Calories 464kcal
Author Tessa



Buttercream Filling

  • ¼ cup vegan butter room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 2-3 pinches ground turmeric (optional)

Chocolate Topping


  • Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, place dates, almonds, oats, salt, cocoa powder, and coconut. Pulse a few times then add melted butter. Process until "dough" comes together and almonds are in small pieces. If your mixture is not coming together, add a teaspoon of water.
  • Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Press into an even layer and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • While the base chills, prepare your dairy-free buttercream. In a medium bowl, cream your vegan butter for about 30 seconds, then add coconut milk, arrowroot starch, powdered sugar, and a couple pinches of turmeric. Use an electric mixer on medium to high speed until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Take the base layer out of the fridge and spread the buttercream on top in an even layer. Place pan back in refrigerator while you prepare the chocolate topping.
  • In a glass or microwave safe bowl, add your chocolate chips and vegan butter. Microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until mixture is almost completely melted. Stir until remaining chocolate chips dissolve.
  • Remove pan from refrigerator again and working quickly, pour melted chocolate over top and gently spread it into an even layer over buttercream.
  • Place pan in refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
    Using parchment paper, remove bar from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut 9 squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 578IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg