This pecan pie bar recipe is gluten free, grain free, and vegan, made with paleo flour and natural sugars. Skip the traditional pie and serve these bars for a healthier holiday dessert!
This fantastic recipe is sponsored by the awesome people at Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me to create delicious gluten free recipes like this one for you!
Do you know that coffee has the power to transform the flavor of baked goods from mediocre to marvelous? It’s a fact – I will never lie to you, friends!
Chocolate and coffee share a similar flavor profile, so they naturally pair well together. This is why many good chocolate cake recipes call for the addition of coffee or espresso powder.
For the same reason, when I make chocolate desserts, I like to add a splash of coffee to them.
These vegan pecan pie bars are no exception! They’re made with dark chocolate, coffee, and a fantastic all-purpose paleo baking flour from Bob’s Red Mill that I am head over heels for. I think you’ll love it too.
This paleo baking flour mix is definitely my go to for grain free baking because it already has the necessary thickeners/starches, such as tapioca flour. It’s also perfect for making grain free flatbread, crackers, and more.
- Bob’s Grain free Flour Blend ingredients – almond flour, arrowroot starch, tapioca flour, coconut flour. No sugar or additives added!
Now, I have to confess… I’ve also made these bars with a self made paleo flour blend with Bob’s Redmill grain free flours.
Alternative grain free flour mix – 1 ½ c blanched almond flour, 2 tablespoon coconut flour, and 2 tablespoon tapioca flour. It works just as well for the crust, just not as handy as that premade mix.
Okay, let’s get to baking with this flour blend! Crust first.
Pecan pie bar recipe ingredients
There are three components of the dessert bars- the crust, the filling and a nutty chocolate coffee topping.
The crust is simple to make, with just FOUR ingredients! But, the first ingredient may surprise you…
- Pitted dates – As I mentioned earlier, there are no refined sugars in this dessert. Dates are naturally sweet, so you don’t need to use sugar! Plus, dates are high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Paleo baking flour blend – Bob’s Red Mill paleo flour is a blend of almond, tapioca and coconut flour, plus arrowroot starch. (homemade grain free flour blend in recipe card)
- Tapioca starch – You will only need this if you are using self made almond flour/coconut flour blend. The paleo baking flour blend does include starch.
- Coconut oil – You may not need to use this; it really depends on how fresh your dates are.
PECAN PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS
- Pitted dates
- sea salt
- vanilla extract – The cost of vanilla beans is crazy expensive right now. So, if pure extract is too rich for your wallet, you can use almond extract or use imitation vanilla
- pecan halves – Be sure to set some of the halves aside to use for the top of the vegan pecan pie bars
- maple syrup
- naturally refined coconut oil
- non dairy milk or water
- instant coffee granules or espresso powder
- coffee beans – This is an optional ingredient. I like to use chocolate covered espresso beans or coffee beans to garnish the top of the bars
Video: How to make vegan pecan pie bars
Yes, this recipe is simple to make, but I created a helpful how-to video for you anyway. 🙂
Recipe notes + tips for success
- Soak the dates.
To be sure that the dates are full of moisture, let them soak them for at least 10 minutes before draining them.
- Parbake the crust.
Although this step is optional, I recommend partially baking the crust for 10-15 minutes. It makes for a sturdier crust, so it can hold the filling without absorbing moisture from the dates.
- Keep distractions at a minimum.
Part of making the filling requires cooking the maple syrup and coffee, then blending it with the pecans and dates. The mixture will boil up pretty quickly- two to three minutes, MAX. Be very careful, because it will bubble up and get very hot.
You’ll need to remove it from the heat and pour it into the crust as quickly as possible after that. Otherwise, it will start to thicken, making the job more difficult.
- Chilling is not an optional step.
Waiting for your pecan pie bars to chill may be the most difficult part of making this recipe! Trust me on this- if you eat them before they set up, they just won’t taste right. Repeat after me… patience is a virtue.
While you wait, you can make the topping, then sit down and enjoy a cup of vegan bulletproof coffee latte and some dark chocolate energy bites. 🙂Print
Vegan Pecan Pie Bars
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 mini pie bars 1x
This pecan pie bar recipe is gluten free, grain free, and vegan, made with paleo flour and natural sugars. Skip the traditional pie and serve these bars for a healthier holiday dessert.
IMPORTANT: You MUST chill the bars for at least 1 hour before serving them. Otherwise, the consistency will be too mushy, and you won’t be able to cut them into clean squares.
- 12 pitted dates (soaked for 10 minutes in water)
- 1 ¾ cups grain free flour blend (see notes for homemade blend)
- 1 Tablespoon tapioca starch or arrowroot starch (omit if using premade flour blend with tapioca starch)
- 1– 2 Tablespoons naturally refined coconut oil
- 6 pitted dates
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecan halves plus extra for topping
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons non dairy milk or water
- ⅓ cup naturally refined coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons instant coffee or espresso
- Optional Toppings: coffee beans, pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180C). Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the paper and pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, soak the dates in water for 10 minutes then drain and discard the water.
- Blend together grain free flour, tapioca starch, dates, and 1 Tablespoon coconut oil in a food processor. If the batter is too dry, add ½ Tablespoon at a time more coconut oil. Blend until a mealy sticky texture is formed. Transfer batter to the lined pan. Spread mixture evenly into the pan and press firmly to create a bottom crust.
- Bake for 12 -15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown (see notes for faster option). While the crust is baking, make the filling and topping.
- In a food processor, blend together 6 dates, vanilla extract, salt, and 1 cup of pecans. Batter will be sticky and thick. Then place in a glass or metal bowl and set aside.
- Next, in a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup (for sweeter topping use ½ cup maple syrup), milk, coconut oil, and instant coffee.
- Let it come to a soft boil then reduce heat to low. Whisk mixture for 2 -3 minutes or until mixture thickens into a syrup-like texture.
- Carefully and quickly, pour the hot coffee mixture into the date/pecan filling and stir together.
- Pour the filling over the pecan crust in the pan and spread it out evenly. Now sprinkle pecan halves on top and, if desired, the coffee beans.
- Bake again for about 18-22 minutes or until the sides are golden brown.
- Once baked, place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until the bars are firm enough to slice.
- Remove the pan from the fridge and slice into bars. The bars are best served at room temperature or slightly warmed in the oven or microwave.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Homemade Grain Free Flour Blend- 1 ½ cup blanched almond flour, 2 Tablespoons coconut flour, and 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour. Be sure to pre-bake the crust for at least 10 minutes with this flour blend.
- Sugar Adjustments- The sugar content comes mostly from the dates which is a natural sugar. I have not tried using a sugar substitute for the maple syrup, but you can reduce the amount of maple syrup to 2-4 Tablespoons for a less sweet version of these bars.
- Quick Crust Option- I’ve had a few readers opt not to pre-bake the crust and it works well too!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 small bar
- Calories: 310
- Sugar: 28g
- Sodium: 11.2mg
- Fat: 22.5g
- Saturated Fat: 7.7g
- Carbohydrates: 25.3g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 4.9g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: thanksgiving, pie, holiday dessert, vegan dessert, easy, refined sugar free, grain free
This post was originally published on November 6, 2016. The photos, video, and content were updated on October 21, 2020.
Alright my friends, hope you these mini pie bars make all your vegan (or paleo) holiday food dreams come true, extra caffeinated. Take pictures and tag us if you try them! 😉
Keep up with the compassionate, fun-loving Bob’s Red Mill on their blog and social media. They are full of gluten free inspiration!
A very interesting topic that I have been looking at, I think this is one of the most important pieces of information for me. And I’m glad to read your article. Thanks for sharing!
I saw this recipe advertise on the Bob’s instagram account. I had the flour and all other ingredients and the photos looked amazing so I wanted to give it a shot. I love making healthy-ish deserts. But I wish I had read the recipe super closely before starting because there are parts that are very confusing.
For the crust ingredients, it says 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil “as needed” but then in the instructions you are only told to use 1 tbsp. My crust ended up being super greasy so we’ll see whether that’s good or bad when it’s time to eat! I chose to pre-bake for this reason but it came out looking really dry.
The ingredient list for the filling shows 1/3 cup of maple syrup but the instructions say 1/2. Not knowing which I needed, I just tried to do something in between.
The chill directions say to place in the fridge for 1 hour until set, then remove, slice, and serve “warm.” How would they be warm after chilling in the fridge for an hour? Are you suppose to reheat?
I’m so sorry Sara, there was an error in our new recipe card. I’m going to email you as well. I’m updating it now. After chilling, then you can slice and store in a container in fridge until ready to serve. I serve these slightly warmed in oven or at room temperature.
Did you rough chop the pecans or use whole halves??
For the topping or filling? For the filling, I used whole halves then grinded it with dates. For the topping, I crushed the halves in a bag and left some whole halves. The topping texture is totally up to you. Hope that makes sense!
A new family favorite, ours turned out wonderful!
Thanks, Cathy! Glad to hear that!
My kids couldn’t stop eating these!! So good!
They are addictive, right?! Thanks, Toni!
I can almost smell these through the screen! Delicious!
I made these for my coffee loving husband and he devoured them! I will definitely make again!
Yaayy! Glad to hear that! Thanks, Lauren!
Was wondering if I can do something new with coffee. I am surprised to see this recipe. This would be amazing for breakfast! Thanks for sharing it Lindsay 🙂
Cassie Autumn Tran
I’m addicted to vegan brownies, green tea and anything PEANUT BUTTER. AW YEAH. Would that mean I need to make vegan peanut butter matcha brownies? And hey, I might be addicted to these coffee pecan pie bars!
Hi….I got a clue! I previously wrote to you about the crust being dry….I forgot to hydrate my dates….i think thats where I went wrong…gonna try again!
Oh yea! keep me posted!
Oh wow these look delicious! Perfect festive treats. Love the addition of coffee. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Kathryn | nimblenote.blogspot.com
let me know if you try them Kathryn
I have regular coffee, but no instant or espresso. What do you suggest… double strength coffee???
I think I just answered you on twitter. But you can probably use regular coffee. I think that would work! If you want extra strong coffee flavor then double it. Keep me posted
These are shouting my name from the rooftops. It’s also my first time hearing about this company: Pamela’s. They look like they make awesome products… I will check them and this recipe out! 🙂
yes! you’d love monica!
OMG, these look delectable!! I couldn’t believe they were paleo – I’m sure they would please even eaters who don’t adhere to that diet!
you will love! let me know if you give it a whirl!
Such an amazing post of your favorites nice
Real food, pecan pie, and time with family. These look so good; it’s amazing how real food can make some of the most delicious goodies.
Deryn @ Running on Real Food
Oh my. Why must you do this to me!!! I want the whole pan. 😉 Thanks for another great recipe!
Haha sorry, or not sorry? LOL! YOu’ll love Deryn!
The Wooden Spoon
I think these will have to make an appearance at my Thanksgiving dinner!
awesome!! Let me know what you think!
woohoo! So glad!
Kristy from Southern In Law
Um so, pecan pie is delicious on it’s own – but turning it into an easy bar recipe and adding coffee?! Genius!
These are calling my name! Love the coffee addition!
Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness
This looks amazing!! My stomach literally started grumbling when I saw these. I’m not sure if I could resist long enough to take those photos 😉
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I”ve never made my own pecan bars! But you’re making me feel like I’m missing out, especially with the touch of java in there 🙂 I’m loving the sound of that flour, too. It’s so awesome to see companies keeping up with the times and making it easier for people who are following specific diets.
what?? NO way! I feel like you so need to. You’re the baking queen!
If I made these today and brought them down to SD with me for my fiance’s family, they’d go ape shit! LOL!
Haha, well then what are you waiting for? !!
These bars look like heaven and this flour looks perfect for all those nutty treats! I def. need to try both out 🙂
Well, these look delicious! I love bars like this – chock full of nuts and dates and yummy flavors. Gotta try!
These look awesome! I love the addition of coffee and the blend of nut flours! I’m for anything chocolate! My hubby’s favorite are these PB chocolate bars…YUM!
I’m reconsidering your move to CO. I would just be in your kitchen eating non-stop and then I’d have to run even more!!! 🙂
Haha but you like running! So I’m helping! 😉
I can’t believe how many delicious ingredients are here, that are healthy too! Can’t wait to make these!
That paleo blend is everywhere! I think this is the perfect use for that deliciousness.
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
Ooh that flour blend looks awesome! Pecan is my absolute favorite 🙂
dixya @food, pleasure, and health
i love anything coffee flavored – even btter in the form of bars 🙂
Keith @ How's it Lookin?
They look delicious. Pecan pie is my favorite so I would definitely like these, thanks for the idea
awesome! let me know if you try them keith!
Two things: 1. your pics are so gorgeous, I just want to scroll forever. 2. I have never seen this flour! I need it in my life.
thanks friend! hope you try them. I am obsessed! Haha
Vicky @ Avocado Pesto
I need to get my hands on that Pamela’s flour blend! Sounds ah-mazing as do these pecan pie bars. I didn’t use to be a big fan of pecans but they’ve quickly grown on me and I’m loving them now!
You will love these vicky! Definitely check out the nut flour too! So good!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
I don’t make a lot of bar for whatever reason – I do love them!. These look perfect. We make Kentucky Derby Pie (pecan pie with bourbon and chocolate chips) every year, but it is SO messy. I bet these would be a huge hit and easier to clean up!
bourbon bars. Next up! for sure! you’re genius!
You had me at the shot of the pre-baked syrupy goodness. What beautiful dessert. I had no idea Pamelas was making a nut flour blend. Good to know!
Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands
Seriously drooling Lindsay! You had me at pecan and sold me with coffee!! I’m definitely making these for Thanksgiving weekend up north. Friends will love them with coffee for breakfast.
Since I was gone the end of last week and over the weekend I didn’t do our weekly shopping like I usually do Friday. I’m off to meet the hubby for lunch (his birthday) and go grocery shopping and I added this nut blend to my list!
Jody - Fit at 58
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those have everything I want! 🙂
LOVE pecans, coffee, yummers!!!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Now….can I have about 50 of these sent over to NJ? I think I need them….stat!
Haha!! Let me see if I can work on that! 😉
You say things like “pecan” and “coffee” and I’m immediately all in. These bars are sheer perfection! I can taste them through the screen. Definitely a wonderful snack for refueling…slash enjoying during a nice Netflix binge 😉 Loving every bit of these beauties!
So much goodness in every bite! I think you’ll love them!
These look so good! I’ve never made pecan bars, but I need too! That nut flour blend looks awesome. I usually try to make nut flour in my vitamix, but sometimes it’s so nice having it already prepared!
I hope you’ll give these a try! And yes, so nice having a nut flour blend like Pamela’s!
Pecan pie is absolutely my favorite dessert at this time of year. Love how you’ve health-ified it!
Hope you’ll try this and let me know what you think! “Health-ified” – I like that word! 😀
Linz @ Itz Linz
i want this for breakfast! i went out to dinner with some girlfriends over the weekend and something about being gluten free came up. i said oh i have the perfect blog for you to follow and my other friend said “cotter crunch?” haha YUP! 🙂 xo
oh i love that! thanks LINZ! and miss you!
rachel @ athletic avocado
My favorite bars have to be cheesecake bars but pecan pie bars sound like a winner too! Actually, everything you make sounds like a winner <3
Hope you give these a try! Thanks so much, Rachel!
Looks so yummy. Is there a different flour blend that can be used? I can’t have almonds.
What flour do you have on hand Susan?
Finally cleaned out my pantry – allowing for the new food restrictions. At the moment all I have is a little bit of coconut flour. The new restrictions are, no dairy, eggs, potatoes, peas, almonds, pistachios, vanilla., kidney beans, white beans, sunflower seeds. There are more but those are the main ones.
awesome! so maybe you can try this without vanilla. Thoughts? use almond flours and coconut flour?
Can’t use almond flour, almonds are on my cannot eat list. Some how need a gf flour that does not contain almond flour or potato starch.
I would try rice flour then. Or chickpea flour. Can you do those? baking time might be a little different. check at 15 minutes for the crust.
Susie @ SuzLyfe
My mom’s favorite foods are cold pizza and pecan pie. You just made her day 😀
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
I need that nut flour blend like I need these bars. So good!
Yes, you need! 🙂