Coffee Cream Bars – Vegan and gluten free
Let me start by saying that these coffee cream bars have become one of my ultimate favorite treats.
The first day I made these coffee cream bars I had 4 pieces. They are just plain awesome. I think I have discovered my most favorite dessert ever.
While I have made three different type of cream bars already these are by far my favorite. I love coffee flavor anything, even though I don’t drink coffee. I used to make a frozen tiramisu that tasted exactly just like these coffee cream bars. The big difference here is that these are much easier to make and a lot healthier for you.
I will be posting the raspberry cream bars shortly so don’t despair, I just have quite a few recipes to catch up on.
A few notes about these coffee cream bars.
- I added two tablespoons of Kahlua liquor. You can also use Baileys, either one is great, but if you would like to omit the liquor all together the cream bars will still be just fine.
- Make sure you keep these in the freezer. Just thaw them 10 minutes before eating.
- If the crust doesn’t come together add 2 tablespoons of water. I did.
I am going to try to make more coffee desserts. I don’t have that many recipes with coffee in my blog but the fact that I love coffee so much you will think I would.
I hope you get to try these coffee cream bars. They are truly out of this world.
These are truly my ultimate favorite cream bars and dessert of all time. It is vegan, gluten free and so much healthier for you than any other cream bars out there. I am going to experiment on this recipe and come with more intricate and unique flavors so stay tuned.
Coffee Cream Bars
Miryam's original recipe
Yield: 16 bars
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup dates
- 2 tsp instant coffee granules
- 2 tbsp water, optional, only if the crust doesn't come toghether
- 1 14oz canned coconut cream, full fat (make sure fat content is high)
- 2 tsp instant coffee granules
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp Kahlua or Baileys, optional, note Baileys is not vegan
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp cacao powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
Place the crust ingredients in your food processor and pulse until combine or until the mixture is coming together. With a spatula press evenly into the bottom of a 8x8-inch square baking pan previously lined with unbleached parchment paper.
Blend the filling ingredients in the food processor until smooth and spread evenly over the crust. Freeze while you prepare the topping. I freeze mine for at least 45 minutes before I pour the topping over it. If solid, melt the coconut in the microwave. In a small bowl mix the topping ingredients and pour over the middle layer making sure to spread it evenly. (Work quickly if the middle layer is frozen as the top layer will freeze the minute you pour the mixture).
Freeze bars until firm. To serve, let the bars thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and cut as desired.
Note: Make sure the coconut cream that you are using is full fat and that has at least 9 grams total fat per serving. The one I used had 16 grams and was from trader joes but they have discontinued that kind.
Love that these bars are gluten free and vegan! My mom was diagnosed with cancer a few years back and through a holistic nurse changed her entire diet to dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, red meat free and she used to have a HUGE sugar tooth so I’m always on the lookout for dessert I can make for her that still work with her new diet. Think she’ll be thrilled about these! Think subbing agave for the maple syrup would work? Also do you think I could use about half the amount of agave (just to minimize the sugar), just wondering how sweet these are with the listed amt of maple syrup in them?
Wow that is a dietary challenge :-) Yes you can use agave and less of it if you like. My bars were OK on the sweet end, not too sweet, but you could decrease the amt further if you like. I hope you like the bars :-) Thanks for stopping by.
Love these! Wish I were enjoying one right now!
Wow! Those look fantastic! I have tried a couple of your recipes now and I am hooked, I need to try these too. Preferably when my fiance is out of town since he hates coffee haha
these look like a dessert i should make now..i love everything about this…
I’m glad these can actually be made vegan. They remind me of nanaimo bars. So rich but oh so good! This one is a keeper, a great dessert for when there are guests (then I won’t be eating all of it). ;)
These look fantastic, I love esp. that layer of coconut coffee cream.
these look divine! I’ve tried making the nut/date base for other recipes before and the small dates weren’t moist enough to hold it together and it just wasn’t as sweet as when I used the medjool dates. Just wondering which ones you used?
Mine weren’t medjol dates but regular dates. I got them while in Spain :-) They are a bit dry that is why I add about 2 tbsp of water to the crust. Thanks for stopping by.
Oh wow, these look amazing, Miryam! So chocolaty, rich and decadent. I bet they’re delicious with a cup of coffee!
Definitely on my list to make, seems very delicious!
Couldn’t find dates, so I subbed dried cherries for the crust and it was the perfect amount of tartness, especially paired with the coffee. Thanks for the recipe! So great!
Sadly I tried to make these, but as I was blending the coconut it looked perfect then two seconds more of blending it split and curdled :( I couldn’t save it, was really gutted.x
Oh no, how did that happen? I have made this recipe at least 5 times being yesterday the last time and that has never taken place. Was it coconut cream you used? Make sure it doesn’t have any other ingredient but coconut cream. I also use it a room temperature. I can’t think what the issue could have been. Really weird. Sorry it didn’t turn out for you :-(
I know this thread is old, but the first time I tried these I had the same problem, was looking great then curdled. But, I just tried using a mixer instead of a blender (what I used the first time) and it worked perfectly! Maybe that would make a difference for you?
Is there something I can substitute for the cashews? Would love to try this but hubs is allergic :(
You can do raw almonds :-) Thanks for stopping by.
This looks just amazing!!! ❤
I also had the problem of my coconut cream looking perfect one second and the next it was all curdled. Do you chill the coconut cream before using? Also approximately how many cups of whipping cream do you get by using 14oz can of cream? I had success in the past using the cream from full fat coconut milk cans so I might try to do that. Thank you, the recipe is divine and I can’t wait to nail it the next time!
Hi Lily, I always use the coconut cream at room temperature. I use the trader joes brand. 2 cups of heavy cream would equal the coconut cream can if you like to use that instead :-) I also use the middle layer for this recipe and do frozen popsicles. I just love it. I hope you have success on your next try. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi! These sound fantastic but I’m curious. .. is the filling and topping supposed to be in a liquid form before placing it in the freezer? When I was mixing the ingredients in my processor, everything came out in liquid form.
Yes is kind of liquidy. A thick kind of liquid consistency. I hope you like them :-)
I made these and they did not turn out. I had to double the topping recipe to be able to cover the 8×8 pan, and worst of all the filling never became solid. It was a liquid gooey mess, even after being in the freezer more than overnight. I’m wondering if I was supposed to only use the solid looking top in the can of coconut cream? I dumped the whole can in which had a white solid lump followed by liquid oil in the can.
Sorry it didn’t turn out. The coconut cream sometimeS separates from the liquid part in the can but that is totally fine. When you mix the filling in the food processor it will be liquid like and homogenous so if is separated prior this step is OK. Then when you freeze the filling it solidifies. I don’t know why yours didn’t. Was it full fat coconut cream the one you use? I really don’t know why your coconut cream didn’t solidify. That is super weird. Sorry it didn’t turn out :-(
Can I substitute coconut nectar for the maple syrup?
I have never used coconut nectar before. Is the consistency the same as maple syrup?. If so there shouldn’t be any problem :-)
Can you use regular coffee ground really fine instead of instant coffee?
I think it should be good :-) Thanks for stopping by.
Any ideas where I can find just coconut cream in Canada? I have canned coconut milk which in the ingredients has coconut milk, water and guar gum listed. Can I use this the same as the coconut cream?
This recipe looks to die for and I’m so excited to make it! Just need to figure out the coconut cream options.
Yes you can use that instead :-) I hope you like it!
I tried making this and had the same experience as another with the center. It was somewhat frozen when I decided to add the topping but then it became soft in the morning. Also, the center is nowhere close to what you have in your pics. Much thinner layer and you can definitely see coffee in mine. You say pure coconut cream? Most of us are buying the can from the supermarket and there are other ingredients, emulsifiers–but mostly coconut meat and sugar. It is called cream of coconut–wondering if you have found a different product. Yours looks so thick and fluffy. My total height was a half inch-3/4? I want this to work!! Everything was so yummy as I was making it :)
Oh no you too? I think like you mentioned it could possibly be other ingredients in the coconut cream product. I use the coconut cream from Trader Joes every time I make this recipe but never had such a problem. I was thinking maybe the Irish Cream could prevent the mixture from solidifying it but there is such a small amt in the recipe that I couldn’t possibly think that would be the culprit. Also with your layer being so thin as you mentioned, the quantities in this recipe is what I always use when I make it so not sure about that either. I use a 8×8 square baking pan. I am really puzzled as to why this is not working for some of you :-( Really I wish I could be of more help! Sorry.
Love the post, Miryam. I don’t need them to be vegan but the fact they’re gluten free is great for my kids. 2/3 have gluten sensitivity.
Can it be kept in fridge once set and cut up.
I have never tried that before. I don’t know if they would be too soft or fine to eat. You can try it and let me know :-)
They kept their shape at moment in fridge. But would say next time I would divide batch in to two tins to keep on in freezer until I needed it. As half of it just right sizes for my family of four.
Thanks for letting me know. I really appreciate it.
I just made this dessert and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!
In regards to some of the comments mentioned above:
I’m in Canada and found Coconut Cream at Walmart. The brand is Savoy, from Thailand and is 70% coconut extract. It worked great!
I used Medjool dates for my crust, but it was still dry. Adding a little water did the trick. The more water you add, the more malleable the crust is for moulding into the base of the pan.
Instead of regular ground instant coffee, I used Nescafe Instant Espresso. This gave the dessert a stronger coffee flavour and since it’s a fine powder, I had no coffee bits anywhere.
When spreading the topping, I found that it hardened quite quickly, so my advice would be to act fast in order to get an even spread.
Again, thanks for sharing. This has instantly become one of my top favourite easy-to-make no-bake desserts. … Now I just need to manage my portion control!
Thanks so much for your feedback. I am sure this is going to help a lot of people making this recipe :-)
hardly healthy with all the saturated fat
The saturated fat comes from the coconut in the recipe which has MCT therefore it behaves and has properties very different than conventional saturated fat. This fat is healthy. I suggest you do some research on it!!
I’m also from Canada, I tried this recipe 2 times first time I made it the filling curdled, re-made it again but did not use any baileys and it was fine. I used coconut cream from Walmart Savoy. I’m anxiously waiting to taste it :)
I am glad it finally turned out for you. I just can’t see myself trying it without the baileys :-)
I made these tonight and I was wondering…am I suppose to let the middle layer freeze first before putting the chocolate layer on top? I put the chocolate layer on top before it was frozen and it seemed to just sink into the middle layer or mix in. I wasn’t sure but I’m sure once frozen they will be delicious. I can’t wait to try these! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)
I have just made an adjustment on the recipe instructions. Waiting about 30-45 before pouring the topping would be great. I hope yours turned out ok :-)
What would your suggestion be to substitute the cashews? Someone above in the comments asked about a substitute because her husband is allergic. You suggested almonds, but if you are allergic to tree nuts then both of them will not work. Any other suggestions? This looks so yummy but I am allergic to all tree nuts. (I am not allergic to peanuts. Would they work?)
Yes peanut will work as well and i think sunflower seeds too but I would try peanuts instead first :-)
What to do instead of baileys or kahlua as I am alcohol free? Expresso?
the flavor was good, but center was runny. not sure how you got the center so whipped & fluffy. (???)
A quick point of clarification…I guess this is obvious to everyone but me, but I want to be sure because the difference will matter in how the product turns out. In the “filling” part of the recipe, you list “3-4 tbsp maple syrup.” I assume you mean “3 to 4 tbsp,” correct? (as opposed to 3/4 tbsp) Thanks for setting me straight. I look forward to making this delicious creation of yours.
Yes 3 to 4 tablespoons of maple syrup :-)
do these need to be kept frozen? I wanted to bring them to a potluck and have access to a fridge but not a freezer?
Looks delicious…need to try one day! Vegan-gluten free diet always needs some new,yummy arrivals to brighten our lifes :-)
Now there is a VEGAN Baileys :-000 Whole Foods only though…Whoop!
Just made this and it has not turned out well. The coffee cream is much too runny even from freezer/fridge and the chocolate topping is much too hard when so cold that it just cracked all over instead of cutting. I’m an experienced cook and don’t usually run into these type of problems. Very disappointing.
I have just made these and the centre looks very runny. I’m hoping they turn out after freezing…we will see. I think the issue folks are having may be due to the fat content of the coconut cream used. Brands vary a great deal. For example, the Trader Joes in the US has 9 gm fat per 30 ml. I am assuming that is what you use Miryam. Blue tin? The link to the coconut cream in the recipe has 6gm fat per 30ml. This is a big difference. I would try this brand in Canadian Amazon as it has 4.5 gm fat per 15 ml which is the same as 9 gm per 30 ml like Trader Joes. If the Can is quoting 60 ml serving size you need 18 gm fat. 24 gm fat in 80 ml, or 27 gm fat in 90 ml serving.
It totally makes sense. I am thinking people are probably using a coconut cream/milk that is not allowing for the center to be frozen solid. The can I used was dark brown w/ 16 g total fat however their cans have changed now and the one I used is the full fat coconut can which is light blue and the total fat is 9 grams per serving, I don’t know why the fat content changed.. I will make a note in the recipe. Thanks so much for your note!
I think you should edit this to state coconut cream should be the only ingredient. Most canned coconut creams have guar gum or other stuff. Hard to find just plain coconut cream. As a result, this was a disaster. Center filling froze like ice milk. Not creamy or whipped at all.
I am so sorry it didn’t turn out. It is ok if the coconut cream has guar gum as long as the fat content is high. I have a note at the end of the instructions stating that the fat content must be high and a link to a sample coconut cream can that has high fat content. I hope you get to try it again bc these bars are truly sensational. Sorry it didn’t turn out and thanks for stopping by.
I’ve just tried to make this and the centre is still runny after an hour in the freezer. :( The coconut cream used is 21% fat.
I’ve just seen that the coconut cream you’re using has guar gum added which is a thickening agent. I’m guessing this is the reason a few of us are having issues as not all coconut cream has stabilisers added.
I made these tonight…using cashews and dried cherries for the bottom layer. I used the TJ coconut cream and added a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa instead of coffee. Wow. These are good. I thought I would address some of the concerns I have read in the comments. First, the 9% fat coconut cream from Trader Joe’s in the ice cream filling will create a thick liquid (like heavy cream) when you pour it into the pan over the crust. Before you add the topping, this layer needs to freeze. It could take a few hours for the coconut cream to freeze. When it is frozen, you can add the chocolate topping. You have to work quickly at this point since the topping can freeze on the cream and become brittle. I cut the bars while they were still in the pan and before the chocolate topping got too hard. Then I put them back in the freezer.
The coconut cream layer does get hard and a bit icy, but if you let the treat thaw for 5 minutes before you serve, it is surprisingly creamy.
Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks so much for your awesome recommendations. These will help a lot of the people making the bars going forward. I am glad you liked the bars. Thanks for stopping by.