These easy no-bake lamington bars come together using only 4 ingredients and a food processor and are a great healthy snack to have on hand. Combining the classic flavours of coconut and chocolate, with the natural sweetness of dates, these are the perfect paleo and refined sugar-free snack alternative.
I first started making these no bake date bars when I was completing the Whole30 diet, a variation of Paleo which has you eliminating a long list of foods including grains, dairy, and sugar. I was at about the halfway point and I was in a major sugar low at the point of feeling like I wasn’t going to make it through when I decided to make an approved snack.
Now if you follow the Whole30 rules strictly, making a sugary snack with dates to feed a craving isn’t really in the spirit, but my focus was more on just ensuring compliance so I decided that a small portion of a healthy snack bar that would get me through those days when I was struggling was acceptable to me.
I think with any form of diet, while it’s great to stick to the rules, it’s also important to listen to your body and decide what is the right thing for you. For me, I didn’t really think this was a trigger for my unhealthy behaviours so I went for it, and let me tell you that this was one of the simplest recipes to come out of my kitchen thanks to the Whole30.
There are many flavour variations of these easy date and nut bars, but I found the classic combination of coconut and chocolate based on the classic Australian lamington, to be my absolute favourite. You could also make these into round bites and dust them with more cocoa if you wanted to make them more like a healthy truffle.
These bars are rich, chocolatey and a bit chewy, so you only need a small bar to get you through the cravings while you wait for your next meal. They are also raw, vegan, paleo, Whole30 approved, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free…basically perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a nut allergy!
How to make no-bake date and nut bars
These simple snack bars come together with just 4 ingredients;
They are one of the simplest recipes to make as you throw all of the ingredients into a food processor until it gets sticky, press into a pan, then let it chill in the fridge. The hardest bit is waiting for them to be ready! Being such a simple recipe, there really isn’t much that can go wrong which makes these perfect for beginners in the kitchen.
Also hands up who loves a recipe for the summer months that doesn’t require turning on the oven?!
What dates should I use in these bars?
Dates are pretty much just bite sized pieces of unrefined sugar. They are sweet and sticky making them the perfect base for these bars, adding that sweetness and combining everything else together.
In this recipe I do not specify using medjool dates as many health food bloggers will. Basically I am very cost conscious when I am at the grocery store, and for something like this recipe, I cannot justify the price.
I just use the regular cheap dates from the dried fruit isle that cost under $2 and soak them in warm water to rehydrate them before using. The general benefit I can see is that medjool dates may provide a stronger caramel flavour, but in this recipe I am adding the strong flavours of coconut and cacao so I still do not see enough of a benefit. If you prefer them, use them, otherwise regular cheap dates with a little rehydration will be perfectly fine.
You can also use any leftover dates to make this vegan sticky date pudding – although maybe not if you are trying to be sugar free!
I think the possibilities for different variations of these bars could be essentially endless. I do love the addition of cacao powder though as the bitterness cuts the sweetness of the dates and gives that familiar chocolatey taste.
For similar recipes with different flavour combinations, try my healthy berry bites which taste exactly like a cherry ripe bar, or these caramel and peanut butter balls.
Knowing exactly what is in our food is so important, and with just how easy these bars are to make you will love being able to produce a batch of these healthy no-bake snack bars at home without much fuss.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
Easy No-Bake Lamington Bars
- 1 cup dates
- ¾ cup cashews
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- Add dates to a small bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside and let soak for about 10 minutes.
- Drain dates and add to a food processor with cashews, coconut flakes & cacao powder and process until everything is chopped up and mixture is sticky.
- Line a loaf pan or small square pan with baking paper and add in the mixture. Press it down evenly into the corners with your hands or use the flat base of a glass to press it down ensuring the top is flat, even and is compressed.
- Place in the fridge to chill for an hour. Once firm, take the pan from the fridge and gently remove the bars using the baking paper. Cut into even bars using a sharp knife. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.
Original recipe was published February 20th 2017.
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Just want to add another thought.
I reckon lining the tin with rice paper would be a good thing to try.
These look amazing, thanks for sharing!
Without a food processor I tried it with the blender. I blended the nuts first (added almonds) then spooned in cacao and pre-soaked dates. Dreadful! Dates were still solid and ungiving so I tripped whole sticky mess out into a bowl ad hand chopped the dates I could find! Another time I will use boiling water for soaking the dates (as I normally do) perhaps simmering them for a couple minutes, then blend them separately before adding everything else. Anyhow, the whole mess is now sitting in the fridge!
I also added a teaspoon of molasses as extra vitamin source.
I reckon adding grated orange peel would give a wonderful flavour so I’ll try that next time.
Thank you for this recipe. I think it has great possibilities.
I wouldn’t recommend this recipe without a food processor as you’ve discovered as it’s not going to be able to do the job of chopping and then mixing that a food processor will. That will be why your dates haven’t chopped up properly – it’s just too much for the blender to do without any liquid. Also I’d suggest that adding the molasses will make the mixture quite sticky and difficult to work with. I do recommend lining the pan with baking paper to make the removal of these bars once set really easy. I hope you try this again and have more success next time!
I can’t believe how easy these bars are, they are such a great little sweet treats that are both healthy and indulgent: it’s the best of both worlds!
They sure are!
These look so great Sally! I love seeing more refined sugar free recipes. Thanks for a delish recipe.
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
What a delicious sweet treat that is actually healthy! I love this 🙂
Lovely one to have on hand when you need something satisfying.
They are perfect for when you just need something sweet to get you through!