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No Bake Caramel Chocolate Cereal Bars

Now that we’ve had even the slightest bit of proof that spring is on its way, I’ve already began craving alllll the frozen sweets. Not great for the fact I am trying to EMPTY my freezer. But to that I say “pishawww.” There’s always room when chocolate and caramel are involved, am I right? 

No Bake Caramel Chocolate Cereal Bars

Remember when we spoke about recipes and how they are made?  Well this is a prime example of how I tend to gather inspiration from numerous different sources (due to my inability to ever choose one thing), mash them all up, mix in a bit of my own creativity and pop out something new.

I always loved chemistry. 

caramel bars 3

In my effort to appease all my current cravings – something cold, something with date caramel, chocolate and layers – I started brainstorming a few ideas. Then I saw Arman’s three ingredient rice crispies pop up in my recipe folder and “ping!” Crazy idea.  

no bake caramel bars layers

So I got building. I used his simple method to create my base, but used a combination of rice crispies and corn flakes to add even more texture. Then, I have this lady to blame for reminding me of date caramel. Seriously – have you seen all her recent no bake layered creations? Now that is talent right there. I used to use date caramel a lot and had already figured out my own favorite way to make it, so her recent recipes had me wanting to bring it back. So then all I needed was chocolate.  I simply used the base from my own no bake freezer chocolate. Really, this is such a simple technique that could be used to top off any recipe. And I suggest you top all of your recipes with chocolate. Every. One. 

no bake caramel bars

Alternatively, you could just melt regular chocolate. I’ve definitely done this when feeling a little extra lazy busy. 

caramel bars better

I know I’ve called these “No Bake CARAMEL Chocolate Bars,” but there is actually no caramel in them. The smooth taste of caramel comes strictly from the dates and then exemplified even more by adding maca powder to the base. Totally optional, but if you have some, it adds extra maltiness (and a whole slew of health benefits). I order this stuff right hurrr

When you take all this into consideration, you’ve got quite the nutrient dense, totally guilt free little treat on your hands. Sweetened naturally using only dates and maple syrup, gluten free and vegan (depending on your liquid sweetener) – it’s a treat you can really feel good about. 

caramel bars 2

So if you are feeling “springy,” yet can’t decide on what one treat you want to make; if you have a craving for rice crispy squares… but also want chocolate… and oh right, some caramel, too…. make these totally simple, fast and easy caramel chocolate layered cereal bars. The explosion of flavors and textures will have you melllllting. 

caramel bars 4

Make these No Bake Caramel Chocolate Cereal Bars for a healthy, sweet start to Spring  Click To Tweet

 

No Bake Caramel Chocolate Cereal Bars
Yields 16
A deliciously sweet freezer treat made with layers of crunch and smooth caramel taste. Gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free. A no guilt and nutritious indulgence that will have you celebrating spring.
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Base
  1. 1 cup brown rice crisps
  2. 1 cup sugar free corn flakes (alternatively can use 2 cups of one ingredient)
  3. 1/3 cup nut butter of choice (I used almond butter)
  4. 1/3 cup liquid sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup, but honey (will not be vegan), agave or brown rice syrup would work)
  5. 1 Tbsp Maca Powder (optional)
Date Caramel
  1. 1 cup pitted dates
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Chocolate Layer
  1. See my freezer chocolate recipe, omitting the added maca (optional) and toppings
  2. http://mylittletablespoon.com/recipes/healthy-homemade-freezer-chocolate/
Alternatively
  1. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (will now not be vegan unless you use dairy free)
  2. 1 tsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Line a square baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Base: In a small bowl, combine nut butter and liquid sweetener and microwave, 30 seconds at a time, until melted. In a large bowl, combine brown rice and/or cereal and maca powder with melted nut butter mixture. Stir well to coat everything. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Smooth over and press down firmly. Set aside.
  3. Date Caramel: Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes, until half the liquid is evaporated. Let cool and then blend in a food processor until very smooth. Spread evenly over base and smooth over with spatula.
  4. Chocolate layer: Make freezer chocolate as directed. When still warm, pour on top of the date caramel layer. Alternatively, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together and pour on top of date caramel.
  5. Set in freezer to harden, at least 30 minutes. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
Notes
  1. Start by making date caramel. Alternatively, plan ahead and make date caramel days in advance. Extra may be stored in the fridge for weeks.
mylittletablespoon http://mylittletablespoon.com/
Tell me, 

If you could make a bar with three layers of ANYTHING… what would they be?

 

 

25 COMMENTS

  1. Kate | 22nd Mar 16

    Will you mail these to me?! They look fantastic! I’ve had on and off success with freezer chocolate, but my latest success has me wanting to more! I love how you took two ideas an combed them into one. Both wonderful inspirations!
    Three layer bar of anything? Very dark chocolate, some kind of nougat, and ganache topping. Yes. I will take that πŸ˜‰
    Kate recently posted…Protein-packed spinach dipMy Profile

    • Cora | 22nd Mar 16

      I hear airplanes stay fairly cold… they would probably survive air mail!
      I hope you didn’t have too much frustration getting your freezer chocolate right. I think its one of those things that are so dependent on the persons’ preference (amount of cocoa, sweetness etc) that each person will need a few attempts to get “theirs”right. Hope you’ve now found yours and are enjoying its fabulousness.
      Nougat girl eh?! Never been a fan myself.

  2. SuzLyfe | 22nd Mar 16

    LAWD. Thank goodness I still have no freezer at work, otherwise I would be living off of these! I think smores are a perfect 3 layer something. Or Oats, pb, and berries. Or strawberry shortcake. Or honestly anything you put in front of me πŸ˜€
    SuzLyfe recently posted…How to Get Results From Personal TrainingMy Profile

    • Cora | 22nd Mar 16

      Agh s’mores… of course. The epitome of three layered heaven. A good oat berry bar is always a winner too.. especially in the summer with a 4th layer of ice cream.

  3. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 22nd Mar 16

    I love combining recipe structures to create my own. Totally counts! These look awesome, BTW. Get in my tummmmmy
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Why Runners Should Eat More Beets and 15 beet-a-licious recipes!My Profile

    • Cora | 22nd Mar 16

      I think thats how a lot of recipes are made. At least that’s how my brain works.

  4. Heather@hungryforbalance | 22nd Mar 16

    Yes to the date caramel!!! I love all the different textures in these bars! Pinning for later!
    If I could make a 3 layer bar of anything it would be chocolate, cherries, and more chocolate. Okay, I know that’s only 2, but I would choose a different kind of chocolate.
    Heather@hungryforbalance recently posted…Vegan No Bake Chocolate Fudge BrowniesMy Profile

    • Cora | 22nd Mar 16

      Oh cheerrrieesss. Yaaaassss. Two kinds of chocolate always welcome.

  5. snackiebird | 22nd Mar 16

    Ok, can I come for some of this bars? I really need it! Also, if I think about three layers it should be something like cookie and caramel and chocolate (I am Twix-obsessed)

  6. Cora | 22nd Mar 16

    Yes please – come over for dessert! A cookie layer would be divine. Whoever created the Twix was a genius.

  7. Jillian | 22nd Mar 16

    These. Look. Amazing. That is all 😍

    • Cora | 23rd Mar 16

      Look and TASTE… thanks Jillian πŸ™‚

  8. Ellie | 22nd Mar 16

    Hmmm, if I could make a layered dessert of anything it would have to have white chocolate, peanut butter and cornflakes. I love the texture cornflakes gives to things. I made homemade butterfingers once and it used cornflakes: GAMECHANGER! I am all about the white chocolate though πŸ˜‰
    Ellie recently posted…Pray for Brussels, Just Pray.My Profile

    • Cora | 22nd Mar 16

      Ah good to know! Ever had white chocolate raspberry scones? You’ll die…
      Never thought of combining it with corn flakes and peanut butter though. I think this has to be experimented with asap.

  9. chasetheredgrape | 23rd Mar 16

    Ok let’s just say when I make these, extra date caramel will be mandatory… Not only do the bars look ooey gooey and caramelly, I just know that date caramel would be so good on so many things! Hello stirred into oats….
    chasetheredgrape recently posted…5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to be a respectful bloggerMy Profile

  10. What I Loved (WIAW) - mylittletablespoon | 23rd Mar 16

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  11. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 23rd Mar 16

    A bar with three layers of anything? Does it have to be a dessert? Layer 1: delicious whole-grainy bread. Layer 2: mayonnaise. Layer 3: hardboiled egg. I guess that would be more of a sandwich. I just really like mayonnaise.
    I’d like to try date caramel sometime! Dates were strictly speaking something I couldn’t tolerate on the strict low-FODMAP diet, but I’ve tried reintroducing some kinds of dried fruits and I think they should probably be okay. Cereal bars have such an awesome texture! Looking forward to spring and frozen desserts, as well!
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Week in Review: No Place Like β€œHome”My Profile

  12. Miss Polkadot | 23rd Mar 16

    Calling me talented – you’re too sweet! – but look at what you did here: I’m officially outdone in the date caramel department. Happily so because wow, lady, these are amazing!! I’ve actually had a cornflakes/crispy bar type idea in mind for recipe experimentation, too. I’m sick so send me some of these to cure the cold ;)? Chocolate is magical after all, no?

  13. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 24th Mar 16

    I love the addition of the cereals. I’m a texture nut so these are ideal. Also, dates are everything!

  14. cookiesnchem | 26th Mar 16

    I think you should put these into a box and send them straight to my house! They look wonderful. The texture looks wonderful, and hey, there’s chocolate!
    cookiesnchem recently posted…Food on RepeatMy Profile

  15. Good good links #135 – Let's get living | 27th Mar 16

    […] No Bake Caramel Chocolate Cereal Bars via My little tablespoon […]

  16. Leah Moldowan | 27th Mar 16

    Yassssss queen! I need these sweet caramel-y chocolate-y cereal-y bars in my life <3 basically all things I love the most in one delicious easy bar.

    • Cora | 28th Mar 16

      πŸ™‚ They’re darn tasty I must say.

  17. The Best Banana Muffins (Vegan and Sugar Free) - mylittletablespoon | 29th Mar 16

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