These mouth-watering vegan Snickers bars combine a no-bake brownie base with a creamy coconut cashew ‘nougat,’ peanut caramel, and a refined sugar-free chocolate topping. Overall, these homemade candy bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, and no-bake, yet packed with flavor and make for the perfect healthier vegan peanut and caramel candy bar to satisfy your cravings!
As a vegan, you get used to having to find (or invent) replacements for non-vegan favorites. I’ve already shared other vegan candy recipes, including chocolate coconut bars (Bounty/Mounds), homemade Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello truffles, white chocolate, and even gummy bears! For this post, though, we’ll be focusing on these creamy and delicious vegan Snickers bars!
After weeks of recipe testing, I finally created this version of vegan Snickers that is delicious, decadent, and yet healthier than the regular candy bar. So even though I now weigh an extra few pounds, it was worth it (just kidding, kind of!).
What is a Snickers Bar?
A Snickers candy bar is a chocolate bar (made by Mars) that consists of a layer of nougat topped with caramel and roasted peanuts, which is then encased in milk chocolate.
Are Snickers gluten-free & vegan?
While Snickers bars are gluten-free, they are definitely not vegan. In fact, the Snickers ingredients list for these peanut caramel bars includes skimmed milk powder, whey protein, whey powder, milk fat, egg white powder, and milk protein. More so, it also contains the controversial ingredient’ palm fat’. Luckily, this healthy Snickers recipe is gluten-free and 100% palm-oil-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.
Healthier, No-Bake, Homemade Snickers Bar Recipe
While this homemade Snickers recipe isn’t an exact vegan copycat/replica, I think (hope) that you’ll find this equally delicious with all the right ‘flavor notes.’ I’ve combined four elements (rather than 3) for these homemade Snickers, and the results are wonderfully creamy, rich, chocolatey, and satisfying. Yet, more than that, they’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be made refined sugar-free and even nut-free!
For the base, I simply used my healthy no-bake brownies recipe. While not a traditional addition to a Snickers candy bar, it’s one of my most popular recipes on the blog and makes for a delicious and surprisingly nutritious base. I topped that with a rich and creamy coconut cream (and no, it doesn’t taste like coconut) and cashew (nut alternatives available!) ‘nougat’ layer. Then, there’s a decadent caramel (that took multiple tries to get just right) made with or without refined sugars and elevated with the addition of lots of peanuts. Finally, the peanut caramel bars are topped with a homemade naturally sweetened chocolate topping.
The results are a sweet, creamy, and rich peanut and caramel candy bar that your entire family will love. And, if you’re looking for even more delicious no-bake vegan snacks, you might like these recipes for vegan coconut cups, peanut butter crunch bars, caramel chocolate brownies, cookie dough bars, or peanut butter truffles!
Vegan Snickers Candy Bar Ingredients
- Brownie base: I used this healthy no-bake brownies recipe as the base for this Snicker.
The cream layer
- Coconut milk: You need to use the thick ‘cream’ from a can of full-fat chilled coconut milk (or use ‘coconut cream’). I recommend leaving the can in the fridge the night before to give it time to separate and thicken (save the coconut water to add to smoothies, etc.). Alternatively, you could use vegan cream.
- Cashews: This will help to yield a super creamy mixture. Alternatively, you could use macadamia nuts. For a nut-free alternative, use soaked sunflower seeds, though it may not be as creamy. Alternatively, you could use silken tofu (130g/4.5oz).
- Oat flour: You can use either oat flour or almond flour. Don’t use regular flour.
- Maple syrup: Or the liquid syrup of your choice (like agave syrup/rice syrup). For sugar-free Snickers, you could use monk fruit’ maple syrup’.
- Vanilla: Use natural vanilla extract for the best flavor.
The caramel layer
- Maple syrup: Or the liquid sweetener of your choice.
- Coconut milk: For this layer, it should be from a shaken can (not chilled).
- Sugar: Use either brown sugar or coconut sugar (which is unrefined). If you use a sugar alternative, the caramel may not thicken enough (so you would need cornstarch).
- Peanut butter: It’s best to use smooth peanut butter, though sunflower seed butter would also work (for a nut-free version).
- Peanuts: Technically optional, but feel free to use peanuts to mix into the caramel layer. You can use raw peanuts, though roasted will add more flavor and crunch.
- Salt: Just a pinch to enhance the flavor in the caramel
Alternatively, read the recipe notes section below for an even healthier date caramel.
The chocolate layer
- Cacao butter and Cocoa powder: Needed to make homemade chocolate.
- Coconut oil: This helps the chocolate layer to harden faster and act more like a ‘shell’ that is slightly softer (better for slicing).
- Maple syrup: Or the liquid syrup of your choice.
Alternatively, use 200g of your favorite dairy-free chocolate, melted over a double boiler, and combined with 1 tbsp coconut oil.
Read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Vegan Snickers (Peanut Caramel Bars)?
- First, soak the cashews in warm water for at least an hour (or cold water overnight), then discard the water.
Boil the cashews for 15-20 minutes, or until soft for a’ quick’ method.
Step 1: Make the brownie base
- Meanwhile, if you haven’t already – prepare the healthy no-bake brownies recipe as the base. Then, press the dough firmly into a foil or parchment-lined 8 ½ x6-inch pan (or 7×7) and place in the freezer.
Step 2: Make the cream layer
- Next, add all the ingredients for the cream layer into a high-speed blender (or food processor- though it won’t be quite as smooth) and process until smooth and creamy. Then, pour the layer over the base and place it back in the freezer until firm (around one hour).
Step 3: Prepare the caramel layer
- Add all the ingredients (except peanuts) for the caramel layer into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until the mixture thickens and reduces. Pour the layer over the cream one, sprinkling the peanuts (if using) on top. Then place back in the freezer.
Step 4: Prepare the chocolate layer
- Add the cocoa butter and coconut oil to a double boiler (a bowl over a small pan with an inch or two of simmering water- make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl). Then, add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
Alternatively, you can simply use your dairy-free chocolate of choice and use the double boiler method to melt it.
- Then, pour the melted chocolate layer over the caramel and chill in the freezer for a further 15 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
To help slicing, place your knife in a glass of boiling water to heat up, wipe it down, slice, and then re-dip (and dry) between slices.
How to Store
Store: Store the vegan candy bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This version will be softer than when it’s frozen.
Freeze: Store the homemade Snickers in an airtight container in the freezer for between 1-2 months. To enjoy a bar, simply leave it to thaw for several minutes at room temperature.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Using different-sized pans: Note that the bars (and all layers) will be thinner if you use a larger pan.
- Using the coconut cream: For some reason, some cans just don’t want to separate, even after chilling. For that reason, I recommend placing a couple of cans in the fridge. Alternatively, you can buy coconut cream (no need to chill).
- To make date caramel: Use 200 g dates (soaked in hot water for 30 minutes first), ½ cup (120 ml) coconut milk, 2 tbsp (40 g) smooth peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter). Blend all the ingredients in the food processor until super creamy.
- To omit the no-bake brownie base: To save time and some steps, you could skip this base layer entirely and double the chocolate layer to use for the top and bottom (or to dip the bars to fully coat).
- Make sure the sugar is vegan: If you’re using refined sugars, not all brands are vegan (organic sugar usually is vegan though).
- For individual bars: You can use a silicone bar mold (though you’ll need several). It takes longer as you need to fill each bar mold separately. However, there’s no need to slice them at the end, and you can pour the chocolate over the bar (place them on a cooling rack with a tray underneath to trap the drippings) to cover the top and sides with chocolate.
- Optionally add flaky salt: Just a small sprinkle to the top chocolate layer helps to enhance the flavors in this simple peanut caramel bar.
- Turn it into a Snickers tart: By using a 7 or 8-inch round pan and slicing into wedges.
More No-Bake Vegan Candy Recipes
- No-Bake Fruity Cheesecake
- Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Bars
- Chocolate Salami
- Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake
- Vegan Chocolate Pie
- Cheesecake Tartlets
- 2-ingredient Condensed Milk Truffles
If you try this simple vegan Snickers candy bar recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan.
Vegan Snickers Bars
No-Bake Brownie Base
- 1 recipe no-bake brownies
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Soak cashews in warm water for at least one hour, then discard the water (you could also boil them in water for 15-20 minutes or until they are soft).
- Make the No-Bake Brownie Base as per the instructions in the recipe, and press the dough firmly into a pan (lined with foil or parchment paper). My pan measures 8 1/2 x 6 inches. If you use a bigger pan, the bars will be thinner.
- For the cream layer, process all ingredients in your high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour the cream layer over the brownie base and transfer the pan into your freezer until the layer is firm (approx. one hour)
- Add all ingredients for the caramel layer (except the peanuts) to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir with a whisk and let simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until the caramel sauce gets thicker. Pour it over the cream layer, place the peanuts on top, and put the pan back into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Check the recipe notes if you want to make the caramel layer with dates.
- For the chocolate layer, melt the cocoa butter and the coconut oil in a double boiler. Add all ingredients to a saucepan and stir until combined. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer and transfer the pan back into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Check the recipe notes for a SIMPLE chocolate alternative.
- Cut into your desired size and shape (it works best with a hot knife). Enjoy the bars thawed!
- 200 g dates, soaked in hot water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (120 ml)
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter or sunflower seed butter (40 g)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- As an alternative to the chocolate layer, you can simply melt 200 g of dairy-free chocolate chips (or 2 bars of dairy-free chocolate) in a double boiler and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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