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Healthy homemade almond joy candy bars that are vegan, paleo, gluten free, and refined sugar free!
Yes, I was that weird kid that actually liked coconut and almonds with my chocolate. Haha.
It's been years since I've had one of these almond joy candies and I'm so happy that I finally had the brilliant idea to recreate it in my kitchen.
This healthy candy bar has become a favorite for our family and there's no going back now.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
this healthy homemade almond joy candy bar recipe is:
- gluten free
- refined sugar free
What you need to make this healthy homemade almond joy candy bar recipe:
Making these at home is sooo easy!!!
All you need is:
- chocolate (I like to use cacao powder but you can use melted store bought chocolate chips - Hu Gems would work really well here)
- shredded coconut flakes
- coconut cream from a can
- maple sugar and maple syrup
- coconut oil
- almonds - because you can't have an almond joy candy bar without almonds!
- tapioca starch
Most recipes for homemade almond joy candy bars call for condensed milk but we're making our own 'condensed milk' by mixing coconut cream, tapioca starch and maple syrup to form the most delicious and stickiest mock 'condensed milk' you've ever had.
For the melted chocolate, I mention that I like to use cacao powder. If you mix cacao powder with coconut oil and a sweetener of your choice, you get the most delicious melted chocolate ever that is perfect for dipping and hardens in the fridge beautifully.
Of course you can just melt store bought chocolate chips, but if using store bought i recommend you stick with a clean paleo brand like Hu Gems. Most other chocolate chips are not made with cacao, they use refined sugar, and most likely are filled with a ton of other ingredients/preservatives that aren't the best for your body.
how to make this healthy homemade almond joy candy bar recipe:
Making this candy bar at home is much easier than you think.
It's basically a two step process.
Step one: Make the coconut base.
Add the shredded coconut and maple sugar to a bowl and mix. Then make the mock condensed milk by adding the coconut cream, maple syrup, and tapioca starch to a pot and bringing to a low heat until thick and sticky. Keep an eye on this as it will thicken up pretty quickly, like within 5 minutes. Add the sticky mixture to the coconut shreds, add the coconut oil, and combine.
Then using a loaf pan, or something similar, create your coconut base by pressing down the mixture into the base of the pan. Make sure you cover the pan with parchment paper prior to doing this, for easy removal. Don't forget to add your almonds - almond joys are not almond joys without almonds. Eyeball where your slices will be and place 2 almonds per slice. Finally, place in the freezer so that it can harden.
Step two: Make the chocolate and coat the coconut layer.
Melt your chocolate chips or cacao paste. Once the coconut layer is hard to the touch, cut into bars (I usually get 6 to 7 bars out of this recipe) and coat your bars with chocolate. Place back into the freezer so that it can harden.
To keep these homemade almond joy candy bars frozen or in the fridge?
You can keep these in the freezer or in the fridge. It's up to you. In the freezer, they are harder and taste a little bit like an ice cream treat. I like them. In the fridge, they are a bit softer and resemble the candy bar more. I alternate between both methods. Feel free to experiment and see what way you prefer the most.
Love chocolate? Check out these recipes.
Healthy Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars Recipe
Inspired by a childhood favorite of mine, this homemade almond joy candy bar recipe is much healthier than the original, yet just as tasty. Made without condensed milk and refined sugar free.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 7 bars 1x
- Category: desserts
- 1 1/4 cup shredded coconut = 85g
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar (coconut sugar will work too) = 18g
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (from a can) = 114g
- 1 heaping tablespoon maple syrup (agave or honey will work too) = 30g
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour = 8g
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil = 9g
- almonds to place on top (this depends on how many slices you make but you’ll need around 14 almonds give or take a few)
for chocolate coating:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil = 50g
- 1/4 cup cacao powder = 20g
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup = 36g
- Mix the shredded coconut and maple sugar (or coconut sugar) in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small pot, combine the coconut cream, maple syrup (or agave/honey if subbing), and tapioca flour and heat on low until thick and bubbly. Keep an eye on this as it will become very thick and bubbly quickly, within 3 to 5 minutes depending on your stove-top. Remove from heat and pour into the shredded coconut mix.
- Add tablespoon of coconut oil to the mixture and combine.
- Cover a 9×3 loaf pan (like this one) with parchment paper and press the coconut mixture down on to the base of the pan to form the coconut layer.
- Place one or two almonds on top of where each slice will be and then place the pan in the freezer to allow the coconut layer to harden. (Makes around 6 to 7 slices so you’ll need 12 to 14 almonds)
- Make chocolate for coating. Combine coconut oil, cacao powder, and maple syrup in a bowl and mix until smooth*. Coat the frozen slices entirely with chocolate and place back into freezer for a few minutes to allow chocolate coating to harden before serving. You can also use melted store-bought chocolate chips instead of cacao powder if you have those on hand.
- You can keep these in the freezer for a harder, more ice cream like, bar. Or keep them in the fridge for a softer chewier bar. I love them both ways but I think they taste more like Almond Joy candy bar when left in the refrigerator as they are softer that way.
- If the coating chocolate is thick (because the coconut oil tends to thicken if it gets cold), you can warm it up in the microwave or on the stove top, and it will become thin and easier to coat the bars with.
Keywords: dessert, almond joy bar, candy bar, candy, paleo, vegan, gluten free, healthy, chocolate