No-Bake Tahini Caramel Dessert Bars

One for the tahini lovers. These golden tahini caramel squares feature a nutty almond-date base that perfectly pairs with its smooth, creamy tahini miso filling. Topping it off is a delicate layer of rich dark chocolate and sprinkle of crunchy sesame seeds. Vegan friendly, and free from gluten and dairy.

These vegan tahini date bars are magic. They’ve gone straight to the top of my favourites list.

From the gooey tahini-caramel, to the fact that it’s a no-bake slice, and that it comes together quickly—I’m talking under an hour, including setting time. What’s not to love?

Flavour-wise, and at first glance, the ingredients (dates, tahini, cardamon) feel distinctly Middle Eastern. While this nod is true, there’s also a wild card from another continent: miso paste. This traditional Japanese seasoning, made from fermented soybeans, adds an umami richness that takes things to another level.

As a Registered Nutritionist, I love how these tahini dessert bars celebrates wholesome ingredients like almonds, dates, and tahini. Each serve is a source of fibre, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and essential minerals, like calcium.

Gather Ingredients

  • Medjool dates. A date variety that’s large, soft, chewy and caramel-like. You’ll typically find them in the chiller section of the fruit and vegetable aisle.
  • Drippy hulled tahini. A paste made from sesame seeds. Opt for a hulled blend, for its smooth texture and mild flavour. It should be runny and pourable—a hallmark of good tahini. If your tahini has oil floating on the top or is stiff, give it a good stir to redistribute the oil.
  • White miso paste. This is also known as shiro miso. It’s lighter in colour (a golden light brown, not white!), milder in flavour, and less salty than darker miso varieties.

You’ll also need: raw almonds for the base; ground cardamon to add a spice kick; maple syrup to sweeten; coconut oil to firm the caramel; dark chocolate and sesame seeds for the topping; and salt to oomph the flavours.

Step-by-Step: Tahini Date Slice

Blend the base ingredients until tacky to the touch. This may take some time, even a minute or two.
Line a loaf pan with baking paper, making sure it extends up the sides. Tightly press the mix into the pan with fingers.
Mix together ingredients for tahini caramel. Make sure to mix well, so you’re left with no lumps of coconut oil or miso.
Pour caramel overtop base and spread out with the back of a spoon. Place in freezer to set for 20 minutes.
Mix the chocolate topping ingredients together. Spread overtop with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place back into the freezer for 5 minutes to harden. Slice into bars.

Kitchen Tips

Giving this tahini date slice a go? Here are my tried-and-tested tips:

  • A high-powered food processor is best. Blending dates and almonds can be a big task for low-powered machines. Even my strong machine needs a solid minute to get the mix to the right consistency. Some tips: the first few seconds are always the most challenging as the food processor breaks down larger pieces. Hold the machine steady to prevent it from jumping around. The base is ready when the mix pulls away from the sides of the machine when stopped, and feels tacky to the touch.
  • Presentation hack: mix a dash of tahini into the dark chocolate. The types of fat in tahini softens the chocolate, making it easier to slice without cracking.
  • Use a 9×4 inch loaf pan. For the same end results as mine, use the same size, but know there’s a little flexibility if yours is a half inch or so different—it will just change the thickness of the layers (the chocolate might get a bit thin if you go bigger).

To Store

Store in the fridge or freezer. The consistency is best out of the fridge—more gooey and caramel-like. Once at room temperature, the middle will start to soften into a (delicious) gloopy mess.

Why store chilled?❄️ Like many raw or unbaked vegan desserts, this treat relies on the fat in coconut oil to hold the shape of the filling, which firms up at cold temperatures.

Nutrition Q&A

Not only is tahini a versatile ingredient (enjoy in everything from hummus to salad dressings to sweet treats), but it’s also nutrient-dense. It’s offers:

  • Plant-based calcium. Tahini’s an impressive source of calcium, a mineral important for bone, muscle and nerve health. One tablespoon provides about 64mg, helping you reach the recommended daily intake of 1000mg for adults.
  • Protein power. For a condiment, tahini’s not a bad source of plant-based protein, with one tablespoon offering up approximately 2.6g.
  • An antioxidant punch. Tahini’s particularly rich in lignan sesamin, which has promising antioxidant potential, helping combat oxidative stress in the body and preventing free radical damage (1, 2).

Thanks for reading! Are you looking for more plant-based treats featuring medjool dates? Try this 5-Ingredient Peanut Chocolate Date Bark🍫.

No-Bake Tahini Caramel Dessert Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 12 slices
Rating:

Ingredients:  

Almond date bottom

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup medjool dates, packed
  • ½ tsp ground cardamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

Miso honey tahini filling

  • ¾ cup drippy hulled tahini, room temperature
  • cup maple syrup, room temperature
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp white miso paste (shiro miso)

Chocolate top

  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp drippy hulled tahini
  • A sprinkle of sesame seeds

Method:

Prepare the bottom layer

  • Remove and discard the inner pit from the Medjool dates. To do this, slice the date vertically, pull open the flesh, and remove the pit.
  • Place the dates, almonds, cardamom, and salt in a high-powered food processor. Blend until the mixture pulls away from the sides and feels tacky. This may take a few minutes.
  • Line a 9×4 inch loaf pan with baking paper, making sure it extends up the sides.
  • Press the date and almond mixture into the prepared pan, using your fingers to compact it down evenly.

Prepare the middle layer

  • Mix together all the ingredients for the tahini filling, making sure to get it nice and smooth.
  • Pour overtop the bottom layer, using the back of a spoon to get it nice and smooth.
  • Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.

Prepare the top layer

  • Break the chocolate into small even sized pieces. Place in a heat-proof bowl and microwave until melted (do this in small bursts to not overheat or burn).
  • Mix the chocolate until smooth. Add the tahini and mix again until smooth.
  • Pour over the filling. Smooth out with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Freeze for 5 minutes until the chocolate top has set.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut into desired sizes. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

If you enjoyed this dish, please consider giving it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help others discover my recipes online (and your reviews make my day! 🙂 ). Happy cooking and baking. Danijela x

5 from 1 vote

Recipe Rating




    2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello! These were delicous, we loved them. They were so easy to make too. Thanks for the recipe!