Raw Cacao Spice Date Bars

Raw Cacao Spice BarDates didn’t interest me in the least, until Costco. No frugal foodie can resist two pounds of discounted organic fruits. Or, in this case, ‘drupes’.

This quick and easy raw date bar recipe gives me even more reasons to love dates. I’ve made this recipe with various types of dates and prefer the Medjool variety, and not just because Costco carries them. Medjool dates are larger (Left below) are a little sweeter, softer and more flavorful than other varieties, such as Deglet Noor (Right below). Full of fiber and dairy, gluten and sugar-free, these bars are a favorite pre or post-workout treat, especially with a glass of chilled almond milk.


Medjool and Deglet Noor Dates


Yield: 16 bars
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (plus soaking time)


  • High-speed blender or food processor
  • 8×8 or smaller pan or cutting board
  • Parchment paper

Cacao Spice Date Bar IngredientsINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup raw pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup raw, shredded, unsweetened coconut divided
    (3/4 cup for the bar mixture, plus 1/4 cup reserved for topping)
  • 20 Medjool dates (25 of smaller variety), stems and pits removed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, gently warmed until liquid
  • 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1/2 – 2/3 teaspoon sea salt

Cacao Spice Bars in Progress

Leveling Date BarsSpice Bars in PanDIRECTIONS:

  1. Cover dates with warm water, soak for an hour, then drain completely.
  2. Line pan or cutting board with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all ingredients (except the 1/4 cup reserved shredded coconut) and process until a dough forms. Don’t try to get the mix perfectly smooth.
  4. Transfer the dough to the parchment lined pan or cutting board. A standard toaster oven tray also works well.
  5. Press the dough into a square or rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. It is not necessary to fill the pan.
  6. Smooth the top to make as even as possible. Placing a piece of parchment or wax paper on top will make the job easier.
  7. Cover the top with the remaining shredded coconut, lightly pressing it into the surface layer of the top and sides.
  8. Let chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until firm.
  9. Cut the dough into squares or rectangles and store bars refrigerated.

I’m STILL all stocked up on dates and having fun experimenting. What should I make next?

10 Reasons to Love Dates
Raw Cacao Versus Cocoa Powder

4 thoughts on “Raw Cacao Spice Date Bars

  1. I was preparing food for a long day at work and decided to make these as a snack to nosh on. I tend to crave something sweet in the afternoons at work, but wanted a healthier alternative to sweets such as cookies, brownies, and candy I might typically indulge in. These bars were so simple and quick to make, with the perfect amount of sweetness without added sugar, and the combo of spices give them a great and satisfying kick. They were so good that my boss couldn’t help but do most of the noshing, and even asked for the recipe. Thanks for a new work snack staple!

    • Thanks for stopping by Katrina! I’m so glad the bars were a hit and maybe scored you some points with the boss. : ) I have several more bar recipes on the site, but these spice bars are the fastest to make.

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