Amanda and Matt's recipe this week does not require you turn on the oven! No-bake, oaty Pumpkin Spice Caramel Slices topped with sweet pumpkin date caramel and topped with dairy-free chocolate and buttery pecans!
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I’m Christina, the founder and recipe developer behind the blog Addicted to Dates. Here I share simple vegan recipes, that are mostly desserts with lots of gluten-free options too. I’m based in Dublin, Ireland, and when I’m not creating in my kitchen you can find me taking long walks on the beach with my huskies or taking photos for animal sanctuaries.
Since becoming vegan almost 6 years ago, I have been experimenting with recipes, creating ‘veganized’ versions of regular desserts. The goal of this Addicted to Dates is to share plant-based recipes and to show that you don’t have to compromise on treating yourself when vegan. All the recipes you love can be recreated using plant-based ingredients. There is such an abundance of foods in the plant kingdom that can be used to veganize any recipe that you used to love!
I was delighted when Taylor invited me to share a recipe over here with you all! So to keep in line with the season, as well as my speciality of “no-bake” desserts, I created these delicious Pumpkin Spice Caramel Slices, which will go absolutely perfectly with your pumpkin spice or chai latte! I’ve just written my very first book, “No-Bake Vegan Desserts” which is full of recipes like this one, so if you’re into delicious easy desserts be sure to check it out! It’s being released on November 10th eek!
A FALL TREAT THAT TASTES GOOD ANY TIME OF YEAR
In fact, make that any time of day! These delicious slices have an oaty pumpkin spice base, a sweet pumpkin date caramel and a healthy dose of vegan-friendly chocolate. Pair everything with some buttery pecans for a bit of crunch and these slices have it all.
Being no-bake makes these bars incredibly easy to make, the hardest part is waiting while they set!
WHAT’S IN THESE PUMPKIN SPICE CARAMEL SLICES?
- Rolled oats: Oats add an amazing moreish wholesome flavour and consistency to the crust of the slices.
- Almond flour or ground almonds: This is added to the crust for texture and density.
- Pumpkin spice mix: A must for any pumpkin spice recipe! These spices add warm “fall vibes” to this recipe.
- Sea salt: I always add a pinch of salt to desserts, as it helps to bring out the individual flavours of ingredients as well as marrying them together.
- Medjool dates: These work as both a binding agent and sweetener for the crust as well as the base for the delicious pumpkin caramel.
- Almond butter: This works as a binding agent for the crust and also adds a wonderful flavour. It also gives the caramel a rounded flavour as well as helping it to set.
- Pumpkin puree: The star of the show, not only adds flavour and texture but also provides a gorgeous bright orange hue to the date caramel.
- Maple syrup: A natural way of adding more sweetness and flavour to the pumpkin date caramel.
- Vanilla extract: This adds another layer of flavour to the caramel, you can swap it out for half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or the seeds from half a vanilla pod if you have one to hand.
- Vegan-friendly chocolate: Dairy-free milk chocolate or dark chocolate works for this recipe. Just be sure to check labels for milk powder, honey or any other non-vegan ingredients.
- Pecans: These nuts add crunch and texture to the slices.
LET’S MAKE PUMPKIN SPICE CARAMEL SLICES
Add all of the dry ingredients to the food processor and blitz to a fine crumb before gradually adding in the wet ingredients in the following order. First the dates and almond butter go in followed but the water. The water should be added gradually as well, as you may not need to use the entire amount of water depending on the consistency of your ingredients.
Next the crust will go into an 8×8” baking dish which has been lined with some parchment paper. Simply use a spatula or flat bottomed glass to press the mixture evenly into the base of the dish.
The caramel is as easy as adding all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and blitzing until smooth and creamy. Patience is key with this step, you don’t want any lumps in the mixture meaning you’ll need to blend it for several minutes.
Tip: If your dates aren’t soft, soak them in hot water for 30 minutes before using them to help soften them up a little and make them easier for your blender to handle.
After you’ve distributed the pumpkin caramel evenly on top of the oat base, it will go into the freezer to set. You’ll want at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible. I like to make the recipe the night before serving, and then finish it off with the toppings the following morning.
A double boiler (au bain-marie) is the best method for melting chocolate. Simply create a water bath by filling a saucepan one quarter ways with water, and placing a bowl large enough to cover the circumference of the saucepan on top. Add the chocolate to the bowl and bring the water to a low simmer, allowing the steam to rise up and gently melt the chocolate.
Before adding the melted chocolate on top of the pumpkin caramel, reserve a coupe spoonfuls to use as a glue to stick the pecans on top afterwards!
Tip: To get clean cut slices, make sure you use a very sharp knife. I also recommend heating the knife with a blow torch or by sitting it into boiling water before cutting the slices.
There seems to be a worldwide shortage of pumpkin puree lately, but luckily it can be easily made at home or swapped out for it’s (dare I say even tastier!) cousin, the butternut squash.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PUMPKIN OR BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE:
- Pre-heat your own to 190°C (375°F).
- Cut the butternut squash or pumpkin in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds.
- Lay flesh side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast for 40-45 minutes until soft.
- Allow the squash to cool to room temperature and scoop the flesh out.
- Add the flesh to your high speed blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Store any leftover puree in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days or you can also freeze it.
PUMPKIN SPICE MIX:
I use a ready-made pumpkin spice mix. You can however, very easily make it at home with just a few ingredients! The below quantities are what’s needed for the recipe, but you could also increase the quantity if you wanted to make more and store it in an airtight jar.
How to make your own pumpkin spice mix:
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
The oats provide a delicious wholesome base for this recipe. If you’re avoiding gluten, simply opt for rolled oats that have been certified as gluten-free to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination.
This recipe calls for almond butter in both the base and caramel. You can swap it out for any other nut butter or seed butter of your choice if you have specific dietary requirements or are avoiding specific ingredients due to allergies.
Some great alternatives include:
- Cashew butter
- Peanut butter
- Sunflower seed butter
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Plant-based and vegan-friendly
- Full of fall vibes
- No-bake and easy to make
- Minimal, wholesome ingredients
- Can be adapted as gluten-free
- Free from eggs, dairy and all other animal-derived additives
OTHER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
THINKING OF TRYING THIS RECIPE?
I absolutely love to see your recreations. So if you give this recipe a go be sure to tag me on Instagram using @addictedtodates and #addictedtodates so that I can share your pictures on my stories and leave a picture and a comment on Pinterest so we can all see one another’s creations!
- 2 cups Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour or Ground Almonds
- 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 6 Medjool Dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp Almond Butter
- 2-3 tbsp Water
- 230 g Vegan-Friendly Chocolate
- 1 cup Pecans
To make the base, blend the rolled oats, almond flour, pumpkin spice mix and salt in your food processor until they form a light crumb
Add in the pitted medjool dates and almond butter and blend further until completely combined
Lastly add in the water, one tablespoon at a time and continue to blend until the mixture sticks together to form a dough consistency
Line 8×8” baking dish with parchment paper and press the mixture evenly into the base of the dish using a spatula
For the caramel, add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until completely smooth
Spread the caramel on top of the base using your spatula
Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or until set (overnight if possible)
Melt the vegan chocolate over a double boiler and pour the melted chocolate over the caramel. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Reserve a couple tablespoons of the melted chocolate and dip the pecans in it before sticking them on top of the chocolate
Use a very sharp knife to cut it into slices. It helps to heat the knife with some boiling water or a blow torch giving you a cleaner cut through the chocolate
Store the slices in an airtight container in your fridge or freezer
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.
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