No-bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Fudge Bars

Using only five simple ingredients these no-bake peanut butter and jelly chocolate fudge bars are a healthy vegan and gluten-free snack or dessert. The rich topping makes them irresistible.

What. a. name. Yes, I’m aware it’s a mouthful to read and say but I promise they’re deserving of every single letter. In other words: SO good. Inspired by Ronan Keating I’m tempted to say that regarding these bars it’d best to say nothing at all [and let the picures do the talking]. Or nothing but: yes, you want and need these in your life. Unless you happen to have a peanut allergy, tnat is. However, if you knew me you’d also know I’m not good at saying nothing at all.

Cranberry Fudge Bars_3

The making – or rather: naming – of these bars unexpectedly became an educational matter. Story time: when I first made these No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Brownies and brought them to work I had to learn that one of my colleagues is allergic to nuts the worst way. Think: she ate one and asked me mid-bite if they might contain nuts. I felt so sorry despite her not blaming me. Here’s the deal: nut allergies are by far not common around here. Peanut butter bans in schools? Unheard of.

Cranberry Fudge bars_4

As I felt sorry for my colleague missing out not only on the brownies but these blondies, too,  yet was on a roll with the no-bake bars I did some research. Peanut is my favourite kind of ‘butter’ and not actually a nut* but a member of the legume family. Wait … Wouldn’t these bars be nut-free using peanuts?  Long story short: I decided against labeling them as such to avoid confusion but happily learned they were suitable for my colleague.Nut allergies are somehow fascinating – though obviously a huge bummer for those suffering from them – in how much they differ from person to person.

*Honestly, as much as I like legumes – both the word and the food group – peanuts will forever be nuts in my heart.

Cranberry Fudge Bars_2

Okay, back to the bars. Do you prefer brownies or blondies? If we were looking at the baked variety I’d always be team brownie. But with these no-bake slices I’ve found I slightly prefer the blonde version. It’s the same with bars: dried fruit mixed with cocoa simply isn’t my favourite. Not bad enough to skip out on the brownies but … And really: who can resist dates mixed with peanut butter? It’s such a good combination. Studding this base with the diamond-like-looking cranberries and adding a rich and creamy chocolate topping takes the deliciousness to another level.  Peanut butter and jelly isn’t a classic over here but I’ll make it one for those around me – with these bars. Family-approved, colleague-approved and, well, unsurprisingly approved by my stomach, too. PB & J, you’re here to stay.

Cranberry Fudge Bars_1

The cranberries might not be a typical PB & J add-in but they really add a little something-something to the soft & salty peanut butter-y base and amazingly rich and creamy fudge topping. Feel free to use dried cherries in their place for a more authentic taste but I’ll say you’re missing out. A little ;).

No-bake Cranberry Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Blondies

100 g soft dates
130 g roasted + salted peanuts
1/4 cup [30 g] of dried cranberries

100 g dark chocolate [70 % cocoa or higher]**
1/2 cup of full-fat coconut milk OR full-fat non-dairy creamer [I used soy]

  1. Place peanuts in a high-speed blender or food processor. Pulse until ground to your preference – either finely ground and flour-like or with a few more roughly chopped pieces for texture*. Remove from the blender and set aside.
  2. Process dates until finely chopped/close to paste-like. Remove from food processor.
  3. Add nut meal back to the food processor, turn it on and slowly add the date mixture bit by bit, processing until a thick dough forms. You might want to stop in between, pushing the dates sticking to the sides of the blender/food processor into the blades and stop in between to prevent overheating.
  4. Firmly press the nut and date mixture into an 8 x 8-inch pan. Press the dried cranberries firmly into the blondie base and put into the fridge to harden [it will be very sticky and soft].
  5. While the base is chilling in the fridge, prepare your ganache layer. Finely chop the chocolate bar and set aside.
  6. Bring the coconut milk/non-dairy cream to a boil either on the stove or in the microwave. Pour over the chopped chocolate and (!!!) let sit for three minutes. Do NOT stir before.
  7. Stir to fully combine all fudge ingredients. Top the chilled base with ganache and refridgerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting into it.


*As the roasted peanuts tend to turn into nut butter faster than other nuts you have to be careful not to overblend.

**use sugar-free or stevia-sweetened for a refined sugar-free version.


I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays.


Happiness-inducing today: Still getting to enjoy some sunshine after work.


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Blondies or brownies?
 Do you have any food allergies?

36 thoughts on “No-bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Fudge Bars

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      That’s a good one! I wouldn’t be able to say it for any foods I don’t eat, either. And yes: the sweet and salty aspect here really takes the bars up a notch for me, too.

  1. Kristy from Southern In Law says:

    Oooooh, I have been waiting for this recipe and it is SO worth the wait!

    I always find it so fascinating how different regions have different levels of allergies etc. Like in Asia coeliac disease is almost unheard of as it’s a genetic condition – yet in places like Ireland it’s so common that a large percentage of the population have it!

    That creamy fudge topping is totally calling to me! I’m definitely a brownie girl unless they’re peanut butter blondies and as for allergies? Let’s not even start as the list is toooooooooooooo long! 😛

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Girl, that fudge topping is so good. Especially when using the coconut cream it’s amazing on its own already.
      I’m always impressed how well and delicous you’re navigating life with your whole unfortunate slew of allergies. Interesting about the different occurence of diseases all around the world. I didn’t know Irish people were likelier to have coeliac disease and wonder why. I guess I’ll need to do some research.

  2. MaryEllen@VNutrition says:

    These look so good! I used to eat peanut butter and jelly every day during grammar school. Adding chocolate really pushes it over the edge for me! No-bake bars my favorites because I can have treats like this in the summer and don’t have to put on the hot oven. 🙂

    That must have been so sad when you found out she couldn’t have nuts. It’s crazy how nut allergies have been on the rise in recent years.

    Thanks so much for linking up with us for #HealthyVeganFridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It was a pity to find out my colleague couldn’t have most of the desserts I brought to work so far. Nut allergies actually aren’t common around here at all so I’d have never guessed.
      Not having to turn on the oven is a huge bonus of no-bake recipes for me, too. I’m happy to hear you like the look of these and thank you for sharing, Mary Ellen!

  3. Marla says:

    Yum these no bake bars sound really tasty, healthy and easy to make. What a great treat for summertime heat. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted!

  4. kimmythevegan says:

    “Do you prefer brownies or blondies?”
    Brownies!! Although I quite like blondies too. I’m just a sucker for chocolate. I’m an even bigger sucker for no-bake things since I can’t bake ;p
    These sound great! I cant’ wait to try them out =)

  5. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe says:

    It is not just those with a food allergy that are affected – going to a family meal where we have dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and peanut free diets is a minefield! And having a kid with peanut allergy means I want to make this but it is not the sort of thing usually made in our kitchen (I got the death stare yesterday ordering a peanut butter and chocolate doughnut while eating out with daughter). You are lucky not to have to worry about nut allergies much and your blondies look delicious

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you for bringing up this point, Johanna. Like I said I don’t know a lot about allergies so I appreciate your opinion as a family member affected by them. It has to be a very difficult situation to navigate.

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