Desserts · Gluten-free · Holidays · Snacks

Date Caramel Turtles

This recipe is wonderful.  It’s short, sweet and no-bake!     Sometimes, I really just don’t feel like turning the oven on.  It may have something to do with the fact that my life revolves around ovens most of the time.  It also may have something to do with my lack of time management skills coupled with my excellent procrastination skills.  I’m always running behind on things.
These caramel candies (if you can call them that) come together in a snap.  The great thing about them is that they set in the freezer in a matter of minutes, so you can leave them and forget about them if you want to.  These things take care of themselves.  There is nothing hidden in this recipe.  The only thing you have to do with them is assemble, dip in chocolate (if you’re into that), and devour.

PictureMy dipping tool of choice is a pair of chopsticks.

     I made a few different varieties of caramels.  Some I stuffed with walnuts or pecans.  Some I infused with peanut butter, crushed up gluten-free pretzels, and peanuts…you know, nothing too crazy.  😉

Play around with these!  I would like to make different flavors in the future.  The base caramel is a great canvas for any ideas that you might have.  I mean, coffee beans? orange peel? candy canes? popcorn?  You decide!


Date Caramel Turtles


I had to check it for quality control… 😉


Yield: about 24 caramels (approx. 1 tsp scoops)


  • 1 1/2 cups packed pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
  • 1 1/2 Tb coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cashews/ 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (salted is preferred), opt.
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tb coconut sugar
  • 2 Tb brown rice syrup
  • pinch salt


  1. Blend cashews in a food processor with coconut oil, salt and sugar until cashews create a butter, about 3 minutes.
  2. Drain the dates.  Add the dates and the brown rice syrup to the processor and blend until a smooth texture is achieved with no chunks left.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1 tsp), scoop balls of caramel onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Stick nuts/pretzels/any other fillings into the caramel.  Pop the tray in the freezer to set up for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, heat about 3/4 cup of vegan chocolate/chocolate chips in the microwave with a Tb of coconut oil (you can also do this over the stove with a double boiler or a bowl on top of a stock pot filled with water, heated to a strong simmer.  Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate and melted coconut oil together.
  6. Dip each caramel ball into the chocolate and place back on the sheet (sprinkling sea salt on them isn’t a bad idea).  Place the sheet back in the freezer to allow the chocolate to set up for about 10 minutes.
  7. You can serve these straight from the freezer, or keep them in the fridge.  Definitely don’t leave them out too long as they will get soft. ENJOY!

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