Not a Single Drop of Dairy Was Used in the Making of This Perfect Apple Dessert

These amazing apple pecan bars bring together two classic Thanksgiving treats in one ooey-gooey dessert. If you have an array of dietary restrictions at your holiday table, you'll be glad to know these bars are fit for both vegan and Paleo eaters. While these sticky, nutty, and decadent bars are certainly an indulgence, their natural sugar comes from raw honey and dates rather than refined sources of the sweet stuff — a much better option for healthy folks who are trying to keep their diets as clean as possible.

Gooey Apple Pecan Bars

Cook Time3 hours and 25 minutes (includes chilling time)
Yield12 squares

Adapted from Paleo Desserts Cookbook by Kristine Campbell


    • For the crust:
    • 18 dates
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup almond butter
    • 1/4 cup raw honey
    • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
    • 1/2 cup whole pecans
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • For the topping:
    • 1/2 cup whole pecans
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • 3 Gala apples, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt


    1. Place all the crust ingredients in a food processor until they are finely chopped and well combined. Transfer the mixture to an 8x8-inch baking pan and press so that it is evenly distributed. Chill the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the apple topping.

    2. Place a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the whole pecans, and toast until aromatic, about 8 minutes. Roughly chop the pecans, then set aside.

    3. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil followed by the sliced apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and pinch of salt.

    4. Arrange the apple slices on top of the refrigerated crust, then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the apples, then drizzle with the reduced apple liquid. Refrigerate the bars until they become firm, about 8 hours. Cut into 12 bars, then serve.