These Mince Pie Caramel Bars are sweet, sticky and packed with Christmas flavours. Plus they are no-bake, fully vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and so easy to make for a festive delight.
As you know, I love caramel bars and simply had to make a festive flavour to celebrate less than one week till Christmas day. Although, I would definitely eat these all year long, especially with the mince pie caramel filling. These caramel slices are like a mince pie and millionaire slice all rolled into one and are so easy to make with a few simple ingredients. They really are a dessert with the wow factor that you can prepare ahead of time.
Why will I love these bars?
These dessert bars are delicious, they are:
Chocolatey, sweet and indulgent
Sticky, warmingly spiced and packed with Christmas flavour
Easy to make with minimal effort
Made with simple wholefood ingredients
Naturally vegan, gluten-free and nut-free
A great one to make ahead of time
Delicious all year long (if you have some mincemeat left)
A fantastic more wholesome and nourishing alternative to chocolate bars
If you already love these Mince Pie Caramel Bars then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.
What ingredients do I need?
The recipe for these caramel slices is a mix of a few basic ingredients that my kitchen would not be complete without:
Oats or oat flour: do not worry about buying oat flour, you can make your own by blending oats to a fine flour texture and then keeping in a sealed jar for 2 months. Make sure your oats are gluten-free, where needed.
Ground almonds: these are great at adding moisture and nuttiness to the base. To make these nut-free, use more oat flour instead or use ground-up sunflower seeds.
Vegan caramel popcorn or vanilla protein: I just love the Macromike festive edition caramel popcorn protein as it has a lovely sweet and salty popcorn flavour but you can use vanilla, salted caramel or white chocolate flavoured proteins, too. All of which can be found on the Macromike website and save 10% with code AMB-AMY. If you do not want to use protein powder, swap this for more ground almonds or oat flour, as noted below.
Salt: for flavour.
Smooth runny nut or seed butter: this is important for the base and the caramel so make sure it’s a delicious nut or seed butter. My go-to is cashew butter or for a nut-free option, use tahini or sunflower seed butter.
Maple syrup: for the stickiness to hold the base together and to make the gooey caramel. You can use other syrups like agave or brown rice syrup.
Coconut oil: for holding the base together and also for the caramel. It sets at the perfect consistency for a firm but soft base and a silky smooth caramel.
Coconut yoghurt: if using the protein powder, the base is a bit thicker and the yoghurt adds moisture and a lovely cake-y texture to the base. Make sure the yoghurt is really thick and creamy like Cocos Organic.
Mincemeat: this fruity mincemeat is my go-to recipe for the holidays and it just tastes so good. This is the original recipe and I have also added the newer version below. Or you can use vegan store-bought mincemeat.
Dark chocolate: for the top, I prefer to use a dark chocolate (min 75%) as the rest of the bars is quite sweet but you can use your favourite dairy-free chocolate.
Mince pies: I just love adding some crumbled up mince pies on top of these caramel bars. I actually don’t’ have a recipe online just yet but make your own using homemade or store-bought mincemeat or use the vegan mince pies from Love Oggs or Sainsbury’s free-from range.
How do I make them?
These bars are easy to make in a few steps:
Make the mincemeat: if needed and allow to cool fully.
Stir together all the base ingredients: and press into the lined tin.
Add on the mincemeat and smooth over: allow to chill for 10 minutes in the fridge.
Stir together the caramel: and pour over the mincemeat. Chill for 30-60 minutes until set.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil: and our over the caramel.
Crumble up the mince pie and sprinkle on top: and allow to set in the frigde for 1 hour.
Slice into bars: and enjoy.
Are these gluten-free and nut-free?
These bars are naturally gluten-free, just make sure your oats are gluten-free (and the mince pie on top). To make these caramel bites nut-free, use more oat flour or ground-up sunflower seeds (add whole seeds to a blender and blend to a flour texture) instead of ground almonds and use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of nut butter. Also check that your protein, yoghurt and chocolate are all nut-free.
How long will they last?
These will keep for 1 week in a sealed container in the fridge or you can freeze them for up to 1 month and allow to defrost. Once cool, the mincemeat will keep for 1-2 months in a clean sealed jar in the fridge and can also be frozen.
What else can I make?
If you love these Mince Pie Caramel Bars and are looking for more festive ideas and caramel bars, how about my:
25g vegan caramel popcorn or vanilla protein (or use 30g more almonds)
A pinch of salt
45g smooth, runny nut/seed butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp thick coconut yoghurt (omit if not using protein powder)
For the Caramel and Filling:
150g homemade or shop-bough fruit mincemeat
60g smooth, runny nut/seed butter
60ml maple syrup
40g coconut oil, melted
For the Topping:
100g dark chocolate, chips or chopped up
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 mince pie, broken up
Start by making the mincemeat: add all the ingredients to a large saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium-high heat with a lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to check it doesn’t catch. Remove from the heat and allow to cool fully. You can store this for up to 1-2 months in a sealed container in the fridge.
Line a 6-inch square tin with parchment paper. If using oats, blend these to a fine oat flour.
For the base: whisk together the nut/seed butter, syrup, coconut oil, and yoghurt till smooth. Now add in the oat flour, ground almonds, protein powder and salt. Stir to a sticky mix. Press into the base of the tin and smooth over the top.
For the filling: spread the mincemeat layer all over the base and chill for 10 minutes.
For the caramel: whisk together the ingredients till smooth. Pour the caramel over the mincemeat layer and make sure to spread it out evenly. Chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, until set.
For the topping: melt together the chocolate and coconut oil till smooth and pour over the caramel layer. Smooth over the top and them crumble over the mince pie. Return to the fridge to set for 1 hour, or until solid.
To serve: remove from the tin and use a sharp, warmed knife to slice into 9 squares.
To store: enjoy straight away or keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can freeze the squares for up to 1 month, in a sealed container and allow to defrost at room temperature.
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I hope you are going to love these Mince Pie Caramel Bars so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make these, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!