Finding healthy desserts on a whole food plant-based diet can sometimes take just a little more effort. But, never fear, soon you’ll get in the groove and discover ways to make your favorite sweets right at home. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bars are one of those scrumptious desserts that are hard to resist.
You’ll need a food processor to blend the chickpeas but you’ll add all of the ingredients, except the cacao powder, and save on dishwashing.
Keep in mind, these are only slightly sweetened because of the cacao powder. They’re made with maple syrup but if you’d like your bars a little sweeter, you could add a little stevia into the batter if you’re trying to keep sugar low.
Here’s how you’ll accomplish the swirl. Once the batter is blended, remove half to a bowl and add the cacao powder. Blend until well combined. Then drop the chocolate batter by spoonfuls around the prepared baking dish. Next drop spoonfuls of the rest of the batter. Using a knife, swirl around the two batters. It’s so fun to see how they come together.
If you’ve never tried a dessert with chickpeas, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you do not taste any bean flavor. They are just neutral enough to take on the rest of the flavors in the recipe… in this case, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, chocolate, and a little cinnamon.
And, of course, a great bonus to the recipe is that you’ll be getting nutritious beans with protein, fiber, and B vitamins!
Here are some other desserts
- Avocado Brownies
- Carrot Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Peach Crisp with Oat Topping
- Baked Pears with Cardamom
- Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Try Making Cookies
This recipe is quick to make because it uses one baking dish, but you could also make cookies out of the batter. To accomplish the swirl, add the “plain” batter next to the chocolate batter in the bowl and carefully swirl them together with a knife. Then proceed as you would for most cookie recipes.
Place about 2 tablespoon batter on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They don’t spread a lot but you will want to smash them with the back of a fork to spread them out a little. If you like perfect cookies, roll them in your hand first to form a ball, place them on the baking sheet, and then smash with the fork.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below for this Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bars recipe! If you have a photo, post it on Instagram, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bars
- 1 15-ounce can no salt chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/3 cup pumpkins seeds
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 8 x 8" baking dish with parchment paper or spray with a little non-stick cooking spray.
- In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the cacao powder. Process until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. At this point, throw in any additions such as walnuts or mini chocolate chips and give it a quick pulse.
- Scrape half of the batter into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons cacao powder. Stir with a spatula until well combined.
- Evenly drop chocolate batter by spoonfuls into the prepared baking pan. Drop spoonfuls of the non-chocolate half around the baking pan, as well. With a knife, swirl the two batters together. Smooth the top to finish.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate for 5 days. Freeze in an airtight container up to 2 months.
Does it have to be oat flour or can I substitute?
I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty confident it’ll work with any other kind of flour. As you may have seen in the article, oat flour can be made from old-fashioned oats in the blender. Blend on high until you have a flour.
I made these last night. I didn’t have oat flour so I just threw some oats in the blender. It worked perfectly. These were just sweet and brownie-like enough to satisfy my dessert craving without the guilt.
Hey Kashina, that’s great to hear! It’s so easy, isn’t it? I definitely need to satisfy my dessert cravings and it’s great to have options! I love Chocolate Hummus, as well, if you haven’t tried that, yet. It’s so good with strawberries and I also eat it like pudding.
Took these to a plant based potluck and they got rave reviews! My kids love them too!
That’s great to hear! Thanks for letting me know. 💓
Love these! I made oat flour in a mini processor. These taste amazing and I will make them again. At long last I can have dessert and not feel guilty about it!
Yay! I’m so glad you loved them and are enjoyed healthy desserts again! 💕
The first step states “combine all Ingredients”, but a subsequent step tells you to add the cacao powder to half of the prior step. Unfortunately, the cacao powder has already been used!
Hey Jonathon, Whoops… thanks for bringing that to my attention. 🙂 I’ve fixed up the recipe to read “Combine all ingredients except the cacao powder.”
How many servings are in the complete recipes? Please and thank you. I see 1 serving has 200 cals but I don’t know how to cut it into that size serving.
Hi Theresa, If you’re using a 8 x 8″ baking dish like in the recipe, you’d slice them into nine equal-sized pieces.