Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Bars (Gluten-free, Oil-free)

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Today’s recipe is in honor of the Virtual Vegan Potluck….and Mother’s Day! If you have been following my blog since last year, you may remember my recipe from the last potluck, Chocolate Espresso Biscotti. These bars are serious business….serious, very serious about the hazelnut flavor and of course chocolate. 3 layers…a bottom chocolate crust, dreamy chocolate hazelnut middle layer and layered on top with roasted chopped hazelnuts and fresh raspberries. Using a strong dark chocolate not only intensifies the hazelnut flavor, but makes a beautiful companion with the raspberries. O.M.G. These are insane. Go make them!

I debated many times over what to make and somewhere between all my kitchen madness, I decided to take a jumping point off of my Cinnamon Hazelnut Cookies. I’ve been getting an insane amount of views on them and they have been such a hit with those that have made them, so I figured, hazelnut butter is coming back! Totally different recipe though, obviously. When I saw these raspberry beauties at the store, that got me excited to make these bars. They taste incredible, so juicy and fresh.

You will become best friends with your refrigerator…as you keep going back for another bite….after another…


These are the chocolate chips I used. It is a deep chocolate flavor, but mildly sweet. It is perfect for this recipe. I highly recommend 60-65% cacao because that is what makes the bars rich. I only added 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar to mine because coconut sugar has a wonderful caramel flavor. These are incredibly dense and rich, I seriously couldn’t finish one bar all at once…which is probably a good thing!


Recipe: Makes 12 bars  Prep time: 20 mins total Bake time: 30 mins total

Gluten-free, Oil-free 

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*2 1/4 cups chopped raw hazelnuts

*1 1/4 cups raw whole almonds

*3 tablespoons cocoa

*1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

*1 teaspoon baking powder

*1/2 cup pure grade B maple syrup

*1 tablespoon organic coconut sugar, this may be optional or adjustable, depending on the chocolate you use.

*Just under 3/4 cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips or your favorite chocolate bar (I used 65% cacao chocolate chips which are slightly  sweet and a deep chocolate flavor. I would advise against semi-sweet chocolate chips as they are too sweet for these bars in my opinion and don’t have a deep chocolate flavor)

*3 oz fresh organic raspberries

Note: Make sure to follow the recipe closely, as the hazelnuts are divided into steps after roasting.


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the hazelnuts out evenly. Bake 8-10 minutes on the lower rack until fragant, being careful not to burn them. Don’t skip this step, as this is what imparts a deep flavor and brings out the oils so the hazelnut butter can be made. Leave the oven on at 350 degrees for the next steps.

2. While the hazelnuts are roasting, grind the almonds into a flour in a food processor. It should only take a minute or two. Add the almond flour to a large bowl with the salt, baking powder, cocoa and stir well.

3. Once the hazelnuts are finished roasting, add only 1 cup of them to a food processor. Pulse for a few minutes, scraping the sides as necessary, until a paste forms. Add the syrup and vanilla and pulse again until it becomes very creamy and smooth. Do not stop too early, it should be smoother than almond butter. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients of the bowl and stir well, it will be very thick.

4. Line an 8X8 square baking pan with parchment paper going in both directions for easy removal later. Add the batter to the pan, place a sheet of parchment paper over it and press the mixture flat and out to the edges with your hands. Start from the center and work your way around. Even if it seems there isn’t enough dough, keep pressing the mixture around evenly. You can also use a pastry roller over the paper to get it smooth and flat. I slightly dampened my fingertips to press the dough along the edges. Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes.

5. While the dough is baking, prepare the 2nd layer of hazelnut chocolate. Add another cup (the remaining 1/4 will be for garnish) of the roasted hazelnuts to the food processor and again, pulse until very creamy and smooth. Do not stop at the thick paste stage, keep going, and scrape the sides as needed. After a few minutes it will become silky smooth. Once it’s smooth, add the sugar (if using). Taste and add another tablespoon if you want it slightly sweeter. In a small bowl, add the hazelnut butter, chocolate chips and stir together.

6. Pour over the pre-baked bottom layer and spread out. Doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be melted when baked. Bake for 10 mins. Remove and spread the melted chocolate hazelnut all over the bottom layer. Place the reserved 1/4 cup hazelnuts and raspberries evenly all over the melted chocolate. Chill in the fridge to set and firm up for 1-2 hours before slicing. Mine took 1 1/2 hours. Keep stored in the fridge.

Nutrition per serving:  301 calories/ 21g fat/ 8g protein/ 22 carbs

Moist, dense, fudgy and insane. They are serious business.

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Still licking the chocolate off of my fingers as we speak…..

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Categories: Chocolate, Gluten Free, Sweet Treats, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN


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98 Comments on “Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Bars (Gluten-free, Oil-free)”

  1. May 11, 2013 at 5:41 AM #

    You totally did it with this recipe!

    • May 11, 2013 at 6:33 AM #

      Thank you so much Sarah! It’s definitely got to be one of my favorites, if not my favorite!! 🙂

  2. May 11, 2013 at 6:51 AM #

    What a winning recipe 😀


  3. May 11, 2013 at 8:08 AM #

    Delicious! Happy Potluck! X

  4. May 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM #

    very cool dessert 🙂 delicious 🙂

    • May 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM #

      Thanks Thom…VERY DELISH! 🙂

      • May 11, 2013 at 9:56 PM #

        Yes the chocolate, nuts and raspberries would work so good together. When I make some food I really like it when a few friends and family drop by and give me their opinion. 😉 thanks

  5. May 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM #

    You knocked it out of the park with this one. First of all the bars sound so delicious but I have to say your photos are amazing. I love this recipe, have some 70% bittersweet from Divine that are earmarked now for these bars.

    • May 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM #

      Thank you so much Suzanne! I really enjoyed photographing this one, but kept getting chocolate on my fingers, lol! I hope you try it and love it! It is pretty amazing and gotta be a favorite of mine that I’ve ever made. You may want to add 2 tablespoons of sugar if you use 70% but the dark chocolate really makes them SO deep and rich, oh my! 🙂

  6. Ula
    May 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM #

    That looks so delicious. If I was at the potluck for real, I think I’d just skip to dessert.

    • May 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM #

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I always love dessert first myself :0

  7. May 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM #


  8. May 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM #

    Brandi! Its so great to see your post. These bars are gorgeous and mouth-watering. And your photos are a killer. I really love your setting. The vibrant red of the raspberry over the chocolate stands out beautifully over the elegant white background. Brilliant work my friend! 🙂

    • May 11, 2013 at 6:12 PM #

      Aww thank you so much for noticing hat Danny! That was my EXACT intention! The colors just weren’t as vibrant against my table backdrop, so I changed everything. THANK YOU! 🙂

  9. May 11, 2013 at 3:06 PM #

    Yum! These look so good! Fresh raspberries and hazelnuts sound like a great combo!

    • May 11, 2013 at 6:12 PM #

      Thanks Kathryn! It’s my first time combining them, and definitely won’t be my last 🙂

  10. May 11, 2013 at 4:20 PM #

    I knew I could count on you to bring a delicious vegan treat!! These look great!

  11. May 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM #

    This is a winner without a doubt!

  12. May 11, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

    Beautiful! Looks so tasty!

  13. May 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM #

    Brandi, love the addition of Grade B maple syrup; SO much better than Grade A =) And gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing, lovely; hope all is well xo!

    • May 12, 2013 at 9:36 PM #

      Thank you Christina! I agree, I love the syrup…sooooo amazing and rich! 🙂

  14. May 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM #

    I love the bright drops of red against the dark brown – luscious! Thank you so much for joining us at the Potluck!

  15. May 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM #

    I would love to have a bite right now! This looks super!

  16. May 12, 2013 at 1:23 AM #

    I am so happy I have a bag of hazelnuts in my fridge because this recipe is a “must make immediately” type of recipe!

  17. May 12, 2013 at 3:14 AM #

    Omg, these look divineeee! I need to try them asap! Chocolate, hazelnut and raspberries?! So yummy! Happy VVP~

    – alexis

  18. May 12, 2013 at 4:23 AM #

    They are beautiful Brandy! Looking sinful and yet so healthy and good! How is it even possible? You are amazing! 🙂

    • May 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM #

      You’re so sweet Anne! They really taste just as rich and decadent as any indulgent treat…without the sick tummy after!

  19. May 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM #

    These look wonderful!

  20. May 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM #

    That looks like it was a seriously delicious photo shoot Brandi. Gorgeous flavor/texture combination. I just scrolled back to have a third look!

    • May 12, 2013 at 9:43 PM #

      Wow, thanks Saskia for the compliments! From you, that means a lot!

    • May 12, 2013 at 9:45 PM #

      Oh, and yes, it was a delicious and messy shoot…I had to keep licking the chocolate off my fingers, as I was rearranging the bars…tough life! Haha! 🙂

  21. May 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM #

    love the flavour combo in these bars, and they look delicious. thanks for sharing.

  22. May 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM #

    So pretty!

  23. May 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    The gluten-free, oil-free brownies are simply incredible, Brandi! As are your beautiful photos. I need to move in with you so that I can still indulge in delicious desserts like this but guilt-free. I hope you have an amazing Mother’s Day – you deserve to be pampered and spoiled everyday but today in particular.

  24. May 13, 2013 at 4:11 AM #

    Oh wow!these look great. Once our raspberries are ripe I will definitely be back!

  25. May 13, 2013 at 11:11 AM #

    Those shots make me want to jump up and get it in the kitchen and start baking right now!!

  26. May 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM #

    Looks awesome Brandi!!
    All the best.

  27. May 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM #

    Oooh Brandi! These bars look very appetizing, amazing & fantastic at the same time! You know what I crave,….! A must make! Yummy!

  28. May 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM #

    Yum!!! I LOVE raspberries and chocolate together and these look SO fudgy and delicious. Why are hazelnuts so expensive?? If not for that cost barrier, these would probably become a weekly habit 🙂

    • May 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM #

      Thanks Erika! They are..they are dense and fudgy and so delicious!! I know, all nuts are expensive mostly except almonds. But when you think about buying a pastry or dessert slice from Starbucks for $3 or something, just for 1 piece, that’s way more expensive than making a whole pan at home, not to mention way healthier 🙂 I just buy a large bag of them and they last me awhile and I get man uses out of them 🙂

  29. May 13, 2013 at 3:26 PM #

    This definitely looks like a ‘healthy flavor’ delight! It looks elegant and decadent! Yum!

  30. May 13, 2013 at 3:59 PM #

    These look like Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  31. Tiffany
    May 13, 2013 at 8:19 PM #

    These bars are so delicious and healthy! I can’t wait to make these again! Brandi you rock!

    • May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

      Thank you so much Tiffany! So glad you already made them and loved them! Thanks for sharing the link on Facebook. I appreciate it! 🙂

  32. May 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM #

    Looks so good…

  33. May 15, 2013 at 3:50 PM #

    Oh my goodness, I finally made it to your page! I promise I wasn’t ignoring you, just trying to go through the potluck in order. GRILLLL. These bars are the absolute shiz! I can’t believe how beautifully they turned out. All those worries were for nothing! I knew you’d pull it together! xx

    • May 16, 2013 at 10:37 PM #

      Thanks so much Somer, no worries! There were a lot of entries! Thanks girl…I was stressed, but once I saw these raspberries, it was like “poof”! I knew what I wanted to do! xoxo

  34. May 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM #

    These looks ridiculous! YUM! 😀

  35. May 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM #

    Delicious combination of flavors! Looks super yummy.

  36. May 16, 2013 at 9:13 PM #

    Oh my! These look amazing. I LOVE chocolate, hazelnut and raspberry together. How did you know? I wish these were at my house and I am so glad they aren’t at my house right now. I would eat the whole pan.:)

    • May 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM #

      Ha! I’m psychic 🙂 You should try them then, you would LOVE them 🙂

  37. May 17, 2013 at 4:27 AM #

    delish! I bet no can eat just one.

  38. May 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM #

    You create the best desserts, Brandi! I already know I’ll love this one. Berries, chocolate and nuts? Yes, please. I can’t wait to pick up some raspberries and make them! Have a terrific weekend!

    • May 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM #

      Thanks a million Hannah! Enjoy them…I appreciate you trying so many of my recipes! Desserts are definitely my specialty…I guess because I’m so passionate about baking!

  39. May 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM #

    YUM! These look so rich. I would definitely pick this at a potluck. You got my vote!

  40. May 18, 2013 at 8:54 PM #

    Took me a week to get here, slowly working through the recipes sequentially. This is worth the trip! Thank you for the recipe.

  41. May 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM #

    Wow!!! Brandi, I knew your post would be amazing! (Was waiting to stop by and check it out until I made it this far in the potluck, because I’m going in order, OCD-style…) Anyway, this recipe didn’t disappoint! 🙂

    Beautiful, beautiful photos, and beautiful bars, too! They look super chocolately and nutty (the best flavor combination…) and I like that you added fresh raspberries, too! So lovely and impressive.

    • May 19, 2013 at 6:06 PM #

      Aww thanks so much Allison for the beautiful compliments!! I’m still making my rounds too…taking awhile because there are so many entries! Thank you again! 🙂

  42. May 20, 2013 at 12:43 AM #

    Looks delicious. So happy I found your blog with healthy, taste recipes. I will have to save this for the next time I buy some chocolate.

  43. May 20, 2013 at 9:57 PM #

    Wow, these look delectable!

  44. June 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM #

    Congratulations on winning the best dessert in VVP:) hope you are going to
    Make a batch of these delicious bars to celebrate!


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