Vegan Mars Ice Cream Bars

Delicious copycat vegan Mars Ice Cream Bars consisting of dairy-free ice cream topped with silky sweet caramel covered in chocolate. This recipe is vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Freeze time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
4.69 from 16 votes
stack of homemade mars ice cream bars on ceramic dish.

HEALTHY VEGAN MARS ICE CREAM BARS

As promised, I’m back with a recipe for vegan mars ice cream bars. I uploaded a recipe for veganized mars bars to the blog a few weeks ago, and it was such a hit. Seems mars bars were a firm favourite with many of you before going vegan, even more so than snickers dare I say?

Ok, maybe not more than snickers, but they’re definitely “up there” with them.

 

As promised when I uploaded the original recipe, I would be back with an ice cream version. I literally can’t stop making ice cream recipes these days, they are all I want to make (and possibly eat) and it’s not even that hot here. I just LOVE making them, who’s with me?

These veganized mars ice cream bars are real close to the originals. The ice cream is made with an almond and coconut base (a refreshing change from cashew based ice cream!). Using almonds in place of cashews make the ice cream a little lighter and less thick, but it works perfectly for these bars as the ice cream gets lovely and melty if you leave them out of the freezer for a bit, leaving a yummy soft ice cream inside when you crack into that thick chocolate shell.

Healthy mars ice cream bars

WHAT’S IN THESE MARS ICE CREAM BARS?

ALMOND & COCONUT ICE CREAM

I opted for almonds for the base of this ice cream instead of my usual go-to cashews. And, lets be honest, it was a little bit risky seeing as I’ve never attempted to use them in ice cream before (I’m talking almonds, not almond milk). The results were surprisingly good! I wanted to recreate that almond-y nougat-y flavour that’s found in the regular mars bars, so I got my hands on some blanched almonds and soaked them to make them a little more digestible for my blender.

SWEET DATE CARAMEL

As the ice cream layer is not overly sweet, this sweet caramel works really well in contrast to it. Made with medjool dates and maple syrup as the base, this caramel has a little bit of almond butter inside to help recreate that mars bar flavour.

THICK CHOCOLATE SHELL

No ice cream bar would be complete without a thick layer of vegan-friendly chocolate, am I right? I like to use a vegan milk chocolate with a little bit of coconut oil to help it become more viscous.

Vegan mars ice cream bars

HOW TO MAKE MARS ICE CREAM BARS

ICE CREAM BASE

Your almonds will need to be blanched for this recipe, meaning the skins are removed. Blanched almonds are readily available in most supermarkets, but you can also blanch them at home by placing your almonds in boiling water for 60 seconds, and then transferring them to ice cold water. Once cooled, the skins will come off easily by rubbing them through your fingers.

Now your almonds are blanched you’ll need to prepare them by soaking them in water for 4 hours. This will make them easier for your blender to process. Alternatively you can soak them in boiled water for one hour. Then rinse them and drain to remove any excess moisture.

Add all of the ice-cream ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until completely smooth and creamy, without any lumps. If you’re blender isn’t on the strong side, just give it time to do the work. That may mean blending for a few minutes and then allowing it to take a rest in between blends!

Line a 11’x7″ baking pan with parchment paper, making sure all sides are covered so that the liquid can’t run underneath the paper. You can also use an 8″x8″ dish.

Pour the ice-cream mixture into the baking pan and freeze for 2 hours. The ice-cream will need to be firm enough to keep its shape before the next layer so that it doesn’t collapse underneath the caramel.

CARAMEL

To make the caramel add the dates, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut milk and salt to your high speed blender. Blitz until the mixture forms a smooth sticky caramel.

Take the baking pan out of the freezer and spoon the caramel on top. Use a spatula to spread the caramel out in an even layer. Place back in the freezer until completely set (6 hours or overnight if possible).

Remove the ice cream slab from the baking pan and cut into 12 bars. Sit the bars on a tray or board lined with parchment paper and place back in the freezer to prevent them from melting while you prepare the coating.

CHOCOLATE COATING

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler. Make sure the water underneath your bowl isn’t boiling, you just want it to simmer and let the steam gently melt the chocolate. If the chocolate is too hot, it will melt the ice creams and the next step could get very messy!

TIP: For the best results, leave the ice cream bars in the freezer until the very last second and take each bar out individually to coat/dip them in chocolate. The more frozen the bars are – the easier this step will be.

Method 1:

Carefully coat the bars with chocolate by holding one bar at a time with a fork underneath it and spooning the chocolate on top and over all of the sides. Repeat this for all the bars and place them back in the freezer for another 15 minutes to set the chocolate.

Method 2:

Transfer the melted chocolate into a tall slim glass. Insert 2 cocktail sticks into each ice cream bar and get a sheet of parchment paper ready to sit them on. Dip the ice cream bars in the chocolate and sit them on the parchment paper to set. You’ll need to use a spoon to help coat the last few bars as the chocolate will not be deep enough to cover the entire bar.

These ice creams will store in the freezer in an airtight container for several months.

Vegan mars ice cream bars

WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE?

  • Plant-based and vegan-friendly
  • Healthy dessert option
  • Perfect for summer
  • Nostalgic remake of a classic candy bar
  • Easy to make
  • Minimal ingredients
  • No-bake
  • Egg-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Cashew-free
  • Free from any animal derived products
 
 

Healthy mars ice cream bars

stack of homemade mars ice cream bars on ceramic dish.

Mars Ice Cream Bars (Vegan)

4.69 from 16 votes
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Dairy-free ice cream topped with silky sweet caramel covered in chocolate. This recipe is vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Prep Time 30 mins
Freeze time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Servings 12 bars

INGREDIENTS

ICE CREAM

  • ¾ cup blanched almonds soaked *see notes
  • 2 400ml cans chilled coconut milk *see notes
  • 2 medjool dates
  • cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil solid
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

CARAMEL

  • 10 medjool dates
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil solid
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp chilled canned coconut milk or evaporated coconut milk *see notes
  • 12 oz vegan-friendly chocolate for coating
  • 1 tsp coconut oil solid, for coating

INSTRUCTIONS

  • First prepare the blanched almonds by soaking them in water for 4 hours. Alternatively you can soak them in boiled water for one hour. Rinse and drain.
  • Add all of the ice-cream ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until completely smooth and creamy, without any lumps.
  • Line a 11'x7" baking pan with parchment paper, making sure all sides are covered so that the liquid can't run underneath the paper.
  • Pour the ice-cream mixture into the baking pan and freeze for 2 hours.
  • To make the caramel add the dates, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut milk and salt to your high speed blender. Blitz until the mixture forms a smooth sticky caramel.
  • Take the baking pan out of the freezer and spoon the caramel on top. Use a spatula to spread the caramel out in an even layer. Place back in the freezer until completely set (6 hours or overnight if possible).
  • Remove the ice cream slab from the baking pan and cut into 12-14 bars. Sit the bars on a tray or board lined with parchment paper and place back in the freezer to prevent them from melting while you prepare the coating.
  • Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler.
  • Carefully coat the bars with chocolate by holding one bar at a time with a fork underneath it and spooning the chocolate on top and over all of the sides. Repeat this for all the bars and place them back in the freezer for another 15 minutes to set the chocolate.
  • Alternatively, transfer the melted chocolate to a tall slim glass and place 2 wooden cocktail sticks into each bar and dip them in the chocolate.

RECIPE NOTES

*soaked blanched almonds: soak the blanched almonds in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain.
*chilled canned coconut milk: place the canned coconut milk in the fridge overnight. The cream will separate to the top of the can once chilled. Use the thick cream from the top of the can for this recipe.
Tried this recipe?Mention @addictedtodates or tag #addictedtodates

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Mars Ice cream Bars
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8 thoughts on "Vegan Mars Ice Cream Bars"

  1. Hi Christina. I have a doubt, in the part of the caramel you said that we can use coconut cream or vaporated coconut milk? I just have to replace one for the other? And the evaporated coconut milk I have to put in the fridge overnight too?

    THANKS!!!

    1. Hi Josefa 🙂

      That’s right, you just need one or the other. And there’s no need to refrigerate the evaporated coconut milk, that’s just to separate the water from the coconut cream if using canned coconut milk.