Vegan Almond Joy (Gluten Free, Healthy)

Homemade almond joy bars made with just 5 ingredients!

The best vegan almond joy: perfect coconut bars dipped in rich chocolate topped with roasted almonds and finished with beautiful chocolate drizzle. All made with gluten free, vegan, healthy ingredients!

Are almond joys vegan, gluten free, or healthy? Erm… today they are! In celebration of the spooktastic holiday ahead, I’m sharing my favorite homemade almond joy bars recipe.

It just so happens to be vegan, gluten free, and made with healthy ingredients.

So… will you miss anything with these homemade almond joy bars? Heck no! They’ll have just the right amount of chocolate coating, sweet coconutty chewiness, and, of course, two almond gems apiece. 😉

Ready to make delicious homemade almond joy bars? Let’s do this!

What is Almond Joy?

Almond joy is a popular chocolate coconut bar that’s made with chocolate, coconut and topped with almonds.

What makes this vegan almond joy recipe healthy and gluten free?

All of today’s almond joy ingredients are vegan, including the vegan chocolate chips, coconut oil, maple syrup and almonds.

Today’s recipe is a healthier take on classic Almond Joy candy bars by reducing the amount of ingredients, using less processed ingredients, and leaving out unnecessary ingredients.

many homemade almond joy bars with chocolate chips

COMPARISON: Store-bought Almond Joy vs. Today’s Homemade Almond Joy Recipe 

Store-bought Almond Joy Ingredients [1]

  • Corn syrup
  • Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, milk, lactose, milk fat, nonfat milk, lecithin, PGPR (emulsifier))
  • Coconut
  • Sugar
  • Almonds
  • Vegetable oil (palm kernel oil, palm oil, sunflower oil)
  • Cocoa, whey, salt
  • Hydrolyzed milk protein
  • Lecithin
  • Sodium metabisulfite

Today’s Homemade Almond Joy Ingredients

  • Vegan chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
  • Coconut oil
  • Pure maple syrup

homemade almond joy being drizzled with chocolate

How to make Homemade Almond Joy

Line the pan

Line a loaf pan with wax paper or parchment paper.

Make the coconut bars

Add coconut bar ingredients to a food processor: coconut, coconut oil and maple syrup. Blend until well incorporated & sticky.

Pour your coconut bar mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Make sure to press it down into an even, tightly-packed layer. Chill until firm. Then, slice into 16 bars.

Place the coconut bars onto a lined baking sheet and chill again.

Make the chocolate dip

Melt vegan chocolate until smooth. Remove the coconut bars from the freezer, then dip each bar into the chocolate. Place each bar onto the baking sheet.

Dip one side of an almond into the melted chocolate and press it into the top of half of a bar. Repeat with another almond for two total almonds atop each bar.


Melt more chocolate. Drizzle onto each bar.

Set & Enjoy

Chill until firm and enjoy the best homemade almond joy!

Closeup vegan almond joy being drizzled

Q&A for Almond Joy

  • Are almond joys gluten free? According to Healthline [2] and Cooking Light [3], Almond Joy is gluten free. According to the official Hershey company website, “allergen lists quickly become outdated as our product lines change over time.” [4] So it’s a good idea to check the label before you consume it.
  • Are almond joys vegan? No, store-bought almond joy bars are not vegan. They contain a number of milk products and other non-vegan ingredients (see further up in the post for the list of ingredients).
  • How do I store today’s vegan almond joy? Simply place your vegan almond joy in an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
  • Can I freeze these homemade almond joy bars? Yes, store your homemade almond joy bars in an airtight, freezer-friendly container in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Beautiful coconut bars seated in rich chocolate, topped with almond gems, and accessorized with a gorgeous chocolate drizzle.

one vegan almond joy bar on parchment paper

Who knew it was so much fun to make homemade almond joy?? Me, me, meee!! And you, you, you!!! 😉 I can’t wait to head into the kitchen with you to make and share the best homemade treats with our loved ones. ‘Til the next sweet adventure…

Sending you all my love and maybe even a dove, xo Demeter ❤️

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Vegan Almond Joy – Homemade Almond Joy pin image

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Almond Joy and Coconut Recipes

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Paleo Almond Joy (V, GF, DF): a 5-ingredient recipe for deliciously satisfying homemade Almond Joy candy bars bursting with coconut and chocolate. #Paleo #Vegan #GlutenFree #DairyFree | | @BeamingBaker

Vegan Almond Joy (Gluten Free, Healthy)

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5 from 16 reviews


Homemade almond joy bars made with just 5 ingredients! The best vegan almond joy: perfect coconut bars dipped in rich chocolate topped with roasted almonds and finished with beautiful chocolate drizzle. All made with gluten free, vegan, healthy ingredients.



Coconut Bars

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut chips or shreds
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, solid or melted
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Chocolate Dip Layer


  • 32 unsalted almonds

Chocolate Drizzle


  1. Line an 8-inch or 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside for later.
  2. Make the Coconut Bars: Add all Coconut Bars ingredients to a food processor: coconut, coconut oil and maple syrup. Blend until you get a wet and sticky mixture, with smaller, but still noticeable coconut pieces.
  3. Pour coconut mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Using a rubber spatula, press down and smooth until you get a tightly packed, even layer. Freeze for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from freezer. Lift the coconut bars out of the loaf pan. Cut into 16 rectangular bars. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment. Lay these bars on the sheet, evenly spaced apart. Place back into the freezer while you prepare the chocolate layer.
  5. Make the Chocolate Dip Layer: Use the double boiler method, or do the following. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, add the Chocolate Dip Layer ingredients: ½ cup vegan chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Heat in 20-second increments until just slightly softened and melted. Stir until smooth.
  6. Remove coconut bars from the freezer. Dip the bottom of one coconut bar into the bowl of melted chocolate, creating a thin coating. Use the side of the bowl to scrape off excess chocolate. Place back onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all coconut bars have been coated.
  7. Dip one side of an almond in the melted chocolate and press into half the surface of one bar, leaving room for another almond. Dip another almond in chocolate and press into the remaining surface of the bar. Repeat for all bars. Place baking sheet back into the freezer while you make the chocolate drizzle.
  8. Make the chocolate drizzle: Add the Chocolate Drizzle ingredients to the bowl of leftover melted chocolate: 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil. Heat in the microwave in 20-second increments until just softened. Stir until smooth.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, scrape melted chocolate into a plastic zip bag with a very small tip cut off, or a small piping bag fitted with a very fine tip. Holding the bag over one candy bar, pipe the chocolate in a zigzag motion, starting from one end of the bar and finishing at the other. Repeat for all bars.
  10. Place baking sheet into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy! Storing instructions below.


Storing Instructions: Store in an airtight container for 1 week at room temperature.

Freezing Instructions: If freezing, store in an airtight, freezer-friendly container for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw for 15 minutes before enjoying.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American

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  1. Hi Demeter! Thanks for sharing your awesome story about your loving and Almond-Joy-loving mom! It brought back a great memory of the time I was sick at home with the mumps while all my brothers and sisters went Trick-or-Treating without me. I had this vinegar-y blue stuff that was painted on my giant cheek (the most colorful Chinese medicine I’ve ever come across – perfect for Hallowe’en!) while I dreamed what, if anything, my siblings would bring back for me in their pillow cases. As it happened, another great mom – my best friend’s mother, a German mama, came back with a full pillow-case of stuff just for me! I can imagine her trying to explain in her thick German accent how her daughter’s best friend was sick with the mumps and could she have some candy for me while I sat, extremely sadly, at home, missing out on all the fun! They probably didn’t even believe her…

    In any case, I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful story that made me laugh out loud. That’s rare, much as I laugh at life! Thanks for your inspiration, Demeter, and a hug to your mom too, for being the amazing mama she is to you and your sisters. Gotta love our Asian mamas! ((( <3 )))

    1. Hi Daisy! It’s truly so wonderful to read your comment. 🙂 There’s little better than telling a story, then hearing one in return–especially such a heartfelt one. <3 Your best friend's mother and your mom sound like incredible people! Thank goodness for all the amazing moms in the world. My mom and I are sending you the biggest hugs ever. P.S. I'm going to be reading your comment loudly to my mom (just the way she likes/requires it haha) when I visit her this week. xoxo

  2. Hey D,
    Just a question, can I prepare the chocolate layer in the loaf pan, freeze it, then spread the coconut layer on the hardened chocolate then freeze a second time? After frozen I can cut or break it apart to serve? Seems easier and quicker this way instead of dipping individual coconut layer squares into chocolate.

    1. Hey J! Great question. Actually, I tried that first when I was recipe testing. Unfortunately, it didn’t work–the coconut layer separated from the chocolate layer. When you dip the bars individually, the chocolate coating really sticks to the coconut. Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. LOVE this idea of “healthier” candy. Chocolate anything is good with me. Will make it for my gang. Too bad (not really) that my husband hates coconut but still hasn’t caught on that i cook with it periodically – so more for me. Sounds pretty easy actually. Impressed that something so pretty can be only 5 ingredients makes more sense than the zillion of processed ingredients in the store kind. Your story had me smiling and nodding. My dad has this “halloween is evil” thing so my first memories are going to church events that had lots of candy celebrating fall or harvest time instead. After my parents split I went trick or treating with my siblings and friends or taking them to make sure they were safe. The most memorable halloween was actually when I was a jr in high school. I was all dressed up for the homecoming dance and waiting for my date, extremely nervous, when my 3 siblings and some of their friends and two of my cousins all meet up intending to go trick or treating together but when they found out i was waiting for my date to arrive they decided to stick around and tease me a little. Was a little humiliating 15 pairs of eyes of staring at my date and myself as my mom very excitedly took too many pictures and stuck me with the pin and flowers. Hahah only family can embarrass you the worse. right? 😉

    1. Hi Stephanie! Thank you for such a thoughtful and super fun comment! 🙂 I’d say it’s definitely better not having to share these with your husband. 😉 Memorable Halloween: wow, that must’ve been quite the scene! Your story totally made me feel like I was there–I was cringing (and wincing at the pin sticking) with you! Yep, family is special like that. 😉 I hope you love this candy as much as my (joyfully embarrassing) family does! 🙂

  4. You are the funniest and your mom is the sweetest! You always make me laugh so much 😀
    And though I never celebrate Halloween (it’s not so popular here), your Halloween treats definitely make me super happy! Coconut, chocolate and almonds are so lovely together <3

    1. Aw, thanks E! 🙂 It is always my pleasure to make you laugh. 🙂 So interesting hearing about Halloween (or the lack thereof) in other countries. Thanks for stopping by my friend. <3

  5. That sounds like something my Mom would do. She’s always playing tricks on people! I actually am not a big fan of Halloween. Too many scary things and I get spooked easy. On another note, these look exactly like almond joy bars! I’m not a big candy person, but I may need to make an exception for these.

    1. Your mom sounds like a fun and sassy lady! 😉 Aw… too bad you don’t like Halloween. Great news is that Thanksgiving and more are right around the corner for ya. 😉 Thanks Megan!

  6. Ha ha ha!!!! Oh my gosh, Demeter – fellow 90s sheltered child! Such a great story 🙂 My parents never let me trick or treat by myself and always inspected my candy – & tested it (just an excuse to eat it!) I love almond joys and love that you made these for your mom. These are a must make for sure 🙂

    1. Hehe… maybe that’s why we’re friends?? Lolol. “Tested” it: RIGHT. We both know better than that. Lolol. 😉 Thanks so much Megan! xo

  7. What a lovely, funny story Demeter! I was -almost- going to miss this one. Sorry, I don’t have any Halloween memories, definitely not a thing in Italy when I was young. I love your healthy version of the famous treat and love love that you dedicated it to your adorable mom! (We’re still on holiday, so, still no thinking about Fall or Halloween for us. This morning we’re heading to the beach 😉 ). But first, pinning your almond joy!! Ciao, my friend!

    1. Aw, thank you Nicoletta! I’m so glad that you didn’t miss this one! 🙂 It’s very near and dear (plus humorous) to my heart. 🙂 Have a wonderful time on vacation! Have an extra long swim for me too! Ciao, Nicoletta! xo

  8. Awww – such a sweet (and hilarious) dedication post, Demeter! But, being a mom myself, I kinda understand your mom’s reasoning for doing what she did. You know what? My daughter has never gone trick or treating without me – even when she was in 5th/6th grade, her friends and her would get together and vote that I chaperone – which I was secretly thrilled to do because of all those crazies out there – right? 🙂 And, also there was this one house that would get all decked out for Halloween for the kids – but they’d go one further and have a table set up with goodies for the adults that stopped by too – from bloody boozy milkshakes and energy bites and the likes – it was too cool to pass on stopping by that house every year! By the way, Demeter, your healthier almond joy bars are the perfect homemade treat – though, they look way too good to share (just like all your treats do) and girl, your drizzle action looks pretty perfect to me right now!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it Shashi. 🙂 Oh, you TOTALLY would’ve been the coolest mom! I’m not surprised that the kids voted for you as the chaperone. 🙂 That house sounds AMAZING!!! These *might* just be too good to share. 😉 Thanks Shashi! xo

  9. I love EVERY SINGLE THING about this post – your mama sounds like she is one in a million (and I love that she is one of the reasons you started this delicious blog!)…and of course I love all the Almond Joy scrumptiousness! xoxo!

    1. Thank you SO much, Kate! 🙂 She is so special and unique. I’m very lucky to have her in my life. <3 Big hugs to ya, my friend! xo

  10. That has got to be the funniest story I’ve ever heard! lol! Your Mom is too funny! Loving these healthy almond joys. When I would find almond joys in my halloween candy bag, I would open them up, promptly remove the almond, eat it, then throw away the rest. I adore coconut and chocolate but always found these bars to be overly sweet. Now I can make my own and enjoy eating them for the first time in my life! Yay Demeter for sharing this recipe (and yay to your Mom too for inspiring you).

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Karrie! 🙂 My mom is seriously a hoot! 😉 Removing the almond– that is SO you!! So you were more of a Mounds fan then? 😉 Thanks so much for chatting with me, Karebear. <3

  11. Your mum is the sweetest, haha! 🙂 Sounded like you had fun though! I went trick-or-treating every year as a kid with my mum and siblings. Like hell would my mum let us go alone LOL I stopped going when I was in my teens, thinking I was getting too old 😉 But no one’s too old for candy!

    These Almond Joy candy bars look incredibly delicious, Demeter! I bet your mum will love them! 🙂

    1. She’s amazing. 🙂 And… quirky, let’s just say. Haha. LOL on your mum not letting you kids go by yourselves. Well, I’m glad you kiddos knew that she was there, at least. Hahaha. Seriously, NO ONE is too old for candy! Thanks so much Marsha. It’s always a pleasure. 🙂

  12. Bahahahahahahaha! Oh I LOVE that it was your mother who was following you!! I totally laughed out loud at that part and I love love love that she wanted to do it again next year. your Mom ROCKS! And can we just talk about the fact that Almond Joy used to be my FAVORITE candy EVER before I developed an allergy to cocoa! It was! It WAAASS! Clearly your mom has excellent taste. 😉 And these homemade candy bars are torture to my soul, Demeter! i want like 703,452 of these peeeertty bars pronto! Mahhhhhh! i hate my stupid allergy. I’m demanding you eat a billion of these for me! Pinning for all the cool kids who can eat chocolate of course! 😉
    P.s. I was SUPER sheltered growing up but in a weird way (my husband always makes fun of me and says my parents made no sense). Like I could NOT watch the simpsons and I didn’t have a door handle on my bedroom door, but I was allowed to go trick-or-treating.. with their supervision of course. Anyways. Yay to be sheltered weirdos togther! xoxo

    1. Oh, gurl, you and my mom would SO get along!! For real. She’s sassy, like you! And since we’re basically sisters anyway, I’m pretty sure you’d be an immediate adopted child for her. So… look behind bushes when you do something thrilling. Lol. I will happily eat a billion of these for you. 😉 P.S. Dang! For reals? Is that how you ended up so sassy? Like, as a rebellion? Hehe. You know what though, growing up weird TOTALLY makes for a way cooler adult. I know you, so I can say this without hesistation. <3 Yay for sheltered weirdos!! xoxo

  13. My FAVORITE candy is the Almond joy! (And mounds…since it’s the same thing sans almond)! But those and junior mints were my candy prized possessions back in the day..the glory! Halloween wsa always so fun and we have many stories trick or treating back in the day! #Childhood!!!!!!!

  14. So when will your first novel be coming out? I just want to know so I can plan your book launch party. Or are you going to start with short stories? Dang girl, you have such a knack for narration! You build the tension and suspense but keep it funny and the dialogue–it’s all there, publishers would be fighting over you! But then you might not have time for blogging, and I need your stories in my life much too badly so actually never mind…forget I said a thing. All those years of trick or treating I never came back with a story this good, I did not see that ending coming. I also never came back with any Almond Joys because remember I used to not like coconut…silly me. And silly Almond Joy for covering up the beautiful coconut almond arrangement with chocolate when your drizzle version is so much more attractive.. I love chocolate candy recipes, never too early for those! And with all those
    almond joy-less years, I better make up for lost time. xo

    1. Lol. One can only dream. 🙂 Did I just share a short story?? Lolol. I was ALWAYS scared of writing those! Let’s just say I was merely chatting with you, my friend. Now, that’s better. 🙂 I’m so happy that you enjoyed the post, Nat! Lolol on Almond Joy. I actually did a version with the bar fully coated, but it didn’t seem right! You couldn’t see those charming lil almonds peeping out. Not. Cool. 😉 Thanks so much for the sweet words and a good chuckle, my friend. Muah! xoxo

  15. Your mom reminds me of my friend’s mom..she was always very concerned about there being razor blades in the Charleston Chews and would always do an inspection of that day’s candy haul before letting her eat any. I’m far too old to go trick or treating, but I’m pretty sure I went until I was in college. Free candy is a hot commodity!

    One embarrassing Halloween anecdote – I was Barney the Dinosaur in elementary school. Not just once, but two years in a row. In middle school I was insistent on wearing a grim reaper costume. I’m not entirely sure how I turned out as normal as I did…you would not expect it from my costume choices in the days of yore.

    These almond joy bars look incredible. I used to hate coconut as a child, but I’ve come around and can’t wait to make these goodies!

    1. Woah… razor blades! Erik was telling me about how the news used to announce that people found those in apples! Freaky! Free candy = YES. Wow on those costumes! You must’ve been the best Barney there ever was. Work it, Jess! 😉 I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for sharing your Halloween memories with me. 🙂

  16. This story made my morning…my day…my week….I love your mom(!) and your ability to tell a story. I was literally pulling Brigitte along with you! Almond Joy is a favorite of mine – and now I will forever attach it to your fantastic memory! Thank you!! I’m just picturing your little mama jumping out from behind the bush and saying, “I just love you.” The best! Really…the best! xoxo

    1. Aw, thank you SO much for your sweet words, Annie. My mom is simply amazing. I hope you get to meet her one day–you’ll know instantly why she’s the inspiration for this blog. <3 Thank YOU for coming along this ride with me, my friend. Big hugs! xoxo

  17. Demeter,

    This story is so freaking funny! HAHAHA! I laughed so loud I woke our dog! Thank you for sharing this hilarious memory. Moms are the best, aren’t they? Thanks for also giving us plenty of time to practice making this candy so that we will have it perfect by the holidays! If I didn’t have to go to work soon, I would start right now! It looks ridiculously delicious! Yum! The perfect holiday treat!

    1. Aw, your poor dog! 🙂 Tell me your dog woke up laughing too! 😉 Moms are most definitely the BEST. I can’t wait to hear what you think of these, Lucy. Thank you for always stopping by and chatting with me. 🙂

  18. Candy definitely makes the world go round! I really miss the days of trick-or-treating! I’d have to say that my favorite candy was (and still is) Reese’s! Unfortunately, I don’t care for coconut, but I would always give the almond joy bar to my brother…he LOVED them! I will have to make these for him sometime, they’re still his favorite candy. Love the looks of these, Demeter! And I’m sure they’re WAY better than the store bought kind! Pinned! Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

    1. Yeah!!! I knew you’d agree with me on this, Gayle. 😉 I absolutely understand the lifelong love of chocolate and peanut butter. I hope you do get a chance to make these for him. 🙂 Thanks so much for pinning and chatting with me. Happy Monday! xo

  19. Your Mom is seriously too funny, Demeter! And you are so dramatic, lol….like me 😀 hehehe! Makes for a lot of fun stories, though, doesn’t it?

    I totally remember taking pillow cases trick or treating! I remember coming home and laying out all the candy and chips on the floor and organizing into categories. I think the last time I stopped was 13/14 years old. I’m on the taller side (though, I don’t feel I’m as tall as a lot of kids these days) and was starting to wonder if people would not want to give me candy, so I stopped going then.

    I love coconut flavoured stuff, so these almond joy bars are just PERFECT! And you pics are stunning, as usual, girl! Pinned, of course 🙂

    Have a fab week! xoxo

    1. Aw, thanks Dawn! I’ll have to tell her how funny she is… but I suspect she already knows. 😉 Aw… I wish you didn’t have to stop so early, but yeah, people do tend to get suspicious. Lol. Oh, people. Thanks for the kind comments, D. Have an awesome week!