Gluten free and vegan protein treat with a fudgey chocolate base, a sweet, gooey coconut caramel filling, and a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate coating. These Fudgey German Chocolate Cake Mini Protein Bars will make you swoon!
German chocolate and I go back a while and we don’t have such an amicable past…
My mom ALWAYS made my dad and brother German chocolate cake for their birthdays and father’s day as well in my dad’s case. I ALWAYS complained because I had myself convinced I hated pecans and coconut.
It’s so funny to me looking back on the foods I was picky about as a little kid. Ironically, a lot of them are now my favorite foods!
Since I’m now #TeamGermanChocolate, I took over the job of making the German chocolate cake for my dad’s birthday. Since my siblings are all grown-up, it was just my parents and me at home so we didn’t necessarily want a huge cake. While I was looking for a German chocolate cake recipe that was gluten and dairy free for me, as well as not too big, the idea of making these little bars came to me.
Semi-random fact about German chocolate cake: it’s not really German! Shocker, right? Not gonna lie, I was kind of disappointed when I found this out. My family is such a blend of European heritage that we don’t have super strong cultural traditions and I’ve always been a little jealous of those who do because I think they’re so beautiful and unifying. But, as you may have guessed from my last name, Konstanzer, as in Konstanz Germany, we’re pretty German. I thought it was a cultural connection, but nope, haha!
German chocolate cake is actually named after Samuel German, the man who developed Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate. The chocolate was later featured in the “German’s Chocolate Cake” recipe. The ” ‘s” has since been dropped and thus I’m sure I’m not the only one who was fooled. Bummer!
There are tons and tons of protein and candy bars out there, but I’ve never seen any German chocolate cake ones. I thought that gooey, sweet coconut filling of the cake would be SO dreamy in a bar.
Their base is the perfect textured compliment to the filling with a touch of crispiness from crispy brown rice cereal, crunch from the pecans, and chewiness from rolled oats. The coating absolutely melts in your mouth, flooding it with rich, silky chocolate.
Pre-workout, post-workout, anytime, this chewy treat will satisfy your sweet tooth with its burst of flavors. Bonus! It’s gluten free, dairy free, soy free, peanut free, and refined sugar free in case you’re looking to share with anyone with allergies or special dietary needs. That is, if you’re willing to share 😉 .
Fudgey German Chocolate Cake Mini Protein BarsPrint Recipe
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Ka Chava Tribe (you can sub other chocolate protein powder)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup brown rice crispy cereal
- 2 TBSP brown rice syrup*
- 2 TBSP maple syrup*
- 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Coconut Filling:
- 5 dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, pitted, and "skin" removed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 TBSP hot water (use a bit more if needed)
- 2 TBSP unsweetened coconut shreds
- Chocolate Coating:
- 4 TBSP cacao powder
- 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Large pinch of sea salt
- Toppings (optional):
- Unsweetened coconut shreds
- Crushed Pecans
Bars: Place all the ingredients except the brown rice crispy cereal into a food processor or high speed blender. Blend to combine until a doughy mixture forms and the ingredients have been evenly distributed. Add in the brown rice crispies and pulse everything together so they combine, but aren't so finely ground that they're no longer crispy. For ~1 TBSP sized scoops of the mixture into the shape of "fun-sized" candy bars and place on a parchment paper lined tray. Once all the bars are formed, set aside in the refrigerator.
Coconut Filling: Place all the ingredients except the coconut shreds into a small blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the coconut shred and set aside in the refrigerator.
Assembly: Remove the prepared bars and filling from the refrigerator. Spoon~1 tsp of the coconut filling onto each bar, spreading into and even layer of each. Once all the bars are finished and returned to the lined tray, set the tray back aside in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Coating: Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl until lumps are broken up and it's smooth like melted chocolate.
Assembly: Cover each bar evenly with chocolate, placing each one immediately back on the lined tray after coating. While the chocolate is still wet, add on any desired coconut or pecans to garnish. Once all the bars are coated and topped, place the tray back in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set completely. Best served right out of the refrigerator since the coating melts with heat. Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
*If you don't have brown rice syrup and/or maple syrup, just sub 1/4 cup honey. The combo of brown rice syrup and maple syrup is just to make the recipe vegan-friendly.
Be sure to let me know what you think of the recipe. If you try it and share a picture, tag me @pilatespearlsandpeanutbutter so I can see how it turned out and give you some love.
Let me know…
Were you a picky eater as a kid?
Do you have a go-to birthday cake?
Does your family practice any cultural traditions?
Enjoy the moment,
xoxo Meah <3