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no-bake oat bars with sour cherries, hemp & chocolate - The First Mess

No Bake Oat Bars with Sour Cherries, Hemp & Chocolate

These no bake oat bars with sour cherries, hemp and chocolate are the best granola bar you'll ever try. Naturally vegan & gluten free! This recipe is excerpted from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin's Alternative Baker.
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 10 ingredients, all seasons, almond butter, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, coconut oil, dark chocolate, dried sour cherries, flaky sea salt, hemp seeds, oats, sliced almonds, sour cherries, vanilla, vanilla extract
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Setup Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 32 minutes
Servings 16



  • 1 cup smooth unsalted almond butter (stirred and at room temperature)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • cups certified GF old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup hulled hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
  • ¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • flaky sea salt, cacao nibs and hemp seeds, for sprinkling


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
  • Place the oats in s wide, heavy-bottomed skillet set over low heat, and toast until golden and fragrant, about 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the warm oats into the bowl with the almond butter mixture. Add the almonds to the skillet and place back on the low heat. Toast the almonds until golden and fragrant, about 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the almonds to the bowl with the oats, along with the dried cherries, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs. Use a strong and flexible spatula to stir everything together until combined. I had to get in there with my hands, so if yours seems quite sticky, that should be fine.
  • Line an 8-inch square pan with a sling of parchment paper that overhangs on the sides. Scrape the oat mixture into the pan and press it down evenly with slightly damp hands until you have a flat surface of even thickness.
  • To make the topping, combine the coconut oil and chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir the mixture often until completely melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the oat bars. Tilt the pan to distribute the chocolate evenly. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt, cacao nibs, and hemp seeds.
  • Place the pan of oat bars in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. When you're ready to cut, loosen the edges of the bars with the tip of a knife before pulling the bars out by the edges of the parchment sling. Cut bars into 16 even squares. Store the cut bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.