Raw Vanilla Pecan Dream Bars with Cashew Icing

By Chef: Brandi Doming
Posted: March 30, 2015


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If vanilla cake and pecan pie had a baby, these would be the product. Imagine a moist, gooey bar that tastes like a vanilla buttery cake, but the texture of a gooey pecan pie and is all topped off with a creamy cashew icing. These are your way to break into Spring.


  • 1 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats, I use Bob’s Red Mill 100 g)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces (56 g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (48 g)
  • 3 tablespoons Sprout Living «Vanilla Lucuma» Epic protein powder (I cannot vouch for other protein powders if you choose to sub)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (if yours is very thick or stiff, warm to a smooth liquid prior to measuring, see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or agave, 30 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cashew Icing
  • 3 tablespoons cashew butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon unsweetened apple juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, Extra coconut sugar to sprinkle on top


  1. Add the oats to a food processor and process until a fine flour forms. Add the pecans and coconut sugar and process again until it is finely ground.
  2. Add the protein powder and salt and process once more until just blended.
  3. Add the cashew butter, syrup, apple juice and vanilla extract to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients into the food processor. Process until it all comes together in one large bowl and is chunky. As soon as it does this, stop so it doesn’t turn into a butter.
  4. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap (or use a smaller one for thicker bars) and press the mixture out evenly to the corners. Flatten with a spatula.
  5. Combine the cashew icing ingredients and spread out over the bars. Sprinkle coconut sugar over the top. Place in the freezer until firm and set. Cut into 8 bars. Keep them stored in the freezer or fridge. The icing will be softer in the fridge and I prefer the texture from the freezer. If you leave them out for an extended period of time at room temperature, they will soften more.


I know some of my readers do not use protein powders, so if you still want to make the recipe, you can leave it out and just add 2-3 more tablespoons of oats and an extra tablespoon of coconut sugar (since the protein powder provides sweetness). The flavor will change slightly and be less vanilla-ish, but still delicious. Raw, vegan, gluten-free, oil-free If you don’t like or can’t have cashews, then I would try subbing a creamy almond butter. I would probably use 3 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup since almond butter tends to be oilier than cashew butter. Nutrition per bar (based on 8) without icing: 194.75 calories, 10 g fat, 5.78 g protein, 21.5 carbs, 10.625 g sugars With icing: 240.78 calories, 13 g fat, 6.9 g protein, 25.7 carbs, 13.5 g sugars