We love that paleo is a thing these days. Because even if you’re not paleo, it’s so nice to walk into Whole Foods and have a selection of refined-sugar free and gluten-free treats at your fingertips. Right? 

We’re all about cleaner eating, obvi. Especially when it looks like this. We’ve just got to believe you’ll be as thrilled as we are when you see this recipe pop up in your feed – vegan, paleo TURTLES! Almost every recipe coming from the kitchen of Sweet Laurel Bakery knocks our socks off (find her chocolate cake and coconut ice cream recipes here!), but here Laurel herself and pal Claire Thomas of Kitchy Kitchen are truly knocking our socks off.

A note from Claire: Sweet and rich, with a bit of sharp depth from the dark chocolate, and crunch from the pecans, these little bites immediately put a smile on your face. Pecans are the classic, but feel free to try these with any of your favorite nuts.

Sweet Laurel Bakery’s Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free Chocolate Turtles


For the turtles:
6 oz unsweetened cacao, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan caramel, cold
1 cup pecan halves, toasted

For the vegan caramel:
1/4 cup dates, pitted and packed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp almond butter
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


For the turtles:

Combine the melted cacao and maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside.

On a parchment or a silcone mat, create little mounds of pecans (3 or 4 is perfect). Top with a tablespoon or so of cold vegan caramel (it can get a bit gooey if warm). Pour melted cacao over each turtle, letting the pecans stick out a bit. Let the turtles set for at least 30 minutes, until the chocolate is fully hardened. Enjoy!

For the vegan caramel:

Combine everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Pop in the refrigerator to chill.

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