Homemade Chocolate Candy Bark and my Kindle E-Book!

Boy oh boy, it’s good to be back in the kitchen! Back with a little something special for the holidays, of course. It’s sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate candy bark! Isn’t it purdy, lounging on a gold doily?


G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s, baby!

Doilies are works of art, aren’t they? I see them as small, papery miracles. They make any food visually appealing. They make you feel like you have some sort of “eye” for decorating. They come in classic white, or SHINY!!! I’m a firm believer in their ability to make everything better. 

This festive candy is made with a smooth and sweet chocolate base that contains no milk, but all of the richness of traditional milk chocolate bark. This candy bark is one for your Christmas cookbook.

How is this possible without dairy? Behold, the humble cashew.

This little versatile nut legume makes the chocolate candy base so creamy that you won’t miss the dairy. The other secret ingredient– pure cocoa butter–makes the candy firm at room temperature, with a luxurious mouth feel and chocolate flavor.

Did you know that cocoa butter is a popular home remedy for stretch marks? After stuffing my face with test batches of bark made with the stuff, I’d argue it’s too delicious to rub on your body!

Recipe Notes:

-If you don’t have cocoa butter, you can use coconut oil. Just be sure to keep the candy refrigerated if you go this route.

-If you’d like to use Truvia, then use 70% or 85% cacao chocolate (i.e. Lindt or Ghirardelli) instead of the unsweetened kind.

-If you use cocoa butter, try to melt it slowly over lower heat. I microwaved the cocoa butter to make a batch of the bark not pictured here and the candy showed extensive blooming after it hardened. Store the candy away from moisture in a tupperware container as an additional precaution for preventing discoloration.

-If you are using store bought cashew butter, drain the oil off the top first. I drained off about 2 Tablespoons from the Tree of Life cashew butter I picked up at the local health food store. It’s usually just added safflower oil or sunflower oil to make the cashew butter creamier. In this case you don’t want that excess oil that would make the candy bark too soft.

-If you are making your own cashew butter for this recipe, add the oil called for in this recipe to make the cashews easier to grind. Melt the coconut oil or cocoa butter and add it to the food processor before grinding your cashews into a smooth paste. I would only recommend going this route if you have a Blendtec, Vitamix, or other high power blender.

-There is a step-by-step tutorial for grinding sweeteners into powder my e-cookbook, here!
Nourishing Chocolate Candy Bark (Vegan, Sugar-Free)

Serves 6


1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons (3.75 ounces) cashew butter OR 3/4 cup cashews

5 Tablespoons (2 ounces) melted food-grade cocoa butter* OR 5 tablespoons coconut oil

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate OR 2 ounces 85% cacao chocolate**

1/16 teaspoon sea salt

Sweetener options:

  • 2 Tablespoons Truvia, OR
  • 1.5 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon erythritol + 1 teaspoon xylitol + 1/8 teaspoon good-tasting stevia powderOR
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar + 1/8 teaspoon good-tasting stevia powder


Melt together cocoa butter, chocolate, and cashew butter in a double boiler over low heat, stirring mixture constantly with a spatula until liquefied. Grind sweeteners (stevia, erythritol, xylitol OR Truvia OR coconut palm sugar) and sea salt together into a fine powder using a Magic Bullet or coffee grinder. Sift the sweeteners into the chocolate mixture, stirring and folding the sweetener into the chocolate to make it smooth in consistency. Break up any lumps by working the chocolate against the sides and bottom of the bowl with your spatula. Pour chocolate mixture on to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it out in an even coating. Sprinkle with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, orange zest, toasted sliced almonds… whatever you’d like in your candy bark! Let the candy firm up by setting it in a cool room, or speed setting it in the fridge. Break into pieces and serve.

~35g net carbs, 1,418 calories per batch (no add-ins)


Pardon my dust as I sift through the 50,000 spam comments in the moderation queue and clogging up the posts. It’s a semester’s worth of spam… the mother lode of spam! It’ll all be taken care of as I clean up the site over the holiday break. The Healthy Indulgences Facebook page is currently the best place to ask questions since there are healthy treat lovers chiming in with answers there. You guys rock.

Don’t forget to check out the Kindle edition of the Healthy Indulgences Cookbook! If you’ve already got a copy, I’d love to know what you think.

What sugar-free treats are you making for the holiday season?

25 Comments on Homemade Chocolate Candy Bark and my Kindle E-Book!

  1. katie
    December 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm (10 years ago)

    what a pretty dessert! love the photos– so rich and festive! great job, lauren!

  2. Erica
    December 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm (10 years ago)


    • Lauren B.
      December 21, 2012 at 1:59 am (10 years ago)

      Thanks, Erica! 🙂

  3. P.J. Stietz
    December 21, 2012 at 2:37 am (10 years ago)

    I saw that Ocean Spray has reduced sugar dried cranberries. Those would work, too, right?

  4. Deb Nystrom
    December 28, 2012 at 1:06 am (10 years ago)

    I bought the e-Book and just love it. I was down with a cold for the holidays, so made simple lava cakes for something special. I just got a rave review from my 20 something son, a rare feat, and no sugar coma.

    As I adjust to stevia and other sweeteners, esp. liking the NuNaturals brand of stevia as you recommend, it’s a whole new dessert and treats world out there. LOVE it! Thanks again for doing such a great job on the book, including the clickable table of contents. 🙂 ~ Deb

    • Lauren B.
      December 28, 2012 at 5:55 am (10 years ago)

      Hi, Deb! Glad the lava cake went over well with you and your son. Tell him there’s a 20 something single lady who’s got a million more ideas for gooey chocolaty desserts, LOL! 😀 I’m so happy you’re enjoying the book and the stevia. Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Terri Lundy
    December 30, 2012 at 4:32 am (10 years ago)

    Lauren found your sight from a post on pinterest and took a look around. Like a lot of your recipes and decided to try to get the book so I could have them handy. Wouldn’t let me pay unless I had Paypal which I don’t. Any other way I can pay? Thanks. Looking forward to trying some of your recipes. Terri

    • Lauren B.
      January 2, 2013 at 3:03 am (10 years ago)

      Hi, Terri! I have my preferences set to accept payments from people without paypal accounts. If you add the item to your cart and click the big yellow button to check out without paypal, you’ll see two options under “Choose a way to pay.” The first option is to pay with a Paypal account. If you look just below that, you’ll see “Don’t have a PayPal account?” You can pay with a credit card by filling out the form underneath that heading.

      You might need to clear your browser cookies first so Paypal wouldn’t detect the presence of another account if someone had previously logged into a Paypal account using your computer. Hope that helps, Terri!

  6. Sugar and Diet
    January 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm (10 years ago)

    I appreciate the number of adaptations you give when creating this masterpiece. It helps to use what I have in my pantry. I haven’t tried them yet, but I plan to soon. Great idea.

  7. cindy
    April 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm (10 years ago)

    I pinned this! cindypollock @ ymail.com

  8. Lana | My Happy Dessert
    August 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm (10 years ago)

    Hi Lauren,

    I have added your RSS to my blog reader, love your blog! And I can’t wait to try this recipe – it looks delicious.


  9. Kathy
    October 18, 2013 at 11:31 pm (9 years ago)

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!!! I made these the other night to try and loved them so much, I made more last night to take to work and share. My husband and my co-workers LOVE IT!! And none of them are even on any kind of healthy eating “plan” like I am!! One of my co-workeers told me to make her some more for Christmas!! :-)\

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm (9 years ago)

      Kathy, I’m so glad the candy bars turned out well for you. It’s wonderful to hear that your co-workers enjoyed them, too! I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word to them about my E-Book and website, if you have not already done so. 😀

  10. Carolyn
    December 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm (9 years ago)

    Hey Lauren, it’s Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food. Mind if I include this on a round up on A Sweet Life Diabetes Magazine? It will only be an image and then link back to you. Thanks!

    • Lauren Benning
      December 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi, Carolyn! That would be fine. Tweet me a link to the page when it’s posted. I’d love to see the spread!

  11. NormJR
    May 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm (9 years ago)

    Hey Lauren, Can’t wait to try this. I also wanted to tell you that I added a section on erythritol to the second print and ebooks for both Fast Tract Digestion (IBS and Heartburn) books linking to your site. Thanks again for writing to me about the one good sugar alcohol.

    Norm Robillard

  12. 陈勉杏片
    November 12, 2014 at 3:39 am (8 years ago)


  13. 程叫形的
    November 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm (8 years ago)


  14. edible cake decorations for kids
    November 12, 2014 at 8:25 pm (8 years ago)

    If you want flowers on your cake but the cost of the artificial flowers isn. A
    significant portion of picking retirement cake decorating tips is usually
    to match the cake for the persons persona.
    Cooking Chinese food is simple when you have the right
    cooking utensils.

  15. How to Eat healthy
    November 12, 2014 at 9:26 pm (8 years ago)

    Then, write down 10 foods that you wouldn’t mind trying. Paleo diet recipes have additional
    food restrictions that encourage optimal long term health.
    Multiple sclerosis is a chronic degenerative disease of the nervous system.

  16. baby shower items
    November 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm (8 years ago)

    Consult her close and relatives when preparing your guest list.
    Rosenbaum on the 7th season of the reality romance
    series, has shared every milestone of her pregnancy with her fans.
    In the event of you wishing to be distinctive, there’re also distinctive selections
    of party souvenirs to select from.

  17. eczema and pregnancy
    November 12, 2014 at 10:12 pm (8 years ago)

    The following type of eczema is the annoyance friend
    eczema, which is very akin to allergic eczema. If at any time they refuse to sit on the potty,
    don’t force it. Of course, not all types of food trigger
    eczema on face.

  18. floristcanadaflowerdelivery.com
    November 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm (8 years ago)

    ” In that study researchers observed how molecular imaging reveals origin of acid reflux disease. Once you learn how to eliminate this stomach condition, you will be on your way to better health. HCL assists with food digestion and supports the function of the LES.

  19. www.xsmi.org
    November 13, 2014 at 2:41 am (8 years ago)

    For example; perhaps you’re in a relationship where you’re constantly being put down and made to feel worthless, this of course will lower
    your self esteem and will only escalate if not dealt with.
    Think about the people that you really like or love, consider what it is that you
    like about them. It doesn’t matter if those
    successes are in a completely different area of your life than where you are now searching
    for confidence.