Time poor? No oven? Or it's otherwise engaged? These no-bake slices are the answer - and many of them are quicker to make than baked versions, too!
Looking for a recipe that works for folk who need to be egg-free, dairy-free or wheat-free? Or just after a super-fast dessert? This vegan brownie from Bondi Harvest’s Guy Turland ticks all those boxes. It’s made with hemp seeds, which contain protein and healthy fatty acids, dates and almond meal, with chopped macadamias and cocoa nibs for crunch. It uses rum to soak the dates, but you could substitute a non-alcoholic liquid. And if you’re short on time, Turland suggests that instead of chilling it in the fridge until it reaches sliceable consistency, you can put it in the freezer for 15 minutes – which means you can have this ready to go in about half an hour, all up!
Donna Hay’s chocolate peanut slice
There are just six ingredients in this slice, with puffed brown rice and roasted peanuts stirred into a mixture of dates, peanut butter and vanilla, then topped with melted chocolate. The dates are the secret to creating a gooey caramel while cutting back on processed sugar, Hay explains in Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance Kids. And when you go to cut it, “heat the knife. Rest it on the chocolate so it starts to melt the top and then [cut] through”. Get the recipe here.
With a nutty base and an indulgent coconut-cashew-lemon topping, this is great make-ahead recipe for sharing with friends, as it will happily store in the freezer until you’re ready to serve it – just transfer to the fridge about an hour before you need it.
“There's something magical about dates and tahini in a sticky sweet union!” says Renee Byrd of her gluten-free and vegan choc-topped slice. As well as dates, tahini, chia seeds, hemp seeds and pistachios, the recipe uses almond butter, but Byrd says you can use any nut butter you please. This is another freezer-friendly recipe, so you can keep these tucked away for when the urge for a sweet nibble strikes. These will take about an hour all up, including freezing time.
Developed by chef Henrik Orre to feed hungry cyclists on long rides, these are a high-energy snack. You can cook the rice mixture on the stove or in a rice cooker, and the finished bars, cut up and wrapped in foil, can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Add nuts, dried fruit and other additions to change up the recipe.
Another recipe from Henrik Orre, these put a savoury spin on the no-bake rice snack, with bacon, egg and soy sauce. Orre uses this recipe to feed pro cyclists but it’s a good option for anyone looking for a savoury option during or after a long exercise session.
The base and topping of this layered Iranian favourite is a butter and flour roux stirred on the stove until it’s toasty and golden, with cinnamon, cardamom and icing sugar then added. Fresh dates, walnuts and pistachios form the middle layer.
Here’s another take on the no-bake brownie, this one from the Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter. It’s one of those great “you only need a food processor” recipes, combining nuts, cacao, dates, coconut butter and vanilla. Cutter suggests adding protein powder if you’re after an energy bar, and she serves hers topped with dried berries.
This isn’t a slice in the usual “made in a tray, cut into squares” sense – but it is sliced! And it’s a great one to make in advance and keep in the fridge. Roughly broken-up biscuits are stirred into a melted chocolate, egg, sugar and vanilla mixture, rolled into logs and chilled until firm enough to slice – although, ahem, you can, of course, give in to temptation and try it well before it’s reached proper slicing consistency. We might have done that… It will keep in the fridge for up to a week if it hasn’t all been eaten by then. (If you want a fancier, adults-only version to make for gifts, there’s also this Maltese romblu tal-milied bic-cikkulata, which has a glug of whiskey in the date, apricot, hazelnut and crushed biscuit mixture).
Middle Eastern and Australian flavours take you back to your childhood thanks to this fancy choc crackle. It almost feels mandatory to host a birthday party, now! #BringBackTheClassics
These are so good that cravings for artificial sugary confections will disappear.
"These plant-based, raw tarts are gluten-, dairy- and refined sugar-free. They are surprisingly fresh and light to taste, until you get a mouthful of the dark chocolate sauce! Go mad with the petals and passionfruit to decorate them; they will look amazing." Lauren Glucina, Ascension Kitchen