Chocolate Obsession Bars: A Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Rich, Decadent Real Food Dessert



Oh, how this recipe thrills me! Rich, decadent, not-too-sweet dessert fit for a special occasion with plenty of good fat and protein. The folks who aren’t on a restricted diet loved it, my son was overjoyed at the treat. It was all sorts of perfect wrapped up in a pretty package. And it was chocolate.  🙂

My son had a birthday recently, and I created these bars for him.  I admit I’m loathe to do the usual cake with frosting gobs, because it’s loaded with carbs with relatively little fat and protein. They’re already hyped over the gifts, why add empty carbs and lots of sugar to the mix? So I set out to create a dessert for him that had more fat and protein, was real food and didn’t have gluten or dairy for his intolerances.  He asked for chocolate because it was his birthday, and how could this mama refuse those big blue eyes?

For a long time, I’ve ignored recipes calling for condensed milk.  It’s not a real food ingreditent, it’s highly processed in a BPA-lined can, it isn’t raw dairy, they use white sugar, it’s got so much against it.  Last week, I finally decided to figure out how to make it myself at home using coconut cream to avoid the problem with processed dairy.  I hemmed and I hawed about the filling, but I finally hit upon the perfect combination to make a thick, rich chocolate middle without cheating on the real food principles.  And as a bonus, it works perfectly for those with dairy intolerances.

The use of almond meal ups the fat and protein while reducing the carbs.  I appreciate having almond meal as a weapon in my dessert arsenal so I can fix occasional treats for the kids that I still feel good about.  If you want to make this traditional foods instead of just real food, you can grind your crispy nuts at home until they are an almond meal consistency and use that.  Because we are traditional foods almost all of the time at home, I view an occasional cheat with unsoaked almonds acceptable.  Especially for a birthday. My understanding is that most of the phytic acid in nuts is contained in the dark husk, so using blanched almonds minimizes the problem.

Because I used almond meal from Bob’s Red Mill, it wasn’t very finely ground.  You can help remedy that by pulsing your dry ingredients multiple times to help break down the almond meal.  I will soon be experimenting with different almond meals to determine which one gives the best baking results.

This dessert was downed in a flash and I later found out that my husband had taken a hostage.  He snuck into the kitchen, cut a piece when no one was looking and hid it in his lunch bag. It was so good he had to hide it to make sure he could get a second piece.  That poor, little bar sat alone for two days, wishing he could be enjoyed by someone.  😉

This dessert is very filling, so cut small pieces.  It’s very rich, but not too sweet.  If you insist on doubling the recipe, you can.  You will need to bake it a bit longer to get the crust done all the way through and lightly browned.

I’ve also done a butterscotch version of this recipe, which you can see here.






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I'm KerryAnn Foster. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with my husband, Jeff, and our two kids, a teen and a tween. I blog here at Intentionally Domestic (formerly Cooking Traditional Foods). I blog about Paleo, beauty, health, family, homeschool and lifestyle for women in their 30s and beyond. I have over sixteen years of real food and natural lifestyle and health experience.

I am also an It Works! Global Triple Diamond Independent Distributor. I love that crazy wrap thing! I have been extremely happy with how the It Works Products have tightened up my loose skin and healed my stretch marks after losing 179 pounds and having a 10-pound baby.

Read about my journey to health through celiac disease, PCOS, food allergies, obesity, adrenal fatigue and heavy metals.


  1. Autumn M says:

    I’m getting ready to bake but the only thing not in my pantry is the tapioca starch. It is not something I’ve used before. Do you think arrowroot would suffice? Otherwise I’ll send the hubby to the store 🙂

  2. Margaret says:

    That sounds absolutely delicious!

  3. Sandra says:

    Can you substitute stevia for the sugar?

    • KerryAnn says:

      You probably can substitute at least some with stevia. Because stevia and chocolate don’t harmonize in flavor well without a second sweetener, I do recommend you consider leaving in some sweetener beside stevia..

  4. Rain says:

    My sister is allergic to dairy fat and chocolate (even cocoa); I’m allergic to almonds and the baby can’t handle me having gluten. It makes for interesting holidays when we’re trying to figure out what everyone can eat.

    Do you think this would work with another nut meal, say cashew, and dairy free carob chips? I’ve never used carob so don’t even know if it’s considered real/traditional food.

    • KerryAnn says:

      I imagine it would work with another nut meal, such as cashew, pecan or hazelnut. I think carob chips would work with it, too, just be sure to check them for barley malt as several brands have gluten in them.

  5. Desh says:

    Do you think heavy cream would work instead of coconut milk?

  6. BK says:

    Thanks for the lovely recipe.
    I do not have any chocolate chips. Will cocoa powder do?

    • KerryAnn says:

      BK, I think you could use cocoa powder and additional fat. 3 Tbs cocoa plus 1 Tbs fat is normally equal to one ounce of baking chocolate, then you still need to add sugar.

  7. Melynda Hoffman says:

    Um, I love you.

  8. Angie says:

    I just made these and they are AMAZING! I was kind of worried when I saw that there was no sweetener in the crust or topping, but they turned out wonderful and I wouldn’t have wanted them any sweeter. Now to see if I can keep from eating the whole pan before hubby comes home…
    Angie recently posted..Baltic Amber Necklace with Large Natural Pendant – Christmas gift – Highly effective, most therapeutic amber by AngelasAmber

  9. […] I just can’t leave well enough alone. Take, for example, the Chocolate Obsession Bars I made the other day. They’re an awesome bite of happiness. But there’s always room for […]

  10. Desh says:

    Heavy cream shouldn’t curdle like milk does- that’s why restaurants use it in sauces.

  11. These look amazing! I just pinned this and will FB share today as well. Thanks, KerryAnn! Blessings to you and your family for a very Merry CHRISTmas! 🙂 Kelly
    Kelly @ The Nourishing Home recently posted..Made with Love Granola Gifts: Special Guest Post!

  12. Kelly Smith says:

    Can I use some type of egg replacement?? Thanks!

    • KerryAnn says:

      Kelly, I think you might be able to skip the egg all-together and just press it into the pan. I only added the egg for a little extra nutrition. But if you want to do a replacement, I think the chia seed meal egg replacer would work great.

  13. Tina says:

    What can I use to replace the nuts for a nut allergy?

    • KerryAnn says:

      Tina, I’ve had to eliminate nuts myself, and I’m trying to figure it out. I’ll post a new recipe just as soon as I can get something worked up.

  14. Grain-Free Valentine's Treat Recipes! - Life Made Full says:

    […] Chocolate Obsession Bars from Intentionally Domestic […]


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