vanilla coffee fudge bars

Last weekend we celebrated not only my Dad’s birthday, but his retirement! Go Dad! A geek for all things electronic and an engineer his whole career, Dad jokes that in retirement he can take up chemical engineering – converting beer, wine and whiskey into waste water.

He also wants a chauffeur.

I made him triple layer bars in lieu of a birthday cake. I figured the occasion was deserving of something special.

The base layer is a cookie that is tasty enough to stand on it’s own, I have made cookie balls out of this dough. The middle layer is an incredibly dense and fudgy brownie, just how I like them. The brownies are also great on it’s own. The frosting. Rich, buttery, scrumtrulescent.


When I looked up that link, I was happy to see the guest was someone I love, and who from now on will make me think of this friend. The video is funny, you should take a minute and watch…

Also? that frosting? Good on it’s own.

vanilla coffee fudge bars

coffee oat cookie layer

1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup garbanzo & fava flour
1 tablespoon Godiva French Vanilla Coffee

2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs (flax)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup carob chips

Combine oat bran, flour, coffee, dry chia seeds, soda and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, combine prepared flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons warm water = 2 eggs), applesauce, oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stir until just combined. Stir in carob chips. Press into prepared 9×13 baking dish, partially bake at 350 for 10 minutes only. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare brownie layer:

coffee fudge brownies

1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg (flax)
10-15 dropsΒ NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
3/4 cup garbanzo & fava flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (Enjoy Life Mega Chunks)

Prepare flax egg (1Β tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water = 1 egg) and combine with applesauce, oil and stevia. Combine flours, cocoa, coffee, soda, and salt, add to applesauce mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks. Pour over cookie base, bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Prepare third layer, the frosting:

vanilla cashew frosting

1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked overnight
10Β dropsΒ NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia
3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugarΒ 

Drain soaked cashews and place in food processor, reserve the soaking liquid if needed. Process cashews until crumbly, starting to go smooth. Add stevia drops, continue to process. Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time while processing. Keep adding until desired smooth consistency is reached, adding water if needed. Frost bars when completely cool. Store in refrigerator.

These are worth the extra time – and so is my Dad. Congratulations on retirement and happy birthday, Dad! Love you!

Did you watch the video? πŸ˜€ What is your favorite game show?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!




  1. says

    I’m drinking hot tea before work, and would really like one of these to go along with it. That bottom layer. That frosting. Mmmm. Jason and your dad are blessed to have you, my dear! And all of us, too… :) xo

    • spabettie says

      aw, thank you sweetie. I am lucky to have both of them… and you! I especially appreciate having my dad in my life, and seeing him as much as I get to!

    • spabettie says

      yay! I think you’d like these, Heather! they are decadent and tasty, and almost taste healthy at the same time? πŸ˜€

  2. says

    Happy Birthday & Retirement to your Dad! What an exciting time in his life. I can’t wait to retire one day :)

    I love layered desserts like this — they look incredible!

    (Sorry no sound on my work computer so I haven’t watched the video!)

    • spabettie says

      I know, I’m excited for him too – good stuff. I was happy with how these turned out – I haven’t made many layered bars like this, it was fun!

    • spabettie says

      mmm – the frosting – I love the cashews alone in the processor – it just smells buttery delicious! and thanks!! I like finding vegan πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      I know – it’s really good too, and I’m not the biggest fan of flavored coffees… you picked all of the best words to describe these – insane, decadent, unreal, awesome. πŸ˜‰ yep! πŸ˜€

  3. says

    You just used one of my favorite words, scrumptrulescent. I have no choice but to make these now!

    Good thing it’s my husband’s birthday, I have a believable excuse to make a double batch. =D

    • spabettie says

      oh, good – you appreciated it πŸ˜‰ isn’t it just the best word!? happy birthday to the husband – hope you guys love these, and have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      Dad has always been funny, but lately even more it seems πŸ˜‰ my dad is the same – I can’t imagine him just chillin, he has hobbies though.

  4. says

    Oh my goodness, these sound amazing. I bet your dad loved them, and I know your kitchen must have smelled so good while baking. Sometimes, I just like to throw cinnamon and vanilla in the oven and turn it on. Add coffee? Even better!

    • spabettie says

      hi Heather! :) yep, the coffee smelled and tasted so good… I’m going to have to remember your cinnamon + vanilla trick as the weather gets colder this fall – I love that smell and it just sounds cozy! have a great weekend!

  5. says

    Congrats to your dad (tell him I’m envious … I like his new “job” aspirations, too)! These bars look absolutely sensational. I bet he was over the moon on them! My dad has long been retired, but now I’m thinking I should make some goodies (maybe flourless chocolate sparkle cookies) and take to him … especially since we’re heading out on vacation at the end of the week and parents always worry when their “kiddos” are away. πŸ˜‰

    Okay, off to watch the video. I’m not a big game show person though. Jeopardy is about the extent of my tolerance. :-)


    • spabettie says

      I’m with ya, many game shows (especially new ones) aren’t my thing either. I do like Jeopardy though.

    • spabettie says

      OMG, you just reminded me I need to pick my Mamma Chia winners. oops. Hmm, I suppose I can enter Sueson’s too – I love this stuff! πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      thank you, Paige! I told him he could hire ME as his chauffeur, it’d be fun to hang out with my dad all day, drive him around! πŸ˜‰

  6. says

    oh wow.. amazing.. like superly fantastic!. I was just thinking of making some kind of fudge bars and some snack bars to balance out the decadence.. now i can just make these!!!
    where is that star button on the browser now to bookmark.!.
    Have a fun day and happy retirement to your dad. my dad is never going to retire.. he is married to his manufacturing business.

  7. says

    oh wow.. amazing.. like superly fantastic!. I was just thinking of making some kind of fudge bars and some snack bars to balance out the decadence.. now i can just make these!!!
    where is that star button on the browser now to bookmark.!.
    Have a fun day and happy retirement to your dad. my dad is never going to retire.. he is married to his manufacturing business.

    • spabettie says

      well, THANK YOU! πŸ˜€ let me know how you like them when you make them – they are that perfect blend of decadent, rich and healthy.

    • spabettie says

      oh, great – I love to see my things pinned! (I’m on pinterest, but don’t really use it much… yet). let me know if you make them – two people have already and love them! πŸ˜€

  8. says

    Hahaha, I love your Dad’s attitude towards retirement! πŸ˜€ My Dad has been retired almost two years ago, and he’s been very active (like always) since then: He got a diving licence and goes diving in the Baltic Sea, he also learned how to play golf so he can play with my mom now, and of course he’s been fishing, gardening, and working on my parents’ house (which is an old city house and always needs to be improved in some regard) a lot. I hope your Dad will have a fabulous time!

    • spabettie says

      your dad sounds like he is really enjoying retirement!! I think it’s VERY important to remain active and have activity – both mental and physical – my grandparents were very active and I think they lived long for it!

    • spabettie says

      hi Alex! you will LOVE these if you like mochas. (I love mochas too…) I store these in the fridge, and they taste SO good when they’re cold. and YES to sugar freeeeee! πŸ˜€

  9. says

    Did my eyes deceive me or did you REALLY just say scrumtrulescent??? Didn’t even need to click the link to the video–I know exactly where you got that one and I could not be any more pleased with your humor. Well done. Well played!
    P.S. Must make these goodies!!! They sound so good and maybe they will make me feel better about my LOUSY GF/Vegan baking skills…

    • spabettie says

      YAAAY! I love that you knew that!! Will Farrell is one of my favorites, and those skits always make me laugh. πŸ˜€

      this recipe is a GOOD one, one of my recent favorites, and while it is many steps, it is WORTH it!! difficulty level low, too – these are amazing, if I can say! make them! πŸ˜€

  10. says

    wow! these look fantastic, I am wondering if I can pull them off, LOL! I am a new reader and the thought of looking through your archives is exciting! :)

  11. Chance says

    these look SO GOOD!! I have a birthday party coming up that I volunteered desert for, I think I shall make these!!

  12. Carolann says

    my kids love these, and hubby too – they love the chocolate and I love that they are a dessert but… sorta healthy??

    • spabettie says

      “sorta healthy” – I’ll take that! :) yes, they’re better than some things I can make, definitely. so happy you like them!

  13. DC Billings says

    made these for this morning’s church potluck and they were gobbled in no time! thanks for a great recipe!


  14. Heather says

    we made these for the church potluck over the weekend, again, another spabettie hit at the church! lots of time but worth it LOL

  15. Lydia Claire says

    I have two questions. The coffee is brewed right? It seems obvious that it would be for taste and texture. Second, if I don’t have those flavored coffees is there a substitute for them?


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