These homemade Take 5 candy bars are an irresistible no-bake dessert! The crunchy pretzel layer is topped with creamy peanut butter, sweet caramel, and salty peanuts. Then, it’s coated in silky rich chocolate. Enjoy this healthy twist on the classic chocolate bar, made with no added sugar and vegan ingredients. They are so delicious – I bet you can’t have just one!
Have you tried a Take 5 candy bar before? It’s essentially all of the best dessert ingredients wrapped into one incredibly delicious, but ridiculously simple, chocolate bar. This includes pretzels, caramel, peanut butter, peanuts, and chocolate. Proceed with caution; they are as scrumptious as they sound.
What makes these homemade candy bars so special? Well, for starters, we’re using healthy ingredients. That means no dairy, no added sugar, no refined sugar, and minimal ingredients. Simply grab your favorite pretzels (they can be gluten-free!) and top them with a salted medjool date caramel, natural peanut butter, and crushed peanuts. Once chilled, wrap them in melted dark chocolate before devouring.
These Homemade Take 5 Candy Bars are:
- Vegan, no-bake, vegetarian, and dairy-free
- Easily made gluten-free and oil-free
- A healthy twist on the classic Hershey’s candy bars
- Easily transportable // Great for gifting, parties, and gatherings
- A salty-sweet treat that absolutely everyone will love!
WHAT IS IN A TAKE 5 CANDY BAR?
As the name suggests, Take 5 candy bars are comprised of 5 ingredients: chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, pretzels, and peanuts. It’s a classic chocolate-covered candy bar, with layered pretzels, peanut butter, peanuts, and caramel inside.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TAKE 5 AND REESE’S TAKE 5?
Short answer? There is none! Hershey’s originally named this candy bar “Take5” when it was created in 2004. In an attempt to boost sales and link the bar to another well known candy, they changed the name to “Reese’s Take5” in 2019. It’s the same great chocolate bar, just with a simple name change. You can read more about the name change here.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE USED IN THESE VEGAN CHOCOLATE BARS?
- Pretzels: Snap pretzels or pretzel squares are best for a copycat take 5 bar. If you can’t find these, use regular pretzels instead. They won’t be square-shaped, but they will taste the same.
- Peanut butter: Use your favorite creamy or crunchy peanut butter for this dessert recipe.
- Dates: The healthy vegan caramel layer is created with medjool dates. Make sure to remove the pits from your dates!
- Peanuts: I recommend using roasted peanuts rather than raw peanuts.
- Chocolate chips: Since the chocolate is going to be melted, any sort of chocolate chips will do.
- Maca powder: A dash of maca powder is an optional ingredient, but it subtly enhances the caramel flavor.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds some warmth to the date caramel.
- Salt: A dash of salt perfectly balances the sweet ingredients.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN TAKE 5 CANDY BARS
For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card below.
CREATE THE SALTED VEGAN CARAMEL
First, combine the pitted medjool dates, peanut butter, coconut milk/water, vanilla extract, maca powder, and salt in a food processor. Process the ingredients until a smooth, caramel-like consistency forms. Scrape down the sides of the container, pushing the dates toward the center blades every so often (as needed while processing).
ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS
Next, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Top a snap pretzel with a layer of peanut butter. Then, top with the date caramel and crushed peanuts. Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with all pretzels. Store in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
COVER THEM IN A CHOCOLATE COATING
Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil (optional) in a double boiler or microwave. To microwave: heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted.
Place a take 5 bar on a fork, then dip into the melted chocolate. Be sure it’s evenly coated, then transfer it back to the parchment paper. Chill the chocolate-coated take 5 bars in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has set. Enjoy!
Use snap pretzels or pretzel squares. Snap pretzels, also known as pretzel squares, work best for this candy bar recipe. However, if you can’t find them, you can use regular pretzels instead.
Be patient while creating the date caramel. If you haven’t created medjool date caramel before, my best advice is to be patient with it! Follow the steps below:
- First, remove the pits from your medjool dates.
- Then, add the dates and all other ingredients to a food processor.
- Pulse/grind the ingredients until they are no longer effectively being processed.
- Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the container, pushing the dates toward the center blades.
- Turn on the food processor again, and repeat steps 3 and 4. Process the ingredients until a “caramel” is formed.
Add coconut oil to the melted chocolate. If you want to keep this recipe oil-free, you can ignore this tip. I highly suggest using the coconut oil, though, because it thins the melted chocolate. This thinner consistency will be helpful while coating the bars in chocolate.
Keep these healthy take 5 bars stored in the refrigerator. In my opinion, this dessert is best kept inside the refrigerator (or freezer!) in a sealed container. If desired, you can store them at room temperature instead.
HOMEMADE TAKE 5 CANDY BARS (VEGAN & HEALTHY!)
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 35 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
These homemade take 5 candy bars are an easy no-bake dessert! The crunchy pretzel layer is topped with creamy peanut butter, sweet caramel, and salty peanuts. Then, it’s coated in silky rich chocolate. Enjoy this healthy twist on the classic chocolate bar, made with no added sugar and vegan ingredients!
SALTED CARAMEL LAYER
- 1 cup medjool dates, tightly packed
- 2 tbsp coconut milk or hot water
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp maca powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 35 pretzel squares or snap pretzels
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup crushed peanuts
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tsp coconut oil (optional but recommended)
- Create the caramel: Combine medjool dates, coconut milk/water, peanut butter, vanilla extract, maca powder, and salt in a food processor. Process ingredients until a smooth, caramel-like consistency forms. Scrape down the sides of the container, pushing the dates toward the blades, between processing (as needed until smooth).
- Assemble the bars: Line a large plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pretzels onto the parchment paper. Spread the peanut butter on top of each pretzel, then add a layer of caramel. Top with crushed peanuts.
- Chill: Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Cover with chocolate: Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler or microwave. If microwaving, heat in 30-second intervals (stirring between) until melted. Place a chilled take 5 bar in the melted chocolate and cover completely. Transfer back to the parchment paper. Repeat until all bars are covered with chocolate.
- Chill: Transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes, or until the chocolate sets. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 95
- Sugar: 8g
- Fat: 5g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 13g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 2g