Vegan Pecan Turtles

Vegan Pecan Turtles

It’s Christmas Eve eve!  At least that’s what my brother always used to say on December 23, and it stuck with me.   And what better way to spend an hour of it than to make these cute little pecan turtles?  Making them this close to Christmas gives you a better chance of being able to save one for Santa…

Vegan Pecan Turtles

Santa knows that pecans, caramel, & chocolate are just meant to go together.  And believe me, he’ll appreciate the fact that you didn’t use up your remaining goodwill by unwrapping 20 individually wrapped Kraft caramels & flattening them out for the middle layer of these turtles. I’ll save you that step, and the better part of your sanity, by showing you how to make easy “date caramel” instead.  Santa may not be vegan, but he knows excellent sweets, and this will pretty much secure your spot on the “Nice” list for years  to come.

“Date caramel” is made from nothing more than soft Medjool dates (the big kind), soaked in hot water, and blended in your food processor or high-speed blender.  I added a little almond butter for a thicker texture, and vanilla & salt for the perfect flavour balance.

Beyond that, you just have to build your turtles… that’s the fun part!

Vegan Pecan Turtles

Place your pecans for the head & feet…

Vegan Pecan Turtles

Plop on a spoonful of date caramel to stick the head & feet together…

Vegan Pecan Turtles

Then cover with the melted chocolate… mmm…

Vegan Pecan Turtles

Try not to eat them all off the cookie sheet!  Because Santa wants one too…

These are the perfect after-dinner snack, or afternoon treat with a glass of almond milk.  You could even convince me that they are appropriate breakfast food… you know, dates and nuts and all.  It’s up to you, my friends!  Oh, and keep these little dudes in the fridge or freezer- the date caramel gets pretty soft… especially in the Philippines!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!

Vegan Pecan Turtles

Prep Time: 55 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: about 20 turtles

Vegan Pecan Turtles


    For the date caramel:
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 1/2-3/4 cup hot water to soak dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
    For the turtles:
  • 1 cup pecan halves (about 60)
  • 1 cup (about 100 gm) dark chocolate, chopped (I used 74%)
  • 1/4 tsp coconut oil


    To make the date caramel:
  • Soak the dates in hot water for about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the water.
  • Place dates, vanilla, salt, & almond butter in a food processor or high-speed blender.
  • Process at high speed until smooth & creamy, adding reserved water as necessary to get desired consistency... it should be thick & spreadable.
    To assemble the turtles:
  • Melt the chocolate & coconut oil together over very low heat. Remove from heat & set aside.
  • Arrange 3 pecan halves for each turtle on a lined baking tray to make feet & a head.
  • Place about 1/2 tablespoon date caramel on top of the pecans, spreading slightly.
  • Spoon over melted chocolate to cover the caramel layer.
  • Place in the refrigerator to set.
  • Makes about 20 turtles. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


Prep time includes soaking the dates

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7 thoughts on “Vegan Pecan Turtles”

    1. Oh you totally should!! They’re really quick & easy… and for a treat, pretty healthy! Yup, it’s 100gm chocolate (or a little over 3 oz,)- just use your scale to weigh it out. These are best stored in the fridge or freezer because the caramel is pretty soft. Enjoy!
      Love you! xoxo

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