Mounds Bars were one of my favorite candies during Halloween and my Aunt Maria still to this day brings an enormous chocolate covered coconut egg for Easter. I can hardly eat more than a bite of either these days as they just taste way too sweet for me. But these little strawberry coconut “mounds bars” are just perfect. They’re festive, delicious, barely sweet, and even kids will go crazy for them. They’re the perfect treat to make for both Easter and Passover.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Not too sweet, which is how I prefer my desserts;
- Bite-size pieces – great for portion control LOL;
- Can be made in advance;
- Easy to adapt for different types of chocolate or freeze-dried fruit.
Strawberry Mounds Bars Ingredients
- Freeze-dried strawberries: these are different from dried fruit. Freeze dried strawberries are crisp like chips and will turn into a lovely pink dust when pulverized.
- Coconut flakes: look for unsweetened coconut flakes. It doesn’t matter if it’s finely shredded or in larger pieces since it will become finely chopped in the food processor.
- Maple syrup: sugar is sugar but maple syrup is less processed and it personally doesn’t spike me the way white sugar does.
- Coconut butter: This contains the whole coconut. It may also be labeled on the package as coconut manna.
- Vanilla extract: pure extract with no added flavors or corn syrup solids adds a richness and natural sweetness.
- Chocolate chips: I try to use chocolate chips or bars that have a higher percentage of cacao, which means there’s less sugar. Usually I buy dark or bittersweet, but if you prefer semisweet or milk chocolate, you do you.
- Coconut oil: I use unrefined coconut oil. It does have a coconut flavor compared to a refined coconut oil. Coconut oil helps thin out the chocolate so it can coat the bars easily and then the oil hardens in the fridge for a nice “shell.”
How to Make Strawberry Mounds Bars
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. No need to grease it. This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan later on.
- Place a heaping 1/4 cup of freeze dried strawberries in the food processor and process until pulverized. Add coconut flakes, maple syrup, coconut butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until mixture comes together. It will be slightly sticky.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Press mixture firmly into a single layer. I like to press it with my hands or you can use the bottom of a measuring cup. If you have excess parchment paper overhanging on the sides, you can fold the paper in. Place pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set atop of a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate and coconut oil until completely smooth.
- Remove mixture from the loaf pan
Tips for Making Strawberry Mounds Bars
- Allow the excess chocolate to drip off when coating with chocolate.
- Don’t leave freeze-dried strawberries out for too long as they will lose their crispness.
- I like to use a fork when coating the bars with chocolate to allow the excess to drip off.
- Line the plate or sheet pan you use to place the bars so they don’t stick to the surface.
Substitutions for Strawberry Mounds Bars
- Maple syrup: agave or honey
- Coconut butter: I’m really not sure but you might be able to swap in sweetened condensed coconut milk in place of the coconut butter AND maple syrup. It will probably be sweeter than my recipe though. Another possibility (although I haven’t tried it) is raw cashew butter.
- Chocolate chips: you could drizzle with chocolate instead of coating with chocolate for a lighter version.
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- 1⁄4 cup freeze-dried strawberries + more for garnish
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 7 Tablespoons coconut butter or coconut cream
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1⁄2 Tablespoon unrefined virgin coconut oil
- Line an 8.5 x 4.5 or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- Place a heaping 1⁄4 cup of freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and process until pulverized. Add coconut flakes, maple syrup, coconut butter, vanilla extract and salt. Pulse until mixture is well combined and sticky.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Press mixture firmly into a single layer. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup to make sure the mixture is well packed. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
- In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set atop a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir until smooth.
- Remove mixture from the loaf pan and cut into 12 bars. I like to cut in half lengthwise and then make 5 cuts crosswise, which will you give you 12 (2 x 1-inch) pieces. Gently submerge each bar into the melted chocolate letting excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and place on a plate or small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle immediately with freeze-dried strawberry pieces. You want to add these before the chocolate sets or they won't stick.
- Transfer bars to fridge to allow the chocolate to set, then serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a covered container lined with parchment paper.