« Strawberry Sorbet

Paleo Bread »

Chocolate Prune Bars

chocolate prune bars cake gluten-free recipe

Decadent yet healthy Chocolate Prune Bars full of phytonutrients.

Because I’ve been getting quite a lot of requests lately for healthy dessert recipes and because I had a pound of organic prunes that needed to be used up, I decided I would develop a gluten free prune cake recipe.

After a string of successful and not so successful prune cake experiments, I had a different, yet satisfactory result: Chocolate Prune Bars.  All in all these are basically fudgey prune brownies.  Whatever they’re called, I like ‘em.

In fact, as I drove home from a lunch in Denver this afternoon, I was thinking about eating one of these little Paleo/primal friendly treats.  Prunes or no prunes, a chocolate dessert recipe is a chocolate dessert recipe, and when it’s an easy dessert recipe that tastes good too?  Well there’s nothing better than that!  I walked in the door grabbed a chocolate prune bar and it was as good as I had recalled.

So here I am sharing it with you all. And don’t be afraid of prunes, they’re just another dried fruit, and are actually the dried version of European plums.

Chocolate Prune Bars


  1. Place prunes and apple juice in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Gently simmer for 10-15 minutes until just a little apple juice remains and prunes are plump
  3. Meanwhile, pulse eggs, oil, vanilla and stevia in a food processor
  4. Pulse in coconut sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda
  5. Remove prune mixture from heat and place in food processor, then pulse until combined
  6. Pulse in chocolate chips (they may melt a bit due to prune mixture)
  7.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  8. Pour mixture into baking dish
  9. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes
  10. Cool and serve

If you want to make this dessert into a chocolate prune cake, bake it up in a 9 inch cake pan, which should work just fine.  I tried this in one of my test batches, though can’t recall how long I baked it for so if you do so please leave a comment for all of us with your baking time.

Now, a brief commentary on the ingredients in this recipe.  You will notice that rather than agave, I have chosen coconut sugar as the sweetener for this recipe (if you do want to make it with agave, feel free, however I’m not sure how much it would need, or if it would actually work as I haven’t tried it myself).  I also used coconut oil (of which I am a huge fan) rather than my staple grapeseed oil (feel free to experiment with your oil of choice).

Finally, a little bit about prunes, or “dried plums” as they are often now referred to.  Prunes are a very tasty and healthy food, full of unique phytonutrient antioxidants, potassium and soluble fiber.  So don’t be shy, grab yourself some prunes, or try to hide them in this deliciously chocolatey dessert and fool your children, big and small.

More healthy recipes with prunes:
-Chocolate Prune Truffles
-Fruit Pudding
-Roasted Chicken with Olives and Prunes

What are your feelings when it comes to prunes?  Like? Dislike? Or don’t care?  Leave a comment below with your prune history.

posted on August 26, 2011, 49 comments

  1. Christine @ Nourish the Budding Lotus @ buddinglotusbody.com/nourish

    I love prunes! And I am excited to try out this recipe. It looks delicious, and quite simple to put together! Thanks!

    • Erin L.

      Can we use more coconut sugar instead of adding the stevia? I ask because my husband can only have coconut sugar.
      Also do we have to use Celtic sea salt or can we use other sea salts?

  2. Susan M.

    At what stage do you add the palm sugar? When you combine the eggs, oil, vanilla, and stevia in the food processor? Thanks, Elana..

  3. … love ‘em – remind me of my Mumsey who would put them in saucepan, add thin slices of lemon and then cover with water about an inch above and simmer till plump.

  4. Ashley

    We (including all of our kids) love prunes. Can not wait to try! I’ve been wanting to try palm sugar just forget to look every time I go to whole foods.

  5. Anne Fischer Silva @ anewleafnutrition.net

    So glad to see you using coconut oil and coconut sugar instead of agave and grape seed oil! I would love to see more recipes like this! Thanks, Elana!

  6. Cheryl

    This recipe sounds wonderful and I have a carton of prunes just taunting me every time I open the pantry door.
    On the stevia, is it liquid or powder?
    Thanks for your wonderful website.

  7. Karen

    For those of us who react to stevia (horrible reaction), how much sugar (more palm sugar?) would we use? I am fine with agave, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar… Stevia makes me viciously ill.

  8. Deliciously Organic @ deliciouslyorganic.net

    Oh, wow. These look really good. Can’t wait to try them!

  9. Dianne

    The best dessert I ever ate was in Russia, consisting of two or three nut meringue layers, filled with a prune filling, and served with vanilla sauce and chocolate sauce. Wish I could replicate it. Prunes make excellent desserts!

  10. Sonshinejudi

    This sounds great…I was just thinking about using prunes instead of dates in a recipe such as this when i spied this recipe!! I really want a prune spice cake recipe if you can make one…thanks and God bless you Elana.

  11. Karen Serkland @ none

    I’ll try these soon. They look delicious and I just read an article about a study done using prunes on http://www.naturecity.com/blog titled “Daily Consumption of Prunes May Help Improve Bone Health.”

    Thank you, Elana, for another great idea.

  12. The Newlywed Chefs @ thenewlywedchefs.com

    I’ve never been the biggest fan of prunes, but these look too good to pass up! Thanks for the recipe.

  13. margaret bobb @ m-bobb.artistwebsites.com

    Hi Elana!

    First, let me say that your website has been a Godsend! I don’t usually comment on blogs, but seeing as you live “just down the road” from me, you seem almost like a neighbor. I live in Longmont. Anyway, I love your blog, and I’m trying to go Paleo, or an specific carbohydrate diet version thereof… As for prunes, I LOVE prunes. I used to snack on them, and I cannot remember why I stopped. These bars look fabulous, and I will put them in my save file. Thanks!

  14. jillian

    i use nu naturals liquid stevia… is this powdered or liquid and does it matter? thanks

  15. Frieda

    Thanks for another great recipe, Elana. I’ve been looking for some new school lunch box treats. I’ll try this one for sure. I love prunes. They always make me think of my Grandma and the wonderful prune cake she made.

  16. Samantha Moore

    Got these in the oven right now.

  17. Samantha Moore

    Diagnosis: delicious!

  18. Erica Dinner

    Msde these on Saturday, very yummy

  19. sarah

    They are delicious. I Made a few changes because I didn’t have certain ingredients and they came out great. Instead of coconut oil I used grapeseed oil, for the stevia I used agave, and for the coconut sugar I used unrefined cane sugar.

  20. carol

    please help me to find ways to make these things w/out eggs, both my son and I recently found out we have to avoid them, at least for a while. Are there substitutes.
    This is so difficult as they have played a MAJOR role in our diets.

    regards, Carol

  21. J

    This recipe is so good! The texture when cold reminds me a lot of chocolate mousse cake. Yum!

  22. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com @ kirantarun.com/food

    Mmmm.. I am just drooling over this simple yet healthy bars. I love the combination of prunes and chocolate. So delish!

  23. laura west kong @ laurawestkong.com/gff

    Yum! I’ve been working on a gluten-free, refined-sugar free, vegan chocolate-prune brownie recently. Think it’s time to whip up another round in the kitchen. Yours looks heavenly!

  24. Donna Chernow @ mytreatlife.com

    They look great! Gotta try them out soon… Just made a batch of brownies myself:-)

  25. these looks soooo yummy! I would love to taste one now.
    greetings from rainy germany, geisslein

  26. Susan @ GlutenlessDining @ glutenlessdining.com

    Hello, breakfast! When my colleagues ask me why I am having a brownie for breakfast, I will say “ah-hem.. this is a super-healthy prune bar.” ;)

  27. Holy cow! These are amazing!!! What a treat on a Friday evening. Only problem, I can’t just eat one.

  28. Andi

    My daughter got into the prunes (and my husband into the chocolate chips) so I had to improvise with this recipe! Since I did not have enough prunes I substituted dried cherries (roughly 1/2 and 1/2 prunes and cherries). They were AMAZING! Fortunately I ended up having enough chocolate chips so that wasn’t a problem. I would just like to say that the consistency of these is like a firm pudding-like brownie. Absolutely fabulous! Thanks Elana!!

  29. Top it with coconut whip cream….a can of organic, unsweetened coconut milk. Don’t mix the water from the can with the milk, put in fridge to seperate or drain the liquid off. Just a dollop will do!

  30. Dawn

    Very nice texture. I would call them “fruity brownies”. Unfortunately, they didn’t pass the picky kid test, but I enjoyed them and shared the link with my Facebook friends. One more comment- I wish you had more recipes without almond (or other nut) flour, or offer a gf substitution. Thanks! Great photos, too!

  31. nathalie

    Blehhhh, prunes! :s
    Yummm, chocolate prune bars :]

  32. Amy

    I told my kids these were called “Prownies” and it worked,they totally love them too. Hooray for a healthy desert option. My next goal is to make them Vegan.

  33. Anja

    Hello Elana,

    I have been browsing through your pages full of information and yummi recipies since several month now. Today I had the urge for chocolate brownies. Following a wheat free diet I was glad to find these super tasty treats. I love your web page and recommend it to every one looking for healthy food ideas. Please never stop :)

  34. Marsha

    Thank you Elana! I made this tonight for my constipated daughter :)
    with a few substitutions – no liquid Stevia, replaced coconut sugar with Natvia (powdered stevia) and replaced choc chips with finely chopped Green & Blacks 85% dark chocolate.
    Turned out great!!

  35. Mary Simonson

    I love prunes. Can’t wait to try these recipes, especially the chocolate bars.

  36. Anna C.

    I made these with prunes and they were great. Made them again with figs instead – different, but also wonderful.

  37. Jess

    How many prunes are in a cup?

  38. Kirsten

    Hi Elena,

    I have made your guilt free prune chocolate brownies twice now and they are delicious, thank you. However both times the cake has sunk considerably upon being removed from the oven. Any idea what I might be doing wrong? They have been cooked in an aga. Kirsten

  39. Doneva Galina @ cakefully.wordpress.com

    Just oe thing – are these fresh prunes or dried ones? Thanks!

  40. savannah

    is it necessary to add the sugar at all?

  41. Helen

    These are so delicious, thank you for the amazing recipe!

Leave a Reply

Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top