macadamia caramel clusters dessert candy recipe

Macadamia Caramel Clusters

We have a big all star game tomorrow, though unfortunately I will be missing it. One of my parents was hospitalized this week so I am flying back to California for a weekend visit.

As I tucked my older son into bed tonight he said, “I want extra snuggles since I won’t see you until Sunday.” He was very disappointed that I would be missing his game and couldn’t completely understand how a hospital visit could take priority over his tournament. I did pack a couple of batches of Almond Butter Blondies for his team (to keep them energized during the game) and am hoping my husband will remember to take them along tomorrow.

I also made these macadamia caramel clusters for my husband. I experimented with them earlier this week and he just about ate the entire test batch –I took that as a sign that they were good enough to share with all of you. I hope you like them as much as he does.

Macadamia Caramel Clusters
  1. Combine almond butter and agave in a medium saucepan over low heat
  2. Stir in vanilla and salt, then add macadamia nuts
  3. Allow mixture to cool a few minutes
  4. Drop mixture by the tablespoonful onto a parchment paper lined dish
  5. Place dish in freezer for 10 minutes
  6. Melt chocolate in a medium saucepan over lowest heat possible, stirring continuously to avoid scorching
  7. Remove dish from freezer and drop chocolate over each caramel cluster, spreading gently to coat
  8. Store macadamia caramel clusters in freezer
  9. Remove from freezer just before serving (if left out for long they become quite messy)

My husband said these remind him of my candy bars –though says these are better. What do you think? Macadamia Caramel Clusters or Candy Bars? What’ll it be?


  1. Marilyn says

    I appreciate that recipes are shown for your Paleo book as shown on Amazon… so many cookbooks on Amazon show first and last pages and maybe the index, but no recipes… it’s very helpful to see recipes and get a feel for whether or not they fit our family’s tastes… Thank you.

  2. Kelli Anderson says

    I would like to take these to a work cookout, could I add coconut to the chocolate mixture to keep the ‘messy’ factor to a minimum? or would I mess up the whole thing?

  3. Lindsie M. says

    Thank you so much for this yummy recipe! My family is gluten, soy and casein free so this caramel treat was SO perfect and my little girl loves caramel and said this was AMAZING!

  4. Laurie Goforth says

    I made these yesterday and they are delicious! Calculated nutritional information on My Fitness Pal using 15 servings:

    232 Calories; 16 gm. fat; 23 gm. carbs; 18 gm. sugar.

  5. Beth says

    I made these with pecans! I am a Texan afterall. They are delicious.

    I also cut back on the vanilla. Is 1 tablespoon a typo? because that seemed like a too much

  6. Mary Lou Ridler says

    I can’t have these, (fodmap & Ibs), so I made them for my husband to eat them for me. Sunday is his cheat day, from working out and eating clean. He is being quiet the obedient husband, and indulging with abandon. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. JoBeth Fruechtnicht says

    Elana, thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I can’t tell you how much of a blessing they are to me and my family. My girls and I both have Celiac Disease and two of my aunts had MS (they both passed from other conditions). Your story is near and dear to my hear.

    I do have a question about this recipe: do you know if the honey or agave nectar can be substituted with maple syrup?

    Thank you,


  8. Jennifer says


    I am on the hunt for a good roasted almond butter. Do you have a go to brand or do you make your own? If you make your own, how do you do it? Thank you so much. I am new to the gluten free lifestyle but feel so much better already. I enjoy following your blog!


  9. Kat says

    Hi Elana

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried to do exactly as written but for some reason the finished thingys taste almost rancid or at least very oily! Do you have any idea why this may be? I will admit that I had to use a tiny bit of oil while making the almond butter – I used toasted sesame oil. But I did taste the agave/almond butter mass and it didn’t have that same oily taste. I really don’t know what went wrong and I so want to make these right. Thanks for any input you may have for me and thanks also for a terrific and very inspiring site!

  10. says

    I must be the mess up of this recipe. I tried to make these yesterday and the liquid didnt “set” in the freezer. They just became sticky. Any ideas?

  11. Monique says

    I found a fair trade organic pure chocolate you can melt down and add honey to make these so you don’t need to have any sugar.

  12. CB says

    These were absolutely amazing. So good to know that I can’t have treats every once in a while without it spiking my insulin too much!!!

  13. Kenna says

    These are wonderful! It has been 7 months since I have had anything that resembled candy! I have a ton of food allergies and I figured caramel was out forever…but you did it!!
    I used a mini cupcake pan and liners. I had to refrain from eating the liner with all of the delicious goo on the bottom of it. Yummmmyy. Thanks for giving me a taste of the sweet side again!

  14. Bri says

    These are so, SO good!! :) Mixed in a handful of dried cranberries in one batch and it turned out great. Love your site and your cookbook!

  15. Mara says

    These are amazing! After they set, I cut them into strips and stored them in the freezer. They became much firmer and gave them a longer life once pulled out of the freezer to be served. Thanks!

  16. Jodi says

    A friend brought these to work for me to try. They are so good that I didn’t believe they were low glycemic. I took the leap and ate one anyway. They really are low glycemic! One of the best deserts I’ve ever tried. I’m actually going to make them myself and pass the recipe to others. Thank you!

  17. says


    Thanks so much for being in touch about this, I know we will get it!

    Pan size makes all the difference and could explain why your bread was a flat little focaccia type thing.

    Thanks Again,

  18. says


    I have the exact same problem with this recipe! By the way, any luck with the bread recipe? I also figured out in my detective work that it may have been too flat due to using a larger pan size than recommended in the recipe… what do you think?


  19. says

    One problem with these is how I can stop myself from eating the whole tray. Absolutely delicious and mine looked just like your picture which doesn’t always happen with recipes…so great. How I love agave, it changed my world when I stumbled upon it and I’m so happy to have found recipes that rely on it.

  20. michelle says

    Ok, an acquaintance just fed me some of these and they are SO GOOD!!! I came home and googled vegan+caramel+agave and this is what I found. If this is your own personal recipe…nice work!

  21. says

    Chrissy -Thanks for checking back in and letting us know your results. I use parchment paper and they don’t stick too badly. I’m so glad you liked ’em.

    Wendy -Cashew butter sounds delicious! You are very welcome.

    • Toni says

      Perhaps one could lightly grease the parchment paper with c. oil to preventsticking. Warning: since it will be refrigerated, don’t use too much oil as the oil will harden. Thx, Elana, you have a great site & I enjoy your books.

  22. Wendy says

    I made these with cashew butter instead of almond butter and they tasted great! Thanks for another great recipe.

  23. Chrissy says

    Ok… these are absolutely WONDERFUL! I made my “turtles” a few minutes ago… already ate one… (he was trying to get away…)! These taste like any high-quality chocolate store treat and it took me like 10 minutes to get them into the freezer to cool! When I make them again I will not use wax paper… they kinda stick and peel off onto the bottoms. Maybe that release foil or parchment would work better? I dont know… but I will certainly ingest a little wax paper to eat these things! I am taking two to my mom tonight! I have a photo, but can’t figure out how to send it to you!

  24. says

    Kevin -Thanks

    Rivka -Thanks for your kind words, and yes, you can post my recipes (with appropriate credits) on your blog. Thanks so much!

    Eve -It is always this fantastic; though often it is fantastic leftovers. We do leftovers quite a lot around here with a big fresh bunch of greens from our garden.

    Kathy -This is indeed a frequently asked question from my readers. The answer to this question and many others can be found on my FAQs page. Best wishes to you, your family and your father.

    Chrissy -Courtney, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through this blog introduced me to that company and their products sound amazing. Let me know how your turtles turn out.

  25. Chrissy says

    These look amazing! I am picturing adjusting the recipe to use pecans to make a turtle-like concoction! Have you ever used Living Tree Community foods? Their website has some really great looking stuff… one is cashew/macadamia nut butter. That sounds dreamy!

  26. Kathy Brunette says

    Elana: I wonder if you can email me your answer to this, rather than blog, as I am also in the midst of a parental illness/death in SoCal and may forget to look at your site.

    I love your recipes and wonder if you can provide the nutritional values/breakdown per servings or cumulative values and I can always break them down? We are mostly focused on no sodium issues, and I am beginning to incorporate gluten-free ingredients.

    Please advise.

    Prayer to your family and parents. [My Dad is 87 w/end-stage Alzheimer’s. We are blessed to have 8 living siblings to share the coordination of healthcare; my eldest sister is on a plane from Denver as I write this].

  27. Eve says

    I love your recipes. The first recipe I made was the granola recipe which is now a family favorite. This one looks so good; I’m going to make it today. I eat bread like it’s going out of style and I still love all your recipes. Sometime I’d like to see a “day in the life of” menu posting. I’m curious about what you eat on a regular basis – is it always this fantastic??

  28. Rivkah Cohen says

    I like your recipes and your site in general has awesome stuff.
    I cook gluten free as well as make breads to sell to my customers.I can’t wait to make the Macadamia Caramel Clusters you have posted. Sounds so yummy!
    I’d like to post your recipes,etc to my blogs at & (with your permission) to share your fantastic stuff with others.I will be certain to give you full credit!

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