Chocolate Caramel Marshmallow Bars {Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free}

chocolate caramel marshmallow bars

The following is a guest post written by one of new favorite bloggers, Suzanne Perazzini of Strands of My Life. Suzanne lives a life many of us would envy. She and her family live in New Zealand, but she is a world traveler. Her recipes are crafted with love, always beautifully photographed, and surprisingly simple for looking so lovely. Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing!

This recipe consists of three of the favorite sweet foods of many people – marshmallow, caramel and chocolate cake. I have layered them to create a visual feast as well as a delight for the palate.

All three layers are gluten, grain, dairy, nut and refined sugar-free. It is easy enough today to find grain-free sweet treats but many of them are based on large quantities of nuts in the form of flour or meal. A lot of people don’t tolerate nuts well so this treat is also for them.

Chocolate Caramel Marshmallow Bars

The Players

For the base:

For the caramel:

For the marshmallow:

The How To

For the base:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

2. Grease a 17.5 x 27.5cm/7” x 11” baking tin then line it with 2 rectangular pieces of greaseproof paper. This is so you can lift the bars out of the tin when it has cooked, so overlap the pieces and leave 5cm at either side which will be your ‘handles’.

3. Chop chocolate into the top of a double boiler and add the coconut oil.

4. Place over simmering water and melt. Add the vanilla and remove from the heat then quickly stir the egg yolks into the chocolate.

5. Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff but not dry.

6. Beat in the stevia a little at a time until stiff peaks form.

7. Stir 2-3 tbsp of meringue into the chocolate then gradually fold the chocolate into the meringue.

8. Turn into the baking tin and bake for 30 mins.

9. Remove from the oven and let stand until cooled.

For the caramel:

1. Dissolve the gelatin in a little very hot water.

2. Place the oil and honey in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

3. Boil until it reaches the soft ball stage. (Drop a little into a glass of cold water and see if it forms a ball of set caramel).

4. Remove immediately from the heat.

5. Add the cream slowly so it doesn’t splatter.

6. Beat until the caramel is smooth.

7. Add the dissolved gelatin and beat again to incorporate it.

8. Place in the fridge to cool then pour over the base.

9. Place in the fridge to set.

For the marshmallow:

1. Place the gelatin with 1/2 cup of the water (heated) in a bowl and stir to dissolve.

2. Pour the other 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan with the other ingredients.

3. Bring the mixture to the boil and continue to boil until it reaches 240°F/115°C.

4. Remove from the heat.

5. Using egg beaters or a stand mixer, pour the boiled mixture into the bowl containing the gelatin and beat the mixture until it becomes thick (this takes a while).

6. Turn off the mixer and pour or spoon the marshmallow onto the set caramel.

7. Smooth out the top and set in the fridge.

8. Once set, cut into squares with a sharp knife which has been dipped in boiling water. Re-dip it often so the marshmallow doesn’t stick.

Meet Suzanne

chocolate caramel marshmallow barsI am Suzanne Perazzini – the writer, recipe developer and photographer of the blog, Strands of My Life.

Cooking and taking photographs is an escape into a private world of sensory perception and creation.

I live with my husband and son in New Zealand in a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I am a published author, an incorrigible traveller and lover of all things beautiful. Strands of My Life is a blog about my food journey towards great health.


  1. says

    As soon as I saw this post, I was so excited to make these bars! I had everything the recipe called for in my pantry/fridge, and I set away to get started. The only part of this recipe that worked was the chocolate layer. The caramel never thickened (despite using a candy thermometer and gelatin), and the “marshmallow” topping wasn’t even usable. It tasted good, but became so thick and stretchy in my mixer. It never fluffed up like marshmallows I have made in the past. This recipe says to add the gelatin and all into the pot to cook; the recipe I use dissolves the gelatin separately and incorporates it all when the honey/water is transferred to the mixer. What I was left with today was a creamy colored blob of nothing that I could use for anything. Could you troubleshoot here?

    • says

      Lindsey, I am very sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. As you can see in the photo, it worked for me. In fact, I have made both the caramel and marshmallow several times in different dishes. The caramel will thicken a bit on the stove and then set completely in the fridge because of the gelatin. I am not sure why your marshmallow didn’t work. I love marshmallow and it is one of my favourite recipes. This is another recipe I made with the marshmallow and as you can see in the photo, it is really high and very set. Again I am really sorry it didn’t work for you.

      • says

        In the Urban Poser marshamallow recipe, she does not add the gelatin to the saucepan. She keeps it in the mixing bowl and adds the hot water/honey mixture to it after the hot water/honey has reached soft ball stage. In your recipe above, you say to add everything, including the gelatin, to the sauce pan for heating. In your linked Chocolate Marshmallow Slice recipe, you follow UP’s recipe exactly. This recipe differs.

        • says

          I have made Urban Poser’s marshmallows many times, all successfully. I was confused with this recipe because all the ingredients/measurements were the same, but the process differed. Perhaps the gelatin should not be boiled with the water/honey.

          • says

            I have tried it both ways and both work. The gelatin needs to be dissolved and it does so in the honey/water mixture. Its purpose is the set the marshmallow which it does in either case. It doesn’t seem to interfer with it reaching the soft ball stage. I used to make a marshmallow recipe with sugar which had them all in together too. I know I have made this several times including this past weekend for the photo shoot but you have me wondering why yours didin’t work. I will try again this weekend and see if any potential issues arise as I do it.

  2. susie says

    these look amazing! can’t wait to try these for a special occasion! wondering if I can substitute raw honey or maple syrup for the stevia??

    • says

      Hi Julia, I would never have believed it was possible to make such sweet treats before I did my research. We get so used to traditional baked goods but there are so many other ways to bake.

  3. says

    Woah! I would definitely love to try this! I love chocolate as much as the next girl but finding healthy recipes to do with it feels just awesome every single time! Thanks for this!

    • says

      I have plenty of recipes in my cookbook and on my blog which are grain, dairy, nut and refined sugar-free. I don’t believe we have to do without treats just because we have food intolerances or preferences.

  4. Nicole says

    The Caramel ingredients call for coconut milk but the instructions say to add “cream”. Do you just use the coconut cream at the top of the can or a whole cup of coconut milk?

    • says

      Good question, Nicole. I always let my coconut rest in the fridge so the cream rises and thickens and then scoop out the thickest part at the top to make up the cupful. You might have to add a little of the thinner liquid as well if necessary to make up the cup. I hope that helps.

  5. Analynn says

    Where did you find these magic chocolate chips that contain no nuts, gluten, or SUGAR? They don’t exist!

    • says

      There’s a link to them in the recipe. They are dairy-free, soy-free, and refined sugar free. Obviously, there’s still sugar in them since it’s candy, but it’s not refined sugar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>