Copycat, Copycat

The trouble with recreating classic candies that will strike a chord with both nostalgic adults and sweets-seeking kids, is that I was never really ate many of those original concoctions in the first place.

After every Halloween conquest,

my sister and I had a very specific ritual, painstakingly lining up our plunder on the living room floor, making what we would later call a “candy parade.” Sweets were grouped by type and content, in order of preference, of course. Once that was all done, and we both had time to admire each other’s take, the swapping would begin. Down to the end of the line we would both bound, eager to pawn off our least favorite treats in return for something a bit more palatable. Pretty much anything with nuts was out for me, as I had trouble with the concept of crunchy bits inside anything else at the time, so that severely limited the number of varieties I ever tried, to say the least.

And if there was a particular bar or patty that contained coconut?

Well, you could just forget about it; Neither of us wanted anything to do with those distasteful nuggets, and would resort to trading with a less discriminating candy enthusiast, such as our mom or dad. Sure, they usually only had hard candies to barter, which fell very low on the scale of candy value, but anything was better than coconut.

Oh, how things change.

The problem, it turned out, wasn’t the coconut itself, but that nauseatingly over-sweetened stuff, sticky with corn syrup and chemical preservatives. So I’ve never had a classic Mounds Bar, and definitely no Almond Joy‘s have ever passed my lips, but they intrigue me enough that I set out to try making something similar. The sad two or three almonds in an Almond Joy confuse me to no end, and while I still think it would be more apt to call it a Coconut Joy, I decided to go with the flow, and make my own version, with cashews instead.

Definitely no perfect copycat recipe, but one inspired by the classic, this chocolate bar is a delicious treat in its own right.

Yield: Makees 24 - 48 Candy Bars

Cashew (Coconut) Joy

Cashew (Coconut) Joy

Inspired by Almond Joy candy bars, this vegan copy cat version uses cashews instead.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3 Tablespoons Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 8 Ounces (About 2 2/3 Cups) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped, Toasted Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Toasted Cashews
  • 12 Ounces Rice Milk Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar. Once smooth, switch over to a spatula, and stir in the shredded coconut and chopped cashews, until fully incorporated and no dry patches in the mixture remain.
  2. Transfer the mix into a lightly greased 8 x 8-inch square pan, and use the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass to press down and smooth out the top. Place the whole cashews at regular intervals in even lines down the pan, pressing them in gently. Move the pan in the freezer for at least 3 hours, until chilled and firm.
  3. When you’re ready to enrobe your bars, melt down your chosen chocolate in the microwave, stirring thoroughly at 30 second intervals, until smooth. Set out a silicone baking mat or piece of parchment paper, and go retrieve the frozen coconut centers.
  4. Slice into bars, and then carefully dip them into the chocolate. A few flakes of coconut may come off, but just fish them out of the pool of chocolate and continue. You may wish to store the pieces in the freezer until the moment that you’re ready to dip them, if them seem particularly fragile.
  5. Tap off the excess chocolate, and place the bars on your silicone baking mat or parchment paper, and let cool until set. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

41 thoughts on “Copycat, Copycat

  1. I am SO excited to try out this recipe! Like you, I never would have eaten this type of candy bar as a kid, but I absolutely love coconut and cashews now. Perfect timing for Halloween!

  2. Great post. My sister and I often did something very similar with our candy so I can relate. However we were very different in our habits. I would eat mine almost immediately, while she would save (or hoard in my opinion) hers until it reached the point of being stale. I love the visual of that bar cut in half. It’s so pretty, especially with the flakes of coconut underneath.

  3. I used to love almond joy back in my childhood days. On Halloween, I would always trade candy with my sister to get my hands on all her mounds bars and almond joys. Your cashew version looks incredible, I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Almond Joys are my favorite candy bar…and cashews are my favorite nut…you are an evil genius ;).

  5. A cashew joy! How is it that nobody ever thought of it before?

    I’ve noticed that lots of kids don’t like coconut. Coconut is a strong food and very allergenic. If you’re the least bit allergic it can cause tummy reactions. That could it explain it. Or maybe it’s the sort of icky wormy texture of it, which is the same reason why kids often don’t like rice.

    Anyway, more for us grownups.

  6. My heart just skipped a beat. Your blog is easily one of my favorite blogs – and I’m including non-food blogs in this claim, too.

  7. I grew up liking the mounds and almond joy- hated butterfingers! LOL… your version is undeniably better, though! Happy Halloween, and thanks for sharing your tricks for making the treats ;)

  8. I also hated any candies with nuts and coconut! Now I don’t mind the nuts so much, although I still steer clear of coconut! This is such a great idea, I love how pretty that picture is.

  9. Oh wow. You and I could have been the best of swapping buddies! Almond Joy was always my favorite. A Mahalo sits in my fridge as a I type this.

    I’m very excited about this recipe. Thanks!

  10. Oh wow! I was always into sweets (sadly I still am!). We don’t have Almond Joys here though. Only Bounty’s (which are just coconut and chocolate). These look absolutely amazing Hannah!!

  11. When I became a vegan and started a blog one of the first things I posted there was a recipe for vegan homemade bounty/almond joy. It was one of the few things I really missed. After that I sort of forgot about them…but now I would love to try your recipe as it sounds so specila. I love the idea of adding cashews.

  12. […] The trouble with “recreating” classic candies that will strike a chord with both nostalgic adults and sweets-seeking kids, is that I was never really ate many of those original concoctions in the first place. After every Halloween conquest, my sister and I had a very specific ritual, painstakingly lining up our plunder on the living room floor, making what we would later call a “candy parade” … [read more] […]

  13. I must admit that I love the overly sweetened coconut chocolate bar (in Canada it’s called a Bounty bar)! Your bar sounds amazing too though and looks just perfect. I love how you shaped them like little chocolate bars!

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