Vegan Turtle Cookie Squares


This recipe for vegan turtle cookie squares was shared with us by Laura Theodore, the talented TV and radio personality behind the vegan cookbooks, Jazzy Vegetarian and Jazzy Vegetarian Classics.

Easy Vegan Turtle Cookie Squares Recipe - Buttery Pecan Crust, Dairy-Free Caramel Filling, and Pure Chocolate Topping

From Laura:

For years, my mom has been making a dairy-based version of these turtle cookie squares. Several years ago we decided to create a vegan version, which is as good as—or maybe even better than—the original recipe. Dripping with a rich chocolate topping on a crisp cookie and nut crust, this decadent cookie makes a fabulous Valentine’s day treat!

Jazzy Vegetarian Classics Cookbook - Vegan Twists on American Family FavoritesSpecial Diet Notes: Turtle Cookie Squares

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

For soy-free vegan turtle cookie squares, make sure to use a soy-free buttery spread (both Earth Balance and Melt have options) and allergen-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life.

For gluten-free vegan turtle cookie squares, we don’t have a tested option, but you can try your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend with binder included (such as xanthan gum). You will need a good binder in the blend as this recipe is made without eggs.

Easy Vegan Turtle Cookie Squares Recipe - Buttery Pecan Crust, Dairy-Free Caramel Filling, and Pure Chocolate Topping

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Turtle Cookie Squares
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 to 20 cookies
Pecan Crust
Caramel Filling
Chocolate Topping
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Pecan Crust
  1. Put buttery spread, brown sugar and flour in a blender or food processor and process until particles are fine, forming a loose dough. (This can also be done by hand in a mixing bowl.)
  2. Pour the dough into an ungreased 8x12-inch baking pan and press it into a very thin, even layer, using your hands. Arrange the pecan halves on top.
Caramel Filling
  1. Add buttery spread and brown sugar to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble. Pour the hot filling over the pecans and crust.
  2. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the pecans are slightly golden.
Chocolate Topping
  1. Put the pan on a wire rack and immediately pour the vegan chocolate chips over the pecans and filling. As the chips melt, spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the pecans and filling. (If the chocolate chips do not melt completely, put the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt.)
  2. Cool for 30 minutes and cut into 16 to 20 cookie squares. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for 4 days.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I know this is an old post, but hoping I’ll get a response anyway. I made these last year and they were amazing! I wanted to make them again but found that I’m out of any flour other than all-purpose. Can I substitute regular white flour for the whole wheat? Would I need to make any adjustments? Or would I be better off waiting to make this when I can get to the grocery store for the proper flour? Thanks!

    • Recipes never get old! We’re here daily, updating and adding, so you can count on old or new with Go Dairy Free 🙂
      Yes, you can definitely substitute all-purpose flour 1:1. Laura uses wheat flour for a heartier hit, but all-purpose is an even swap. They might taste just a touch less “hearty,” but I promise they will be delicious and still work!
      Happy Holidays Kristi!

Leave A Reply

Rate this recipe: