$0.50 And 35 Minute Cardamom Squares – Gluten & Refined Sugar Free!

$0.50 And 35 Minute Cardamom Squares – Gluten & Refined Sugar Free!

Haven’t heard of cardamom? After one bite of these delicious, no-bake, gluten & refined sugar free, and healthy (did I mention delicious?!) cardamom squares, your spice cabinet won’t be seen without it. And for $5 for an entire loaf pan, neither will your fridge.

Cardamom Squares Recipe

$0.50 and 35 Minute Cardamom Squares

Delicious, no-bake, gluten & refined sugar free, and healthy (did I mention delicious?!) cardamom squares!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Freezing Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert, healthy dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cardamom squares, gluten free, no bake, refined sugar free, vegan
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 200kcal
Author: apartmentchefnick
Cost: $5


  • Loaf pan (~4.5" by 8.5" – any sized pan will do, just increase the ingredients!)
  • Parchment paper
  • Food processor
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon or spatula



  • 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup peanuts (or 1/2 cup homemade peanut butter)
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins (can substitute dried cranberries or regular raisins)
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp salt (optional – depends on whether nuts are already salted)


  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Toppings (Optional)

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flaky salt


  • Line the loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Add chickpeas into the food processor. Pulse until they combine to form small clumps (~1 min). Scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Move puréed chickpeas in the small bowl. Add peanuts to the food processor. Pulse until peanuts release their oil and create peanut butter (1-2 min). Scrape down the sides as needed. (Skip this step if using peanut butter).
  • Add the puréed chickpeas, ground cardamom, and salt to peanut butter in the food processor. Pulse until evenly combined (~30 seconds).
  • Add raisins to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse to barely mix/combine (~15 seconds).
  • Spoon out mixture into the loaf pan. Press down with the back of the spoon until the mixture is even and flat. Set aside loaf pan.
  • In the small bowl, add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Mix using a spoon until all cocoa powder is combined.
  • Pour chocolate sauce into the loaf pan on top of the chickpea-cardamom mixture. Spread into corners using the back of a spoon.
  • Decorate with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or whatever else you’re feeling!
  • Put in the freezer for 20 minutes for the chocolate icing to harden.
  • Remove from freezer, pull on edges of the parchment paper to remove the food from the pan and slice up into the size/shape of your choice.
  • Enjoy!


If there are any leftovers, store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
healthy cardamom squares
Giving you the best bite!


Step 2-5 – There is nothing stopping you from throwing all the filling ingredients in the food processor and blending it. It will still be great. With these couple small additional steps, it can be even better!

I tried blending the peanuts and the chickpeas together at the same time and did not get as consistent of a mix. It also took way longer to blend both than it did to blend each individually. Separating this into two steps actually decreased my cooking time.

Step 6 – The pictures below shows triple the recipe. I had 40+ hungry yogis to feed and one batch was not going to be enough!

This picture shows the process of filling up the pan. Use the back of the spoon/spatula to compress:

filling cardamom square pan.jpg
Packing down the dough

This picture is an example of how your filling should look at the end of Step 6. Roughly level it and then use the chocolate icing to fill in any uneven spots:

Squares ready for icing.jpg
Cardamom square dough ready for icing

Step 7 – The sauce should be spreadable. If your maple syrup and/or chocolate oil is chilled, mix all the ingredients together and then microwave on defrost for about 30 seconds. It should look similar to this once mixed:

Healthy Chocolate icing
Mixed healthy chocolate icing


  • 15oz can of chickpeas ~ $1
  • 1 cup of peanuts ~ $0.75
  • 2 TBSP of golden raisins ~ $0.50
  • 1 TBSP of ground cardamom ~ $0.50
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder ~ $0.25
  • 2 TBSP of pure maple syrup ~ $0.50
  • 2 TBSP of coconut oil ~ $0.50
  • Toppings (sliced almonds, shredded coconut, etc) ~ $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp of salt – negligible

Total Cost per 4.5″ x 8.5″ loaf pan ~ $5

Cost per serving (~10 servings) ~ $0.50


If you can make something more delicious for $0.50 a serving, you need to let me know! Unless, of course, it’s a $0.13 home-roasted, organic, fair trade espresso. Touche.

But actually, with all pure, organic-whenever-possible ingredients, homemade meals/desserts can be healthy, delicious and inexpensive! Time to get cooking and tell your friends!

If you’re looking for other delicious, refined sugar free healthy desserts, check these out:

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

Cardamom Squares
Looks like dessert at your next dinner party!

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