Vegan Star Crunch!

vegan star crunch

As a child, did you ever love a food so much that you would risk the wrath of your huge and terrifying older brother to sneak the last one?

The other day my husband and I were reminiscing about childhood junkfood favorites, and I remembered how much I desperately loved Little Debbie Star Crunches.  I had a sick obsession with these things.  This most likely caused me to block all thoughts of them from my memory after I went vegan. Once my memory was triggered, though, I became dead set on the idea of making them myself.  I needed a way to once again enjoy the taste/texture of the individually wrapped treats that I used to stash everywhere: lunchbox, pocket, fridge, freezer, bookbag, dresser drawer.  It was kinda out of control.

I loved them primarily because of their gooey and crispy and hard to explain texture… which oddly enough gave them most of their flavor.  I think sans the strange texture of a Star Crunch, we would be left with pretty much just  “sweet”.

To recreate these things I needed a great filler, because the crispy rice and chocolate part is easy.  The answer was the Medjool date!  Dates are absolutely magical… I am super happy to have discovered the many uses of them.

These cookies are definitely close enough to an actual Star Crunch to satisfy my craving… without the long list of creepy ingredients and eternal shelf life.

Vegan Star Crunch

makes about 8


  • 7 medjool dates
  • some confectioners sugar for dusting
  • 2 cups of vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp non dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp agave or brown rice syrup (optional)
  • about 2 cups crispy rice cereal- I used “Koala Crisp” for mine


De-pit dates and mix in food processor until smooth.  Grab sections of pureed dates and roll into small balls, about an inch and a half across. Dust lightly with confectioners sugar if they stick to your hand.  This should make about 8 balls.

vegan star crunch base

Next, cover a plate with crispy rice cereal.  Place one disk of date into the cereal and cover thoroughly with crispy rice while simultaneously flattening with you palm.  You’ll probably crush a few crispies… more if you press too hard.

vegan star crunch- process

Once they are flattened and covered with crispy rice they should look like this:

vegan star crunch

They will be pretty floppy in this stage, so be careful handling them. Let these rest a bit while you make your chocolate coating.

Using a double boiler combine chocolate, agave and non-dairy milk and stir over medium low heat until smooth.  Now, this is the tricky (or maybe I mean messy) part: the goal here is to cover the cookies with a thin layer of chocolate- enough to coat well.  I went a little overboard with mine, and I really wish I hadn’t.  I applied mine by simply using a butter knife and spreading a thin layer on the bottom, and then flipping it over in my hand and spreading a thicker layer on the top.

Once pretty well covered, just place the star crunch on wax paper, wire rack or a silicon mat and then stick in fridge until firm.

vegan star crunch

As usual… if you can’t wait that long, a quick trip in the freezer should firm them up nicely too.  These will not get solid like a candy bar– they will remain just a tad softer once they hit room temperature.

Store in cool place and keep out of the sun!  They could get melty. :)

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21 Responses to Vegan Star Crunch!

  1. Britt says:

    Anyone know what the calories would be in these?

  2. omg, I loved these as a kid and have totally forgotten about them until now. What a fantastic idea for a snack :)

  3. Sean says:

    OMG! Star Crunch! ….we have that sick childhood obsession in common. I’m making these TODAY.

  4. Ari Anderson says:

    OH MY! I loveddddddddd these things as a kid though I rarely got to eat them. I remember them being my favorite treat in kindergarten! :) Thanks so much! I’ve never found a suitable gluten-free, refined sugar-free recipe for them! Thank you!!!!

  5. […] Curious cookies with an unexpected crunch […]

  6. Nicole says:

    These are some really unusual cookies. I’ve never heard of Star Crunch, but you’ve definitely got me interested in giving them a try sometime.

  7. Bobby says:

    Im making these tonight with the gf….ill let you know how they turn out, should be delicious!

  8. Mary says:

    How fun! And cute! I’ve never had a Star Crunch. We were always too poor to buy brand name snacks–I was the kid with an apple or half a can of baked beans or something random–but I coveted the other kids’ Little Debbie. Now I think it was kind of a blessing, because I’ll never miss or crave these things. My few run-ins with the individually packaged oatmeal creme pie were memorable; that stuff is dangerous!

    Good job using dates instead of…whatever Little Debbie uses. Do we even want to know?

  9. Melisser says:

    Ooh child, I want these!

  10. Claryn says:

    Haha, I am the same way — when it comes to latching onto foods to veganize, I can’t stop thinking about them until I’ve succeeded. I, too, had ravenous older brothers, and while I am delighted to stuff them full of baked goodies when they visit, I am just as happy to not have to share a kitchen with them anymore. ;)

  11. Tiffany says:

    Oh my goodness. I have been missing Star Crunches for the longest time now and even tried my hand at making some vegan ones once, with pathetic results, I must say! I think part of it was trying to duplicate the gooey center, as well as incorporating what was apparently a cookie in the center (I never detected the presence of the cookie in the real-deal treat, but apparently it did exist). Anyway, your version sounds fabulous so I’ll be trying it soon! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hannah says:

    I’ve never heard of Star Crunches before, but I must say your version sounds divine! I also find it amusing, as an Australian, that this “Koala Crisp” that I had to google is an American invention :P

  13. Becky says:

    Ohman, I used to BEG my folks to buy these and they never would. The trades I made in elementary school to get my hands on even half a star crunch were pretty shameful. Definitely want to make these!!

  14. jenipher says:

    Wow! These look so stellar!

  15. Ricki says:

    I adore medjool dates, though I’ve never heard of Star Crunches! Who cares–these cookies look spectacular. I know I’d love them–worth sneaking, for sure! ;)

  16. Wendi says:

    These look great…not sure where to get those dates though!

    • allyson says:

      ahh… depending on where you live, the dates may or may not be hard to find. I live in Ohio (USA) in a pretty small town. I am able to go to my local Kroger/Meijer (typical grocery stores) and pick up a carton of them. They are usually hanging out in the produce section rather than in the aisles with the other kinds of dried fruits such as raisins. Good luck on your search!

  17. KD says:

    These look awesome! I can’t wait until my next “free day” to try these puppies out! Mmmmm!

  18. Christy says:

    Hello yumminess! And super easy to adjust for no refined sugar. Love it!

  19. […] yourself too: ht… ManifestVegan: Vegan Star Crunches! Make 'em yourself too: http://www.manifestvegan.com/2010/03/vegan-star-crunch/ March 5th 2010 @ 7:47 pm from […]