This Christmas Rocky Road is the ultimate holiday treat with chocolate, dried cranberries, roasted almonds, and marshmallows! And if that's not enough "Christmas-in-a-bite", I also added subtle gingerbread spicing and pomegranate seeds for an extra punch of festivity!
This recipe is no-bake and made on the stove, comes together in 25 minutes, and is gluten-free and dairy-free! It's the perfect complement to a plate full of Christmas cookies and a special treat for adults and children. Look out Santa, we have something extra special for you this year!
While the origin of Rocky Road is heavily debated, one thing never changes: it's a fun and tasty dessert recipe to add cheer to any event! Chocolate, nuts, marshmallows, and other fun add-ins stirred together and cooled into a chocolate candy cannot go wrong.
In this version, I mixed gingerbread spices, marshmallows, chocolate, almonds, and cranberries. Then I generously topped it with pomegranate seeds, the crown jewels of winter, and let it cool in the refrigerator.
And let me tell you, this is one perfect candy. I mean it is the candy above all candies. At first bite you get all the chocolate-y goodness, then watch your taste testers as their eyes light up when juicy pomegranate seeds burst and add their rich juices to the mix.
As a finale, the supremely subtle but oh-so-important aftertaste of gingerbread spices with chocolate is absolutely the experience of the entire Christmas Holiday in one bite!
Don't believe me? Read on and make this easy 25-minute recipe yourself -- it's nearly impossible to mess up and 100% delicious!
Why you'll love this recipe:
- so easy
- supremely festive
- amazing texture from a variety of ingredients
- easy to make gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan
- a fun take on classic rocky road
- it's all the warm fuzzy Christmas feelings in a single bite!
This easy rocky road recipe uses 8 main ingredients plus a few common holiday spices and flavorings.
- semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
- unsweetened almond butter
- vegan butter
- roasted almonds
- dried cranberries
- mini marshmallows
- pomegranate seeds
Spices and Flavorings
- vanilla extract
- ground ginger
- ground allspice
- ground cinnamon
See the recipe card for quantities.
Line the pan: Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. For a double batch, use a 9x9 or 8x8 inch square pan.
Melt the base: In a medium pot on low heat, melt together the chocolate chips, almond butter, vegan butter, and all the spices and flavorings. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Almonds and cranberries: Stir in the almonds and cranberries and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes so you don't melt the marshmallows.
Marshmallows: Add the marshmallows and stir gently to coat.
Spread in the pan: Spread the mixture in the lined pan by gently pressing it into the corners with a spatula.
Pomegranate seeds: Sprinkle generously with pomegranate seeds and refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours).
Voila -- This supremely tasty dessert is really that easy!
- Coconut Oil - instead of vegan butter, you can use coconut oil in equal amount
- Real Butter - you can use real dairy butter in place of vegan butter
- Vegan - use vegan butter and vegan marshmallows like Dandies (they're also gluten-free).
- Gluten-Free - use a gluten-free marshmallow brand like Jet Puffed or Campfire brand. This Verywell Fit article has more info about those two brands, and I consider them safe for gluten-free and people with Celiac.
I used all gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients to make this recipe and none of my taste testers could tell!
This recipe is super versatile and there are so many ways to customize it! Here are some ideas:
- Nuts - instead of almonds, use pistachios or hazelnuts
- Dried Fruit - chopped dried figs or other seasonal fruits can be used in place of cranberries
Or go for the non-seasonal Peanut Butter Rocky Road that inspired this recipe!
- medium pot
- silicone spatula
- loaf pan (or an 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan for a double batch)
- parchment paper
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or store at a cool room temperature (so it doesn't melt) for 2-3 days.
The candy will last much longer, but it's the pomegranate seeds that will spoil after the above durations.
Tips before you start
Stir the chocolate mixture to prevent burning.
The sugar in the chocolate can burn. Keep an eye on the mixture as it melts and stir frequently.
Let the chocolate cool before adding marshmallows.
If you add the marshmallows too soon, they will melt into the mixture. Christmas Rocky Road is much more fun with big pieces of marshmallow!
Gently press the rocky road mixture into the pan.
The texture will be thick and not super spreadable. I find it's best to gently push the mixture towards the edges of the pan with a spatula in short strokes.
Load up on the pomegranate seeds.
Having the pomegranate seeds burst in your mouth as you bite into this Christmas candy really makes the experience special!
Other holiday dessert recipes you'll love:
- Impossibly Authentic Dairy Free Tiramisu
- Cozy Spiced Paleo Molasses Cookies
- The BEST Soft Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is a holiday favorite in my house. I hope your family loves it too!