These little vintage American Ting-A-Lings are a vegan adaptation of the much-loved candy from the 1950s.
Just a few pantry ingredients make up this no-bake refrigerator treat 'nuts/raisins, breakfast cereal, coconut, vanilla and chocolate'. For gluten-free Ting-A-Lings use a gluten-free breakfast cereal.
Traditionally Ting-A-Lings were prepared during the festive season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, but really these delightfully crunchy chocolate snacks can be enjoyed for parties, picnics, buffets, movie nights, watching the big game on TV, or for Halloween decorated with little jelly eyes or the Fourth of July with red, white and blue sprinkles.
Ting-A-Lings are a traditional no-bake American candy that is prepared during the festive season most notably Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Ting-a-lings are similar to chocolate haystacks or chocolate cornflake cakes, rice crispy treats or squares and the Australian hedgehog treats or slice.
The main ingredients of ting-a-lings are breakfast cereal, nuts or raisins, and chocolate. Vanilla is sometimes used as an additional flavouring, and butterscotch chips are often added.
Although many ting-a-ling recipes use breakfast cereal, original recipes actually utilise uncooked crunchy plain chow mien noodles!
If you can source vegan friendly chow mien noodles then do give those a try with this recipe. I would love to know how you get on.
Although the chow mien noodles are not the same as ramen noodles as such, but are similar to those deep-fried gram flour noodles found in packets of Bombay mix [snacks].
There is a recipe for Wheaties Ting-A-Lings in the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook General Mills Inc (1950) which simply features Wheaties breakfast cereal mixed with chocolate. A variation Peanut Ting-A-Lings adds salted peanuts to the mix. In the UK Wheaties are similar to malted wheat cereal.
For this vegan ting-a-ling recipe, I went for desiccated coconut, almonds, high fibre cereal [a vegan All-Brand dupe], vanilla and dark chocolate.
For extra flavour salted, roasted or toasted nuts of any variety can be used instead of almonds. I simply had some plain almonds to use up and also wanted something less salty, but salted or roasted peanuts would add more flavour and texture.
For my next batch of vegan ting-a-lings I am going to try adding some chopped up vegan tablet[traditional Scottish sweet/candy], which would be a great replacement for butterscotch chips which many recipes include, and omit the coconut.
Vegan ting-a-lings are crunchy, chewy, nutty, chocolatey and pleasantly not too sweet due to the dark chocolate. My daughter commented that they tasted like Christmas so I was happy with that seeing as ting-a-lings are a traditional festive treat!
Although ting-a-lings can be jazzed up for any occasion, such as some jelly eyes for Halloween and create scary spider shapes, or red, white and blue cake sprinkles for Fourth of July festivities, or press in mini chocolate eggs before the chocolate sets, for Easter.
For Christmas a dusting of icing/powdered sugar can give the ting-a-lings that extra festive touch.
How To Prepare Vintage Vegan Ting-A-Lings
For this recipe Tesco's High Fibre Bran cereal was used as it is inexpensive and vegan-friendly.
For the chocolate Co-Op's Fairtrade own brand of dark chocolate is used as it is relatively inexpensive, tastes great, is accidently vegan, and melts really well.
I have chosen to use plain almonds to keep the salt levels down but for extra flavour and texture salty or roasted peanuts, or any type of nut, can be used instead.
I am experimenting with vanilla powder at the moment, so have added this instead of vanilla extract, but of course extract or essence is perfectly fine. Almond extract would be particularly nice.
Place the chopped almonds [or your choice of nut/dried fruit such as raisins], bran cereal, desiccated coconut and vanilla extract or vanilla powder, into a mixing bowl.
Melt the chocolate and pour it into the mixing bowl.
Give everything a good mix so that the ingredients are all coated well in chocolate.
Using a teaspoon, scoop up and drop dollops of chocolate mix onto a tray lined with baking parchment.
Use up all the chocolate mixture, the mix should make around 18-20 little ting-a-lings.
The ting-a-lings can also be placed into mini cupcake cases.
Place the tray into the refrigerator to set hard. Once set the ting-a-lings are ready to enjoy.
If preferred, remove a few ting-a-lings and leave at room temperature for a short while to soften slightly so that they are not so hard.
What's the best way to store Ting-A-Lings?
Store ting-a-lings within a covered container and place in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. Wrapping in kitchen foil will help keep the candy fresher for longer.
Can I freeze Ting-A-Lings?
Yes. Wrap well with a layer of baking/parchment paper or kitchen foil and place into a freezer proof bag or container. Freezer for up to 3 months.
Can I prepare gluten-free Ting-A-Lings?
This recipe uses Tesco High Fibre breakfast cereal as an All-bran replacement, however the high fibre cereal is prepared with wheat so is not gluten-free.
For gluten-free ting-a-lings choose a breakfast cereal that is labelled gluten-free such as rice flakes, corn flakes, or similar. A breakfast cereal such as Freee Supergrain Hoops would also be nice.
Can I make any variations to this Ting-A-Ling recipe?
Yes. There are many variations of this recipe.
A few ideas:
- Replace almonds with peanuts. Peanuts are a traditional ingredient for ting-a-lings especially salty or roasted peanuts.
- Or use any nut or mixed nuts you have to hand.
- Dried fruit can replace the nuts, such as raisins, sultanas, chopped dried dates or apricots. Slice larger pieces of dried fruit into smaller sizes.
- Instead of desiccated coconut use chopped coconut shards/shreds.
- Add some sliced vegan marshmallows or whole vegan mini marshmallows.
- Instead of bran cereal choose shredded wheat [broken into smaller pieces], crushed malted wheat or bran flakes, rice flakes, cornflakes, etc.
- A fruit and fibre type cereal [one that includes dried fruits/nuts] can replace both the cereal and nuts/dried fruit.
- Instead of breakfast cereal go the traditional route and use dried chow mien noodles! [although the noodles are those short deep fried crispy variety similar to those from packets of Bombay snack mixes and not dried noodles intended for stir-fry]
- Any type of vegan chocolate that melts well can be used such as a vegan alternative to milk or white chocolate, or a flavoured vegan chocolate.
- Add some chopped vegan tablet pieces for extra creamy melt-in-the-mouth yumminess.
Why are these sweeties called Ting-A-Lings?
I honestly have no idea! I have researched this question but can not find any definitive information about why theses little crunchy candy is called the quirky name ting-a-lings.
Although according to The Merriam Webster online dictionary, a ting-a-ling is the sound of bells tinkling so as the candy is a festive treat, its not that far of a stretch to imagine the candy represents little Christmas bells.
For more vegan sweet treats that are perfect for special occasions, parties, afternoon tea and just every-day enjoyment check out our collection of vegan baking recipes especially these classic peppermint cream candies and these cute chocolate dipped marshmallow Scottish top hat treats.
For another recipe to use up some of your high fibre bran breakfast cereal check out this delicious All Bran Cinnamon Loaf Cake.
Vintage American Ting-A-Lings [Vegan]
- Baking tray or similar parchment paper [to set the candy out on to set in the refrigerator]
- Mixing bowl
- heatproof bowl for melting chocolate
- Small saucepan only required if melting chocolate on the stove-top
- 200 grams dark chocolate or any vegan chocolate that melts
- 80 grams almonds rough chopped, or replace with salty or roasted peanuts, or any nut, or dried fruit such as raisins
- 60 grams All-bran cereal use a vegan friendly similar cereal such as e.g Tesco High Fibre Bran cereal
- 45 grams desiccated coconut or coconut shreds/shards, or chopped up vegan tablet
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½-¾ teaspoon vanilla powder, or replace with almond essence
- Prepare a baking tray or large plate with baking parchment/paper.
- Add the chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, vanilla, and breakfast cereal into a mixing bowl.
- Melt the chocolate, either using a microwave or on the stove-top.
- Microwave method: break the chocolate into even pieces and place into a microwave safe bowl. Using the high setting, switch the microwave on for 20-30 second bursts, until the chocolate has nearly melted. Remove the bowl and quickly stir the chocolate until it melts completely.
- Stove-top method: break the chocolate into even pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl into a pan with about an inch of water simmering in the pan. Turn the heat off and the chocolate will melt in the heat. Once the chocolate has nearly melted stir it quickly to help it along.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl and quickly stir all the ingredients together.
- Using a teaspoon scoop up the mixture and dollop onto the baking tray. Continue until all the mix has been used.
- Place the baking tray into the refrigerator until set.
- Nutritional information is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Store ting-a-lings within the refrigerator, but if preferred a little softer, remove from the refrigerator for a while before eating.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Almonds can be replaced with salted, roasted, or toasted peanuts or any nut variety.
- Or sub the nuts for dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, apricots, pineapple, dates, etc. Chop up larger pieces of dried fruit.
- Instead of vanilla sub for almond extract.
- Bran cereal can be replaced with [vegan] chow mien noodles, which is a traditional ingredient.
- For gluten-free ting-a-lings use a certified gluten-free breakfast cereal such as rice, corn flakes, Freee supergrain hoops, etc.
- Any vegan or accidently vegan chocolate that melts well, can be used for this recipe including flavoured chocolate.
- For ting-a-lings that are similar to the outside of a chocolate Bounty bar sweet, sprinkle the ting-a-lings with extra desiccated coconut before the chocolate sets.
- For a Halloween treat try adding some vegan jelly eyes to the ting-a-lings before they set, to create scary spider or monster shapes.
- For the Fourth of July scatter over some vegan red, white and blue cake sprinkles.
- For Easter press in a vegan mini chocolate egg on to the unset ting-a-ling.
- For Christmas dust the set ting-a-lings with powdered/icing sugar.
Prepared these vintage American Ting-A-Lings?
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