Vegan Cheesecake Bars

Thick, creamy cheesecake on a soft, crumbly crust. These vegan cheesecake bars are an easy to make but super decadent treat! Healthy, gluten free and naturally sweetened.

How do you guys feel about cheesecake? I feel like maybe it’s either a love it or hate it thing.

I definitely LOVE it. The creamy, dreamy texture, the contrast of the crust, it’s dessert perfection, no?! BUT since going plant-based, I had to do a total cheesecake overhaul. All of the creamy, incredible texture and to die for flavor, while using healthy ingredients.

Welp, one day in my little kitchen, these vegan cheesecake bars were born, and as a result I am forever a happy girl. Made with completely healthy, vegan ingredients, sweetened naturally, and with a super easy (no bake!) method, these are a dream.

My love for vegan cheesecakes started with these little gingerbread delights. Since Christmas has passed, and because those were so delicious, I wanted to have a more neutral, vanilla-based cheesecake recipe that wasn’t so Christmas themed.

The cheesecake bars start exactly the same as the gingerbread version – with a really easy, 2 ingredient crust! It’s a quick mixture of coconut flour and date paste for sweetness. Simply blend some dates with hot water, and measure out the amount of paste called for in the crust.

Press the crust evenly into the bottom of a square pan, and set it in the freezer while you make the cheesecake!

The cheesecake mixture is just 3 ingredients. Soaked cashews (soaking makes them soft and blend-able!), dates, and vanilla. The cashews are seriously magical. When soaked overnight or for a few hours (I’ve gotten away with just 3 hours) and blended with the other ingredients, they give the CREAMIEST texture. It is seriously reminiscent of traditional, not so healthy cheesecake.

The dates add even more thick creaminess and sweetness, while the vanilla gives the vegan cheesecake bars the perfect slightly vanilla flavor.

How many times can I say creamy in one post? I’ll say it over and over because these little bars are CREAMY PERFECTION.

Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the crust and spread evenly over the top. Freeze for a few hours, and set them out for about 15 minutes before serving so they can soften up a bit.

These bars are so freaking delicious I could hardly stand it. I came home and ate one after my work Christmas party a few weeks ago, and literally inhaled another almost immediately after. No self-control, whatsoever.

I believe my direct quote to Joe was, “this is legit my favorite thing I’ve ever made.”

It’s desserts like this that make me LOVE being plant-based even more than I already do. It’s so much easier than people think to come up with imitations that are even better than you could ever imagine, totally as good as the “real” AKA unhealthy versions.

These vegan cheesecake bars may not look like much, but I promise you, they are so dreamy. Soft, crumbly crust topped with the smooth, luscious, CREAMY cheesecake. Finish with berries, jam, or healthy chocolate sauce to really take them over the top! Great for a special occasion or just for a decadent (but healthy, of course!) treat at home.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, YOU ARE ALL SO AWESOME! It’s going to be our best year yet, I can just feel it. 🙂

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!

Vegan Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 c coconut flour
  • 1 c date paste (I use about 16 medjool dates blended with 1 cup of hot water, then measure out 1 c of paste)
  • Cheesecake filling:
  • 2 c cashews, soaked at least 4-6 hours and drained (simply place the cashews in a bowl and submerge with warm water and let sit for at least 4 hours, or overnight).
  • 16 dates
  • 1 c hot water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: berries or jam to top the cheesecake bars

Instructions

  1. To prepare the crust, make the date paste and combine with the coconut flour in a large bowl until it's sticky and crumbly.
  2. Press the crust mixture into a square pan and flatten with your fingers, making sure the crust is evenly spread across the bottom of the pan.
  3. Chill the crust while you make the filling.
  4. To make the filling, put your soaked cashews, dates, hot water, and vanilla extract in the food processor or high power blender and blend until smooth and creamy - mine takes about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust, and freeze for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.
http://beamingbanana.com/brownies-and-bars/vegan-cheesecake-bars/