Dairy-Free Cheesecake Bars (vegan)

August 19, 2020

These dairy-free cheesecake bars feature a buttery biscuit base and a creamy cashew-based filling swirled with homemade strawberry sauce.

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Prep Time 45 mins


Total Time 1 hr 45 mins

a side view of vegan cheesecake bars swirled with strawberry sauce

Okay, you need to make this dairy-free cheesecake ASAP. It’s sweet and creamy, rich and buttery, and swirled with a quick 3-ingredient strawberry sauce. And if anything, swirling the sauce through the filling is the most satisfying thing you’ll do ALL DAY.

There’s many dairy-free cheesecake recipes on the internet, but none quite like mine. You see, most vegan cheesecakes lie at either of two extremes. One being the wholefoods plant-based version, the other a veganized cheesecake made with vegan cream cheese.

six vegan cheesecake bars presented on a baking tray

My dairy-free cheesecake bars are a happy medium between the two. We have the classic buttery biscuit base paired with a creamy cashew-based cheesecake filling. This cheesecake really is the best of both worlds!

What ingredients will I need?

To make this no-bake vegan cheesecake, you’ll need just 10 ingredients:

  • Digestive biscuits – these form the biscuit base. If you live in the United States, you can substitute graham crackers, or use any cookie of your choosing!
  • Dairy-free butter – I use flora in the UK. You can substitute coconut oil here for a healthier option.
  • Cashews – these are the basis of our cheesecake filling and make it delightfully creamy once blended!
  • Coconut oil – this adds richness to the cheesecake filling and also helps it to set.
  • Agave syrup – I like to naturally sweeten the cheesecake with agave syrup. You can use maple syrup if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Vanilla extract – for flavour.
  • Lemon juice – for a little tang to recreate that cheesy taste.
  • Dairy-free milk – you can use any non-dairy milk of your choosing (I like unsweetened soy).
  • Strawberries – to make the strawberry sauce – feel free to sub your favourite berry!
  • Cornflour – also known as cornstarch in the US. This helps to thicken our strawberry sauce.
a close up photograph of a dairy-free cheesecake bar

How to make dairy-free cheesecake bars step-by-step:

The first thing we are going to do is soak our cashews to make them easier to blend. You can do this overnight, but a quicker option is to cover the cashews with boiling water and soak them for 10 minutes (photo 1).

Meanwhile we’ll prepare the cheesecake base by crushing up some digestive biscuits and mixing in melted vegan butter (photo 2). You can crush the biscuits in a blender or by placing them in a sealed sandwich bag and bashing with a rolling pin!

Then we’ll press the cheesecake base into a loaf tin lined with grease-proof paper (photo 3), and transfer it to the freezer to firm up whilst we prepare the filling.

how to make dairy-free cheesecake bars steps 1-3

Now it’s time to make the strawberry sauce by heating fresh or frozen strawberries with agave syrup and cornflour until a thick sauce forms (photo 4). I like to strain the sauce to remove any seeds, but this is optional.

Then prepare the cheesecake filling by blending our (drained) soaked cashews with coconut oil, agave syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice and dairy-free milk until thick and creamy (photos 5 and 6).

how to make vegan cheesecake bars steps 4-6

Next we’ll assemble the cheesecake by evenly spreading the filling over the base (photo 7), dotting over the strawberry sauce (photo 8), and swirling it through with a toothpick (photo 9).

Finally (and this is the hardest part), leave the cheesecake in the freezer for an hour to set before serving!

how to make vegan cheesecake steps 7-9

Tips for making this recipe perfectly:

  1. I like to make this vegan cheesecake in a loaf tin and slice it into 8 individual bars. You can easily double the recipe to use in a square traybake tin or a round cake tin if you wish.
  2. Make sure to use a high-speed blender or food processor to ensure the cashews are fully blended. The cheesecake filling is very thick!
  3. After freezing the dairy-free cheesecake for 1 hour, you can slice it into bars and store in the fridge to maintain the creamy texture.
a side photo of a vegan cheesecake bar showing a thick crust

More no-bake vegan dessert recipes:

a dairy-free cheesecake bar on a white background

I hope you try this recipe! If you do, I’d love for you to tag me on Instagram @shivanilf. You can also keep updated with all things SLF on Facebook and Pinterest – I hope to see you there!

Dairy-Free Cheesecake Bars (vegan)

These dairy-free cheesecake bars feature a buttery biscuit base and a creamy cashew-based filling swirled with homemade strawberry sauce.
Prep Time45 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: vegan
Servings: 8 bars
Calories: 436kcal
Author: Shivani Raja

Ingredients

For the cheesecake base:

  • 12 Digestive Biscuits (180 grams) can sub Graham crackers or any cookie of your choice!
  • 3 tbsp Vegan Butter melted; can sub coconut oil

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 1/3 cup/ 200 grams Raw Cashews
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 cup/ 75 ml Dairy-Free Milk of choice

For the strawberry sauce:

  • 1/4 cup/ 30 grams Strawberries fresh or frozen; can sub any berry of your choice!
  • 1 tsp Agave Syrup can sub maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Cornstarch aka cornflour in the UK

Instructions

  • Add the cashews to a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the cheesecake base: Process the digestive biscuits into a sandy powder by either blending them or placing in a sealed sandwich bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Transfer the crushed biscuits to a bowl and stir in the melted vegan butter. You want the base to have the consistency of wet sand – if it feels too dry, add an additional 1-2 tbsp of melted vegan butter.
  • Press the biscuit base into a loaf tin lined with grease-proof paper, making sure to press all the way to the edges. Transfer the base to the freezer to firm up whilst you prepare the filling.
  • Prepare the strawberry sauce by adding the strawberries, agave syrup and cornstarch to a small saucepan. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick. Optional: strain the sauce through a sieve to remove any seeds.
  • Prepare the cheesecake filling: Drain the cashews and add to a high-speed blender or food processor along with the coconut oil, agave syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice and dairy-free milk. (Tip: measure the coconut oil before the agave syrup so the syrup glides off the measuring spoon!) Begin blending on low and gradually increase the speed until the filling is thick and creamy. Taste the filling and adjust the sweetness by blending in an additional 1-2 tbsp agave syrup if desired.
  • Remove the biscuit base from the freezer and spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the base. Dot the sauce on top and use a toothpick to swirl the sauce through the cheesecake filling. Transfer the cheesecake to the freezer for 1 hour to firm up before slicing into 8 bars. Enjoy!

Shivani’s Tips

  • After freezing the dairy-free cheesecake for 1 hour, you can slice it into bars and store in the fridge to maintain the creamy texture.
  • I like to make this vegan cheesecake in a loaf tin and slice it into 8 individual bars. You can easily double the recipe to use in a square traybake tin or a round cake tin if you wish.
 

NUTRITION

Serving size: 1 bar
Calories: 436 kcal | Fat: 25.8g | Saturated Fat: 6.4g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 256mg | Carbohydrates: 45.6g | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 9.4g | Protein: 6.9g 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @shivanilf and use the hashtag #shivanilovesfood!

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