Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Bars recipe
The classic flavors of tangy cheesecake and fresh ripe strawberries marry together perfectly in these 10-ingredient, vegan, gluten-free bars! Plus, it has oat-almond crust and is naturally sweetened! I went for a baked cheesecake to achieve that quintessential cheesecake flavor and texture.
Did I mention they’re pretty perfect? And, more important, very healthy!
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free certified as needed)
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp maple syrup
4-5 Tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
4 heaping cups super ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 ½ lb yields 4 heaping cups)
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup coconut cream (from a can — our favorite is Savoy)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) and line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- CRUST: Add oats, almonds, and salt to a high-speed blender and blend on high until everything resembles a fine meal.
- Transfer oat mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add maple syrup and the lesser amount of coconut oil. Stir to combine. The mixture should hold together when squeezed in your hand. If too dry, add the extra coconut oil. Place the crust into the lined 8-inch pan and spread evenly. Place parchment on top and press the dough into your pan using a flat-bottomed object, such as a drinking glass, to distribute firmly and evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the corners are golden and the center of the crust is pale and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- STRAWBERRY PURÉE: While your crust bakes, rinse your blender and prepare the strawberry purée. Place the strawberries, maple syrup, and arrowroot or cornstarch into the blender and blend until you achieve a smooth purée.
- Transfer strawberry purée to a medium saucepan and heat on medium. Cook, constantly stirring, for 20-25 minutes, until it’s thick, slightly reduced, and darkened in color. Once reduced, you should have ~1 ½ cups (355 ml) of thickened purée (adjust if altering number of servings). Please turn off the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
- CHEESECAKE FILLING: While your purée and crust are cooling, rinse your blender once more and make your cheesecake batter. Add raw cashews, coconut cream, lemon juice, arrowroot or cornstarch, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla (optional) to the blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavor, adding more lemon for zing or maple syrup for sweetness.
- Start layering! Add about 1 cup (237 ml // adjust if altering number of servings) of the strawberry purée as your first layer on top of your crust and smooth with a spatula to distribute evenly, ensuring you have about 1/2 cup of purée left to decorate the top of your cheesecake. Now gently pour all of the cheesecake batters on top of the strawberry purée. Gently tap the dish on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles from the cheesecake layer. Lastly, dollop tablespoon-sized scoops of the remaining strawberry purée on top of the cheesecake layer and use the back of a knife or a toothpick to swirl.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until the edges are slightly brown and the center is still somewhat jiggly but solid.
- Cover loosely with a towel or parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to chill for 6-8 hours or, preferably, overnight. After chilling, the top should have a glossy texture and turn whiter in color.
- To serve, gently lift the cheesecake out of the pan and cut it into 16 equally sized squares. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.