No-Bake Coconut-Cashew Cherry Squares are vegan, gluten free, and a virtuously indulgent snack or dessert. These dreamy squares start with a coconut and cashew base that tastes like a shortbread cookie. Then, a luxurious layer of cherries with a hint of vanilla and no added sugar. And to top it off, a sprinkling of shredded coconut flakes.
And perhaps the best part (besides their simplicity)? Not a soul with realize they are a healthier, plant-based dessert.And thanks to the food processor, this recipe is almost-entirely hands-off. Blend one layer after the next, spread them into a loaf pan, slide it into the freezer, walk away and come back an hour later to little squares of heaven.
Totally acceptable for snacks, breakfast, or dessert. (And everything in between.)Since cherries aren’t in season until spring, this recipe calls for frozen cherries. Just make sure they are thawed and thoroughly dried before tossing them in the food processor. Frozen fruit can produce a lot of liquid once it thaws, and you don’t want the extra water content to create a wet filling.
To do this, just wrap the cherries gently in a few paper towels and blot them until the paper towels absorb most of the liquid. Cherries are nutrition heavy-hitters because they’re packed with anthocyanins—a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pigment found in the fruit. Recent studies actually link cherry consumption to reducing risk of heart disease and relieving the symptoms of gout and arthritis.
Nutrient-packed plus creamy and luscious with a touch of tart, they’re the perfect addition to these kid-friendly squares. Feel free to top ’em off with cacao nibs (chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven), slivered almonds, chia seeds, or whatever your heart desires.
Store leftovers in the freezer and take one or two out about 15 minutes before you eat them for the sweetest experience. Bliss, I tell you.
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for sprinkling on top (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 1½ cups frozen and thawed cherries, patted dry with paper towels
- 5 pitted Medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp. cashew butter
- 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Place cashews, coconut flakes, honey (or agave), and salt in a food processor. Blend 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture starts coming together. Press firmly into the bottom of a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Wipe out food processor. Add cherries, dates, cashew butter, coconut flour, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour over cashew mixture; use the back of a spoon to smooth out. Sprinkle with additional coconut flakes, if desired. Freeze for 1 hour. Slice into 10 bars.