Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Bars are a no-bake treat made with cashews, coconut, and dates. Both kids and adults will love this dairy-free dessert.
Why You'll Love this Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake
Now that the weather is warming up, I'm craving all the cold, creamy desserts.
And with fresh berries in abundance at the supermarket, it's time to put them to good use!
The idea of homemade cheesecake may seem intimidating, however these bars couldn't be easier.
The food processor and blender do most of the heavy lifting. You can also switch up the toppings to satisfy your cravings.
For example, garnish with chocolate shavings, fresh fruit, or a drizzle of peanut butter.
This no bake cheesecake only calls for 6 ingredients. The rest you can switch up as you see fit. Here is what you need:
- Cashews: Blended cashews make up the bulk of the filling, which adds loads of heart-healthy fats. The key is to boil them for at least 20 minutes so they sufficiently soften.
- Coconut Cream: Coconut cream is much thicker and richer than coconut milk. You can find it in cans near the coconut milk, or in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
- Almonds: Blended almonds create the rich, nutty crust of the cheesecake. You can also use walnuts, however the hard texture of almonds adds more structure.
- Medjool Dates: Also known as nature's candy, Medjool dates are the other key ingredient in the cheesecake crust.
- Sugar: I use organic granulated sugar, however you can also use maple syrup to add sweetness to the filling.
- Lemon: For quintessential cheesecake tang, both lemon zest and juice are a must!
For a full list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
- Use Different Berries: In place of the strawberry garnish, feel free to use blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
- Add Coconut Whip: Top each bar with a dollop of homemade or store-bought coconut whipped topping.
- Make Low Sugar: In place of the granulated sugar, use a sugar alternative, such as monk fruit or erythritol.
The only difficult thing about this recipe is waiting 5 hours for the no-bake cheesecake to freeze. Otherwise, homemade cheesecake has never been easier. Here's how to make it:
Step 1: Boil the cashews in a small saucepan covered with at least two inches of water. Once the water boils, reduce heat and gently simmer for about 20 minutes, until cashews are super soft.
Step 2: Prepare the crust by combining almonds, dates, and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Blend until finely chopped and well-combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Empty the mixture into a baking pan and press down firmly.
Pro tip: I find it easier to use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to help press the mixture down. You want it to the cover the bottom of the pan in an even, single layer.
Step 3: Prepare cheesecake filling by combining cashews, coconut cream, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a blender. Blend until completely smooth; pour mixture on top of the crust.
Step 4: Freeze cheesecake for at least 4 to 5 hours, or until firm to the touch. You can also let it sit overnight, which I often do.
When ready to eat, slice into bars, top with a dollop of dairy-free cool whip, and garnish with fresh strawberry slices.
These vegan strawberry cheesecake bars can be enjoyed frozen right out of the freezer, or slightly softened. If you prefer a softer texture, just let them sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
I do not suggest garnishing the cheesecake bars if you plan on storing/freezing them.
Instead, slice the cheesecake into bars, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer bag. This way, you can take out one at a time and garnish right before serving.
Coconut cream and cashews take the place of cream cheese in this vegan version. Once blended, they add similar richness, creamy consistency, and tang.
A pre-made crust will work fine in this vegan cheesecake! Simply add the filling mixture to the prepared crust and follow the setting/freezing instructions.
If you give this no bake cheesecake a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
More Vegan Dessert Recipes to Try:
Vegan Cheesecake Bars (No-Bake)
- Food processor
- 11 x 7" baking dish
- Small saucepan
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 1 ¼ cups raw almonds
- 1 ¼ cups pitted Medjool dates
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 (13.5-oz.) can coconut cream
- ½ cup organic granulated sugar
- ¼ cup melted and cooled coconut oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Dairy-free whipped topping (I like So Delicious CocoWhip)
- Fresh sliced strawberries (or berry of choice)
- Add cashews and 4 cups of water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until softened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside to dry.
- Line an 11-7 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Add almonds to a food processor and pulse until they're broken down into a coarse sand consistency. Add dates and salt; blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is well combined. Empty mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly to coat the bottom.
- To a high-power blender (such as a Vitamix), combine the softened cashews, coconut cream, sugar, coconut oil, lemon zest and juice; Blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the cashew mixture over the almond-date crust and freeze until set, about 5 hours.
- Once cheesecake is firm to the touch, spread whipped topping overtop and garnish with fresh sliced strawberries. Slice into 12 bars.