Bars/ Dessert

Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF/Paleo)

You KNOW I can only go so long without posting a dessert 😉

I feel like I say this about every recipe….but I’m REALLY SUPER excited about this one. Maybe because it’s dessert and I have a massive sweet tooth? (We all know this – it’s no secret.)

You’re probably wondering how on EARTH a vegan cheesecake is created. I mean, how does one go about making a cheesecake without the main ingredient – cheese? The answer is, in short –> sweet, delicious, creamy, raw cashews.

CASHEWS?! WHAT!!

Don’t leave. I promise the end result isn’t cashew-y. Here’s what goes down.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF/Paleo)

For a long time, the plant-based & dairy-free communities have been using soaked, raw cashews to create a creamy base for everything from soups to sauces to faux-cheesecakes. When cashews are soaked in water, they become so soft and blend effortlessly. It’s amazing! Raw cashews also have quite a different flavor from the roasted and salted variety that most of us have grown accustomed to. Raw cashews are sweeter and much more mild. Admittedly, I was hesitant to try my first cashew cheesecake for fear that it would be completely disgusting, but my FRIENDS! Disgusting, it is not.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF/Paleo)

This cheesecake has the most luscious, creamy texture and the flavor actually tastes more like coconut than anything because there’s a little bit of coconut milk and coconut oil in the batter. There’s fresh lemon juice for tang, vanilla for….vanilla-ness, and mini chocolate chips because hello, chocolate chip cheesecake! The crust is probably my favorite part – just two ingredients!! – Simple Mills almond flour chocolate chip cookies (remember them from this post??) + coconut oil. Ughhhhhh. Perfection. If you can’t get your hands on these ridiculously delicious cookies, graham crackers would also work!

And we can’t forget that vegan chocolate drizz action – just chocolate chips & coconut milk! Swoon.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF/Paleo)

I hope you get a chance to give these bars a try – they are SO unbelievably delicious, and I love that they’re stored in the freezer, thereby enabling me to have one as a treat whenever I want!

(AKA…every night.)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF/Paleo)This recipe was inspired by Minimalist Baker.

Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars (GF/Paleo)
Author: 
Serves: 1 8x8 pan, about 12-16 bars
 
Ingredients
  • For the filling:
  • 2 c raw cashews
  • ½ c full-fat coconut milk, from a can (I prefer Whole Foods' 365 brand)
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c pure maple syrup
  • ¼ c melted coconut oil
  • ¼ c mini chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life Foods brand)
  • For the crust:
  • 1 package (5.5 oz, 156 grams) Simple Mills Ready-to-Eat Chocolate Chip Cookies (can be substituted with an equivalent amount of graham crackers)
  • 3 T melted coconut oil
  • For the chocolate drizzle:
  • ½ c mini chocolate chips
  • ¼ c full-fat coconut milk, from a can
Instructions
  1. Place cashews in a large bowl and fill with filtered water until all the cashews are covered. Let soak for 4 hours or overnight. Do NOT try to rush this process. Strain the cashews and rinse.
  2. Place cashews, coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a high-powered blender and blend until very smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the cookies or graham crackers until you have a mixture of rough and fine crumbs and then add in the coconut oil. Pulse again a few times to combine.
  4. Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, press the crust into the bottom of an 8x8 pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper (I find plastic wrap to be a little easier to work with.) Spread filling on top of the crust.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  6. To prepare the chocolate drizzle, heat coconut milk in a saucepan over the stove on low heat until it reaches a simmer. Pour in the chocolate chips and let sit for 30-60 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the bars. Place back in the freezer to set, or serve as is.
  7. Let sit at room temperature to thaw a bit before serving. Keep leftovers in the freezer.

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Bakerita
    August 28, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    THESE PHOTOS. THESE BARS. It’s all killing me. I need to eat them NOW. They look outrageously delicious, especially with that killer chocolate sauce…you win Monday.

    • Reply
      Lucia
      August 29, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Awww thank you, Rachel!! You are the nicest!

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

    OMG these I must try! Cashews are seriously gold in creamy desserts, so I’m sure these are absolutely incredible. Pinned!

    • Reply
      Lucia
      August 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks Liz!! I totally agree – I feel like I’m just beginning to discover all the magic cashews hold!

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