No need to free up oven space for these Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars. These “cheesecake” bars are made with soaked cashews to replicate cheesecake’s creamy texture—no dairy or baking necessary. With an easy pecan-and-date crust and tons of warm spices, these Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars are packed with the holiday season’s warm flavors. You won’t miss the dairy one bit in these gluten-free, vegan bars.
For the crust
- 1 cup (150 grams) pitted Medjool dates
- 1½ cups (170 grams) raw pecans, chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the gingerbread cheesecake
- 2 cups (284 grams) unsalted raw cashews, soaked in cold water for 4 to 10 hours
- ½ cup (120 grams) full-fat coconut milk, shaken together in the can to incorporate the cream + coconut water
- ⅓ cup (113 grams) pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup (56 grams) refined coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons (63 grams) unsulphured molasses
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Garnish: ground cinnamon, grated fresh nutmeg, and pecan halves, if desired
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and lightly grease with coconut oil.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place dates. Pulse until finely chopped. Add pecans, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt; pulse on medium-low speed until a sticky dough begins to forms, with small pecan bits remaining. (Do not overprocess or the dough will become oily.) Press dough into the bottom of prepared pan.
- Drain soaked cashews, and rinse with cold water. In the container of a blender, combine cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, molasses, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, 1½ teaspoons ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt; blend until mixture is silky smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.
- Pour filling into prepared crust, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Tap pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Freeze until completely firm, at least 3 hours.
- When the cheesecake bars are set, run a knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting bars with the still-hot (dried) knife. Cut into 16 squares. Garnish with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecan halves, if desired.
- Let thaw at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Keywords: cheesecake, gingerbread, vegan, paleo, dessert