The creamy filling for these cheesecake bars comes from soaked cashews and coconut cream. The more powerful your food processor or blender, the smoother, thicker, and creamier your final filling will be. I’ve paired it with my favorite nut crust, which combines ground nuts with flaxseed (to help bind it), sweetener, and oil for flavor. It bakes up crisp on the base and slightly chewy inside—the perfect complement to rich, cheesecake-style filling (sans the actual cheese). —Erin Jeanne McDowell
- Prep time 4 hours 15 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- makes 9 large bars
- Cashews and Crust
(300 grams) raw cashews
(7 grams) flaxseed meal
(45 grams) water
3 1/2 cups
(455 grams) raw pecans or walnuts
(85 grams) honey or date syrup
(70 grams) virgin coconut oil, melted
(1 gram) fine sea salt
(279 grams) coconut cream
(113 grams) maple syrup
(30 grams) virgin coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons
(7 grams) vanilla extract
(2 grams) fine sea salt
(70 grams) toasted unsweetened coconut
- Cashews and Crust
- In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the cashews with boiling water by at least 1 inch. Let sit overnight.
- Heat the oven to 325°F/165°C. Lightly grease a 9x9-inch pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, mix the flaxseed meal and water to combine. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender, blend the pecans until finely ground. Add the honey, oil, salt, and the flaxseed mixture and continue to pulse just until the mixture comes together.
- Lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick spray and press the crust evenly into the base of the pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly golden and toasty smelling. Let cool completely.
- Drain the cashews and transfer to a food processor or powerful blender. Add the coconut cream, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend until very smooth.
- Pour the filling over the cooled crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the coconut over the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 4 hours, until firm, before slicing into 9 bars.