Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Bars

butterfly Yields: 12 rectangular pieces

Written By Eydie Desser


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I used to love lemon bars before I became plant based. They are light, sweet, tart and creamy, but how, oh how, do we plant base this delectable dessert? I turned to a plant based dessert expert, and together we created a Garden of Eydie approved vegan lemon cheesecake bar. It’s even more delicious, and of course, nutritious, than the original. This is definitely company worthy!

Equipment needed: 9” x 9” baking dish, parchment paper


For the Crust:
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) Medjool dates (about 9-10), pitted
  • 1 cup blanched almond meal (flour)
  • 1 cup oat flour
For the Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon (reserve lemon)
  • 1 cup lemon juice from about 5 lemons (using the zested one as well)
  • 3 (5.4 ounce cans) unsweetened coconut cream  (2 cups)
  • ½ cup 100% pure Maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 12 small whole strawberries, leaves removed 
For the Garnish:
  • Strawberries


Quick Soak Cashews:

Place the raw cashews in a large bowl. Bring 2-½ cups, or more, water to a boil.  Pour enough hot water to cover the nuts by an inch or two. Let soak for 15-30 minutes, or until very soft. Drain.  Over a small bowl, using a zester, or grater, zest the rind of 1 lemon (about 1 TB zest).

Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350℉ and Prepare the Baking Dish:

Line the bottom and sides of a 9” x 9” baking dish with 2 pieces of parchment paper, cut to come up 2 inches above the rim on all 4 sides. You will use the parchment paper to lift the cheesecake out of the pan before slicing. Set aside.

  1. Place the pitted dates in a blender or bowl of a food processor and process until completely puréed. Transfer the date purée to a large mixing bowl and add the lemon zest, almond meal and oats. Using your hands, combine ingredients to form a thick dough.
  2. Place the dough on a parchment lined baking dish and flatten with the palm of your hand to cover the bottom of the pan,       
  3. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes; or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit. Keep the oven turned on.
Make The Filling:
  1. Drain the cashews and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender and   process until cashews turn into “cream”.        
  2. Add coconut cream and lemon juice.  Continue to process until completely pureed and smooth. 
  3. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, arrowroot powder and lemon zest. Process until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust, gently shaking the pan to release any air bubbles.
  5. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. If the center of the mixture still jiggles, continue baking for another 5 minutes.  
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack to room temperature, about an hour. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To Serve:
  1. Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Lift the lemon cheesecake out of the pan using parchment paper as handles. Transfer to a cutting board.  Remove parchment paper, and slice cheesecake into 12 equal rectangles.  
  2. For the garnish, remove the strawberry leaves and slice from tip to stem, stopping short of slicing all the way through.  Press to “fan” the strawberry out and place one on each cheesecake piece. 

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