Grain-free Dairy-free Pumpkin “Cheesecake” Bars with Empower Bar Crust

Gratisfied’s Head of Production Jenna and I love breaking out of the Empower Bar baking mold from time-to-time to get a bit more creative. These dreamy pumpkin “cheesecake” bars which incorporate Empower Bars in the crust is a recipe we are so excited to share with you!

Grain-free Dairy-free Pumpkin “Cheesecake” Bars with Empower Bar Crust

Jenna Foti



  • 1 cup raw pecans or cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream (place can in fridge overnight)
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon metled coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice (plus more to taste)
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree


  • 4 – 5 Empower Bars
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (plus more to taste)


  • Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add Empower Bars, sea salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar to a food processor. Pulse/mix on low until a loose dough is formed, scraping down sides as needed. You should be able to squeeze the mixture between two fingers and form a dough instead of it crumbling. If it's too dry, add a bit of melted coconut oil.
  • Transfer mixture to parchment-lined loaf pan and spread in even layer and well packed. Let it come up the sides a little, otherwise it can be too thick on the bottom.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 325 degrees and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until the edges slightly shrink away from pan. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
  • Once pecans or cashews are soaked and drained, add to blender with coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, cornstarch, vanilla, maple syrup or coconut nectar, coconut oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, lemon zest for tartness, salt for flavor balance, and maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove air bubbles.
  • Dollop pumpkin puree on top of batter and with a spoon or skewer gently swirl together.
  • Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears only slightly “jiggly” but not liquid.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered). Once cooled, cover and continue refrigerating for a total of 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.
  • To serve, lift out of pan with parchment paper and cut into bars, triangles or squares!

Get Your Empower Bars

Option: Top each bar with a grain-free Snickerdoodle cookie!

Get the Recipe!