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Healthified Plant-Based Cheesecake Squares With Empower Bar Crust

By Sara McGlothlin

I fell in love with making vegan cheesecakes when I was recipe testing for my cookbook Gluten-Free Vegan Baking For Every Occasion. As I continued creating these plant-based desserts, I realized how much our Gratisfied Empower Bars would make for the perfect crust. It decreased the amount of ingredients needed (and therefore time!), allowing for a quick and easy recipe that primarily comes together in blender. The only patience you will need is in the preparation and cooling times.

Plant-Based Cheesecake Bars With Empower Bar Crust

Sara McGlothlin
These plant-based cheesecake bars are delicious enough for dessert, but nutritious enough for breakfast. Made with healthy fat, fiber, and protein, they offer a blood sugar balancing option that is not overly sweet.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Cool Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 15 mins
Servings 9

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • High-speed Blender

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • 3 Gratisfied Original Empower Bars
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

For the filling

  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for at least 4 to 6 hours (or ideally overnight), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 8-oz package vegan cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper
  • Make the crust. Crumble Empower bars in a food processor and blend until the consistency of very coarse crumbs. Add coconut oil and blend again. Transfer the crust mixture to the baking dish, and use your hands to press the mixture to the bottom until compact. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Make the filling. In a high-speed blender, mix the coconut milk, soaked cashews, coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, coconut nectar or maple syrup, arrowroot starch, and vanilla. Blend until creamy, using the tamper as you need to get the blender going and until everything is smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the baking dish with the crust. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until edges have started to turn golden brown and “pull away” from the edges of the cake pan (cheesecake should still “jiggle” and the middle may appear darker, but will set as it cools). Allow the cake to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before transferring to the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours to completely set.

Notes

Storage: Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator, covered or uncovered, for up to 5 days.
Plan Ahead: The night before, soak the cashews in water, and place a can of coconut cream or coconut milk upside down in the refrigerator (doing so will allow any liquid to remain at the bottom when turned right side up, leaving the solidified cream at the top). Reserve the liquid for smoothies or freeze in an ice cube tray for later use.