Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Raw/Vegan}


Reading food blogs constantly sets of food cravings. I could be eating a perfectly healthy lunch or breakfast when all of a sudden a giant slice of German chocolate cake pops up on the screen and I get one of those I-need-chocolate-right-this-moment feelings. They’re awful. I’m sorry even to add to that.

When Caroline posted these cheesecake bars, it set off a craving just like that. Before I knew it I had already begun laying out the ingredients to make a version of them that day. These might be marginally better for you, but they’re still definitely a rich treat. The crust is an almond cookie base, the filling a cashew cream “cheese”, and chocolate a soft coconut oil ganache. All together it makes the perfect blend on richness and sweetness.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars


For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar

For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for 3-4 hours
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast*
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice*

*These ingredients aren’t entirely necessary but they will add a more authentic tang to the filling to simulate real cream cheese.

For the ganache:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil



  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the crust together in a food processor and blend until it forms a clumpy dough.
  2. Press the dough flat into an 8×8 pan.
  3. Make the filling by blending all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Spread the filling out across the top of the crust into an even layer.
  5. Make the ganache by melting the coconut oil and mixing it with the cocoa powder and agave nectar.
  6. Pour the ganache on top of the cheesecake filling and spread until smooth.
  7. Refrigerate for 2 hours until the ganache and filling have set. Cut into 16 squares and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


The one thing I would do differently next time is add cacao nibs or raw almonds into the filling. The ganache on top is quite soft and doesn’t add the crunch factor I expected it to. Besides that, this is a knock-out dessert.

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24 Responses to Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Raw/Vegan}
  1. Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa
    August 10, 2011 | 9:20 am

    Evan – why do you do this to me?! I just started working and there is no way I am going to be able to make this cheesecake until I am done. Today is going to be a long day…

  2. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots
    August 10, 2011 | 9:29 am

    Yum! I think I might have to try the raw version! So scrumptious! Question, though: what is nutritional yeast and what is it’s function in raw baking?

    • Wannabe Chef
      August 10, 2011 | 9:33 am

      nutritional yeast is inactive yeast. It has a cheese-like flavor to it, usually used in cheese substitutes. It doesn’t really have any purpose for baking particularly, just a flavor.

  3. Faith @ For the Health of It
    August 10, 2011 | 9:33 am

    I’m so excited about these being soy-free; I love me some soy but I get it in a lot of other forms so I don’t want to overdo it…and most vegan cheesecakes call for silken tofu! Delicious, sure, but I can’t wait to try out this nut-based one!

  4. Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
    August 10, 2011 | 9:37 am

    This looks incredible! Rich and perfect!

  5. JL goes Vegan
    August 10, 2011 | 10:06 am

    Great recipe, Evan. I love (and have) all of the ingredients — hope to make them this weekend!

  6. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    August 10, 2011 | 10:21 am

    Haha…food blog cravings are the worst 🙂

  7. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List
    August 10, 2011 | 11:21 am

    These look amazing! The chocolate crust puts it over the top!

  8. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    August 10, 2011 | 12:15 pm

    Oh damn that looks good. I love that there’s two layers of chocolate- I like my sweets with a double dose of the stuff 🙂

  9. Russell van Kraayenburg
    August 10, 2011 | 12:41 pm

    I am loving that this recipe is vegan. In fact I’m amazed and impressed. You are going to make me look like a hero in front of my vegan friends ; )

  10. VeggieGirl
    August 10, 2011 | 12:43 pm

    Oh Evan, you did it again – temptation at its finest.

    • Wannabe Chef
      August 10, 2011 | 4:10 pm

      If this were facebook, I would like that comment. There must be a plugin for that.

  11. Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen
    August 10, 2011 | 1:09 pm

    Shut up! I need to come to your house!

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    August 10, 2011 | 3:22 pm

    Evan this looks beautiful! Both the recipe development, the perfect way you cut the squares and didnt smear the layers (this is tricky i know as i have vegan GF creme de menthe bars that are the same brown/white principle and smearing is easy to do) and your photography turned out great.

    now you can eat it after all that 🙂

    i posted yesterday about being judged. as i was writing it, well after, I thought about your post on being judged recently and i am so happy you wrote that post. i have thought about it a few times, actually.

    • Wannabe Chef
      August 10, 2011 | 6:14 pm

      The Tastespotter/Foodgawker one? I could never bring myself to say “Screw them” because in all honesty I DO love the spike of traffic they bring. But sometimes you just gotta throw your hands in the air and be happy knowing you did your best.

  13. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
    August 11, 2011 | 8:38 am

    I usually have German chocolate cake floating through my brain too. These bars look SO good.

  14. BodyRock, Maine & Friday Link Love
    August 12, 2011 | 9:13 am

    […] And last, but certainly not least, Evan has me straight up DROOLING over these Chocolate Cheesecake bars, that are raw and vegan! Who can I make these for?? Any […]

  15. Gena
    August 13, 2011 | 7:54 am

    No wonder you were craving-struck! These look amazing.

  16. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
    August 13, 2011 | 1:36 pm

    Evan these look awesome! Can’t believe they’re raw/vegan. Buzz! 🙂

  17. amy @ lovetotrain
    August 13, 2011 | 1:46 pm

    WOW. good thing I came across your blog- these look out of this world fantastic. DEFINITELY going to have to give these a try!!! Looking forward to reading through some more of your posts!!

  18. The Chocolate Priestess
    August 14, 2011 | 2:25 pm

    Looks good but I vote for more chocolate in it!

  19. Jenn
    September 3, 2013 | 8:38 pm

    We make this same recipe except add peppermint to the filling…. so good!!

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