These lemon raspberry cheesecake bars are creamy, fruity, light, and such a crowd-pleaser. The tart yet sweet flavor of raspberries and fresh and zesty lemon are the perfect combination. Get ready for a tangy flavor explosion from the very first bite!
📖 Recipe Overview
- No-Bake - You only need about 30 minutes of hands-on prep time to make this quick and easy cheesecake. Even better, there's no need to turn on the oven, your blender and fridge will do all the heavy lifting for you.
- Small Batch - This small batch cheesecake serves between 6 and 8 people (depending on how you slice it 😉). Plus, it freezes well, so its great for when you're serving smaller groups or just want one all for yourself and can't be bothered to make a full-sized cake.
- Vegan AND Gluten-Free - This cheesecake features a whole food crust made from dates and nuts. My simple press-in crust doubles down on the sweet flavor and makes this a naturally gluten-free dessert.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
- Cashews - Cashew nuts give vegan cheesecake recipes their "cheesiness"! When soaked (see recipe notes) they give raw cakes a wonderful creamy cheesecake consistency. Cashew nuts also add a buttery flavor to the crust.
- Vegan Cream Cheese - This by far will add the most authentic cheesecake flavor to vegan cheesecake. I recommend using Violife or homemade non-dairy cream cheese.
- Vegan Yogurt - This adds a lightness to vegan cheesecake recipes and gives them almost a "sour cream" tangy flavor. Which is perfect for these refreshing raspberry lemon cheesecake bars.
- Maple Syrup - Maple syrup is my sweetener of choice for so many no-bake desserts. It adds a wonderfully subtle flavor.
- Lemons - I always recommend you use fresh lemons as bottled lemon juice does not hit the same! You'll need both lemon juice and lemon zest for the most lemony cheesecake filling!
- Raspberries - Fresh raspberries work best for the filling as this cheesecake sets in the fridge and frozen berries will go bleed into the batter when they defrost. Having said that, you can use frozen berries for the curd.
🥣 How To Make Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
These delicious dairy-free cheesecake bars come together in 3 simple stages; the berry curd, blender filling, and no-bake crust. Here's how it is done:
Step 1: Make half a batch of raspberry curd up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate until ready to use. Pre-soak the cashews as per the recipe notes. Line the base and sides of a 9" loaf pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Add the cashews and sea salt to a food processor and blitz for a minute or so until finely ground. Add the chopped dates and blend again until the mixture sticks together between your fingers.
Step 3: Press the crust into the base of the pan and smooth it down with your fingers or using a spoon - make sure it is compact. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
Step 4: Add all of the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy without any lumps.
Step 5: Add about half of the cream cheese filling to the pan, then scatter the fresh raspberries on top, pressing them into the batter.
Step 6: Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture and smooth out the surface with a spatula or spoon. Refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours (or overnight) until set.
Step 7: Add the curd on top of the set cheesecake, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Once set, use a hot wet sharp knife to cut it into servings.
There are lots of ways you can put your own spin on these no-bake raspberry cheesecake bars. Here are some ideas:
- Cookie Crust - Feel free to get creative with the cheesecake base. You could go for a cookie crust like in these lime cheesecake bars or use vegan graham crackers in place of the cookies if you've got some you need to use up.
- Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars: You can swap the fresh raspberries in the batter for other berries like blueberries or blackberries.
- Raspberry Ripple: You can create a raspberry swirl cheesecake by folding some berry coulis into the lemon cheesecake mixture. Add just a 2-3 tablespoons, as any more can prevent your cheesecake from setting firmly.
- Vegan cream cheese: This can be swapped out for full-fat coconut milk (using only the thick cream from the top of the can) or coconut cream.
Absolutely! If you would prefer to skip the raspberry curd, you can instead double up on the fresh raspberries inside the filling.
Yes, you can swap the cashews in the filling out measure-for-measure with soaked sunflower seeds. Alternatively, if you're just avoiding cashews you can make it without cashews or sunflower seeds and instead use macadamia nuts.
For the crust, swap the cashews for coconut flakes or gluten-free oats.
These vegan lemon raspberry bars will store ffor up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature for a couple of hours on the day of serving, but I don't recommend keeping them out longer than that as they will begin to melt.
You can freeze the cheesecake bars in individually wrapped portions and defrost them at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, or in the fridge overnight.
They'll keep well stored in the freezer for a couple of months.
🍰 More Cheesecake Bars
- ½ batch raspberry curd
- 150 g (1 cup + 2tbsp) cashews, soaked *see note 1
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, freshly grated (approx 2 large lemons)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly juiced
- 200 g (7 oz) vegan cream cheese
- 60 g (¼ cup) vegan Greek-style yogurt, or vegan Skyr *see note 2
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) pure maple syrup
- 30 g (2 tbsp) coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- Make the crust: Add the cashews and sea salt to a food processor and blitz for a minute or so until finely ground. Add the chopped dates and blend again until the mixture sticks together between your fingers.
- Press the crust into the base of the pan and smooth it down with your fingers or using a spoon - make sure it is compact. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: Add all of the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy without any lumps.
- Add about half of the cream cheese filling to the pan, then scatter the fresh raspberries on top, pressing them into the batter.Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture and smooth out the surface with a spatula or spoon. Refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours (or overnight) until set.
- Add the topping: The curd will thicken in the fridge, to get it back to a pourable consistency add to a large bowl and very gently heat it over a double boiler whilst stirring so that it becomes a spreadable consistency - be careful not to overheat it as you don't want it to melt the cheesecakeAdd the curd on top of the set cheesecake, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
- Serving and storage: Once set, use a hot wet sharp knife to cut it into servings. They will keep for up to 5 days in a covered container in the fridge. They'll keep in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. To serve, simply defrost in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 30 mins to an hour.
- Soaked cashews: soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse, and drain. You can also quick-soak your cashews by soaking them in boiled water for 30 minutes.
- Yogurt: Use thick coconut yogurt for a soy-free option.
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