Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

 

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

 

Thank you for joining Deborah and me for another Meatless Monday! I look forward to fellow bloggers linking up and inspiring everyone.
Thanksgiving is just over a week away I have one last dessert for you! I have one other that I’m making again for an early Thanksgiving at my in-laws this weekend but I’m going to wait to share that with you until after Thanksgiving as it’s also great for Christmas. I know you might be thinking another dessert but it’s that time of year and I’m all about enjoying classic and traditional favorites with a twist while trying to also make them a little healthier. That doesn’t mean that traditional flavor should be sacrificed. Desserts are meant to be a treat and enjoyed!

 

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

One dessert besides pumpkin pie, which I already played with and posted Friday, that screams Thanksgiving for my family is pecan pie! For me pecan pie is great any time during the fall or winter. I had to play with this classic and make Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars! I’m a fan of pecan pie as I love nuts but always want something a little more with all the sweet caramel coated nuts. If you ask me the holidays are about family and the classic family favorites. Cheesecake, or a cashew vegan cheesecake in this case, is the perfect paring for those caramelized toasted pecans. As they are also one of my grandmother’s favorite desserts I had to play with it and bring her something so delicious it would put a smile on her face. These bars did just that!
Vegan cheesecakes are one of my favs as they are so delicious, vegan, and gluten free, and everyone enjoys them. I mean everyone! They don’t miss anything with these delicious cheesecakes so I’m always tweaking and playing with them as it’s something everyone loves and enjoys. Making something everyone likes and can enjoy and bringing a smile to faces is what it’s all about this time of year and bring me joy.

 

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

The only thing I kind of struggled with was getting that rich buttery caramely coating on the pecans that you have in a traditional pecan pie. That meant I couldn’t go with a date paste topping and had to go with coconut sugar to get that caramel glaze on them without baking the bars and also meant they wouldn’t be raw as I had to make the caramel sauce on the stove. It was quick and easy and still gave me that buttery rich caramel I wanted with the pecans to top these bars. If you are a pecan pie fan you know what I’m talking about, that coating that makes the pecans have that thin caramel chew coating on them. While they don’t stand up to heat well and can’t sit out for hours on a buffet table they are worth it. They are honestly best served 20-30 minutes out of the freezer as than they have time to thaw and have a soft creamy texture.

 

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

So good these are perfect in bite size nibbles for any holiday get together just for that little sweet treat some are looking for and not a heavy dessert. They are so rich and delicious they just hit the spot for me. I cut the bars into 16 or for smaller nibbles 36. The smaller serving size I think is perfect as they satisfy that sweet craving you’re looking for but still leave you wanting more and they don’t fill you up. Trust me thought I like the larger size too and it’s more comparable to a traditional slice of cheesecake. They are a perfect addition to any holiday spread! Or shh they are also perfect for that sweet treat some of us like with our coffee. I sent some home this past weekend, as I had an extra batch from photographing, with a few family members who like pecan pie to enjoy yesterday with coffee for a sweet Sunday morning treat with their coffee. Getting sweet messages that they loved their sweet treats made my day!

 

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

 

Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Makes 9×9″ pan, 16-32 servings
Crust
1 3/4c pecans halves, toasted
6 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked if dry
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP coconut oil

Cheesecake
2c raw cashews, cashew pieces (soaked 4 hours or overnight)
1/3c pure maple syrup
1/2c canned full fat coconut milk (So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk)
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean or 1 TBSP vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Pecan Topping
1 1/2c pecans, roughly chopped
1/2c coconut oil
1/4c water
1c coconut palm sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2c pure maple syrup

 

Start by soaking your cashews in water 4 hours or overnight.
Toast pecans for 8-10 minutes at 350F, let cool.

Prepare a 9×9 pan lining with parchment paper. In a food processor pulse 1 3/4c toasted pecans until you have a coarse crumble. Add in cinnamon and sea salt and pulse to mix. Add pitted dates and process until the mixture comes together before adding coconut oil and processing for about 30 seconds or until well blended. Press crust into the bottom of prepared pan. Place in the freezer, while this isn’t necessary I find it helps me make sure I have a level area in the freezer ahead of time and works for doing it in steps if I’m not doing it all at once.
To make cheesecake rinse and drain cashews. In a food processor, or Vitamix, pulse cashews until they are broken up as much as possible. Shake your coconut milk before measuring and add to the cashews with the maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. I find the Vitamix will make it the smoothest. Pour cheesecake over prepared crust and place in the freezer.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt coconut oil. Add sugar, water, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved, then adjust heat to medium and boil 2 minutes longer. Add maple syrup and boil, stirring frequently, until sauce is thick, smooth, and coats a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour over pecans adding just enough to cover the pecans, about half. Too much caramel and the bars will run as they warm up. The reserve can be used for serving or on top of ice cream.
Pour caramel pecan mixture over cheesecake and freeze for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. If serving at a party remove bars ahead and cut and place back in the freezer until just before ready to enjoy. Bars can be removed about 20 minutes before enjoying but do not leave sitting out as the caramel will melt and they will get too soft. Enjoy!
These #vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars are a #Thanksgiving must! #MeatlessMonday @MeatlessMonday Click To Tweet
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A delicious twist on a classic fav these Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars are perfect for the holidays!

A delicious twist on a classic fav these Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars are perfect for the holidays!

 

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Sharing the Meatless Monday love I’m also linking up with with Running on Happy and The Fit Foodie Mama for Meatless Monday!

80 Responses to Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

  1. Courtney says:

    These look amazing– so perfect for the holiday season! It’s been awhile since I’ve made a vegan cheesecake, but this looks like a good recipe to start with. 🙂
    Courtney recently posted…Spicy Peanut Tortilla SandwichesMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you Courtney! It’s always a fav that everyone (vegan/gf or not) enjoys. I have one more coming but I decided to hold off until after Thanksgiving to share it but will have sneaks this weekend I’m sure as I’m bringing it to my in-laws early Thanksgiving!

  2. I would take these bars over regular pecan pie any day! They look so amazing!

  3. Ohhhhh my goodnesssss! These look amazing! Love that they are vegan too!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Currently… (November 2016)My Profile

  4. Annmarie says:

    I’ve been digging pecans lately- this looks phenomenal, as always! I’d eat a pan right now if I could!
    Annmarie recently posted…Creamy Sweet Potato PastaMy Profile

  5. I am not a pecan pie person… but dang these look so good I may just convert haha
    AZ@…And A Dash of Cinnamon recently posted…Strawberry Pumpkin Baked Protein Oatmeal [Clean, Vegan, Gluten Free]My Profile

  6. I love cheesecake bars. I haven’t tried a vegan version before, I’m excited to try these!!
    Sarah @Bucket List Tummy recently posted…New Family Addition + My Top Kitchen ProductsMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Even non vegans seem to like the vegan cheesecake bars so I play with the combos often. If you try them I’d love to hear what you think.

  7. Wowza! That crust is so creative and sounds amazing! Happy meatless Monday
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Skillet Spinach & Squash Phyllo PieMy Profile

  8. Such a fun treat! Way better version of a pecan pie!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Roasted Apple & Cranberry SauceMy Profile

  9. Those look absolutely delicious!
    Nicole Dawson recently posted…Chocolate Dipped Red Velvet CookiesMy Profile

  10. Kat says:

    Holy guacamole these look divine! I have some extra vegan cheesecake topping in the freezer so I could use it to make these. Absolutely stunning!I think raw vegan desserts are the best thing in the world.

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! What is the vegan cheesecake topping, one you made? They’re a favorite even with non vegans so they are a go to for holiday desserts so everyone can enjoy them.

  11. That pecan pie topping… holy wow! These look rich and decadent! I can only imagine they would be the hit of any holiday gathering!

  12. My dad’s two favorite holiday desserts..pecan pie and cheesecake…I’m totally surprising him with this!

  13. You’ve really outdone yourself Sarah. These bars look like the perfect combination of sweet, savory and over the top decadence!
    Alisa Fleming recently posted…Vegan Caramel Sweet Potato PieMy Profile

  14. What a great way to bring a nutrient packed punch to this holiday staple using dates! I too would have loved to wake up Sunday to enjoy this with my coffee!

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! Dates, nuts, coconut milk/cream, maple syrup, they are pretty healthy but the topping is pretty indulging. However you don’t use all the caramel so they aren’t that “bad”. Definitely a treat. Wish I could deliver one to you to have with your coffee!

  15. Wow those cheesecake bars look amazing! This might have to make an appearance at our Thanksgiving table!
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables recently posted…Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  16. Laura says:

    I’m all about cheesecake for breakfast! Brilliant idea! These look so delicious and I LOVE that cake stand…too cute!
    Laura recently posted…Homemade Cranberry SauceMy Profile

  17. Kerri Olkjer says:

    I was scrolling through completely drooling. Thinking HOW can these be vegan? Cashews. Brilliant and I must try!
    Kerri Olkjer recently posted…FitViews 2016 Holiday Fit ListMy Profile

  18. Pecan pie and cheesecake are actually two of my favorite splurges! I love that you combined the two into an adorable bite-sized version- and they’re vegan to boot! My brother-in-law and his girlfriend are joining us for Thanksgiving this year and they’re vegan- I may have to make these. Great job! 🙂
    Sonali- The Foodie Physician recently posted…Quick and Easy Chicken CacciatoreMy Profile

  19. What a fabulous decadent treat, but yay it’s vegan too! Love it.

  20. You already had me at pecan THEN I saw the photos of these amazing bars. WOWEEEE I must have!!
    Chrissa – Physical Kitchness recently posted…Comment on Chocolate Chia Pecan Pie Parfaits (with collagen peptides) by Sarah- A Whisk and Two WandsMy Profile

  21. Oh my goodness….drooool! I love that sticky pecan topping! Looks amazing !
    Kerri McGrail recently posted…How to Substitute Eggs in Vegan BakingMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! That was the hardest part is I wanted that sticky glazed topping without being think (dates) or too much.

  22. Kristin says:

    These are almost too pretty to eat! … but eat them I would – in a second! You have the most amazing recipes
    Kristin recently posted…Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids: kindness, activities, toys & treatsMy Profile

  23. Abbey Sharp says:

    This looks incredible!! Making it this weekend, love a healthy cheesecake!
    Abbey Sharp recently posted…Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole | Healthy, Low Carb CasseroleMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! I’d love to hear what you think if you do and hope you enjoy them as much as my family, friends, and myself!

  24. These look so ooey gooey and delicious!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…High Protein Balsamic Vinaigrette (vegan, gluten free, soy free)My Profile

  25. Wow, these are just gorgeous! Pecan pie and cheesecake are my two favorite desserts, so of course this is amazing! Also I’m obsessed with that stand, where is it from?!

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you, it’s a delicious combo for sure! The stand is from Anthropologie! I got it last year during the holidays.

  26. These are heaven on a plate! Must make for the holidays!
    Lindsay Cotter recently posted…5 Holiday Kitchen Essentials from KitchenAidMy Profile

  27. I’m a vegetarian, so meatless Monday’s are my jam! These look amazing I know my family would love these.

  28. Wow!! These look amazing, and easy to make!
    Chrystal @ Gluten-Free Palate recently posted…Gluten-Free Gingerbread Muffins (13 Ingredients)My Profile

  29. Chrissy says:

    These look incredible and perfect for a holiday dessert. Something a little different than the typical pies.
    Chrissy recently posted…20 MINUTE CARDIO KICKBOXING TABATA WORKOUT!My Profile

  30. Mikki says:

    I am so excited about trying this. I have missed having cheesecakes since going dairy free. Thanks for sharing this.
    Mikki recently posted…Our Old House Kitchen Remodel – The Adventure BeginsMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Oh I LOVE dairy free/vegan cheesecakes and even those in the family that aren’t love them. Since they’re such a fav with everyone I always come back to playing with them year after year!

  31. I mostly wonder how you keep coming up with new amazing ideas?! Cashews are basically a seller for me if they show up anytime!!! Love how creamy they can make things
    amanda -runtothefinish recently posted…Top 5 Running Books to Skyrocket Your MotivationMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Dairy free/vegan (and gluten free) cheesecakes have been something everyone loves at get togethers even those who eat everything so I keep playing with them and coming up with new flavor combinations over the years. A Chocolate Mocha one I posted I think 3 years ago is still a fav and even friends with no allergies or food restrictions have made them for their friends and family and they’re always a hit.
      Yes cashews are so creamy and a year or two ago I started also adding a little coconut milk (canned) to make them extra creamy!

  32. Ilka says:

    …okay I really need to make these!! DELICIOUS!
    Ilka recently posted…Week of November 7th Running LogMy Profile

  33. Cricket says:

    Love anything will gooey caramel, these photos have my mouth watering!
    Cricket recently posted…Pumpkin Spice Mochi #SundaySupperMy Profile

  34. These look so yummy! I love that they are vegan as well, I didn’t even know you could make vegan cheesecake!
    Amanda Kanashiro recently posted…Gluten Free Beer Braised Bratwurst with Gluten Free Cheese SauceMy Profile

  35. Jenn says:

    Holy WOW – I want that NOW! Drool…….
    Jenn recently posted…Superfood Smoothie for Glowing SkinMy Profile

  36. These look delicious! I love cheesecake but I don’t love what it does to my stomach. This is a great alternative!
    Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit recently posted…How to Stay Happy and Healthy Over the HolidaysMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you! I know the feeling, I’m the same way. I hope you try it (or a version of dairy free/vegan cheesecake, I have many) and love it as much as I do!

  37. Rachel says:

    My son and I are sitting here drooling over your photos…
    Rachel recently posted…The Backbones of a 5K Training Plan with STACKMy Profile

  38. Drooling over these so much! These would be perfect for thanksgiving!
    rachel @ athletic avocado recently posted…35+ Hearty Whole30 Side DishesMy Profile

  39. Yowza! These look awesome. In a world of all things pumpkin, am I ever happy to see these little bars. They sound insanely delicious. You better believe they will be on my to-make list in the very near future!
    kimmythevegan recently posted…French ToastMy Profile

  40. Wendy says:

    Just made these and they turned out great! One question, in the ingredient list for the pecan topping it lists 1/4 c water, but in the directions it doesn’t say where to add it? I left it out. Will def make these again. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      I’m happy you enjoyed them! The water gets added in with the coconut oil, sugar, and salt. It’s been updated. They turned out without the water added to the caramel sauce? Thank you for sharing your experience and that you’ll be making them again.

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