Strawberry Cheesecake Bars (Vegan + GF)

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Plate of strawberry cheesecake bars next to fresh strawberries

The classic flavors of tangy cheesecake and fresh ripe strawberries marry together perfectly in these 10-ingredient, vegan, gluten-free bars! We were inspired to make a berry cheesecake bar for summer to highlight juicy, ripe berries, and these definitely hit the spot! We went for a baked cheesecake in order to achieve that quintessential cheesecake flavor and texture. Did we mention they’re kinda perfect? Let us show you how it’s done!

Cashews, almonds, oats, strawberries, coconut cream, lemon, cornstarch, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt

How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake

It starts with our easy oat-almond crust, which is reminiscent of a graham cracker crust and slightly modified from our fan-favorite Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars (GF).

Oats, almonds, and sea salt in a blender

Rolled oats and almonds are blended with a little salt and transformed into a moldable dough with the additions of maple syrup and coconut oil.

Bowl of our oat-almond cheesecake crust

Next, we make a strawberry purée to concentrate the sweet strawberry flavor without adding too much moisture.

Blender of sliced strawberries and cornstarch

The strawberry purée goes over the crust and is swirled into the creamy cashew-coconut filling for maximum strawberry flavor in every bite. Swoon!

Swirls of strawberry purée in a creamy cashew cheesecake filling

Lastly, it goes into the oven to give it a classic cheesecake flavor and texture.

Gluten-free vegan strawberry cheesecake bars on a piece of parchment paper

We hope you LOVE this strawberry cheesecake! It’s:

Creamy
Bright
Sweet
Fresh
Fruity
& Classic!

It’s the perfect dessert for summer gatherings and celebrations, wedding or baby showers, birthdays, and beyond! It would also be delicious with other fruits, especially other berries.

Into Cheesecake? Try These Next:

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding up a strawberry cheesecake bar to show the texture

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars (Vegan + GF)

The decadent flavors of tangy cheesecake and fresh strawberry swirled together into gluten-free, vegan-friendly bars! Oat-almond crust, naturally sweetened, 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Stack of strawberry cheesecake bars on a plate
4.74 from 15 votes
Prep Time 7 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 16 (Bars)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free certified as needed)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-5 Tbsp refined coconut oil, melted

STRAWBERRY PURÉE

  • 4 heaping cups super ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 ½ lbs yields 4 heaping cups)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream (from a can — our favorite is Savoy)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) and line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • CRUST: Add oats, almonds, and salt to a high-speed blender and blend on high until everything resembles a fine meal.
  • Transfer oat mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add maple syrup and the lesser amount of coconut oil. Stir to combine. The mixture should hold together when squeezed in your hand. If too dry, add the extra coconut oil. Place the crust into the lined 8-inch pan and spread evenly. Place parchment on top and press the dough into your pan using a flat-bottomed object, such as a drinking glass, to distribute firmly and evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the corners are golden and the center of the crust is pale and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • STRAWBERRY PURÉE: While your crust bakes, rinse your blender and prepare the strawberry purée. Place the strawberries, maple syrup, and arrowroot or cornstarch into the blender and blend until you achieve a smooth purée.
  • Transfer strawberry purée to a medium saucepan and heat on medium. Cook, stirring constantly, for 20-25 minutes, until it’s thick, slightly reduced, and darkened in color. Once reduced, you should have ~1 ½ cups (355 ml) of thickened purée (adjust if altering number of servings). Turn off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • CHEESECAKE FILLING: While your purée and crust are cooling, rinse your blender once more and make your cheesecake batter. Add raw cashews, coconut cream, lemon juice, arrowroot or cornstarch, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla (optional) to the blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavor, adding more lemon for zing or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Start layering! Add about 1 cup (237 ml // adjust if altering number of servings) of the strawberry purée as your first layer on top of your crust and smooth with a spatula to distribute evenly, ensuring you have about 1/2 cup of purée left to decorate the top of your cheesecake. Now gently pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the strawberry purée. Gently tap the dish on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles from the cheesecake layer. Lastly, dollop tablespoon-sized scoops of the remaining strawberry purée on top of the cheesecake layer and use the back of a knife or a toothpick to swirl.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until the edges are slightly brown and the center is still slightly jiggly, but solid.
  • Cover loosely with a towel or parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to chill for 6-8 hours or, preferably, overnight. After chilling, the top should have a glossy texture and turn whiter in color.
  • To serve, gently lift the cheesecake out of the pan and cut into 16 equally sized squares. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Prep time includes cooling cheesecake bars for 6 hours.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of coconut oil and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 bar Calories: 329 Carbohydrates: 25.6 g Protein: 8.4 g Fat: 23.4 g Saturated Fat: 6.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 10.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 60 mg Potassium: 365 mg Fiber: 5.1 g Sugar: 11.5 g Vitamin A: 7.3 IU Vitamin C: 26.3 mg Calcium: 99 mg Iron: 2 mg

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  1. Hannah Lovell says

    I made these after seeing them on Erin Ireland’s IG story, and they are amazing. Thank you for another delicious MB recipe.

  2. Shelby says

    Amazing cheesecake! The lemon juice really gives it that “cheesecakey” flavour. I had almond flour, so I used that instead. I will be making this again soon.

      • Aud M.P. says

        I loved this! It doesn’t really compare to the specific flavor of dairy cheesecake, but it is a delicious dessert in its own with a wonderful fluffy creamy texture. my husband described it as a creamy almond butter and jelly. I only could find salted cooked cashews, so I rinsed and soaked them before use and I think they turned out just as well. I wanted to eat it sooner than 6 hours ( because I’m impatient) so I added a little extra cornstarch threw it in the freezer, and the strawberry purée set perfectly. I wish I could post a picture because they were so pretty as well!

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Wonderful! So glad you enjoy them! Thank you for sharing your experience and modifications!

  3. Anna C says

    These are amazing!!! Followed the recipe as it is. I stewed the strawberries probably for over 30 minutes. I did not realize that we had to blend the dry ingredients for the crust first then add the oil. I blended it altogether and it was hard on the blender but it turned out great. I needed way more lemon for the cream cheese. I look forward to making another fruit variation with this. It takes an evening in the kitchen but well worth it! :-D

  4. Leanne says

    These cheesecake bars are really delicious – even my non-vegan husband liked them. My only problem is that the recipe called for using too many dishes/pans so there was lots of clean up time. That’s why I only rated them 4*’s.
    I modified the recipe and used fresh blueberry puree, which worked well. However, I think it then required less baking time. I baked the cheesecake 50 min. which was probably 5 – 10 min too long. To compensate for the over baked and slightly dry cheesecake filling, I topped each slice with a dollop of coconut whipped cream. I’ll try it again with strawberries and watch the cook time more diligently.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kate! xo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maxine! We have found that if our raw cashews are fairly fresh they don’t need to be soaked before blending for this recipe. Let us know what you think if you give it a try! xo

  5. Wendy says

    The vegan cheesecake layer was excellent! The strawberry layer, however, was disappointing in looks. It never set completely ( I cooked it for 24 minutes and it seemed the right consistency at that point) but it turned a pinkish red color. I bought organic strawberries, used cornstarch and maple syrup. Any ideas? The dessert tasted pretty good overall but not the appearance. Your recipes are always so perfect 😀that I don’t hesitate to try something even for company. But this has not made it on the make again list.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Wendy! So sorry this didn’t turn out exactly how you wanted. Did you chill the cheesecake for at least 6 hours after baking? We find that chilling overnight is ideal and changes the finished look. We’ve had success with arrowroot and cornstarch, but perhaps you could try with arrowroot next time to see if it thickens better? Regardless, we’re grateful for your review! Maybe next time you could try our Easy Baked Cheesecake or our Apple Butter Cheesecake Bars instead! xo

  6. Alicia says

    Another delicious recipe! I made these for a block party, and could not believe how good they were (and no one guessed they were vegan)! I let mine set in the refrigerator overnight, and the strawberry puree layer was still a bit runny in the morning; next time I might try setting them in the freezer. Can’t wait for an excuse to make these again!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks for the lovely review, Alicia, we’re glad everyone enjoyed! xo

  7. Sam says

    Love so many of your recipes! These weren’t a favorite of ours, though. They look so beautiful, though we all found them to taste just okay. The strawberry flavor seemed lacking/muted after all the cooking and baking. Maybe we would enjoy it more with a fresher strawberry sauce on a cheesecake bar. Not something we would make again.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! Sorry these didn’t turn out to be your favorite, Sam. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  8. Stacey says

    Hello! It’s a bit early to tell, but I think I may have done something wrong and I wondered if you maybe would recognize what that is. When I poured the “cheesecake” mixture over the strawberry purée, it sank to the bottom while mostly the purée remained on top. My guess is that I didn’t thicken the purée enough? I baked it anyway and it’s currently chilling so we will see how it tastes tomorrow. It still smells delicious so I’m hoping it is edible, haha. I love to bake, but I don’t bake with fruits nearly enough so the purée step was a bit foreign to me, but the rest of the recipe was super easy to follow! I appreciate any feedback you can give!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we’re not sure! It is possible that the puree didn’t get thickened enough but hopefully it sets up nicely! If it was thick enough it should matter too much if it moved around. Let us know what you think when you give it a taste! xo

  9. renée I.A. mercuri says

    I increased the quantity to 20 bars and made this as a round cake in an 11-inch spring form pan as an extra blow out the candles cake for my son’s 10th birthday (we had a rainbow pride cake for our celebration with family). I also made about 2.5 times the strawberry purée so I could have some left for people to spoon on top individual cheesecake servings. This vegan cheesecake was exceptional and a huge hit. Everyone raved about it. Will make it again in flavours such as blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and peach (depending on what is in season!). Thank you for this glorious recipe…

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amaziiing! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Renée! We’re so glad it was enjoyed by all! Let us know how it goes when you try it with other fruit, too! :)

  10. Yael says

    Hi dear Danna
    I thank you for that delicious recipe.
    I made it with a few modifications.
    1. I substituted oat with GF flower
    1/4 cup brown rice flour
    1/4 cup Casava flour
    1/2 cup buckwheat flour
    2.instead of strawberries, I used frozen blueberries, which allowed to skip the cooking.
    3. I used raw walnuts butter with the coconut oil.
    Bottom line

    Super delicious.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! We’re so glad they turned out well, Yael. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

    • Bianca says

      I was thinking of making these but am wondering how you think j frozen strawberries would work for this instead of fresh! Thanks so much it looks amazing and I can’t wait to try!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Bianca, You can use the same amount of frozen strawberries, but we’d suggest thawing them most of the way and draining excess liquid (thawing in a colander over a bowl) before blending. Can’t wait for you to try it! xo

  11. Yael says

    Hello and thank you so much for the world of wonder foods you create, displayed in mouth watering photos.
    I have a question
    What can sub oats?
    Thanks for your great work

    Yael

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Yael, thank you so much for your kind words! We haven’t tried it but you could possibly substitute our DIY gluten free flour blend in place of the oats here (blend the almonds on their own and them mix everything in a bowl). It might not be as tender but it should work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  12. Kirby says

    Hi! So I haaaate the taste of maple syrup. Could I sub agave or honey? Any other suggestions? Also your dessert came out gorgeous. Maybe I can get the same result! :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anastasia, If using a powerful blender, we don’t find it necessary. Otherwise, we’d suggest soaking.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shenoa, We haven’t tried it but you could possibly substitute our DIY gluten free flour blend in place of the oats here (blend the almonds on their own and them mix everything in a bowl). It might not be as tender but it should work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  13. Penny says

    Maybe a silly question but is it one and a half cups of whole strawberries or one and half of of strawberries already hulled and quartered?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa! We’ve found that we don’t need to soak the raw cashews for this recipe, yay! Let us know what you think when you give it a go! xo

  14. Tia says

    Hi there,
    Would frozen strawberries work for this recipe (would you replace with the same amount)?
    Thank you so much, the recipe looks great! Can’t wait to try it

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tia! You can use the same amount of frozen strawberries, but we’d suggest thawing them most of the way and draining excess liquid (thawing in a colander over a bowl) before blending. Can’t wait for you to try it! xo

      • Kate says

        These took me a looong time to make (I should’ve read through the recipe in its entirety before I started it at 9pm, lol – learn from my mistake) but they were SO WORTH IT! I finally got to taste-test these bars this morning, and omg, I will never miss dairy cheesecake again. I can’t wait to make these again (for a special occasion, not on a random Tuesday night)! :) 🍓

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          We’re so glad they were worth the effort, Kate! Thank you so much for sharing! xoxo

  15. Ashleigh Ah Chee says

    Good morning! Very keen to try these but minimal strawberries in AUS at the moment, chances frozen strawberries will work as a replacement?

    Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ashleigh! You can use frozen strawberries, but we’d suggest thawing them most of the way and draining excess liquid (thawing in a colander over a bowl) before blending. xo

  16. Katie says

    Hi I’m new to vegan baking. I was wondering if the cashews had to be raw in order for the cheesecake to turn out right.
    Thanks

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie! For the right flavor the cashews should be raw and unsalted for this recipe. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

      • Taylor Yaba says

        My strawberry purée ended up tasting soured.. what could cause this? I thought I followed directions exactly and I let them cool for 10 hours.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Oh no! So sorry this didn’t work out for you, Taylor. We’re not sure what might have caused this, unless something in your mixture was past it’s best by date? (we’ve found that starches and nuts can cause strange flavors if they’re old!)
          The strawberries do add a bit of tartness, but shouldn’t taste off. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chantal! You can use frozen strawberries, but we’d suggest thawing them most of the way and draining excess liquid (thawing in a colander over a bowl) before blending. xo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie! For the crust you could try substituting a 1/2 & 1/2 mixture of gluten-free oat flour and our DIY gluten free flour blend, though we haven’t tried it. Or sunflower seed meal may be a good option? We’re not sure! Unfortunately this recipe relies pretty heavily on cashews for the filling to work, but you could try adding in some vegan cream cheese (at least 1 cup) for creaminess, though we aren’t positive how it will bake. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren! If you can do coconut, you could try doing 1/2-1 cup of coconut flour and 1 cup of our DIY gluten free flour blend (or a similar gf blend). We haven’t tried this, it will probably bake faster and it might not be as tender but it could work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! We haven’t tried it but you could possibly substitute our DIY gluten free flour blend in place of the oats here (blend the almonds on their own and them mix everything in a bowl). It might not be as tender but it should work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

      • TS says

        Thanks for the reply but we can’t use the GF flour blend as we can’t have rice either..any other suggestions? Thanks

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hmm, in that case, you could maybe use more almonds instead (but it will be more soft), or perhaps your favorite GF grain flour? Hope that helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jillian! You can use frozen strawberries, but we’d suggest thawing them most of the way and draining excess liquid (thawing in a colander over a bowl) before blending. xo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tony! Yumm, we think blueberries would work nicely here! Just make sure you keep an eye on the fruit puree as it cooks on the stove as blueberries may reduce faster than strawberries. We’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

      • Sofia says

        I just made this recipe with blueberries as that’s all I had on hand and I confirm that they work very well! I often make your recipes and have never taken the time to write a review, but Dana, your food is truly perfection. My family and I have loved everything that I’ve made so far, from pancakes to muffins to moussaka (my personal favourite). I even made the sausage links last night and *chef’s kiss*. Thank you for your creations. I look forward to the next Minimalist Baker email in my inbox and will try to rate and review future recipes more often.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Aw, we really appreciate it, Sofia. We’re so glad you enjoy the recipes! Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely review! xo

      • Grace says

        I made mine with 1 cup of strawberries and 3 cups of blueberries since I had some homegrown strawberries and lots of store bought blueberries. I definitely didn’t reduce the puree enough (I only did about 20 minutes so it was my fault, not the fruit) so my final cheesecake came out more mixed together than yours in the pictures but the puree still came out delicious. It obvious has a much deeper purple color but the replacement worked well for me!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Joanna, unrefined works here! It just adds a little more coconut flavor. Otherwise, vegan butter might work.

  17. Tracy says

    Does it taste strongly of coconut from the coconut cream? It looks so delicious! Would love to try it if the coconut doesn’t overpower the other flavors.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tracy! We don’t find that the coconut flavor is too much here, but you could possibly add in ~1/2 cup of vegan cream cheese (like in our easy baked cheesecake) if you’re worried about it being too much! xo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Crystal! We haven’t tried this crust without almonds but you could possibly substitute our DIY gluten free flour blend, though it might bake faster and the result might not be as tender. Alternatively, you could try something like walnut or hazelnut meal. Or if you have a nut allergy, sunflower seeds meal may be a good option? Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  18. Kate says

    Hi :) any advice on turning this nut-free? Could I use soya cream or -yogurt instead of anything nut-based (coconut is fine). I just don’t want to use all coconut as the flavor is quite distinct and I think would overpower the flavor of the strawberries.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kate! For the crust, you could try omitting the almonds and just using oats, but we haven’t tried it and it probably won’t be as tender. For the filling, surprisingly it doesn’t taste much like coconut (to us!) but adding in some vegan cream cheese could possibly work to balance flavors. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!