vegan cheesecake bars cut into slices on plates

Vegan Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The most delectable Vegan Cheesecake Bars made with a chocolate chip cookie crust! They totally taste like the real thing.

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vegan cheesecake bars cut into slices on plates

These incredibly satisfying Vegan Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars took even me by surprise, I’ll admit it. I knew they’d be delicious, but I didn’t anticipate just how obsessed I would be. I ate these as my after dinner snack for a straight week. They’re sweet but not too sweet, perfectly tangy like all self-respecting cheesecake is, and oh so creamy. The chocolate chip cookie crust takes things to a whole new level. These bars are keepers, that’s for sure.

overhead shot of cheesecake bars in pan before slicing

Key Ingredients for Vegan Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookies: I used an entire package of these cookies. They’re crunchy, which I find works best for this crust, and are also vegan and gluten-free.

Vegan Butter: Half a stick for the cookie crust! You could also substitute refined coconut oil.

Cashews: Make sure you use raw and unsalted here, otherwise the texture won’t be right. You always want to make sure you soak them at least 6 hours for best results.

Coconut Cream: Make sure you use the thick cream and discard any liquid in the can!

Maple Syrup: Just a quarter cup for some sweetness!

Arrowroot Starch: To make sure these bars thicken properly! You could certainly substitute cornstarch, but I found that arrowroot starch gave the best cheesecake texture.

Vanilla Extract: For some subtle vanilla flavor.

Lemon Juice: Fresh-squeezed is best! You don’t want to overdo it on this one. Half of a small or medium lemon will do.

Sea Salt: Just a pinch to bring our flavors into balance.

Chocolate Chips: I prefer mini chocolate chips for these bars. You can also add an optional (but highly recommended) chocolate drizzle on top by melting some more chocolate chips with coconut oil.

Tips for Success

  • Plan ahead! The most “difficult” part of this recipe is the time it takes to properly bake and set. Make sure you plan ahead in order to soak the cashews, completely cool the bars after baking, and chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Soaking the Cashews: Don’t skimp on this if you want that silky smooth cheesecake texture! Soak in room temperature water for at least 6 hours OR in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  • Blending the Cashews: I highly recommend blending the soaked cashews and coconut cream alone in the food processor until completely smooth prior to adding any other ingredients.
  • Pay attention to the signs your cheesecake bars are done baking! The center will be set and no longer wobbly and the edges will be gently browned. This reliably took 25 minutes for me, but each oven is different so keep an eye on things.
overhead shot of cheesecake bars on plates and in pan

I hope you are obsessed with these Vegan Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars! If you give them a try, be sure to leave a rating and review. This encourages others to give them a try. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram. It truly makes my day to hear from you.

More Amazing Vegan Desserts

cheesecake bar slices on a plate
vegan cheesecake bars cut into slices on plates

Vegan Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The most delectable Vegan Cheesecake Bars made with a chocolate chip cookie crust! They totally taste like the real thing.
Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 bars

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • 8×8 metal square pan

Ingredients
  

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust:

  • 1 5-7 oz package vegan crunchy chocolate chip cookies (I used Simple Mills)
  • ¼ cup vegan butter or refined coconut oil melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch (I prefer arrowroot starch for this recipe)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice of half a medium lemon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup vegan mini-chocolate chips

For Optional Chocolate Drizzle:

  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp refined coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Soak your cashews ahead of time! Place them in a bowl with room temperature water for 6-8 hours OR in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a metal 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  • Make the crust: Put the cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse in 5-second intervals until broken down, with chocolate chips still in tact. Mix the broken down cookies with the melted butter and press into the lined pan until a crust is formed and evenly distributed.
  • Make the filling: Clean out the food processor and add soaked cashews and coconut cream, processing until completely smooth. Add maple syrup, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sea salt and process until well-combined. Fold in the mini-chocolate chips and pour the entire mixture into the prepared pan, using a silicone spatula to smooth and evenly distribute.
  • Make the optional (but highly recommended) drizzle: Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring at each interval, until fully melted. Evenly pour the drizzle over the prepared cheesecake bars and use a fork to swirl slightly and create a pattern without over-mixing.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges have browned and the center sets and is no longer wobbly.
  • Let the bars cool completely before covering with aluminum foil and chilling in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. Cut into 12 even slices and enjoy!

Notes

To make gluten-free: Use gluten-free chocolate chip cookies! Simple Mills cookies, which I used, are both vegan and gluten-free.
Storage: These bars will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days, or in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 1 month.
 
Keyword dairy-free, gluten free, vegan, vegan cheesecake, vegan dessert, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti

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