My whole family is totally in love with these vegan, gluten-free blueberry cheesecake bars, which were born when I happily combined two recipes I’ve been testing this summer: the perfect blueberry pie and cheesecake bars. Some of you may have noticed I use cashews a lot in my recipes. Well, they are one of the stars of this recipe too, as they once again impress me with their creaminess. Then of course there are the wild blueberries from Finnish forests, which add a slight tanginess to the sweet cheese cake-y creaminess. I have a feeling these two recipes will stay happily married for a long time!
There are many raw vegan cheesecake versions online, and I do love raw cheesecake. But I’m still more of a baked treat kinda girl. My mom was an avid baker when I was a little girl, and I have the fondest memories of her fresh baked cinnamon rolls, buttermilk cake and berry tarts. She used to make a heavenly blueberry tart containing quark. It was a tart very similar to blueberry cheesecake and we called this tart mustikkarahkapiirakka (Yes, seriously. Finnish words are quite funny). Now the tables have turned: it’s my turn to bake (a lot!) and my mom is an avid taste tester. Btw she really loves my vegan, gluten-free version of blueberry cheesecake – mustikkarahkapiirakka 🙂
Please note that this recipe requires some prep time: a minimum of 2 hours (but preferably at least 4 hours or overnight) soaking time for cashews, and also (if you can resist) I advise you to keep the baked cheesecake in the fridge overnight for the best flavor. It’s also easier to cut the chilled cake into perfect bars!
Otherwise this is a super simple, quick-to-make creamy berry treat with a crust that melts in your mouth. I’ll be baking these (and many more healthy vegan & gluten-free treats and meals) before baby number 3 arrives in October. I’ll just pop them in the freezer and take out a piece (or two..) at a time for the perfect baby nap time coffee moment. If you start soaking cashews n-o-w, you’ll have these goodies for your next coffee / tea break, too 🙂
- Dry ingredients
- ⅓ cups gluten-free oat flour
- ¼ cups white rice flour
- ¼ cups almond flour
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- Wet ingredients
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1-2 tbsp cold water (depending on how thick the almond butter is)
- Cashew cream cheese filling
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- ¼ cups unsweetened plant-based yogurt (I used oat yogurt)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1,5 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- + 1 tbsp almond flour
- Berry topping
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries (or other berries)
- 1,5 tbsp potato starch
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- Preparations: Soak ~1 cup of cashews a minimum of 2 hours (preferably at least 4 hours or overnight) in warm water + ½ tsp sea salt.
- Crust: Preheat oven to 375F / 190 C.
- Combine dry ingredients together. Add melted coconut oil and almond butter to the dry ingredients. You might need your hands to mix the batter properly. It should look like wet coarse sand. Add cold water 1 tbsp at a time and mix with a spoon until the batter is firm and can be easily rolled into a ball.
- Line a small baking pan (I used a rectangle shaped: 22 x 16 cm ~9 x 6 inches, but this recipe would also work in a spring form cake pan) with parchment paper. Flatten the batter in the pan with your fingers until it is even. Bake in 375F / 190C for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is in the oven, prepare the cashew cream cheese filling: drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add all filling ingredients except almond flour to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until the cashew cream is completely smooth. Add 1 tbsp almond flour and mix with a spoon.
- Berry topping: mix frozen blueberries and potato starch + coconut sugar. Coat all the berries in potato starch.
- Pour cashew cream on top of baked crust. Add blueberries on top of cashew cream and press the berries gently.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until blueberries have melted into a jelly like consistency.
- Let the blueberry cheesecake cool down in the baking pan. Cut into bars OR keep overnight in the fridge and cut into bars after chilling the cake.
- Enjoy this creamy berry delight!