• Nathalie// Whole and Honeyed

Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake Bars


I really can't contain my excitement about these Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake Bars. It doesn't get any better than sinking your teeth into a thick and creamy layer of cashew based cheesecake, gooey peanut butter caramel, then finishing your bite with a crisp oat crust layer. Trust me!

During my Freshman year of college, my friends and I got slightly obsessed with ordering a big slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory on any given night. We would get so excited to place our order, cruise down to the Marina Del Rey Cheesecake Factory, and indulge in a decadent slice of pure cheese and sugary goodness. Given that I will do anything for a peanut butter and chocolate combo, the peanut butter chocolate cheesecake quickly became my go to order. As you can imagine, my stomach did not thank me.

When I started playing around with healthier and dairy-free recipes several years ago, cheesecake was one of the first desserts I mastered. I can't believe I didn't created my own recipe until now!

These Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake Bars are my perfect dessert. The wildly similar taste to real cheesecake and the thick peanut butter caramel layer, oat crumble crust, and chocolate chips have me swooning (I'm drooling just writing this). I decided to make these into bars because it makes it way easier to control portion sizes (even though they are so good you may have a hard time). You can cut them however big or small, so when you go to grab one it's already pre-portioned!

The minimal ingredients and few step process make these Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake Bars the perfect quarantine project, even though they only take about an hour to make. The hardest part about making them is waiting while they're setting in the freezer!

I can't recommend making these Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake Bars enough! Please do yourself a favor and "indulge" in the most perfect, creamy, and dreamy dessert there is.

Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake Bars


Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including time in freezer)

Yields: About 10 bars

Ingredients:

Oat Crust Layer:

2 c gluten free oats

3 tbs coconut oil

5 tbs maple syrup

Peanut Butter Caramel Layer:

1/2 c peanut butter

1/4 c maple syrup

2 tbs coconut oil

dash of sea salt

Cashew Cheesecake Layer:

1 1/2 c cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)

1/2 c full fat coconut milk

3 tbs coconut oil

2 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c chocolate chips plus more for topping

Instructions:

1.) To begin, make the oat crust layer by preheating the oven to 350 F and lining a loaf tin with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the gluten free oats, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Pulse for about a minute or until the mixture is able to stick together when you press it with your hands. Press the mixture into the bottom of the lined loaf tin so it's evenly covered. Bake for 8 minutes. When finished baking, place in the fridge to cool.

2.) Meanwhile, make the peanut butter caramel layer by combining the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and sea salt in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the mixture for about a minute and then stir. The mixture should be thick and caramel like. If you prefer, you can also do this over the stove stop, heating on low and stirring for 5-10 minutes. Remove the oat crust from the fridge and spread the peanut butter caramel layer evenly across. Place back in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.

3.) To make the cashew cheesecake layer, combine the soaked cashews, full fat coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pulse for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is completely smooth and shiny on top. Stir the chocolate chips into the mixture and set aside.

4.) Remove the oat crust and peanut butter caramel from the fridge. Pour the cashew cheesecake layer evenly into the loaf tin and spread so it's smooth across the top. Top with additional chocolate chips on top if desired. Place in the freezer to set for about an hour.

5.) After about an hour, remove from the freezer and using a sharp knife, slice into bars of your desired size. Make sure to store in the fridge, not the freezer for the best results. Enjoy!




#vegan #cheesecake #refinedsugarfree

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