Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
These Vegan Cranberry Orange Cheesecake Bars are a delicious holiday treat. They have wonderful balance of sweet and tart with a chewy pecan base, creamy orange “cheesecake” filling and a topping of stewed cranberries. These Cranberry Cheesecake Bars are Paleo, Vegan, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
These vegan cranberry cheesecake bars are such an awesome dessert to serve to guests during the holiday season. The blend of sweet orange and tart cranberry is one of my favourite winter flavour combinations. I’m embarrassed to admit that this is my 5th recipe using the orange and cranberry combo, with past recipes including bars, granola, muffins and meatballs.
When planning out a dinner party, dessert is always my last thought. I struggle to come up with desserts that I can make well in advance, and then quickly assemble in under 5 minutes before serving. This Cranberry Orange Cheesecake ticks all of the dinner party boxes. You can make it up to 5 days in advance, and then quickly top with the stewed cranberries right before serving.
In the past I have only used cashews or a combination of cashews and macadamia nuts to make cheesecake. I love the creaminess of the filling using just nuts, but its not ideal for your wallet or waist line. I decided to add my favourite ingredient into the filling (cauliflower!!) and I am sooo happy to report that it was a success. Adding steamed cauliflower results in a filling that is a bit less dense in texture and rich in flavour then a solely nut based one, and I actually prefer it.
These Cranberry Cheesecake Bars are also a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. I am embarrassed to admit that I used my Super Simple Cranberry Sauce in this recipe because I HATE wasting food and it turned out so well.
Here are a few more dessert recipes that are perfect for the holidays…
- Easy Skillet Apple Crisp
- Hasselback Baked Apples
- Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce
- Cranberry & Orange Bars
- Coffee Ice Cream
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Cranberry & Orange Cheesecake Bars
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 1 1/2 cups dates
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 3 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups cashews soaked for minimum 4 hours
- 1 cup steamed cauliflower
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- 300 grams fresh cranberries
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup if vegan
- Line an 8x8inch square baking dish with plastic wrap
- In a food processor combine the dates, pecans, orange zest and shredded coconut and blend until the mixture is crumbly and there are no chunky pieces.
- Pour the mixture into the square baking dish and press firmly down with your hands so that its packed evenly into the base of the dish
- In a food processor or blender combine all of the filling ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Pour the filling over the base and spread evenly with a spatula. Put the dish in the freezer and allow to freeze for minimum 2 hours.
- To make the cranberry sauce, in a sauce pan on medium heat combine the cranberries, orange zest, orange juice and honey. Let simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the cranberries have all popped and the mixture has begun to thicken (it will thicken more as it cools)
- Once the cranberry sauce has reached room temperature, pour it over the cheesecake and serve.
“Put the dish in the freezer and allow to freeze for minimum 2 hours” Do you serve the cheesecake squares frozen or do you thaw them first. If so, how long does it take for them to thaw?
These bars thaw quite quickly so I like to bring them out of the freeze, pour the cranberry sauce on top and then serve immediately, I think the texture is best this way.
Could you substitute celeriac root for cauliflower?
I have to applaud you on your creativity! Especially because of my recent obsession with celeriac. Unfortunately though celeriac has a flavour which is stronger then cauliflower and would be hard to mask in the dessert so I wouldn’t recommend using it.
Hi Carmen! I’m making these for Easter. What’s the quantity of melted coconut oil in the filling? It says “1/4 melted coconut oil.” I’m guessing 1/4 cup? Thanks! Can’t wait to try them. 🙂
Whoops!! Thanks for pointing that out!! You’re right, it’s 1/4 cup. Happy cooking!! Let me know what you think of the cheesecake!
Follow up: We made these for Easter, with a modification. I got lazy and wasn’t sure what to do for a topping. So I blended in a package (34 grams) of freeze-dried strawberries to the cashew/cauliflower mix. It was delicious! The strawberry and the orange in the crust paired well together, but you could omit the orange if that combo sounds strange. Anyway, I’m kind of in love with this cheesecake. I’ve made it a couple more times. Once with freeze-dried raspberries, also delicious. (You could probably use fresh/frozen fruit, I just didn’t want to introduce more liquid into the mix because I wasn’t sure what it would do to the texture.) So if you’re lazy like me or don’t have extra time to make the topping, try blending the fruit in!
I love all of the different flavour combinations you have tried, they sound so good! Adding fresh fruit to the mix shouldn’t have too big an impact on the texture of the filling, or alternatively you could boil down fresh or frozen fruit to remove some of the water before blending it with the filling. Thanks for the tips and great feedback on the recipe!
Looks yummy! Can you add the measurement to the melted coconut oil listed under the “filling” section? It’s missing the “tsp” or “tbsp”, etc. Thank you!
Thanks for pointing that out!! Its been updated – should have been 1/4 cup 🙂
Hi Carmen, I have issues with cashews so i cant eat them. You mentioned macadamian nuts in you post? Can you give advice on how to use them instead of the cashews? Thank you
Use them 1 for 1 in place of cashews. I would recommend soaking them in hot water for 20 minutes to soften them before blending.
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