Raw, Vegan Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
4.34 from 3 votes


A few glances around the blogosphere suggest that people are gearing up for autumn. Pumpkin is starting to appear on Instagram, honeycrisp apples are being spoken of with glee, and I can practically smell the cinnamon wafting from certain granolas. It’s all incredibly delicious, but as much as I love fall flavors, I’m not ready. I’m still busy saying goodbye to the last of heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, arugula, cucumbers, and plump berries. While a lot of the veggies I just mentioned may last another few weeks (or in the case of corn, another few months), berries are just about to slip away for a while. So this weekend, I decided to create a little ode to summer 2013 with these raw, vegan blackberry cheesecake bars.

As beautiful and vibrant as these bars look, they’re quite easy to make. I suggest making the bottom layer a day in advance, and then simply blending up the top layer on the day you want to cut and serve these. You’ll need to let them set in the fridge for a few hours, but thanks to the magic of coconut oil, they won’t need too long. When they emerge, they’ll be sweet, firm, and ready to eat.


4.34 from 3 votes

Raw, Vegan Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Author - Gena Hamshaw


  • 11/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt divided in half
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup cashews soaked in water for at least two hours and drained
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup


  • To make the bottom layer, place the walnuts, dates, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in a food processor and pulse to break the ingredients down, till they're crumbled. Run the motor and process till the mixture is ground up and sticking together when you squeeze a little in your hand.
  • Press the bottom layer into a small casserole or baking pan that has been lightly greased with olive or coconut oil (I used 11" by 7.5"). Set aside while you make the top layer, or chill overnight.
  • To make the top layer, blend the cashews, blackberries, oil, remaining 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, and syrup in a high speed blender or food processor till they're as smooth as possible. Pour the top layer over the bottom layer in the pan. Use a spatula or inverted knife to smooth the top layer over very evenly.
  • Transfer the dish to your fridge and chill for at least three hours. Cut into bar shapes and serve.
  • Yields 15-20 bars, depending on how big you'd like them.

These bars are sweet, a little tart, full of delicious fat from walnuts and coconut, and deliver all the joy of raw cheesecake with a little more portability.


I’d say more about this recipe, but there’s just really not much to say that photos don’t say a lot better.




If you’re so inclined, clasp the last golden days of summer with this wonderful dessert. Enjoy.



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Categories: Raw Desserts
Ingredients: Cashew Nuts
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Raw, Soy Free, Vegan

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Recipe Rating

  1. I made these tonight and despite using a sub-par blender, they turned out absolutely gorgeous and delicious! This was my first raw food dessert and I just can’t get over how tasty this is. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Hey Gemma,

      You should be able to see the recipe in this post — it’s showing up fine on my computer! Let me know if you don’t see it when you scroll down.


  2. This sound so easy and yummy! Would you mind clarifying if I need one and a half cups of walnuts or eleven and a half? My browser is not displaying the quantities clearly. Thanks!

  3. The sugar content is super high. Dates, alhough delicious and healthy, are thr highest in sugar content of any fruit. A cup of dates and blackberries and maple syrup along with all the oil: Super caloric and way too much sugar.

  4. I made this twice. It’s so easy, even a non-cook can make and impossible to mess up 🙂
    Tastes great and my husband who doesn’t like desserts asks for me to make more 😀
    My five year old loves it too. I’ll be exploring more flavors of raw vegan cheesecakes 🙂

  5. Hi Gena, I have just made these and found them easy to make. Thank you. It seems such a shame to have the maple syrup in there though. I wish that I had left it out and added it bit by bit at the end if necessary. I’ll do this next time. I used strawberries.

  6. These were delicious, picked the blackberries locally this afternoon and used Almonds in the base as I didn’t have any walnuts in the cupboard, delish x

  7. These are amazing. Everyone I shared with loved them. Great pre or post workout snacks…

  8. Hi there,

    I’d like to try your recipe, but I have a doubt about the measurements.
    What does 11/5 cup walnuts mean?: 11.5 or 5.5?



  9. This is not a cheesecake bar and it defiles the name of cheesecake…how about fruit and nut bar

  10. These look great! Definitely going to have to make these with my girlfriend this weekend. I’m thinking of using strawberries instead of blackberries… Hopefully it is an easy swap.

  11. These looks so delicious but I’m not seeing the actual recipe anywhere! Am I missing something? Lol.

    • I am unable to view the recipe either. And i really wanted to make this for Easter at my inlaws today. 🙁

  12. These are delicious!!! Love how simple and basically healthy this is! I’ve been trying a lot of other things, and I recently tried a pumpkin one. I use about 3/4 c of pumpkin puree, with pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Tastes just like pumpkin pie except really creamy and not nearly as much sugar in the pie!

  13. I made these today and subbed the coconut oil with walnut oil due to a coconut allergy. The topping came out a little soft but I put the whole tray in the freezer and then cut and re-packed them into a Tupperware and put back in the freezer. They’re like delicious blackberry cheesecake ice cream bars. Amazing recipe and I just can’t get over how beautiful the color is!

  14. Gena – I made these last night for book club tonight…I had to taste a sample for quality control of course and they are AMAZING. Totally reminiscent of cheesecake but far better! Can’t wait to serve them; no one else eats vegan and I am excited to show off some great vegan recipes! I also made your food52 polenta square recipe and am topping w/some vegan kale pesto. THANKS for all you do! Inspiration.

  15. I had all the ingredients for these except blackberries and walnuts, I love when I don’t have to buy a million ingredients for something! I made them today and I had to sneak a piece before it’s even set properly. The last time I made a cheesecake using nuts it didn’t set very well, and I’m not holding my breath for this one to set much either but its delicious anyway!

  16. Oh, man. Thank you for sharing. These were awesome. Really great crust, and so simple. I added a splash of rosewater to the topping. I’m trying your recipe sub wild blueberries next.

  17. Hi Gena, I made these bars for dessert last night. I used mulberries instead of blackberries, and the topping tasted delicious out of the blender… But something terrible happened while it chilled, and I think the coconut oil went rancid! The taste was terrible. Everyone says coconut oil does not go rancid easily, but I think it might have happened because I heated the coconut oil (maybe too hot?) and then blended it with the other ingredients straight away. Has this ever happened to you? Apparently oils can go rancid when they get “oxidised” which is likely when you heat it and then mix with oxygen.

    • Oh gosh! How awful. Actually, coconut oil is supposedly quite immune to going rancid; one of its main advantages is that it withstands heating very well. So it’s surprising that it went off. The nuts could have been rancid, too. In any case, I’m sorry it happened. Let me know if another batch works?

  18. Sounds great! Do you think you could make this with blackberries which have already been frozen?

  19. I made these today (had the link open on my computer all week thinking about them!). They are simply delicious. I have done tons of vegan cooking and baking, but not much raw, because it always seemed too complex. These were super easy though and have opened my eyes :). Thanks.

  20. I just made these but they look nothing like your lovely pics! Ha… I have to laugh at myself for now reading through comments (perhaps I should have done that first). My coconut oil was soft but not melted down which made the top layer seem a little coagulated. My crust came out not so thick as yours looks and not as chunky looking (probably overprocessed them, oops)… Never-the-less I stuck it to chill over night and hope for the best 🙂 And even if it looks funny, I’m sure it will taste good (I already nibbled on both layers along the way).

  21. hey, I tried to make this last night and although it is delicious the top layer doesn’t seem to want to set any advice?

  22. I am not Vegan but m sister is on a cleansing diet and eating mostly Vegan recipes. I pinned this for her but just out of naive curiosity what makes this cheese cake? I thought perhaps coconut milk would but I see it calls for coconut oil. Could you please enlighten me. I absolutely love your photos, the simplicity of this recipe, how healthy it is, and the color!!! Thank you so much for adding and making these!

    • Ha never mind! I should have read Phil’s comment before posting my question! I get it! Ha!

    • Beth, that’s simply a name I’ve given it because it *tastes* like cheesecake 🙂 It’s not literal by any means. The cashews are what create the creaminess.

  23. These look DIVINE! I calorie count, so I’m trying to plug the recipe in and see how many calories it yields (approximately) but I’m struggling because I’ve never had pitted dates! So I’m not sure how many would fit in a cup? Help would be appreciated 🙂 I’m so excited to make these, they look delicious as all get out!!

  24. This looks and sounds so yummy!! Sadly, I’m allergic to cashews — what would you recommend as a substitute?

  25. I’ll definitely try this! I gave up cheesecake (a huge weak spot for me) when I started getting back in shape. But this recipe swaps out the cream cheese for healthy fats. Thanks!

  26. This look gorgeous! Definitely want to try them. Maybe a silly question, but do you melt the coconut oil? Thanks!

  27. I agree – I am still hanging on to the delicious summer produce! But I feel the urge to make fall comfort food creeping in.

  28. You always have the most inventive, pure, vegan recipes! And by pure I mean that you use these amazing whole food ingredients that I usually have on hand 🙂 These look delicious! I wonder if they’d be good with cranberries instead of blackberries later on in the holiday season?

  29. I think I need a more powerful blender.Am currently attempting to smooth it all out but maybe I need to sieve the blackberries and soak the cashews for more then 3 hours? this is my first attempt at raw bars with more then one layer so fingers crossed

    • Oooh, sorry Naomi! This recipe works best for either a food processor or a high speed blender — regular blenders may not quite do the trick. Did you have any more luck?

  30. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer produce yet either. I feel like we just got peaches and I feel like they will be out of season soon…

    This dessert looks awesome Gena! I love how it has very few ingredients and can be thrown together fairly quickly, but is still a decadent dessert =)

  31. Big fan of walnuts and cheese cake together! The color is like no other, had to do a double take and make sure they were real! Looks delicious.

  32. So, how much of the salt goes in the bottom layer versus the top layer? The ingredients list 1/8 teaspoon but then doesn’t specify how much goes into steps 1 vs. 3. Thanks! 🙂

    • It’s 1/8 tsp for each layer. I just edited the recipe to make it 1/4 teaspoon, divided and then specified for each step. Thanks, Liz! 🙂

      • That’s what I assumed, but since I don’t make many desserts, I wanted to verify 😉 Thanks so much!

  33. Now I KNEW I should have picked up cashew nuts with the pumpkin seeds this morning *sigh* that looks so delicious and family has just gone on a blackberry hunt. Will have a bash tomorrow. Sometimes I think cashew nuts need a substitute for times like these

    • Naomi, you can always use macadamia or pine nuts for cashews, but I don’t usually opt for those because they’re quite a bit more expensive. If you happen to have them, though…

      • Oh thanks Gena, I don’t have any of those either ( over did the baking last week) but I will get something tomorrow

  34. These look too pretty to eat! A perfect end of summer treat for the HOT temps here in the Midwest this week…going to make these asap! 🙂

  35. Ah, how beautiful these bars are…summer in every bite. Great job, Gena! 🙂

  36. I was wondering could I substitute the blackberries for another fruit? If so which one(s) see I am allergic to the blackberries

      • Thank you soo much for responding . No am only allergic to black berries all others are safe for me ! 🙂 ccan’t wait to try your recipe now

  37. I’m so torn between the summer and fall flavors right now, but these bars certainly have me wanting to scramble to the store for any blackberries I can find! I have never made a raw cheesecake, but it’s always been an alluring thought – all that rich creamy decadence. Obviously I can’t resist forever!

  38. Gosh these look so so good. I love blackberries and have been picking heaps recently. Love how simple this recipe is. I think I’ll make a small batch this week 🙂

  39. These look wonderful! I love anything vegan cheesecake-y. I would wonder how to adapt it to frozen berries so it can be made year-round.

    The frozen berries I get at the farmers’ market (it’s late winter in New Zealand!) tend to have a lot of juice/liquid at the bottom after they defrost, and I wonder whether I should include that in the recipe or not. I might try it and let you all know!

  40. Under instructions for bottom layer you have listed blackberries. Should it be walnuts?


  41. Pinterest is telling me the picture is too small to pin. Can you help please? Would LOVE to pin this recipe 🙂

  42. These are just lovely Gena! I love blackberries and must say they’re my favorite fruit of all. I’ve never thought to use them in a bar recipe:) Thanks for the inspiration!:)

    • I suspect this was my last batch for the year — but what a nice way to enjoy them. Any berry will work, though!

  43. These sound (and look) absolutely delicious, Gena! Do you think they would freeze well?

    Thanks! 🙂

  44. Lol, I was going to give the head up on the typo in the email but Allison beat me to it! 🙂 On the plus, it’ll make curious readers click through to check your blog that much faster. These look super-yum. Can’t wait to try them! Always love your creative recipes <3

    • Gah, so not a plus. That’s a pain in the butt for my readers 🙁 So sorry, everyone who’s reading!

      • You rock, Gena. Sorry if I was sounding flip about it, just meaning that I’m pretty sure everyone would understand. <3

  45. These look amazing! One little quibble though (I think it’s a typo?), you say for the crust to put the blackberries, dates, and salt into the food processor. You mean the walnuts, right?