Instead of sweet potato pie this Thanksgiving, try these Purple Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars! Not only are they a conversation starter, but they’re also vegan, gluten free and delicious.
The crust is super simple but doesn’t lack any buttery pastry flavor. The ingredients are crushed cinnamon cookies, pecans, cashew butter, maple syrup, a bit of vanilla & sea salt (good enough to eat on its own!). The vegan filling for these cheesecake bars is pretty traditional. We added beautiful mashed, steamed purple sweet potatoes to a base of soaked cashews. The result is a soft and velvety cheesecake so good you won’t miss the dairy. To top these off, we couldn’t help but add a layer of chocolate ganache.
These cheesecake bars are a perfect make-ahead dessert. They will last up to a week in an airtight container in the freezer. It’s best to slice them before storing, as they can be tough to get through with a knife when frozen. We also recommend storing them with a piece of parchment paper between each bar to prevent sticking. Remove them from your freezer about one hour before serving so they have time to thaw. If you’re on a shorter time frame, the fridge also works for storing! Simply keep the bars in the refrigerator for a few hours, or up to a day, and remove right before serving.Print
Purple sweet potatoes give this delicious vegan dessert its vibrant hue and you certainly can’t go wrong with a layer of chocolate ganache.
- 1 cup crushed cinnamon cookies (the crunchier, the better! We used these)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup creamy cashew butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in room temp water for 1–2 hours
- 1 1/2 cups steamed, mashed purple sweet potatoes (about 2 small potatoes)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3 tbsp full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 7 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- In a food processor, pulse cookies into crumbs. Measure out one cup (save the rest in a sealed bag!).
- Add all crust ingredients to food processor and pulse to combine.
- When you can pinch the mixture between two fingers without it crumbling, it’s done.
- Press into parchment paper lined 8×8 pan. Put in freezer to harden while making filling.
- Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Dice roughly and steam until fork tender.
- Let cool completely, then mash the potatoes.
- Add all ingredients except coconut oil to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Slowly stream in coconut oil and blend.
- Pour over top of crust and smooth out with a spatula. Freeze for 2-4 hours or until mostly hardened.
- Melt coconut oil.
- Whisk remaining ingredients into coconut oil until smooth. Pour over top of the frozen cheesecake and smooth with spatula. Freeze at least one hour, or until solid.
- Let soften in room temp for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you’re not serving immediately, store in refrigerator or freezer so they do not melt.