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Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Louise | November 9
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

When I stopped eating dairy due to health issues, I thought I would never have some of my favorite foods again, including cheesecake.

And thankfully, I was wrong.

My Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are a creamy, luscious dessert that tastes just like traditional cheesecake but without all of the dairy.

But no one will ever know it’s dairy-free.

And it’s perfect for the holidays as a non-traditional dessert but with all of the traditional holiday flavor you love each year.

And the best part of the recipe, it’s completely no-bake. So, if you don’t fancy yourself much of a baker, this is the perfect recipe for you.

Actually, the best part of this recipe is its taste. But how easy it is to make is pretty great, too!

How I Made This Recipe Dairy-Free

The most obvious difference between this recipe and traditional cheesecake recipe is that there is no actual cream cheese in it, which is the primary ingredient in cheesecake.

So, to replace the cream cheese, I used raw cashews instead.

Cashew cheese has been a popular plant-based cheese substitute for quite awhile in the vegan community before it started to become favored in the Paleo community.

The key to creamy cashew cheese is to use raw cashews and to soak them in filtered water.

To soak the cashews, you have two options and both work really well.

First, you can put the cashews in a bowl of filtered water, cover with a towel and let them sit at room temperature overnight.

Second, you can put the raw cashews in boiling hot water, cover and let sit for 2 hours. Please know the cashews don’t need to boil for 2 hours. Just carefully pour the boiling water into a heat-proof bowl with the cashews, cover and let sit on the counter for 2 hours.

The cashews aren’t the only reason this recipe is dairy-free. I also used coconut cream as a milk replacement.

Just buy a couple cans of full-fat (not light or reduced fat) cans of unsweetened coconut milk. Put it in the refrigerator for a few hours and so the coconut cream and coconut water separates. After you open the can, you can pour off the water and use the solid part, which is the coconut cream.

And don’t throw away the coconut water! You can drink it for its many health benefits or use it to make smoothies.

Other Paleo Dairy-Free Dessert Recipes

And if you can’t get enough of Paleo cheesecake recipes, here 28 Sweet Paleo Cheesecake Recipes for you to enjoy.

Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars-square
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars-square

Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Louise Hendon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 9 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert


Creamy, pumpkin cheesecake with a date and nut base and an almond butter caramel drizzle.


For the base:

  • 1 cup (140 g) raw mixed nuts (pecans and walnuts work well)
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) almond flour
  • 5 pitted medjool dates (4 oz or 120 g)
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) melted coconut oil

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 cups (300 g) raw cashews
  • 1 cup (240 ml) coconut cream (from the top of 2 refrigerated cans of coconut milk)
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground ginger

For the almond butter caramel drizzle:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) smooth almond butter
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) water (if needed)

To serve:

  • Whole pecans, for garnish (optional)


  1. Soak the cashews overnight in filtered room temperature water. (Alternatively, boil a pot of water and add the cashews. Remove from the heat, cover, and soak for 2 hours.) Drain well before using.
  2. When ready to prepare, line an 8-inch x 8-inch (20 cm x 20 cm) with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. To make the crust, place the mixed nuts, almond flour, dates, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the coconut oil and pulse again until a crumbly dough forms.
  4. Firmly press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, making sure the dough reaches the corners of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer until ready to use.
  5. Add the cheesecake ingredients to the food processor and blend until very smooth, around 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the crust from the freezer and evenly pour the cheesecake filling in the pan, using a spoon to smooth the top of the cheesecake. Return the pan to the freezer to set for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight. (If freezing overnight, let the cheesecake thaw at room temperature for about 3 hours before serving.)
  7. When ready to serve, make the caramel sauce by whisking the almond butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil until combined. If using thick almond butter, add 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of water to help thin the sauce.
  8. To serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Drizzle with the caramel sauce and garnish with the whole pecans, if using, before cutting into squares and serving.
  9. Store the leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for 1 day or the freezer for about 1 week.


All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.

Net Carbs per serving: 26 g


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 471
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fat: 38 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 10 g