Snickers bars will forever remind me of my dad. Ever since I can remember, they’ve been his candy of choice. He knows they’re his weakness and so he very rarely indulges…with the exception of Halloween. I don’t know why, but when I was a kid my mom—without fail— used to stock up on my family’s favorite candy (mini Snickers bars for my dad, Junior Mints for me, Twix bars for my brother, and M&Ms for herself)…and then she would tell us we needed to “save it for the trick-or-treaters.” (Maybe she was thinking that since it was our favorite candy, it would be their favorite too?) This made the weeks before Halloween pure torture and every year she would resort to hiding the candy from us, and especially from my dad who could polish off an entire bag of mini Snickers, no problem.
I’ve definitely inherited the Snickers bar sweet spot from my dad, which is why the dessert recipe I’m sharing today has me all kinds of pumped. First off, I should tell you that it’s better than a Snickers bar because it’s a CHEESECAKE BAR that’s covered in a thick layer of chewy peanut butter caramel, homemade dark chocolate, and finished with lots of crunchy salted peanuts. Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, I used a mixture of roasted peanuts, (gluten-free) rolled oats, maple syrup, and a little coconut oil to bind it all together, and basically I ended up with a crust that thinks it’s a granola bar (and I’m not complaining).
As you can see, there’s a lot happening with these Snickers cheesecake bars, but each component is simple and easy, and also—they’re naturally sweetened! Pure maple syrup and raw coconut nectar are the only sugars you’ll find here, with the latter being the key to perfectly chewy caramel bliss.
If you’re a Snickers bar fan, you’re going to be doing a few happy dances over these no-bake vegan Snickers cheesecake bars. I mean, do you see those caramel and chocolate drizzles? These bars are a testament that real food ingredients can be equally over-the-top decadent.
Let’s skip the candy aisle and do the caramel/chocolate/peanut thing right.
- 1½ cups roasted salted peanuts
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1½ cups raw cashew pieces, soaked for 2 hours, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup coconut nectar
- 3 tablespoons creamy salted peanut butter
- small pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup raw cacao butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder, sifted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
- pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
- Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the crust: In a food processor fitted with an S blade, blend the peanuts and rolled oats into a very fine meal. With the processor running, pour in the maple syrup and coconut oil and blend until just combined (about 10 seconds). Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and firmly press it until it's completely compacted.
- Make the filling: Add all of the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender. Process for 1-3 minutes, or until the texture is very smooth. Pour the filling evenly over the crust. Freeze until firm (about 4 hours).
- While the cheesecake freezes, make the caramel sauce: Mix together the coconut nectar, peanut butter, and salt in a small bowl until well combined.
- Just before serving the cheesecake, make the chocolate sauce: Place all the chocolate sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk into a smooth sauce.
- Assemble the cheesecake bars: Remove the cheesecake from the pan and place it onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice it into bars, then transfer the bars to a serving plate. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top, then pour the chocolate sauce over the caramel. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. For best and creamiest texture, allow the cheesecake bars to soften slightly (about 10-15 minutes) before serving.
Leftover bars should be stored in the freezer.
The caramel will be thinner at room temperature and thicker/more chewy once frozen. If you have leftover caramel, it makes a great topping for ice cream, or you can use it as a dip for sliced apples and pears.
The chocolate sauce will harden as it sits. If it solidifies before you've had a chance to pour it over the cheesecake, simply pop it in the microwave for 5 seconds to soften it (it melts very quickly).
For best and creamiest cheesecake texture, allow the frozen bars to soften slightly (about 10-15 minutes) before serving.