No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake Bars are incredibly creamy from the cashew base and taste just like strawberry shortcake! No baking necessary to make these gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan bars.

These strawberry shortcake bars, though, were not intended to be strawberry shortcake bars. I had been envisioning a cashew crusted bar, with a lusciously creamy vanilla bean-flavored filling, topped off with strawberry halves. The idea was sparked when I spotted this photo on Instagram (go drool over her whole account too, if you haven’t seen it yet).

The recipe built itself in my head, and I immediately scrawled it down in my recipe notebook. I envisioned them as strawberries + cream bars, or something like that. As soon as I took my first bite though, all I could taste was strawberry shortcake. Without any intention, I replicated the flavors of one of my favorite summertime treats. They were soooo darn dreamy, you guys.


For the crust
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 4 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the cheesecake
  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked in cold filtered water for at least four hours or preferably overnight (see Notes)
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk shaken
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted and cooled (use refined coconut oil if you want no coconut flavor)
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • 2 cups strawberries halved
  1. Line an 8x8” pan with parchment paper and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Add the cashews, almond flour, pitted dates, coconut oil and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small bits remaining. Don’t over process, or it’ll turn into nut butter! Press the date dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In the same food processor or high-powered blender (no need to wash between - I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients except the strawberries and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk or lemon juice to get it to blend smoothly if your blender isn’t super high-powered.
  4. Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness/tartness levels, if desired.
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Press the strawberry halves into the bars.
  6. Place in the freezer to firm up for at least 3 hours before cutting. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the bars with the still-hot (dried) knife. Let them thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  7. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the freezer.
  8. Recipe Notes
  9. You can also pour boiling/very hot water over the cashews and let them sit for about an hour if you want to speed up the process - it won't be quite as creamy as soaking for longer, but it will do the trick!
Good Luck !!!!


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