These soft and creamy No Bake Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars combine the subtle tanginess of cheesecake with the irresistible taste of dark chocolate. Easily made gluten-free or vegan depending on your dietary needs, they’re a delicious lightened-up treat for any chocolate lover!
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it’s technically still fall. With no leaves on the trees and a healthy blanket of snow on the ground, things have been feeling pretty wintery here for a couple of weeks now… even though winter doesn’t officially start until the 22nd of December.
Mother Nature, apparently, likes to march to the beat of her own drum…
Either way! I think we can all agree that fall is on its way out, and that it’s time to trade all things pumpkin and spice for all things chocolate and gingerbread — a swap that you definitely won’t hear me complaining about, especially since I’ve been wanting to share these no bake dark chocolate cheesecake bars with you since I posted the pumpkin version over a month ago.
Food blogging is a funny thing. You try to post seasonally relevant content so that you can take advantage of the latest trends (#pumpkin, #fall, #Christmas, #cookies), which means there are times where you have to put a recipe idea on hold until “the time is right.”
I mean, it’s obviously not set in stone, but for the most part you see salads in the spring, smoothies in the summer, slow cooker meals in the fall, and… err… what the heck do you see in the winter? No, really… I have to ask because I don’t really pay attention to anything outside of the holiday desserts at this time of the year ?
And while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with planning an editorial calendar this way, sometimes I wonder if people don’t get tired of seeing the same flavours across the board; if strawberry muffins, as unseasonal as they might be, wouldn’t be a welcome distraction in a sea pumpkin spice everything. But on the other hand, would anyone actually make a pumpkin recipe in the spring? Ehhhhh… I don’t know.
The one thing I do know is that chocolate is always in season…
See what I did just there? ?
These no bake dark chocolate cheesecake bars are, in one word, amazing. In two words, absolutely irresistible. They’re ridiculously soft and creamy, but they’re also light and doughy. They’re basically what you would get if you took a cheesecake and tossed it into a food processor, crust and all… which I realize sounds a little strange, but there’s really no other way to describe something that’s both creamy and doughy.
BUT! I can tell you that they taste absolutely irresistible, with a subtle tangy cheesiness combined with the irresistible flavour of dark chocolate. And the best part is that you can easily make these to suit your dietary preferences. Need them to be gluten-free? Make them with gluten-free graham crackers. Need the to be vegan? Make them with vegan cream cheese and graham crackers made without honey. They’re a perfect treat for any chocolate lover!
- 1 cup (~120g) graham cracker crumbs**
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 8 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened to room temperature***
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 - 3 Tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- graham cracker crumbs, cacao nibs, or chocolate shavings, for garnish
- Line a 9x4 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- Add graham crackers, coconut flour, and cocoa powder to the bowl of a food processor and process until the graham crackers have broken down into fine crumbs. Add cream cheese, honey, and vanilla extract, and continue processing until the mixture sticks together and a dough begins to form. If it seems too crumbly or dry, add a small splash of almond milk to reach a moister consistency.**** The dough should be moist enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers, but not so moist that it's wet and sticky.
- Transfer dough to your prepared baking pan and use a spatula or your hands to spread it evenly in the pan, making sure to press down firmly. Set aside.
- Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high in 30 second increments until melted and smooth, making sure to stir between each.
- Pour chocolate over bars and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Top with more graham cracker crumbs, cacao nibs, or chocolate shavings, if desired, and transfer pan to fridge for at least an hour to allow the bars to set.
- When bars have set, remove from fridge and allow to thaw for a few minutes before using a sharp knife to cut into individual bars or squares. Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer periods.
** To make these gluten-free, use certified gluten-free graham crackers. To make them vegan, use ones made without honey.
*** To make these bars vegan, use a non-dairy cream cheese spread. To add a little bit of a richer flavour, replace 1 Tbsp. of cream cheese with 1 Tbsp. of roasted nut/seed butter. You can use either light or regular cream cheese.
**** Add almond milk (or any milk) 1 tablespoon at a time until proper consistency is reached.
Looking for more no bake bar recipes? Try one of these!
Do you prefer milk chocolate or dark chocolate [aka: what’s your favourite cocoa %?]
Does it look all wintery where you live yet?