No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
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It’s been hot here lately. August here is usually the best month out of our whole summer, filled with lots of sunshine and warmer temps. There are so many ways to cool off here on a hot day, but I pretty much spent my summer making popsicles to deal with that. But if I had to choose something different, it would probably be these no-bake strawberry cheesecake bars. Yep, I said it! NO-BAKING. So go ahead and turn that oven off, you won’t be needing it.

I took one bite of these the first time I made them, and immediately had to have more. I couldn’t stop myself! Not only did I think they were a winner, but my family did too. And you know you are on to something when your little brother takes a bite and mumbles, “oh wow, this is really good.” And then eats the whole thing. Mission accomplished.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

These bars are gluten free and easy to make, but they don’t have all your typical no-bake ingredients. You see, I see all these beautiful photos and recipes of no-bake cheesecakes that either have cashew cream as the base, or they use gelatin to help it set up. Gelatin isn’t something I have on hand at any time, so this recipe doesn’t use any! I also don’t always have nuts on hand, and sometimes my stomach just can’t handle that many cashews… I also know many people are allergic or can’t stomach that amount of nuts either. So no nuts here!

This crust is something I love more than any other crust I have tried making. Generally, there are two main ways of making no-bake crust: either a graham cracker and butter base, or a date and nut base. You can absolutely make a different crust with these bars if you want! But for me, I don’t always want to buy gluten free graham crackers or a bunch of dates just for one recipe (although dates are just so delicious). So I used what I have on hand – oats!

Just take gluten free rolled oats and blend them in your blender for just a few seconds to make oat flour (I just use my Nutribullet, and I have flour within seconds). Pour this into a small mixing bowl with some brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and liquid coconut oil. Mix this around until everything is evenly distributed and coated, it should look like course crumbs. Then add just 1 tablespoon of water at a time, mixing with your hands or a rubber spatula until the crust starts to come together. It should take about 2-4 Tbsp, but only add enough to be able to press it out into the pan with it still sticking together… adding too much water can make the crust pretty chewy (personal opinion here). When you have the crust all pressed out in your pan, place it into the fridge until ready to fill.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Now for the filling. This base gets its cheesecake tang from not only cream cheese, but from a little plain greek yogurt as well. It’s sweetened up with a little confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and of course fresh strawberry puree. As I said before, this dessert is not made with cashews or gelatin. So what helps this cheesecake set up? COCONUT CREAM. Yes, you could very well use regular heavy cream if you wish, but I find that whipped coconut cream is much thicker and seems to stabilize better when refrigerated (while using a little less than you would with normal whipped cream). This also helps it to set a little better if you don’t want to freeze the bars. And don’t worry, you don’t taste coconut at all.

You will start by whipping the coconut cream. Just take your refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid cream on top into your mixing bowl (save the liquid for a smoothie or later use). We are looking for 1 cup of cream here, which should just be from one can of full-fat coconut milk. In case you need some more, it’s a good idea to keep a second can ready. You can also use one full can of coconut cream instead – the solid cream in there may be a little more than a cup, and that’s just fine! It will just help stabilize the cheesecake a little bit more. Once you have your cream, just whip away for a few minutes with your hand beaters. It doesn’t take that long before it turns smooth and very thick. Once done, pour this out into a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Using the same mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese for a minute or two until it becomes smooth. Then add in the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla, and beat with your hand beaters or stand mixer until combined and smooth. But let’s not forget those beautiful strawberries! Beat in all of that puree until you have a nice creamy mixture. Finally, gently fold in that coconut cream until is totally distributed and you have a super creamy and dreamy cheesecake… it will look like a light and fluffy strawberry mousse. Seriously, my mouth always waters when I finish this step!

Pour your filling over your crust, and place into the fridge overnight (I find at least 8-10 hours is best). If you want, you can also cover these with some foil and place them into the freezer to firm up faster, then just let them sit at room temperature for about 10-20 minutes before slicing. I prefer mine refrigerated for two reasons: sometimes while defrosting, the crust ends up a little soggy. It still holds together and tastes just as great! It’s just not as firm. You could always slice them frozen and eat it that way if you wish, but this brings me to my second reason – frozen strawberries just don’t have as much flavor as fresh. I have frozen batches before, only to find I can barely taste the strawberries. However you choose though, both ways are super delicious!


No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours

Author: Zest and Lemons

Yield: 16 squares

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

These strawberry cheesecake bars are oh so dreamy and creamy, and there’s no baking required! Made with a gluten free oat crust, cream cheese and greek yogurt filling, and flavored with fresh strawberry puree, these simple cheesecake bars make for the perfect summer dessert.


  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water**
  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup coconut cream, from 1-2 14oz cans of full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated 1-2 hours)**
  • 2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • **See notes below, after instructions


    For the Crust:
  1. Place 1 and 3/4 cups of oats in a blender and blend until you get flour consistency, just a few seconds. You should have a total of 2 cups of oat flour, so blend in extra until you have the full amount.
  2. Mix the ground oats in a small mixing bowl with brown sugar and salt until combined. Add in the coconut oil and mix with a rubber spatula for a minute or two until the oats are all coated and you have course crumbs.
  3. Add in 1 Tbsp of water at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. You are looking for a crust that will just hold when packed down, but is not too wet. It should take about 2.5 - 3 Tbsp of water, but no more than 4. The more water you add after that, the better the crust will hold together but the chewier it will be.
  4. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper (bottom and up the sides). Once your crust is at the right consistency, press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place in the fridge until ready to fill.
    For the Cheesecake:
  1. Open one can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid cream on top into a medium mixing bowl. You can also turn the can upside down and open it from the bottom, draining out the liquid first and then scooping out the cream. You should have 1 cup of coconut cream, if not you can pull from the second can (the solids from one 14oz can of coconut cream will also work instead, it may be slightly over 1 cup and that’s just fine). Reserve the liquid for a smoothie of another use. Using hand beaters, beat the cream for a few minutes until you have a smooth and very thick whipped cream with soft peaks. Pour into a small bowl and place into the fridge to chill.
  2. Using the same mixing bowl as the whipped coconut cream or in a stand mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese for 1-2 minutes until smooth and softened. Add the greek yogurt, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined and smooth.
  3. Add the strawberries to a blender and blend for a few seconds until you have a smooth puree. Pour the strawberry puree into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and beat until combined. Take the whipped coconut cream out of the fridge and gently fold it into the cheesecake mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed throughout. Your mixture should resemble a soft but thick whipped strawberry mousse when combined.
  1. Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the oat crust. Smooth the top so that you have an even layer, then gently tap the pan on the counter a few times so you release any air bubbles.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8-10 hours or until set, but overnight is best. Or place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours or until firm. When cheesecake is set, carefully lift up the sides of parchment to remove it from the pan. Cut into squares and served chilled or frozen, or let frozen bars thaw at room temperature for 10-20 minutes until ready to serve.


The oat crust is very easy to make and is very versatile, and can be made to your desired consistency. It took me 3-3.5 Tbsp of water, but the more you add the chewier the crust may be. Start with 2 Tbsp of water and try pressing some of the crust in your hand first to stick together, then access how crumbly or firm it is when it breaks before adding any more water. This crust would work also well with other no-bake cheesecakes or pies.

This recipe calls for whipped coconut cream instead of whipped heavy cream, because the thicker consistency helps to firm up the cheesecake without required freezing. You should be able to get 1 cup of solid cream from one can of full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated at least 1-2 hours before using, but overnight is always best), but I recommend having a second on hand in case you don’t have enough. You can also use the solid cream from one can of coconut cream instead, and if you have a little over 1 cup that’s just fine.

I highly recommend letting these bars firm up overnight if in the refrigerator, up to 24 hours, as they will be easier to cut. You can freeze these bars as well, but I suggest letting them thaw after cutting at room temperature before serving… the strawberries have a stronger flavor when fresh and not frozen.

You need greek yogurt for this recipe, as regular plain yogurt is too thinned out and may not set up when chilled. I have made this recipe before using vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain and it turned out well, just skip adding the vanilla extract and add less sugar (to taste).

No bake strawberry cheesecake bars - Zest and Lemons
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars - gluten free!

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