It’s the end of October and I haven’t even posted a pumpkin recipe yet. I know, I know. How can I even keep my food blogger credential? Everyone else has been sharing pumpkin-everything since October and I’m still blissed out on apple-everything, embracing Fall with only one-foot in.
Here we go. I dug my jacket out of the basement last week and bought Vander the cutest knit elephant hat in DC last week. I’m ready for cooler weather, changing leaves and pumpkin desserts.
These bars were worth waiting for. I’ve made a few different versions of them over the years: vegan pie bars, pecan cheesecake bars, espresso bars and apple pie bars.
I think bars are my preferred dessert of choice these days; so much easier than making a pie with just as much of a wow factor. As a bonus, these bars are also no-bake! Perfect for gatherings where your oven is already packed with stuffing, roasted vegetables or more desserts. Throw everything in your food processor, press into a pan and freeze until hard. Simple, easy, delicious.
The star of these bars is siggi’s 0% vanilla yogurt. I can’t tell you enough how much I love their yogurt! It’s perfectly tart, not too sweet and a good source of protein. It’s great on its own (❤ afternoon snacks) but also in desserts like these bars. A punch of filling protein with limited sugar.
I always get asked about my yogurt recommendations and there are very few that check all of the boxes for me: good source of protein, no sugar or lower sugar and taste good. Gotta have all three for it to work! No sense in eating a delicious yogurt if it’s got the same amount of sugar as an ice-cream cone. siggi’s is the elusive triple threat. Mainstream yogurts can have up to 25g of sugar per serving. siggi’s flavored varieties have 8-11g and are sweetened with fruit and all-natural sweeteners like agave or cane sugar.
Along with the vanilla yogurt, I added cashews, canned pumpkin, more vanilla and spices to a food processor then blended until creamy and smooth. The cashews help stabilize the yogurt filling without any additional fillers, just like siggi’s yogurt. That means you can pop these bars in the fridge and they will harden in just a few hours.
I’ll warn you- these bars are deceptively rich! The pumpkin yogurt filling is so decadent and creamy; a small bar is all you need. Which, is actually what I prefer. Especially since I plan on serving these for numerous events this Fall and Winter, a two-bite dessert is all I want after a multi-course meal.
No-Bake Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars! Lower sugar, high protein and easy to make! A must for fall, thanksgiving, Christmas and other gatherings.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 9 dates)
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- 1 3/4 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked for at least 3-4 hours (see notes)
- 1 5.3 oz container Vanilla siggi’s 0% yogurt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 9 pecan halves
- Line a 8×8″ glass baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to be able to easily remove the bars from the baking pan.
- Place the pecans, dates, almonds and pumpkin pie spice in the base of a food processor and pulse until a very fine crumb forms. The mixture should stick together when pinched. Press into the base of the prepared baking pan and set aside.
- Place the ingredients for the filling in the base of the same food processor (no need to wipe out first). Puree until very creamy and no grittiness remains. Depending on your food processor, this may take ~4-5 minutes. Taste, adding more sugar/spice if preferred.
- Spread the mixture onto the crust and spread into an even layer. Place in the fridge for at least 5-6 hours to set up.
- Place the maple syrup and pecan halves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. The maple syrup should thicken and become tacky. Gently place the pecan halves in a 3×3 layer on the bars, pressing the pecans in to set.
- Remove the bars and slice into 9 squares; these taste best stored in the fridge.
- If you don’t have time/forget to soak the cashews, then place the cashews in a glass baking dish and cover with boiling water. Let sit while you make the crust, then drain and use.
Keywords: gluten-free, vegetarian, pumpkin, fall, cheesecake, dessert, yogurt