Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

by Kristina Sloggett

in baking, cookbook review, Dessert, Gluten Free, recipes, Vegan

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars


Today I am kicking off the cookbook tour of one of my favorite bloggers, Cara Reed of Fork and Beans! I was so very honored to review her new book, Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking – I have been giddy excited for her as she worked on it.

I am also giving away a copy to one lucky reader – read on for details.

Cara and I have been friends for a while – I am drawn to her incredibly creative interpretations of some classic childhood favorites. We also share a love of Halloween. This girl knows her candy.

Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking


While I love to cook, baking is where my love of cooking began. Another reason I am happy to finally have my hands on Cara’s new book – you can quickly tell she works hard to perfect her recipes. Gluten free baking is not easy, I can attest. Cara has schooled herself in gluten free flours, and her skills are evident in her recipes.

I have made several recipes from this book already – from Yeast-Free Cinnamon Buns and Pumpkin Streusel Bread to Chocolate Cupcakes and Nutter Butter Frosting. Yep, Nutter Butter.

If I have a dessert choice, though, it will almost always be cheesecake. It is summertime, what better time for a cool tart Key Lime flavor. I made these Key Lime Cheesecake Bars twice, and everyone who was lucky enough to try them raved!

Key Lime Cheesecake


Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

makes 12 bars


1½ c/390 g Gluten-Free Graham Crackers, crushed (page 49)
⅓ c/75 g vegan butter, melted
¼ c/50 g granulated sugar
2 Tbsp/28 g brown sugar, packed


2½ c/640 g cashews, soaked for 1 to 2 hours
½ c/120 ml lime juice
¼ c/60 ml nondairy milk
¼ c/60 ml agave nectar or maple syrup
2 tsp/7.5 ml vanilla extract
Zest of 2 large limes
2 tsp/7.5 ml homemade green food coloring for more of a green hue (optional page 161)
⅓ c/80 ml unrefined coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease an 8 x 8-inch/20 x 20-cm pan.

Combine all of the ingredients for the crust until well mixed. Press into the pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients except for the coconut oil in a blender until completely smooth. If it is difficult to blend, add 1 tablespoon/ 15 ml of water at a time until the mix is able to blend properly. Try not to add too much, though—you want a thick filling.

Add the oil and blend until combined.

Pour over crust, cover with foil and chill in the fridge for several hours until firm. If you can allow it to set overnight, that is ideal. Top with homemade Coconut Whipped Cream for a decadent treat.

Key Lime Bars


Key Lime Cheesecake Bars recipe printed with permission from Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking by Cara Reed Page Street Publishing (August 5, 2014)

GIVEAWAY: one winner will receive a copy of the book Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking. One winner, three ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post: what is your favorite recipe – entree or dessert – that you would like to see made vegan / gluten free?

2) Follow spabettie on twitter and tweet this:  win the Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking cookbook @spabettie –>

3) Follow spabettie on facebook and… say hello! 

Enter through midnight Tuesday July 29. Winners selected via random number generator and notified via email on Wednesday, July 30. Winners have 72 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.


{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon July 22, 2014 at 4:36 am

A gluten-free, vegan croissant would be pretty cool :)


2 Kristina Sloggett July 22, 2014 at 10:45 am

I completely agree! I had a go at a vegan croissant last year, it is definitely time for me to revisit that project…


3 Abby July 22, 2014 at 4:48 am

You and Cara in the same post? Doesn’t get much better than that 😉 I love all her recipes and don’t think that between the two of you, there’s anything you haven’t veganized in some way! Big congrats to her on the cookbook and I’m putting it on my Amazon wish list!


4 Cara July 22, 2014 at 7:27 am

The giveaway is over–Abby for the win! hehe. Thank you for the congrats…you are so sweet to say so :) xo


5 Kristina Sloggett July 22, 2014 at 10:44 am

hee hee, exactly! 😀


6 Mary Kate July 22, 2014 at 4:57 am

I love Cara’s recipes — I think she’s veganized or made gluten-free almost everything I’ve searched for. These look pretty amazing. I’ve been through a lot of her Halloween candy (to great effect). This is going on my wish list as well.


7 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 22, 2014 at 6:25 am

Baking is where my love for your cooking began. 😉


8 Dawn July 22, 2014 at 7:38 am

That looks delicious!!! So glad to see a “cheesecake” without fake cream cheese or tofu as the base. Not that I’m too surprised, because Cara is pretty amazing (and so are you for sharing these with people!!)


9 Jade July 22, 2014 at 7:40 am

Congratulations to Cara on her new book. I have been waiting since she first announced it to come out! There isn’t too much I would ask for that Cara hasn’t already done, but perhaps a gluten free and vegan recipe for “Reese Puffs” – the cereal as they are my favourite. Also a big shout out to Cara for making me a recipe for my wedding cupcakes so my husband and I could eat the dairy free and gluten free options – she sure is a wonderful lady <3


10 Paige July 22, 2014 at 7:47 am

Fork and Beans has allowed me to feed my food-allergic son LIKE A KING so I just had to enter this giveaway. I’d love to see a recipe for a good chewy but not-too-thick pizza crust.


11 Laurel July 22, 2014 at 7:49 am

You know, between you and Cara I could really enjoy just living in the kitchen and making and devouring one dessert right after the other. So what hasn’t been veganized yet? Coconut cake with lemon curd filling? See that, now I’ve got something else to crave! Three cheers for Cara!!!


12 Jessica July 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

This looks so yummy but, for those of us with nut sensitivities, I would love to see a vegan, gluten free cheesecake that is nut free too!


13 Nora July 22, 2014 at 8:19 am

I am a big fan of Cara’s recipes and it seems like she has already covered so many that I wished were GF/Vegan! But the one dish that I can’t seem to find a good version of anywhere is pizza, with properly crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside crust! Oh and cinnamon rolls, but it sounds like I am going to be all set once Cara’s book comes out! I’m so happy to have discovered your blog through this giveaway. Keep up the great work!


14 Omer July 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

I feel like everything I love has already been made vegan and gluten free, but I live in a town with three vegan bakeries and two of them are gluten free!!


15 Devri July 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

How amazing would a vegan croissant be?! Course, anything Spabettie make is the bomb! 😉


16 Kristina Sloggett July 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

you are too sweet Devri xxo


17 Wendy July 22, 2014 at 10:21 am

I’m pressing my luck with the cookbook giveaway….no whammys, big books, no whammys aaaaaannnnd stop! I love me a nice cheesecake, but since that is so today’s blog post, I will go with……carrot cake.


18 Kristina Sloggett July 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

haa haa, Wendy! good luck! 😉


19 Cadry July 22, 2014 at 10:25 am

I love Cara’s enthusiasm and creativity. She makes cooking FUN! Cara has worked her magic on so many foods, I’m having a hard time coming up with something she hasn’t already hit!


20 charj July 22, 2014 at 11:09 am

I am looking for a lemon meringue pie recipe.

One question on the book, are there instructions for using gluten flours for those of us that do not follow a gluten-free diet?


21 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Have I mentioned that I’ve never had key lime pie? I don’t eat a lot of desserts, but I do love a good Tiramisu or an Italian Cream Cake.


22 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm
23 tamara July 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

This looks so good! I’m from Florida so I ate A LOT of key lime desserts growing up. I can’t wait to make this recipe!

I would love to taste a perfect gluten-free, vegan yeast doughnut. With (real) blueberry glaze.


24 Amanda (Amethystjean) July 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

My favourite recipe that I would love to have vegan and gluten free is a baked cheesecake that is not made with store bought vegan cream cheese. I used to make the best cheesecake (with graham crackers and real cream cheese). I really miss it!


25 Amanda (Amethystjean) July 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

tweeted (amethystjeantiu)


26 Amanda (Amethystjean) July 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

No, sorry amethystjean is my twitter handle (the other is instagram)


27 Amanda (Amethystjean) July 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm

And liked fb (Amanda Ó Ciardha) and left a comment


28 Lauren July 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Honestly, I feel like we’re so lucky to live in a time when there are so many vegan versions of foods out there! Since I’m also gluten-free, I am going to agree similarly that I would love to see some things that have already been veganized, also made gluten free (how about those Earth Balance Cheez-Its!?) And spread in their accessibility too, of course!


29 Jennifer July 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm

These look yummy, time to hit up the kitchen! A vegan french macaron recipe would be awesome!


30 Yvonne van de Water July 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I would love to have the ’empanadillas de bonito’ that I loved eating as a child when I stayed with my family in Sevilla (Spain). They are envelopes or squares of puff pastry filled with tuna-fish, onion and parsley. They wouldn’t be hard to make vegan and gluten-free, weren’t it that here in the city where I live (in the Netherlands) there is no vegan ‘fish’ available.


31 Shelley July 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I would love to see a GF/vegan lemon meringue pie and Southern banana pudding (with vanilla wafers) recipes! These are the two desserts my mother made for me quite often as a child, and I’ve never been able to find good GF/V recipes for them.


32 Eileen July 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm

These bars look so delicious and full of flavor! You have to love the intensity of lime. There is so much food already made vegan and gluten-free that I don’t know what to answer! A good ranch dressing or dip maybe? But I bet I can find one if I go look. :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


33 Beverly July 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm

bahn mi


34 KimG July 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm

These look amazing. I can’t tell you what my favorite is as I have not seen the book. But just knowing there are graham cracker crusts are awesome.


35 Carissa July 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Key lime is one of my favorite sweets! I haven’t had it since I went gluten free. I am going to have to try this one. It looks so yummy!


36 Michelle O. July 22, 2014 at 6:24 pm

I would love to try a vegan, gluten free doughnut that was more soft and chewy than cake-y. Also, I’m still on the lookout for a vegan GF brownie – again more fudge-y than cake-y!

Thanks for the chance to win this cookbook!


37 Audrey July 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Mmm! This looks awesome!
As for a fav. recipe made vegan and gluten free… how about a canolli (or a cream puff)?


38 mip July 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Chicken Fried Steak! Somebody! Please! Make a vegan version of this super extremely yummy fried deliciousness!


39 Kelly July 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I am trying to make a gluten and dairy free sourdough bread and there is very little out there to follow. So that is what I would love to see.


40 Vicki July 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm

How about a GF bagel or pretzel? I’ve tried but I can’t get that authentic chewy texture.


41 Suzy July 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Black and white cookies


42 Amy July 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm

A gluten free vegan rugulach recipe would be devine!


43 jacquie July 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm

i would like to a really good crumb cake w/ blueberries made vegan and gluten free.


44 Lydia Claire July 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Seafood casserole!


45 Lydia Claire July 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Do I need to leave separate comments for tweeting and FB?


46 Kristina Sloggett July 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm

nah, I will check and add for each, Lydia! :)


47 Joko July 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm

GF Vegan tiramisu


48 Katie July 23, 2014 at 12:59 am

GF Vegan carrot cake – the search for the perfect recipe is like the quest for the Holy Grail …


49 Beth July 23, 2014 at 5:50 am

I would love to find an easy gluten-free pizza crust recipe.


50 Jesse @JesseLWellness July 23, 2014 at 8:29 am

I would love to see a vegan creme brulee! I also followed you on Facebook


51 jane July 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

Congrats to Cara! She’s amazing, I check her blog daily and have tried many recipes!!! I would love to try vegan & gluten free croissants!! Kristina, you have a great blog! Another to add in “favorite” yeah!!!


52 Elizabeth July 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

Awesome, Cara and Kristina! Thanks for the opportunity. I have the Halloween book from Fork and Beans, would love to add this to the collection. I agree that vegan/GF croissants would be amazing. I also wonder if Yorkshire pudding could ever exist in a vegan/GF world?! Thanks for the contest!


53 Lisa Hochstetler July 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

I would love vegan pecan pie


54 Geanna M July 23, 2014 at 10:19 am

I have to agree with Shannon – I’d really love to see a vegan+gf croissant. Or maybe some phyllo dough. Anything to make light, flaky crusty desserts. :)

Also, congrats to Cara – I can’t wait for the book to come out!


55 Sarah Auzina July 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

Much love to you both, and thanks for hosting this giveaway!

The key lime pie looks amazing.

I’d like someone to veganize tiramisu, please and thank you! :)


56 Erin L July 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm

This recipe looks amazing. I’d love to see a vegan, GF pizza recipe. I really miss cheese & pizza crust. That would be my Friday night dream night–Pizza!


57 Monica Mansfield July 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I’d love a Red Velvet Cupcake that is Raw and Vegan! It’s the one dessert I really miss and I try not to think about it too much.


58 Marty July 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Lemon meringue pie! LOVE to win this book!


59 Jess July 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I would love to see a vegan gluten free angel food cake. I’m sure this is probably next to impossible, but I’ll continue to dream! I’ll also load it full of fresh berries and coconut whipped cream while I’m at it! 😉


60 Kristina Sloggett July 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm

you and me both, Jess. I have given this SO MUCH THOUGHT. I miss the light fluffy cake of the Angel :)


61 June Siegel-Hill July 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

I’d love to see a favorite childhood dish – sweet and sour meatballs – vegan and gluten-free.
All the meatballs I see have wheat gluten. Thanks!


62 Christian July 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

A fluffy gluten-free/vegan/refined-sugar-free pineapple upside-down cake 😉


63 Brandi July 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

I love Cara’s website and all the things she has already veganized…..would love to try some kind of meringue (maybe lemon meringue pie!)
Thanks to both of you!


64 Rhonda July 24, 2014 at 11:46 am

Vegan lemon cake.


65 Rhonda July 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

Just followed on FB :)


66 sarah@thesweetlife July 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Everything has already been made vegan. Well perhaps a really good recipe for French macaroons.


67 Hanna July 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

It would be awesome to see a really good gf cheesecake (I like raspberry cheesecake especially)…all the ones I find either have gluten or do not end up tasting right. This book looks amazing…would be thrilled to win!


68 Kacey July 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

A good vegan/gf custard or clafoutis would greatly improve the quality of my life!


69 Lindsay July 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Lemon meringue pie… Haven’t had this since becoming allergic to eggs and gluten although it still is my favorite dessert.


70 Kate July 26, 2014 at 5:21 am

Tiramisu or Chocolate Eclairs!


71 Jennifer d July 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

I would love vegan angel food cake or eclairs/cream puffs… Would love to check out this book, looks great :)


72 Corrine July 28, 2014 at 12:47 am

A vegan version of Brisket, but one where I can get the same results and taste from what I cook it in. I don’t need it to taste like beef, but that same tender texture and flavors.


73 Laura July 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

A soft, perfectly moist, like-you-buy-at-the-bakery blueberry muffin. I miss those. Thanks for the giveaway Kristina!


74 The Peace Patch July 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Many thanks for the recipe…it looks so yumful! I want to dot it with blueberries too . :)


75 Gemma July 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm

This key lime cheesecake looks so delicious! Lovely color and texture, it screams summer! :-)


76 Debbie August 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm

First I have to say the bravo this recipe looks amazing! I would luv to see cannoli become vegan and soy free!


77 Amanda J. August 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

I would love to have a delicious, easy vegan & GF bread pudding. Or Tiramisu. Or both. 😀


78 Mason August 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I would love to have an updated recipe for my grandma’s molasses cookies, they’re spicy, chewy, and barely sweet!


79 Lisa Arrow August 11, 2014 at 2:40 am

I just made this recipe and it’s chilling in the fridge to serve to my family tomorrow. Smells and looks great! I’ve got to get your cookbook as it looks just amazing! Thanks for this. It only took an hour.

~ Lisa


80 Debbie Sue August 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I would love to see a vegan rainbow cookie recipe. It was one of my favorites and have not found a tasty one yet.

Excited about this recipe!


81 Jeanne August 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I would. Like a CF donut, black and white cookie, and butterscotch cream pie


82 Cat August 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

So… Does this really taste like cheesecake? Looks gorgeous! I’d really love for someone to give me a vegan recipe for sour cream and cream cheese. Any way those things could taste like the real thing?


83 Becca F August 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

I wish I could find a gluten free vegan tiramisu recipe


84 Shari August 18, 2014 at 7:37 am

I’d love to see a real cinnamon roll veganized and gluten free! I love key lime pie and I will try this yummy recipe. Thank you for offering the giveaway!


85 Renee August 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Vegan french almond macaroon.


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