Caramel Cheesecake Bars (minus cheese)

Catchy title eh?

Ok, let’s get one thing straight, right now. I love sweets. Like I REALLY love them. Making desserts is pretty much my favorite thing to do. It’s hard coming up with paleo desserts. My desserts often fail. I still eat them. I waste nothing. Making desserts for people just makes me so happy. I stare at them to watch their reaction to see if they like it. If I don’t get the response I want, I hate them. And our friendship ends. Thankfully I still have a few friends left.

But this dessert is something unreal. LIKESERIOUSLYOMGUNREAL. Laura stared at me with “Holy Balls” eyes when she tried this dessert. She said it definitely was a 10 and couldn’t believe how much it tasted like cheesecake. I.Was.Pumped. I want to make a kitty pool out of this dessert and live in it. Then make out with it. I honestly may make it every week. Sh*t could get ugly. Not literally. This will make your bum much happier than real cheesecake.

Anywho. Guess what I did the other day!? Went to a sporting event!!! NBD. Yeah, you want to see me out of my comfort zone? Place me at a baseball with thousands of screaming drunk people. I’m awkward there. If you follow me on instagram @paleomg, you could probably tell I was out of my element since 3 or the 5 pictures included alcohol. I drank ALMOST a full glass of a Strongbow, 3 sips…wait wait…4 sips of a Blue Moon, and I ate a blackberry out of a purple margarita, I think it had some alcohol in it. I just got wild!! But here is the kicker, I ACTUALLY had fun. I was with Laura so that’s a given that I would at least smile throughout the game, but I truly enjoyed the full 4 minutes of the game that I watched.

I can’t talk anymore. I need to eat my cheesecake. I’m not even joking.


No Bake Caramel Cheesecake (minus cheese)



For the crust

For the filling

For the caramel

  • 1214 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for an hour
  • 56 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • salt to top it all off with


  1. Place dates in a bowl of water to soak.
  2. Let’s first make the crust!! Add walnuts to your food processor and blend until you get a meal, almost a walnut butter. Then add the rest of your crust ingredients and blend until well combined.
  3. Add crust mixture to an 8×8 glass baking dish lined with saran wrap, press down until evenly distributed. I sound so professional right now.
  4. Wipe out the inside of your food processor, no need to scrub, then add your cashews and blend until you begin to get a clumpy mess.
  5. Then add your coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract and honey and puree until well combined.
  6. And lastly, add your coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to break down the cashews completely. I used about 3 tablespoons for mine until the cashews became this soupy paste.
  7. Pour your filling onto the crust and use a knife or spoon to spread mixture throughout the entire pan, covering the crust, then place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until completely hard.
  8. Once your dates have soaked for about an hour, remove them from the water, and add them to a food processor and pulse until dates have broken down (less than a minute).
  9. Then add your coconut milk tablespoon by tablespoon to the dates while the food processor is still running. Then add your water as well.
  10. And add your vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
  11. Process until you get a caramel. Just let it run for a while. Pick your nose. Look at a trash magazine and BOOM. Caramel. May take 3-5 minutes, tops.
  12. Spread caramel over hardened cheesecake filling.
  13. Top with some course salt.
  14. Place it freezer for about 30 minutes until everything has set.
  15. Cut bars into the sizes you want. The saran wrap will help you pull them out without destroying their gorgeous looks. Just pull on the side of the saran wrap and it will pop right out.
  16. Eat. Eat and remember how wonderful it is to be paleo.


I am not saying how many it served. Sergio had once piece. Laura and I had the rest….oops. Whatever. Life is good.

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PaleOMG Caramel Cheesecake Minus Cheese



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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


122 thoughts on “Caramel Cheesecake Bars (minus cheese)”

  1. so I think I’m still a newbie to Paleo (2.5 mos) and thinking I shouldn’t be eating too many desserts!! LOL, but in my past non-Paleo lifestyle, dessert was my middle name, potlucks everyone knew it would be me who would bring several. So this post about loving desserts makes me smile huge because as I was reading it, I was thinking, ‘geez doesn’t she make real food’?
    I love you posts,,love your recipes, now if only make them all!!!

  2. Laura (another one :)

    I so love you ! and I don’t even know you… Even IF there was a site with paleo recipes as good as yours, they would still be boring as shit. I only cook a fraction of what you create, (’cause I’m lazy, boo) but read them every day just to be entertained by your awesomeness 🙂 A fan, Laura

  3. These look great & I WILL be making them after I go to the grocery store. Love the blog. Love the recipes. Just made sticky berry bars the other night for some friends and we all loved them! Had to keep my kiddos out of them bc there wasn’t enough!!! Thanks for your creativity, humor, and paleo recipes!!!

  4. Yum!! This is what I’m going to make for my birthday cake! We absolutely love your recipes at our house…now if we could just get our butts in gear to work them off we’d eat them all the time. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Oh you are killing me!! That looks so good. I think I am going to have to unsubscribe to your blog while I’m doing the low carb thing. 🙂

  6. You and your blog are gonna keep me straight on this Primal/Paleo path. I absolutely ADORE caramel and cannot thank you enough for this recipe and scores of others. I am compiling recipes that you and other Primal/Paleo bloggers post to make a “personal to me” cookbook. Thanksgiving this year is going to be very different from last year and I’m excited ‘cuz I know it will rock! Thanks SO much Juli!

  7. Not only am I obsessed with your recipes but it makes me super happy when I already have the ingredients hanging in my pantry. So damn excited to try this one, I do love me some caramel anything. <3

  8. I have been following your blog for about a month, and all I can say is it changed everything. I thought that “baked goods” were forbidden since I am eating paleo. Well, obviously not. Thank you for that!

    To my question: How did you get so fit? I started crossfitting five months ago and I can feel the difference, but it is not showing. I want less fat so I can show off my muscles. But it is not happening to me… Do you restrict your calories? How do you do it?

    1. I don’t restrict calories and I eat a good amount of fat in the form of avocados and coconut. I compete in Crossfit so I’m in the gym a lot. I have also and still often do paleo-zone. Check out the zone diet on google and it will explain it all, but I just stick with paleo foods.

    2. Elin–I’ve been doing CrossFit for a year now and paleo since last Sept, and it’s only been what seems like recently to me that the muscle definition has been there. But in looking back through pictures and people seeing me that haven’t for a while, everyone has said they notice quite a difference. I was skinny fat before I started and actually never lost any weight, i lost inches, and have gained so much more–muscle definition, confidence, better body image, etc. Around my four-five month point, I kind of hit a wall it seemed and it didn’t feel like I was making any progress, and then suddenly I was. I also would try and tell myself that the fat didn’t go on overnight, I’m not going to get muscle definition overnight either. Anyway, stick with the CrossFit, stick with the paleo and eventually it will all click.

      Juli–gotta try these this weekend!! Sounds awesomazing.

    1. Wish I had your minimal sweet tooth Katie! Can’t keep my hands off desserts – especially when they look as good as this does! Another fantastic recipe JB 🙂

  9. JULI! I’ve been jonesing for some cheesecake lately. Last time I gave in and ate some I was SO sick I missed a week of CrossFit! Seriously, I thought I was dying… or was in so much pain that I wished I was.
    You have given me life!!! haha 🙂

  10. i am obsessed with you… in a totally non-creepy way but semi creepy enough to keep it interesting. i just started eating paleo & your blog has kept things spicy so i’m not bored like i have been my whole life eating cheez-its and pizza. halleluiah! keep the great recipes comin!

  11. OH EM GEE! It’s like you’re reading my mind and what I’m craving. I am so making these at this weekends pool party! Love you Juli! Keep them coming!

  12. Oh, Juli. I thought we were friends. But here you are, trying to make me fat. Why do you want to make me fat?

    This looks IRRESISTIBLE. I’m going to commission my willpower-laden friend to make this and give me one little serving. And hopefully I have enough willpower to keep from going to her house for all the rest. I know where her spare key is. That’s dangerous.

  13. So I see from your “recipe” on how to make coconut butter that you say it is the same thing as coconut creme concentrate. So I can always use them interchangeably? The Tropical Traditions concentrate is SOLD OUT. But I can find product called Coconut Butter.

  14. Juli! Those bars look effing amazing. ONE QUESTION! I am allergic to almonds, which basically sucks ass for a Paleo chick 🙁 I haven’t tried cashew butter yet, would that work in the crust? What about sunflower seed butter?

    1. THE best tasting cashew butter in m o is The racoon label Once Again Nut butters one– sometimes cahshews taste funky –
      Also seriously Juii where do you live? I want some of your creations but I can’t make a batch because I have no self control with sweet/fating items.

  15. Juli: Better let us screen Austin for you. You didn’t even ask if he does dishes! Or Crossfit! Or how many callouses he has on his hands! Dude!

    As for this recipe, you have totally rocked it again! Can’t wait to make it! And I agree, I am totally obsessed with you in a non-creepy way! Girl you gotta move to San Diego!

  16. Okay…you are really funny, love your site and your postings. I am gonna try this cheesecake…my boyfriend loves cheesecake but I am trying to get him to ‘go paleo’ so I discourage him from eating traditional desserts….I think he will love your recipe.


  17. I like the profile pictures of your cheesecake, it looks like geological striations. I’m not a geologist or anything along those lines (ha), just an eater, and this looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Juli…hands down best paleo cheesecake I’ve EVER made! I have a pretty huge sweet tooth that I’m proud to say was completely satisfied tonight, thanks:)!

  19. I made these last night and they are to die for. Like, whatthehelldidIjustputintomymouth amazing. I cut the recipe into 26 pieces and did the nutritional breakdown. Sadly, each piece has 250 calories and 20 grams of fat. I won’t be eating anymore, but it was nice while it lasted.

  20. These are by far, the best paleo dessert I have ever had! LOVE IT! I am so happy I found your blog, entertaining and great recipes! Thanks!

  21. Can I use another kind of oil instead of coconut for the filling? Or butter/ghee? Coconut oil is flipping expensive and hard to find where I live… And I’m making them tonight (and hopefully not eating 1kg of nuts in the process 😀

  22. These rock. Thank you!! It turns out I was out of dates (how did this happen? I have nooo idea), so I did a thin layer of coconut milk-based ganache on top and they’re AMAZING! I had two little squares and am bringing the rest to share with friends.

  23. Sophie kephalas

    Juli I just made this cheesecake and OMG. You really are a gem for making these yummy treats and sharing them with us. I am unsure whether eating the whole thing is good for me or not but it’s going to happen anyway!!!

  24. Just made it. I was blown away by the lemon flavor in the filling (used a fresh lemon for the juice) and it created an authentic cheese cake taste. I think it would taste just as amazing without the caramel topping! Keep posting great recipes!

  25. Personally, I think these are best eaten once they’re completely frozen. I ate one the day I made them, after everything firmed up, and it was good, but almost a little too much for me. I left them in the freezer overnight and when I ate one (and another and another!) the next day, I just about died! So, so good! Next time, I’m going to try macadamia nuts for the filling instead of cashews.

  26. Holy Cow these are so good!! I am not a big cheesecake person in general, and I do not know why I doubted that these would be amazing…but as usual they are! I share with my trainer at the gym so that totally makes them OK…that’s what I am going with anyway…I have made a recipe a day from your blog, every single one is aaaammmaaazing! After losing a 100#’s it’s hard to keep food interesting…thank you for that!!

  27. I’m pretty sure I said OH.EM.GEE. about 5 times while eating these. And while tasting the batter. And licking the spoon.

    Definitely share-worthy and make-again worthy! Thanks Juli!

  28. Juli,

    I am in love with your blog! This recipe looks fantastic; I like how you used dates instead of unhealthy refined sugars. I also make “cheesecakes” with cashews – I recently made a lemon blueberry cheesecake using an almond-pecan flour crust with cinnamon. They are so good!

    I love the personality you put into your blog, it really makes it enjoyable to read. Keep it up!


  29. Made these this afternoon–made a couple changes thanks to an under-stocked kitchen but I doubt they made too much of a difference–AND OH MY EFFING GAWD. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!!

  30. Is there anything I can sub for the coconut cream concentrate/butter? I have the flakes to make it, but hate to for just 1T. If there aren’t any substitutes for it, how long will it keep if I make it fresh at home? Thanks! Making these for my hubby for Fathers’ Day!

      1. Thank you! We ate them plain the first night, and then the next night, I mixed together some Enjoy Life chocolate chips and coconut milk (from your turtle cake recipe) and poured that over top. Both ways were delicious, felt like I was eating something from the Cheesecake Factory!! Thanks for another great recipe!

  31. Soooo making these.. RIGHT NOW! Waiting for the filling to freeze and set so I can add the caramel topping. Such a great dessert to make for my sister in law. She is working on losing a little weight post-baby. Yummmmm…


  32. These are amazing! We made them last night. I’ve been storing them in the freezer, works great. We made our filling with raw cashews instead of roasted, because we already had raw ones, and it was delicious. This seems like a fun recipe to play with, adding fruit to the filling, or maybe doing a cocoa topping instead of dates. Thanks for the recipe.

  33. this fixed my cheesecake craving right up! I have tried your “carmel” from a different recipe before and it was ok, but THIS time, I am totally in love. nice work!

  34. I made this for some guests we had over last night. They were amazing!! I just realized now that I forgot to add the Almond butter to the crust but it still turned out perfectly. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  35. These are SO good! And just FYI….if you add cocoa powder to the filling….and then freeze….fudge takes on a WHOLE new meaning. I just died. In a good way of course.

  36. Juli – I’m in the middle of making these and the first two layers are fabulous! I’m over here twiddling my thumbs and watching the clock tick waiting for the damn thing to freeze – thank goodness most of it got into the freezer! I almost just sat down at the kitchen table and started spooning the first two layers into my mouth! I thought the first layer was awesome and then I made the second – holy creamy deliciousness!! I’ve been eating paleo since January and haven’t had something like this yet at all! this will be my future birthday cake come October : ) Thanks for your amazing recipe!!

  37. I’m in the process of making this cheesecake and I’m so pumped about it! Juli, your recipes are freakin fabulous so thank you for always sharing!! I soaked the dates and I noticed the skin around them.. Do the skins need to be removed before putting them into the food processor? Hi, I’m new here.

  38. You did it again! These cheesecake bars are amazing! I couldn’t stop licking the bowl as I was making them and just couldn’t keep my hands off of them when they were done! Delicious! My only problem is that now I want some milk to wash them down lol

  39. Thank you! I made a whole bunch of these for my birthday. At first, I left the coarse salt off, and thought it was too sweet. But then I tried one with salt and it really pulled it all together. Thanks, sooo good!

  40. Sounds awesome… butm what’s the sugar content? 14 dates, half cup of honey, coconut flakes, coconut milk… all that sucrose/fructose is adding up no? Looks delicious tho I must say.

  41. These were amazing!!! We just made these for my birthday! Thank you for always delivering superior recipes!

    Caramel is my FAVOURITE! I like it better than chocolate.

    I just made this and I just cannot say enough – it has rocked my world!!!!!!

  43. Love your website!!!!
    Can I use Canned Coconut Cream for the FILLING AND THE CARMEL TOPPING? It’s all I have at the moment :/

  44. I made these and I am in heaven! I get back from work and chow down on these now! Thank you for your amazing recipes all the was from Sydney Australia.

  45. This is probably the best paleo dessert I’ve ever had. I freakin’ love these things. I think I like them out of the freezer the best, it’s like an ice cream sandwich that angels made.

  46. I absolutely love your recipes, couldn’t have gotten through the past month without them. The fudge is to die for, the soufflé the biscuits and your collard green burritos. Going to have my hubby make me some cheesecake & truffles today. You would never believe that these are for paleo and you’re actually on a diet. Please keep finding more goodies for all of us to try, I look forward to making & eating all of them, YUMMM.

  47. This recipe is absolutely amazing!!! Better than any ‘real’ cheesecake I have ever had! I haven’t stopped raving about it since I made it the other week. Thank you for all of your yummy recipes!

      1. They turned out great with more coconut instead of the cream. I also used macadamia nuts instead of walnuts for the crust which turned out great too, just an FYI for anyone else 🙂 Thanks!

  48. These were GREAT! I ate a slice the next morning after firming up in the fridge with a pile of raspberries. Yum.

    I used deglet dates, and they did not blend as smoothly has mejdool dates had for me in the past. But thats okay. I left out lemon because I didnt have it, and I should not have. It really makes the difference in making it more like a cheesecake.

    I only wish the crust was drier. I had this problem before where the crust was like dense butter, and I felt like I was eating polygrip. I did add a bit more dried coconut, but I need way way more.

    I also wish the filling was twice more.

  49. These look amazing, they sound amazing … right up to the point i see all that coconut. I can’t stand coconut … the taste, texture, or the smell. Sigh … Is there a viable alternative to the coconut products? Oil/milk/shredded ?

  50. You’ve just made my husband’s and my life complete. We love cheesecake and since going paleo its either you get the good stuff or go without. I’m so going to try this!

  51. Just made this for the first time. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the topping to caramalize as the ingredient kept flying to the sides of the blender bowl. Consequently the topping will be chunky and not smooth caramel texture.

  52. Made these today and OMG they are awesome! I had issues with getting my filling and caramel topping to work in my food processer (both ended up pushed out to the sides)… finished the filling in my blender and the caramel topping with my immersion blender – both solutions worked beautifully!

    Great recipe – even for those of us who aren’t following a paleo diet, but just looking for something different! YUM!

  53. This is “punch you in the face” good! Ridiculous even. I made it for my husbands birthday today and I think he was shocked at how good it was. I will be spreading the love (bragging) to all my non-paleo friends how good this recipe is. Looking forward to tomorrow so I can have another piece.

  54. Wow, Juli! These look ah-may-zing! I can’t wait to try them… when I’m done with 21DSD.

    I hope this is in the cookbook! I ordered mine in December and I can’t wait!

  55. I had my (non-Paleo) family over for a (Paleo) dinner party last night, and I made these for dessert! When I say that these are STUPID good, I mean they are STUPID good! My parents were going crazy about how good they are! Although it’s a bit time consuming (and whoa! tons of nuts), these are completely worth it! Fortunately (or unfortunately), I have so much left over, I am going to have to show major discipline…all to easy to just pick at with a fork! This recipe is a major home run! I’d make these any time I had to bring a dessert somewhere!

  56. A co-worker made these and brought them to work…..
    These beat any treat, even non Paleo treats Ive had. Theyre absolutely amazing.

  57. Very late to the party on finding your blog but just wanted to say that I made these yesterday and my fiance and I absolutely LOVE them!! It could be because I don’t eat paleo that they don’t really taste like cheesecake to me, HOWEVER, these are better than cheesecake and are incredible in their own right. I love that they are all healthy ingredients as well. Thanks for the recipe!!

  58. Hi Julie, just wondering if substituting cashews for macadamia nuts would be possible? My boyfriend has a cashew allergy. Also, do you think it’d be good without the honey? Thank you!!

  59. I’m a bad and messy cook so this took a couple of goes to get right (just dumb me buying the wrong stuff because I was in a hurry at the shop). But, last batch was awesome!! thankyou. H

  60. I’m going to try these this week, but have a question. I’m allergic to all citrus, so I usually substitute vinegar in recipes, but wonder if it’s necessary for this? Would it work without any acidic ingredient?

  61. Ok, so I first saw this cheesecake recipe a couple of months ago and the picture! The picture made the magic. Looks like so much like how I like it!
    I of course immediately decided to make it sometime. I was patiently (hahaha) waiting for a good occasion to come and also to loose enough weight before eating this as a treat. 🙂
    So as Valentie’s Day was on the horizon I decided to make this – heart shaped! OMG! (x100 – for the accurate result double it for my husband) This is so much like the best cheese cake I have ever had! Actually, no, it’s not. It’s even better! And even the caramel topping is perfect! And this was my first cheesecake ever made. Which means your recipe really works! My husband and I loved it! It’s very stodgy though, we could hardly finish our slices (we rarely eat sweets since we are paleo). I guess we will have a cake for about a year kept in the freezer! Strictly a special occasion only 🙂
    And now we wait a couple of days before we dare to step on the scale again… 🙂

  62. This was probably the best thing I’ve ever made let alone being paleo. This May or may not last you very long, depending on how much self control you have. I was really shocked on my first bite on how something so healthyish could taste so good. I had one piece like a smaller square size for breakfast,went to work and wasn’t hungry till lunch. I will definitely make these again!! Thanks you so much!! 🙂 love your recipes

  63. This seriously can’t be good for you cos it tastes mind blowingly fantastic!!! I decided i would give it a try (as I have with many other raw/healthy foods and been very disappointed). So bit over an hour later of fluffing around in the kitchen (mind you I don’t have a food processor so took a lot longer than it should) I couldn’t wait for it to set so my partner and I tried some. He is VERY FUSSY when it comes to “real” food and he was seriously impressed. I think I am going to have to buy a food processor. Thank you for your creativity and a bloody great recipe!!!

  64. Hey, a suggestion – for the 3 T water required for the ‘caramel’… use the leftover water from the water the dates soaked in! I didn’t take the time to read all the comments, so apologies if someone already suggested this!

  65. It came out delicious! Thank you!
    The taste of coconut was very overpowering tho. Is there any way to lessen it without ruining the “cheesecake”?

  66. I made these last night and brought them to work. All of the ladies at the office LOVED them. They all asked me for the recipe.
    I did make a couple of modifications. I didn’t use honey for the crust because the almond butter I used was sweet. For the filling I used two cups of cashews to make it a bit taller and added 8 tbsp. lemon juice and 8 tbsp. of coconut milk.
    To me it tastes like a coconut breakfast bar.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  67. Delicious!! I was surprised by just how “cheesecakey” it really tasted. Used my Vitamix since I don’t have a food processor and the only part that gave me trouble was the crust since the blade couldn’t quite get to everything. I overdid the lemon a tiny bit, but it’s still fantastic. Thanks Juli!

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