Layered with a strawberry protein base, cream cheese and chocolate, these strawberry cheesecake protein bars are creamy, decadent and oh-so-lovely with all the fresh strawberry pieces bursting in every bite. You’ll never know that these protein bars are actually healthy, too!
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare
- made with healthy ingredients
- the best guilt-free dessert & post-workout snack
Ingredients used to make Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Bars
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Strawberries - Fresh or frozen. You can puree them either in a small blender (like NutriBullet) or using a mortar and pestle. You can also finely mash the strawberries with a fork.
- Protein Powder – My go-to protein powder is a vanilla plant-based protein powder, like this Orgain Protein Powder.
- Notes on using other Protein Powders in this recipe: Most frothy protein-shake type powders like whey, casein, pea, hemp, brown rice, egg protein powders should give you similar results, but slightly different textures. (Whey tends to produce gummier protein bars, for example). Collagen Peptides protein powder DOES NOT work with this recipe, so I highly recommend that you stick with the recommended protein powders. For collagen protein bar posts, check out this collagen page instead.
- Coconut Flour - Coconut flour is a great low carb flour that is gluten-free, wheat free, and grain-free. Coconut flour is also nut-free (even though it's called coco-nut) because it's made from coconut flesh (which is a fruit, not a nut) that’s been dried and then grind into small flour particles. Here is a brand of coconut flour I like to use.
- Cream Cheese - I used low fat dairy cream cheese. For a vegan friendly recipe, try using dairy free (vegan) cream cheese made from almond milk or coconut milk.
- Almond Milk - I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk (dairy or dairy free) works in this recipe. You can even use water.
- White chocolate chips - you can use any white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate), but to make these low-carb, use a lower sugar, stevia sweetened brand instead. For a dairy-free, vegan alternative, try this brand.
More Protein Powder Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Bars
puree strawberries in a small blender (like NutriBullet) or using a mortar and pestle. The strawberries have enough water in them so you don't need to add any water when blending. You can also finely mash the strawberries with a fork.
In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, coconut flour and sugar (I used monk fruit sweetener).
Next, add in the puree and the cream cheese, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
NOTE: Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add more of milk or water if the dough is too thick. TRY TO ADD A TEASPOON AT A TIME! The final dough should be firm, but soft enough that you can roll the dough into a ball without it falling apart.
Add chopped strawberries for additional texture (you can skip this step if you want)
Shape the protein dough into a rectangular mound, or press into a small square glassware. Then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix ¼ cup of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the protein bar mound
Slice into 4 bars. Keep the bars in the freezer until the next step. The longer they stay in the freezer the better!
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between. Dip the protein bars into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Feel free to experiment with natural flavoring / extracts. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn't feel like it was essential so I left it out in this recipe), or other flavorings or extracts, such as lemon extract or raspberry extract
Just keep in mind that some extracts contain alcohol, and since this is a no-bake recipe, the alcohol won't have a chance to fully evaporate. If serving this to kids, or if you're sensitive to alcohol, be sure to use non-alcoholic extracts or flavorings. Here are some non-alcoholic brands, here: Non-alcoholic peppermint extract, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
How to Make this Healthier
- Make this even healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Even better, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
How to Store Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Bars
- For maximum freshness and best texture, it's best to store these protein bars covered in the fridge. They'll be fresh for up to 5-7 days.
- These protein bars also freeze very well! Seal them inside an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze them in a single layer so that they don't stick together. I recommend double-bagging if you want to keep out the fridge smell. They can be frozen for up to 4 months.
- For best results, use cream cheese that's softened to room temperature
- To make the chocolate coating process easier, freeze the protein bars for 2-3 hours before coating so that they're easier to handle.
- Also, I like to mix in 2 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) to the melted chocolate. This thins out the chocolate and makes it easier to coat the protein bars.
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Bars
- ⅔ cup vanilla protein powder*
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 3 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener** , or any granulated sugar of choice
- ¼ cup strawberry puree (52g) , from about 6 medium strawberries
- ⅓ cup low fat cream cheese , about 2.5 oz , softened to room temperature. See notes for vegan options
- 2 Tbsp finely diced strawberries , to add texture
- Puree the strawberries either in a small blender (like NutriBullet) or using a mortar and pestle. You can also finely mash the strawberries with a fork. Set aside.
- In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, coconut flour and sugar of choice (I used monk fruit sweetener).
- Next, mix in the softened cream cheese and strawberry puree, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
- Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add a teaspoon or more of milk or liquid sweetener of choice if the dough is too thick
- Shape dough into a rectangular mound, then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix ¼ cup of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the protein bar mound, then slice into 4 bars. Keep the bars in the freezer until the next step.
- In a clean bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between
- Dip the protein bars (with the cream cheese layers) into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper. Drizzle with more chocolate if desired.
- Let the chocolate set. Enjoy!