These no bake margarita bars are so creamy and citrusy with a salted crust, absolutely perfect for spring and summer! These no bake margarita bars are vegan and paleo, too, making them a light but totally satisfying healthy dessert. If you’re looking for a stunning vegan no bake dessert or no bake paleo dessert, these no bake margarita bars are totally it!
These no bake margarita bars are the stuff of my pregnancy dreams. My vivid, vivid pregnancy dreams.
See, both this time and with my first, I craved margaritas constantly. I’ve even tried finding tequila flavoring, hoping that somehow someway I can satisfy my craving without, you know, popping open a bottle of Patron. So far, no luck.
It’s something about the tang of the fresh lime juice and the salt rim, the honey-spiked shake-up (if you’re making my paleo honey margaritas, that is) and the heady tequila. I just yearn for them when pregnant.
But seeing as how it’s frowned upon to actually consume worthwhile amounts of tequila when pregnant, I’ll settle for these no bake margarita bars. And when I say ‘settle,’ what I really mean is
holy mama mother of earth and all things moving goodness almighty slap me slap me
AKA… they’re damn good.
The no bake margarita bars start off with an easy, no-bake crust loaded with toasted cashews, toasted coconut, and plenty of coarse sea salt to take care of that deliciously salty rim’s contribution to the best drink of all time (See? I’m jonesing over here). The crust is topped with a creamy, citrusy layer that tastes just like a key lime pie to me but a bit more complex – a touch of fresh-squeezed orange juice and yep, a tiny bit of tequila make things just right. I topped mine with whipped, lightly sweetened coconut cream and more toasted coconut for that wow factor and a way to cut through the citrusy layer beneath it with pure, cool creaminess. So good.
These no bake margarita bars are, uh, no bake, duh, because the weather’s getting warmer and why bake and cool a dish if you don’t have to? And, even better, they’re made from totally whole foods, so they’re healthy! Maybe the only healthy dessert I’ve had this pregnancy, but that’s another story for another time (And hopefully not an “How I Developed My Gestational Diabetes After Literally Being Paleo All the Time” article). These no bake margarita bars are vegan and paleo both, making them work for just about everybody!
The only tricky thing about these no bake margarita bars is that they need plenty of time to chill before serving. Making them the day ahead is a fab idea and uh, yeah, my assistant and I ate them for breakfast the entire week. Just saying!
No Bake Margarita Bars (Vegan, Paleo)
Salted Crust Layer
Creamy Lime Layer
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for 1 hour
- 3/4 cup coconut oil melted, refined or unrefined is fine - refined will taste more coconutty
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice +2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey +2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons lime zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon tequila optional
- 1 pinch salt or more to taste
Whipped Coconut Cream
- 1 tablespoons Scant cup coconut cream chilled at least 2 hours
- 1 teaspoon light coconut sugar or honey
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut toasted
- lime wedges
- Toast the cashews: in a dry skillet over medium heat, place a single layer of the raw cashews. Toast, shaking occasionally, about 5 minutes or until golden on both sides. The cashews will begin to smell nutty. Remove from pan and set aside. Return pan to stove and place 3/4 cup coconut in skillet. Toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown, a few minutes. Remove from pan and let cool. Toast remaining 1/4 cup coconut for garnish and set aside.
- Add all crust ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until uniform and crumbly. Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined 8x8" baking pan. Place pan in freezer (or refrigerator) while you make the creamy lime layer.
- Add all creamy lime layer ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until very, very smooth. Pour over chilled crust layer and chill at least 4-5 hours.
- Make the whipped coconut cream: Chill a metal mixing bowl and beaters at least 1 hour.
- Place chilled coconut cream in chilled mixing bowl. Beat coconut cream with an electric mixer using chilled beaters on medium speed. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Add in coconut sugar or honey and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
- To serve: cut chilled bars into equal squares. Top with a dollop of coconut cream, a sprinkle of toasted coconut, and press a lime wedge into the side of the coconut cream.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.