Raw vegan cheesecakes have been quite popular among vegans and health-minded cooks.
The “cookie” base is usually made with Medjool dates and nuts, topped with a mixture of coconut cream or soaked cashews mixed with fruit or cacao.
Over the past years I’ve tried quite a few raw cheesecake recipes, and the one I’m sharing with you here is one of our absolute favorites.
A few important notes:
- I prefer to make them in mini-muffin forms because they’re quite filling. But you can of course make one big cake if your prefer.
- Use silicone muffin molds. You will thank me when you try to take them out ;-).
- I made different coloured layers, but if you like it simple you can of course make just one layer using all the raspberries at once.
- Feel free to use another kind of red fruit instead of raspberries, such as strawberries or blueberries.
- You can also just serve the raspberry layer as a delicious mousse. You just need to chill it in the fridge for a delicious snack or dessert.
- Take the mini-cheesecakes out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving (depending on the room temperature it will take 10-30 minutes to soften).
These raw mini-cheesecakes are:
- High protein
- High fat (only the good ones!)
- Easy to make
- No bake
- Low carb
- Refined sugar-free
A few words about the ingredients
- Cashew nuts: are a very good source of monounsaturated fats and plant-based protein. In fact, cashews contain less fat and more protein than most other nuts. The fat they do contain is mostly derived from oleic acid which offers great protection against heart diseases and cancer. They’re also a great source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.
- Pure maple syrup: Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese which is important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Two tablespoons of maple syrup provide almost 40% of our daily needs of this important trace mineral. It is also high in zinc, which is great to keep your immune system in shape and can benefit skin problems such as acne. Be aware that maple syrup is high in sugar, mostly glucose, containing about 12g per tablespoon. So just like any sweetener, use sparingly. In this recipe I use only 4 tablespoons of maple syrup for about 20 bites, so no need to worry about the amount of sugar in each bite.
- Coconut oil: a true superfood with many proven health benefits such as improving cholesterol levels, protecting hair and skin, and promoting weight loss. What makes coconut particularly unique is its high content of the medium-chained fatty acid called lauric acid. This health-promoting fat – which is only equally abundant in human breast milk – has potent antiviral and antibacterial benefits
- Vanilla extract: natural vanilla extract is high in antioxidants, including vanillic acid and vanillin, protecting us from harmful free radicals. Vanillin is also good for our liver, is believed to have cholesterol-lowering benefits, and has anti-inflammatory effects
20 min (+ 2-12h soaking & 6 h cooling)
American cup measurements*:
- 1 cup almonds (or a mix of almonds and pecans, or just pecans)
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked for 2-12 hours, rinsed, and drained
- ½ cup coconut milk (canned)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
European quantities in gram/ml:
- 130 g almonds (or a mix of almonds and pecans, or just pecans)
- 8 Medjool dates
- 230 g raw cashew nuts, soaked for 2-12 hours, rinsed, and drained
- 125 ml coconut milk (canned)
- 60 ml maple syrup
- 60 ml lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 80 ml coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 100g + 100 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
*Recently I bought American measuring cups from Amazon, which I find very convenient to cook with (and highly recommend if you often cook from US recipes or books). For the Europeans amongst us, be aware that one American measuring cup is smaller than a coffee mug. Therefore I also specify the quantities in grams and ml, in case that’s your preferred way of cooking.
- Start by soaking the cashew nuts in purified water. I usually do this the night before.
- In a food processor, blend the almonds/pecans with the pitted Medjool dates until you get a sticky mixture. You want to keep some structure, so don’t blend too long. Should the dough be too crumbly, add a few more dates to make it bind together.
- Fill the bottom of your silicone muffin cups with this mixture and press well.
- Now drain and rinse the cashews, before blending with all other ingredients in a high-speed blender. Only use half the raspberries if you want to make layers.
- Pour half the mixture into the molds and blend the other half with the remaining raspberries to obtain a darker colour.
- Top your cheesecakes with this mixture.
- Freeze for about 6 hours.
- Take out of the freezer about 10-30 minutes before serving the mini-cheesecakes (depending on the room temperature).
Recipe slightly adapted from Choosing Chia.