This recipe for raw vegan coconut cashew cheesecake was inspired by a close friend of mine who decided to eat raw this summer. While I have no reason to partake in this diet, I was super excited to experiment with some dishes for his visit. And I am so glad I did!
I am not re-inventing the wheel here with my raw vegan coconut cashew cheesecake; you can find recipes everywhere for these tasty frozen treats. But they are so good, I wanted to share my method with you all, so you too can wow your friends and family over the holiday weekend.
Dessert is always a winner in my house, and this raw vegan coconut cashew cheesecake is great because it is packed with healthy fats from the nuts, and is low in sugar; I used dates for the crust and only 3 drops of liquid stevia for the filling. I used a mixture of pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts for the crust, which produced the most buttery, rich flavor. As always, you can use whatever you have, one nut variety works just as well as three! I also swirled in some pureed blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate mouse, for the wow effect, but plain is equally delicious.
Raw Vegan Coconut Cashew Cheesecake
Yields 6 mini tarts
1 cup pitted dates – about 10
1 1/2 cups nuts – I used pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts in equal parts
1 T. melted coconut oil
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup cashews
3 drops liquid stevia (you can also use maple syrup to taste)
1/4 t. vanilla
1. Begin by soaking the cashews in a bowl with 2 cups of boiling water. Set aside.
2. For the crust, pulse the dates in a food processor. We want them broken up but not completely smooth. They will form a gooey ball. Remove and set aside in a small bowl. Next, blitz the nuts in the food processor until they resemble coarse sand (I left a few larger chunks for texture). Add the date mixture back in along with the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and melted coconut oil. Pulse until the dates are incorporated. Test the consistency by squeezing a small amount together with your fingers. It should stick together. If the mixture is too wet, add in a few more nuts, too dry, more coconut oil.
3. Line 6 mini tart pans with a rectangle of cling wrap, leaving one end long. We will use this end to press the crust down into the mold. You can use your fingers, but it is very sticky and I found that cling wrap works the best. Also having that layer underneath is key for removing the tarts after they are frozen. Divide the mixture evenly and press into all the grooves of the pan. Once you have each pan filled and firmly pressed down, freeze for at least one hour.
4. The filling is very easy; drain the cashews after they have soaked for one hour, then blend on high with the coconut milk. Scrape down the edges, add in the stevia and vanilla and blend again until very creamy. At this point, you can add in fruit and puree again, or simply enjoy plain. Lift the top layer of cling wrap, then pour the mixture into the frozen crusts, and freeze again. Mine took about 2 hours to completely freeze, but I was also very excited and kept opening the freezer and messing with the the tarts. I had some extra filling, which I made into chocolate pudding by adding in melted baking chocolate and an extra date or two. Two desserts for the price of one!
5. Once the cheesecakes are completely frozen, carefully remove from the tart pans by lifting the edges of the cling wrap. Serve frozen, or set out at room temperature for 15 minutes for a creamier texture. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!