Happy early Valentine’s day… or Galentines Day… or whatever holiday you like to celebrate with heart-shaped treats and little paper cards. As I’ve written about many times before, Jack and I have this Chocolate Molten Cake Valentine’s tradition. This year I switched things up a bit and made this decadent yet mostly raw raspberry vegan cheesecake. How cute are those layers!?
Vegan Cheesecake Recipe Variations
I have two versions below – one version uses raw cashews for the white “cheesecake” layer and the other version uses vegan cream cheese. I wanted to offer these two options because one requires a fancy high powered blender to really cream the nuts out of those cashews, and the second option will work with any blender.
Both versions also taste different – if you’re used to eating “raw” desserts you will love the cashew version. It has a fresh taste that I really like. Jack preferred option 2, which tastes a little more authentically like cheesecake.
I top both variations with a fresh raspberry layer inspired by the raspberry chia jam I make all the time. This time, instead of jamming it, I blended the raspberries with chia seeds to create that bright pink topping.
How to Make Vegan Cheesecake
A few notes about this recipe – it takes a little time for each layer to freeze before you add the next, so be sure to make this either the morning of, or the day before, you’re going to eat it. Other than the time it takes to freeze, this is a piece of cake to make:
- Start by making the gluten-free crust by pulsing together walnuts, dates, coconut oil, and salt in a food processor. Press the sticky mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined loaf pan, and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Blend together the ingredients for the creamy “cheesecake” layer. Then, pour them over the frozen crust, and slide the pan back into the freezer for another 2 hours.
- Finally, blend up the vibrant pink raspberry layer. Pour it over the frozen cheesecake and freeze overnight!
- Then, it’s time to eat! Let the vegan cheesecake thaw slightly before slicing and serving.
If you love this vegan cheesecake recipe…
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3 soft Medjool dates, pitted
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- heaping ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours then drained
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 8 oz. package plain vegan cream cheese
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries, mostly thawed
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, dates, coconut oil and salt together until crumbly. Line an 8x4” loaf pan with parchment paper allowing 1 inch of overhang on each side. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Freeze for at least 15 minutes or as long as it takes to get the next layer ready.
- In a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix), blend the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, lemon juice, zest, vanilla and salt until completely creamy (about 1 minute). Pour the filling over the crust and smooth until even. Freeze until this layer is completely firm, at least 2 hours. (Alternatively, use a regular blender and blend the ingredients from "Cheesecake" Option 2, above)
- In the blender (no need to wash between layers), combine the raspberries, lemon juice, maple syrup and chia seeds. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble. When the cheesecake layer is frozen and firm to the touch, pour the raspberry mixture on top and smooth until even. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and let it thaw for 20 minutes. Using the sides of the parchment paper, carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice it into 8 to 10 slices. Let the individual slices thaw for 15 to 20 minutes, until fully thawed and not icy. (If you’re not serving 8 to 10 people, re-freeze the remaining slices right after slicing.)