Friends, few times have I been more excited to share a recipe with you as I am today.
This recipe has been taste tested and approved by 6 of my closest foodie friends and heartily approved. And they weren’t even vegan! I even like these better than real cheesecakes, which I can no longer stomach with my dairy intolerance. Crisis, averted.
These 7 ingredient beauties begin with a 2-ingredient crust! Dates and raw walnuts (or almonds) – that’s all you need. Whirl and set aside.
Next up, the 5-ingredient filling: Soaked cashews, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice and agave nectar. So good, so creamy, so insanely delicious you’ll want to drink it with a straw.
This is where the fun begins: you get to pick your own flavor!
Of course, you could leave them as is. They’re extremely delicious plain. But, to perk them up a bit I created three varieties: blueberry, bourbon caramel and peanut butter. My favorite being peanut butter (as if you expected anything less).
Instead of baking these cheesecakes you simply pop them in the freezer to set. To make removing them from the pan a breeze, I simply cut out strips of parchment paper and made little tabs so I could just pop them right out. Worked like a charm! If you don’t have parchment, just slide a butter knife along the sides to pop them out. Easy, simple removal either way (no special equipment or springform pans required).
If you’ve ever been suspicious of cashew-based vegan desserts, don’t be! I can whole-heartedly attest that these are some of the best desserts I’ve ever had! No seriously. I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely delicious these guys are – and I’m a cheesecake snob!
Perfect topped with coconut whipped cream
OK, this is beginning to sound like a Victoria’s Secret ad. You catch my drift. Just make, these, cheesecakes!
- 1 cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained)
- 1 cup raw walnuts or almonds
- 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained
- 1 large lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk (see instructions for note)
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- Optional Flavor Add-Ins:
- 2 Tbsp salted natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 3 Tbsp bourbon caramel sauce
- Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
- Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Lightly grease a standard, 12 slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
- Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. I found the bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
- Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the "cream" off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.
- You don't need a Vitamix for this recipe, just a quality blender. I mixed mine for 1 minute, then "liquified" or "pureed" it until silky smooth. If it won't come together, add a touch more lemon juice or agave or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavoring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
- Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard - about 4-6 hours.
- Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Our favorite way to devour these was with a little more caramel and a touch of coconut whipped cream. But they're perfect as is! Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
- Optional: you can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but I liked them frozen as well.
*Nutrition information does not include toppings or added flavors.
*Prep time does not include freezing (4-6 hours)