Incredibly creamy, rich vegan cheesecake with a 2-ingredient date-walnut crust and creamy cashew-coconut filling with black tea and chai spices. The perfect comforting, naturally sweetened dessert for fall and beyond.
Soak your cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes (or in cool water overnight or for at least 4-6 hours). Then rinse with cool water, drain well, and set aside.
While cashews are soaking, bring a pot of water to a boil, then measure out 2/3 cup or 158 ml (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Add tea bags or loose leaf tea to 2/3 cup boiling water, cover, and steep for at least 30 minutes. This should result in a very strong tea infusion. Add more tea if the color is not deep and the flavor is not intense. When removing tea bags, be sure to squeeze/press out all the excess tea.
While the tea and cashews are soaking, prepare a cheesecake pan (I prefer this 7-inch springform one, but round cake pans or loaf pans work as well) by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare crust by adding dates to a food processor and blending until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
To the food processor, add walnuts and salt (optional) 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.
Add crust to pan and press with fingers to distribute. To pack it down, use a small glass wrapped in parchment paper. Really press it down, and ensure the crust comes up the sides. Set in freezer to firm up.
Add tea, soaked drained cashews, and all remaining filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until very creamy and smooth — about 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust sweetness/flavors as needed, adding more chai spice mix for spice/warmth, ginger for kick/zing, maple syrup for sweetness, or vanilla to taste.
Transfer the filling into the crust and tap to remove air bubbles. Optional: Drizzle on a small amount of Vegan Caramel and swirl with a chopstick or knife to make a fun pattern.
Transfer to freezer and freeze until firm — at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. The day of serving, you can transfer to the refrigerator. If serving from freezer, set out at room temperature for at least 1 hour to thaw for easy slicing.
Serve as is, or top with a generous amount of coconut whipped cream, drizzle of vegan caramel, and pinch of pumpkin pie spice (optional).
Store leftover cheesecake in the freezer up to 1 month (well covered/sealed for freshness). Once it has been frozen, it can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days. But that initial freeze is important for texture / firmness, so don’t skip.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients. *If you don’t have chai spice mix, sub 1 tsp ground cinnamon (cassia is best), 1 tsp ground ginger, heaping 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper (reduce by half for less spice), 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 healthy pinch ground clove (plus more to taste). (Measurements calculated as recipe is written / adjust as needed if altering serving size). *Adapted from my Vegan Chai Ice Cream.