This raw vegan cheesecake recipe is a keeper! It's a rich, creamy and decadent recipe laced with healthy superfoods. It's free from refined sugars, dairy, soy and gluten. This recipe uses soaked cashew nuts as the creamy base, I provide recipe variations for nut-free. Save this as your go-to-recipe for raw vegan cheesecakes.
- About this recipe
- Guilt free indulgence
- Ingredients for making raw chocolate vegan cheesecake
- Equipment you will need
- How to make a healthy raw vegan cheesecake mix
- Nut-free vegan cheesecake variation
- Vegan cheesecake variations
- What to serve vegan cheesecake with
- How long will it keep fresh for?
- This recipe is
- Chef's top tip
- Raw vegan cheesecake trouble shooting and FAQ
- Healthy cooking classes
About this recipe
The first time I saw this technique for making raw vegan cheesecakes was actually with my little sister Emily, she was making a blueberry cheesecake for a friends party. I was right out of Michelin star kitchen mindset of eggs, cream, butter, sugar and never knew about this technique. It was a revelation! So simple, yet so effective. The base of soaked cashew provides the creaminess and allows for limitless possibilities for flavor variations.
I went on to develop many different raw vegan cheesecake recipes and teach 100's of students how to make them. I've made blackberry, meadowsweet, raspberry, tigernut, carob, moringa, ariona berry butterfly pea, beetroot, key lime, pumpkin spiced and Christmas pudding to name but a few variations!
I promise you, once you understand this simple technique and base recipe for Vegan Cheesecakes you can confidently make your own exciting and delicious recipes.
Guilt free indulgence
We all deserve (and need) a treat now and then! The problem is, what we think is a treat for us is actually detrimental to our health. "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!''
When we eat something that is bad for us, but tastes really good we tend to eat with a feeling of guilt. We know we should not be eating it, but the pleasure of the taste experience outweighs the potential long term impact this food choice will have on our health, and so we give in to the temptation! There is a constant internal tug of war negotiation going on everyday as we try to navigate through the day and decide what to eat.
Our decision making strengths are at their best in the morning when we are fresh. As we go through the day our tolerance and discipline decreases, which is why we tend to make unhealthier choices on what to eat towards the latter part of the day!
What if we could eat the most indulgent sweets and desserts, while knowing that they are super healthy for us and full of good nutrients? This would take the whole eating experience to another level! Eating good food is all about pleasure, it should be savored and enjoyed.
Michelin star food pleasures
I cooked in Michelin star fine dining kitchens for over 10 years and tasted some of the most delicious and inspiring food of my life. But this is special occasion dining, it's not food we can eat everyday. Indulgent 15-20 course menus with cheese trolleys, petit 4's and indulgent high sugar desserts all taste amazing at the time, but the after effects can cause indigestion and it also normalises over eating
The true skill of a great chef is how well a guest feels when leaving the restaurant. Dining is a multi sensory experience. The chefs job is to nourish his guests with good food. My old mentor Thomas Keller's philosophy was 'The law of the diminishing', Chef Keller was one of the first chefs to introduce the tasting menu format. Each dish of a 9 course menu was designed to be 3-4 bites. The food pleasure levels hit their peak and then it was all over! It left you feeling like you wanted more, then the next course came along and a whole new taste sensation awaited!
Ingredients for making raw chocolate vegan cheesecake
For the mix
Cacao: I use raw unsweetened cacao powder. Cacao contains many different nutrients
Chia seed: These super seeds help with setting the cheesecake mix and provide an extra boost of protein and fats.
Coconut oil: I use cold pressed coconut oil for a nice smooth texture and tropical aroma
Cashews: These add the creamy base to the entire 'cheese' cake mix. Soak them overnight in plenty of filter water in the fridge. Drain and rinse well before blending.
Orange: This provides a beautiful fresh citrus aroma. Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite combinations!
Lime or lemon: A squeeze of citrus helps balance and lift all the flavors. You should not be able to taste the citrus acidity. It just to balance the sweetness and cut through the richness.
Maple: This is my sweetener of choice here. You may add honey, rice syrup or coconut nectar, Up to you! If you like a more bitter chocolate flavor, reduce the amount of sweetener in this recipe.
Cinnamon: If you like cinnamon, add a pinch. If you don't, leave it out!
Pink salt: A pinch of pink salt just helps lift the flavors and makes them sing. You should not be able to taste the salt, just a little pinch is enough.
For the base
Cashews: Feel free to add what ever nuts or seeds you like for the base.
Dates: I add a few dates to bind the mix together, you can also use raisin, fig or apricot.
Coconut oil: I add about 10ml to this recipe to help bring all the ingredients together in the blender.
Orange zest: For a citrus aroma booster.
Spirulina: This adds a lovely depth of color and flavour. You may add maca, baobab, moringa or matcha if you prefer these flavors.
Equipment you will need
- Weighing scales
- Mixing bowl
- Micro plain
- Rolling pin
- High speed blender
- Cheesecake tin
- Parchment paper
How to make a healthy raw vegan cheesecake mix
This recipe is RAW, (although cashew nuts are heated in the production stages at source, so there can be a raw food purists debate on this subject!). Some of the variations I suggest call for cooked vegetables or soft tofu which will make this a 50:50 raw:cooked recipe. Still healthy and still delicious!
Be sure to make this either the morning of, or the day before, you’re going to eat it. This recipe is a piece of cake to make:
- Start making the cheesecake base by pulsing together cashews, dates, coconut oil, orange zest and spirulina in a food processor until the mix comes together. Roll the mixture into a round circle big enough to fit into the cheesecake tin. Line the cheesecake tin with the base and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the cheesecake mix.
- Blend together the ingredients for the cheesecake mix. Add the coconut oil in last to get a nice smooth consistency. Then, pour this mix over the frozen base, and put back into the freezer for another 2 hours to set.
- When frozen you can take the cheesecake out of the tin and transfer to a plate. Keep in the freezer until your ready to slice.
- Portion with a clean knife and wipe the knife in between slices so you get a clean cut.
- Then, it’s time to eat!
- Garnish with some fresh seasonal fruits or berries.
Nut-free vegan cheesecake variation
Cashew nuts can be over used in vegan and raw dessert recipes. If not in the correct ratios, they can be very rich and heavy to digest. Some people have intolerances to nuts or prefer a lower calorie and lighter option. Here are some of my chef's recommendations for replacing cashew nuts in this recipe and other cashew based vegan cheesecakes.
- Soft tofu: This provides a neutral flavored creamy base for vegan cheesecakes
- Fresh vegetable purees: Use a base of cooked and pureed pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip or tapioca root as the creamy base. From here you can add sweetener, spices, seasonings and various flavors.
Vegan cheesecake variations
Fruits to add to the mix: Berries, mango, apple puree
Vegetables to add to the mix: Pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree
Spices: Pumpkin spice, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, saffron
Liquids: Any plant-milks, oat, hemp, almond, soy, rice, coconut or cashew. Orange juice
Flavors: Tahini, nut butters
Sweeteners: Coconut syrup, rice syrup, honey, maple, date syrup
If you’ve ever been suspicious of cashew-based raw cheesecakes and desserts, don’t be! I can wholeheartedly attest that these are some of the healthiest and delicious desserts I’ve ever had! Cashews provide a neutral flavored high protein and fat base that's smooth, creamy and open to absorbing a multitude of other flavors and layered textures
What to serve vegan cheesecake with
How long will it keep fresh for?
Fresh is best. Remember there are activated cashew nuts in this recipe that will keep fresh for a maximum of 3 days in the fridge. However, you can keep in the freezer in a covered container for up to 2 months. I like to portion the cheesecakes before freezing, then I simply transfer the vegan cheesecake from the freezer to the fridge 2-3 hours before I serve, or leave at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes.
This recipe is
- raw & vegan
- 100% plant based
- refined-sugar free
- halal friendly
- filled with healthy fats, minerals and protein
- luscious, smooth, perfectly sweet and sexy
Chef's top tip
- I like to add the room temperature coconut oil to the blender slowly at the end, to get a nice smooth and shiny mix.
- Make sure all your ingredients are chilled before blending, work fast when blending so you do not overheat the mix. You can even put the blender jug in the freezer for 30 minutes to cool down!
- Make the day before you need it - garnish the top on the day
I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it please tag #holisticchefacademy and leave a comment below. I love to see your recreations!
Happy cooking my friends!
Raw Vegan Cheesecake - Chocolate And Orange
- Weighing scales
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Micro-plane grater
- Cake tin
For the base
- 100 g Dates
- 200 g Cashew
- ¼ each Orange zest
- 6 g Spirulina
- 10 ml coconut oil
For the cheesecake mix
- 225 g Cashew pre soaked
- 30 g Cacao powder
- 100 ml Cashew milk
- 10 g Chia seeds ground
- 80 ml Maple syrup
- 90 ml Coconut oil
- ¼ each Orange zest
- 1 each Lime juice
- 1 pinch Cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch Pink salt
For the base
- Assemble all ingredients for the base
- Add the pitted dates, cashews, orange zest, spirulina and coconut oil into a blender. Blend everything for about 30 seconds until everything comes together.
- Transfer this base into a bowl. (You can refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up, it makes it easier to roll out for the base)
- Roll the base mix in between 2 pieces of parchment with a rolling pin into a nice round shape large enough to line your cheesecake tin.
For the cheesecake mix
- Assemble all ingredients. Make sure everything is nice and chilled.
- Add the soaked cashews, milk, sweetener, cacao, cinnamon, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and ground chia seeds to blender.
- Blitz until super smooth. Move the mix around well with the attachment or scrape down the sides regularly with a spatula.
- Add the room temperature coconut in slowly while the blender is running, until it's all incorporated and luxuriously smooth.
- I like to spatula all the mix into a bowl and check the seasoning and consistency before pouring onto the frozen base.
- Add a little lime or sweetener if you think it needs it at this stage. Give a whisk before pouring onto the base.
- Pour the cheesecake mix onto the frozen base, flatten it down by tapping on a work surface.
- The mix is now ready to add to the freezer to set. Good job. Time to clean the dishes!
To garnish the cheesecake
- This is where you can get creative. Use some seasonal fruits, chopped nut and a sprinkle of seeds.
Raw vegan cheesecake trouble shooting and FAQ
The cheesecake will start to set more solid after 24 hours in the fridge. Make sure your fridge is nice and cold. Do not leave it out at room temperature for too long before slicing.
A good high speed blender is vital for making a smooth cheesecake mix. I like to add the room temperature coconut oil in last while the blender is running for an extra smooth shiny consistency.
Make sure all the ingredients you are using are fresh. Adding a small pinch of salt, lemon or lime and maple will lift the flavors.
Yes indeed you can. Substitute the cashews for soft tofu. Allow the tofu to sit on paper towel to drain the excess liquid before blending. You may need to play around with the quantities depending on the moisture content of the tofu.
Healthy cooking classes
Are you interested in learning more about healthy cooking. Join one of my online or offline cooking classes