Looking for the ultimate in healthy desserts? This delicious raw cheesecake recipe has a rich, nutty crust topped with a vegan cashew cheesecake filling that’s so creamy. We serve it up with blueberries and strawberries!
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. OK. Let’s go with that. And I’ll add to it that this raw vegan cheesecake is a dessert best served frozen. How’s that for creativity?
Frozen, vegan, and raw cheesecake. It’s so dang healthy it’s hard to believe it could also be so good.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using soaked cashews creates a creamy, cheesecake-like texture for the filling
- Almonds make the perfect crust that’s both nutty and flavorful
- Full fat coconut milk not only adds creaminess to the filling, but it also provides consistency and flavor too, making each bite its creamy best!
Is the idea of raw vegan cheesecake recipes confusing? It can be counterintuitive if you’ve spent your whole life eating dairy-based cheesecakes. However, not only is this dairy-free cheesecake raw, but it’s also vegan.
That means it’s made without eggs or dairy. It’s hard to imagine something being so creamy and plant-based. But think about the coconut. It’s the very essence of creaminess! That’s one of the ways this coconut milk cheesecake is so rich and delicious!
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Raw almonds — I buy raw almonds in large bags as part of my vegan shopping at Costco. You can also buy them at health food stores or online.
- Coconut flakes — You’ll need unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Coconut oil — Use refined coconut oil for a more neutral flavor or virgin coconut oil for even more coconutty flavor.
- Medjool Dates — You’ll need a cup of fresh dates. Don’t forget to remove the pits!
- Raw cashews — You can find raw cashews at health food stores and online.
- Coconut milk — Use a can of full-fat coconut milk. The ingredients should indicate it has 12 grams of fat or more.
- Maple Syrup — You use maple syrup or a zero-calorie sweetener such as Truvia. I used Truvia because I wanted to add some sweetness while keeping the cheesecake light in color. However, feel free to use maple syrup if you prefer.
- Lemon Juice — We’ll add a bit of lemon juice, and you can use fresh or bottled for this.
- Blueberries — If you’re going to add the blueberry topping (which I highly recommend), you’ll need blueberries (fresh or frozen).
- Toppings — Garnish this raw cheesecake with blueberries and some mint sprigs.
How to Make Raw Cheesecake
- Make the crust by pulsing raw almonds in a food processor with the other crust ingredients.
- Press the crust into the bottom of a springform pan and refrigerate it to chill.
- Add the cheesecake filling ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until creamy.
- Add more maple syrup if you prefer it to be sweeter.
- Pour the raw cheesecake filling over the crust.
- Spread it evenly across the pan.
- Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so as you make the topping.
- Make the blueberry topping and spread it evenly over the cheesecake layer. Cover and refrigerate.
- To serve, remove the springform pan sides. Add fresh blueberries and cut it into slices.
Quick Fix Tip
If you forgot to soak the cashews and if you’re in a hurry, you can cook them in water. Cover with water and bring it to a simmer, for about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the water and place cashews in the fridge until cool. Cooking the cashews means this won’t be a raw cheesecake, but it will soften the cashews in a hurry.
Store this cheesecake in the freezer to keep it firm. It will keep for up to 1 month. You’ll want to keep this cheesecake in the freezer, so serve fresh berries on each slice or be prepared if you have leftovers to remove the sliced fruit before returning it to the freezer.
Allow the frozen raw cheesecake to sit at room temperature for several minutes before slicing. Here are some favorite topping ideas:
- Add fresh berries
- Drizzle with strawberry puree sauce
- Add some blueberry syrup
- This date caramel sauce would be perfect on top!
Healthy Vegan Desserts
That’s it for this raw cheesecake recipe. Enjoy!
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup coconut flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup Medjool dates pits removed and chopped
Vanilla Cheesecake Layer:
- 3 cups raw cashews, divided (reserving 1 cup for the topping) soaked (see notes)
- 15 oz can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut oil , melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Toppings: Blueberries and sliced strawberries
Blueberry Topping: (Optional)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cups blueberries (if using frozen, thaw them first, then drain extra juice)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the Almond Crust:
- Add the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse for several seconds, until broken down into smaller pieces. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue pulsing until it's a sand-like consistency.
- Spray the bottom of a springform pan with vegetable spray. Then press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Place in the fridge to allow the crust to set.
For Cashew Cheesecake:
- Spoon the fat from the can of refrigerated coconut milk. Reserve the watery mixture for a smoothie or some other recipe. Add the coconut fat to a food processor bowl, it should equal around one cup. You could also use a blender.
- Add 2 cups of the soaked cashews (reserving 1 cup for the topping) along with the remaining filling ingredients to a food processor. Pulse in short bursts. Then scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse again until creamy.
- Take a taste here to see if the filling is sweet enough for you. If not, pulse in another tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
- Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and smooth until even. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
For the Blueberry Topping:
- See the notes below if you choose not to make the blueberry topping. To make it, combine the remaining soaked cashews and the blueberry topping ingredients in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pulse again until smooth. Pour over the frozen cheesecake layer. Refrigerate until the top layer is firm, at least 2 hours.
- To serve, remove the springform pan sides. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes and then cut into slices. Serve with fresh berries.
- Store leftover slices in a freezer-safe container for up to a month.
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- Slow Soak — Cover cashews with water and soak for up to 4 to 6 hours (up to overnight) until they are soft and plump.
- Fast Soak — Add cashews to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.
Blueberry ToppingIf you choose not to make the blueberry topping, you can add fresh blueberries on top. You can also make it in a smaller pan to make the cheesecake layer more significant. If you do this (use a smaller pan), I recommend reducing the crust layer by half.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.