This week I thought it was appropriate to share a fun patriotic-inspired treat that you could take to any BBQ or picnic on the 4th! Not only is this dessert festive, but it is super simple to make, doesn’t require you to ever heat up the oven and it is sure to please everyone — restricted diets or not.
Since I cut most dairy from diet last year, there are a few things I miss from time to time. A rich and creamy cheesecake is certainly one of them. This “cheesecake” has a smooth and creamy flavor, with a bright tanginess you would find in most traditional cheesecakes. The crust is super simple and compliments the filling perfectly. The best part about this crust is, besides being raw, is how super versatile it can, you can use whatever nuts you have, I went with 1 cup raw macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup raw almonds. Plus it would be great for many other pie recipes, too.
I had a lovely reader, Rina from Cali Mac Nut Company, send me some of her beautiful raw macadamia nuts and I couldn’t wait to find a delicious use for them. This cheesecake seemed like the perfect use.
Keep in mind that this recipe makes a 9″ springform pan, so if your pan is smaller you will have a larger/taller “cheesecake” or you can just cut the recipe down a bit. It’s up to you. I added fresh berries to the top of this for obvious reasons, but a drizzle of melted dark chocolate would also be so incredible overtop.
Are you making anything special for a 4th of July picnic or BBQ?
[print_this]No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” – Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-free
Makes 9″ Springform Pan
Serves 8 to 12
- 8 medjool dates
- 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts or any combination of these will work, too)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, in liquid state
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (honey would also be really nice, just not vegan)
- 6 tablespoons water (you may want a little more if it is too thick)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries and blueberries or other berries for topping
**DO AHEAD** Soak the cashews overnight the night before you are making this. Soak the dates for about 1 hour before you make the crust.
Line the bottom of a round 9″ springform pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, process the nuts, salt, coconut, lemon zest and spices until you have an almost flour-like consistency, leaving some bits of the nuts make for a nice texture. Add the dates and pulse until combined into a sticky and chunky mixture. You aren’t looking for this to be smooth, you should still see flecks of dates and the raw nuts. Press mixture into the prepared springform pan, then cover with plastic or foil and freeze until ready to use.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water, give them a quick rinse and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender or food processor. Add the coconut oil, lemon juice, maple syrup (or other sweetener), vanilla and water. If the mixture is too thick, add just a little more water, one teaspoon at a time. It should be a very thick mixture so don’t add too much. Once blended, pour the cashew mixture over the crust and freeze overnight, or until solid.
When ready to serve, allow the tart to thaw for 15 minutes, then top with freshly sliced strawberries and the blueberries. [/print_this]
Where have you been my whole life? I think your my fairy god mother. Your recipes save me! I only eat plants because of digestive issues. No gluten, grain, dairy, meat…. and I get bored with my meals. I’m so excited to have found your website! Thank you for being such a genius!
Ha Janice!! Your comment just made my whole day! Your “fairy god mother”, haha I love it 😉 I am so glad you are enjoying my site and thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Take care.
Hi my name is Lenore. Its ironic I have gut problems also. In 2013 I was hospitalized 7 times. I had no luck with any Western Dr.’s. I am now seeing a new Holistic Dr. Ive had all testss. I definately have days where I have no clue what to eat. For me currently my diet is a rotation of fish, turkey, pork & lamb. All veggies and fruit are ok. Eggs were my comfort food and I found out I am allergic to egg whites and egg yokes. It takes planning and ibgrediants to he successful. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.
This looks scrumptious! I love conventional cheesecake, but this will eliminate the guilt factor altogether! As it’s also strawberry season here, I will definitely make this over the weekend. Thanks so much for sharing this! xoLinda
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This may sound silly but I am pretty new at baking and cooking altogether, I could not find raw cashews anywhere but I have a bunch of roasted ones at home. Would that make a huge difference even if I soaked them over night?
Honestly Madi, I cannot say for sure. I have never made something like this with roasted cashews. It is worth a try, I suppose. It may not be as creamy and may have a different taste. I wish I could give you a more certain answer. Sorry about that. Hope it works out if you try it. Thanks!
Hi there. I really want to make this recipe except I’m having a hard time understanding some details. For example, am I supposed to soak all of the cashews or just the ones for the filling? Thanks in advance. ; )
K, you only need to soak the cashews in the filling, which is why it is only written next to those. I myself didn’t even use cashews in the crust, but either way, no need to soak them. Just for the filling, to make it creamy. Thanks!
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Love your recipe. The crust was the best raw crust I have made and the filling was the perfect consistency. I love this more than the dairy version.
I made this yesterday and it was great. It was my first decadent raw dessert and our group of 4 all loved it and was astounded that it was all raw. One guy is new to vegan cooking, much less raw food, and he LOVES traditional dairy cheesecake. He was amazed and enjoyed every slice. Instead of sliced berries, I added a layer of pureed frozen strawberries as a topping.
It makes me sooo happy that you all loved this so much, comments like this seriously make me happier than you could ever know, so thank you thank you!! xo
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This looks amazing! Is it necessary to keep this is the freezer until just before eating or could I keep it in the fridge for a few hours (after having frozen it)
The fridge works too, helps it soften up a bit.
Can you describe the consistency at refrigerated temperature? Does it still hold its form well, or is it very soft, almost to the point if falling apart?
Hey Annie, yes they hold their form well. Soft enough to bite into but not falling apart too easily. Much like “real” cheesecake. If you are concerned and want to make sure they are totally firm, you can store these in the freezer instead of the fridge until just before serving. I personally don’t like them to be too hard so I go with the fridge.
Hi Beth ~ After making many traditional cheesecakes, I finally gave up because they’re so temperamental. I often had cracked tops, even with the water bath process. Does using cashew cream instead of cream cheese eliminate the need for the water bath , & avoid cracked tops? Thanks!
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Hello from Australia Beth, Your website is just excellent, I’ve referred it to many people. I made this recipe yesterday and it was just beautiful! Thanks for sharing all your passion and ideas!
Hi there! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I am so happy you love this recipe and I really and truly appreciate that you send people my way. Thank you kindly. xo
Hi there !
Thank you sooo much for this recipe!This is by far one of the best cheesecakes I’ve tasted and I had a blast making it ….. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes 🙂 Thanks again !!
Cashews and Brazil nuts upset my tummy. Can I use macadamia nuts in place of the cashews for the cheese cake filling? Thanks Anna
Can any other nuts be used for the filling of a cheese cake besides cashews, like macadamia nuts?
Hey Anna – yeh probably macadamia nuts will work, but I have never tried it myself, so I cannot say for sure. Let me know how it works if you make it.
Yum! I’m wondering because I just read your tutorial for making nut butter… Do you re-soak the cashews for this recipe? Since you said that it’s good to soak all nuts before use, I’m wondering if you soak again. Thanks 🙂
Daisy – nope one soaking is all that is required to do the work to removed the yucky stuff that isn’t ideal for consuming. So, for this recipe I soak once and use them as is (no reason to dehydrate, the dehydration is only necessary when you need the nuts to be dry, for say nut butters, adding to salads, making crusts, etc). And in fact now that I have done extensive research about soaking I might even soak and dehydrate the macadamia nuts for use in the crust. Hope that helps.
Thanks! Can’t wait to try it
Does 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, and 2 1/2 cups raw cashews mean grounded? Should I measure them after I ground them, or measure it before?
Hey Emily, measure before grinding.
Hello, could I use another oil instead of coconut oil in this recipe?
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Thank you for sharing this recipe . Could I add Philadelphia cheese to the filling ??
And is it okay to use coconut milk or almond oil instead of coconut oil .
Hend I don’t know if Philadelpia cheese will work, I haven’t tried it, I’d have to say give it a shot. The coconut oil in the filling helps solidify it, so the coconut milk and the almond oil, will not produce the same results, again I would say to experiment yourself and see how it goes, sometimes, that’s when the best results happen in the kitchen. During play time 😉
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I haven’t worked with macadamia nuts do you think they would be creamy enough for the filling? I’m not a real cashew fan.
Could you use concentrated apple juice instead of the syrups? I am avoiding high fructose foods as far as possible so need to NOT use agave syrup. Any ideas would be great thanks.
Hi there, I have kind of the same problem. I use Brown Rice Honey! Its also a great vegan alternative. Hope it helps. 😉
I’ve had your cheesecakes pinned for a long time, and I’m finally going to put this one to the test (my gluten & sugar loving family being the test) for Father’s Day this weekend. Since I’m the only one that follows a mostly Paleo diet, I usually end up making traditional dishes when we have family gatherings, but I’ve decided this time that’s going to change. I have been off track too much lately and if I’m going to make dessert I’m going to do it my way. Based on the comments, I think it’s going to be a hit with my fresh raspberries and blueberries from my garden!
Fabulous idea, will be making this for sure for our garden parties next summer!