Espresso Salted Caramel Vegan Cheesecake

a raw vegan cheesecake with layers of chocolate espresso and salted caramel

4.8 from 12 reviews

A deliciously creamy vegan cheesecake with layers of chocolate, espresso, and salted caramel. Also gluten-free, paleo, and refined sugar-free.



Base Filling:

Chocolate Layer:

Salted Caramel Layer:


  • cacao nibs
  • mini dairy-free chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
  • some of the chocolate layer for swirls (see step 3)


1. Process the cashews into a fine nut meal in a food processor. Add remaining crust ingredients and process again until the mixture forms a fine moist sticky crumble. Transfer to a 6″ springform pan and press down into an even crust along the base. Freeze while working on the next step.

2. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before getting started. Blend all base filling ingredients into a smooth creamy mixture in a power blender. Remove half of this mixture and set aside.

3. Add chocolate layer ingredients to the base filling in the blender and blend until smooth. Optional if doing swirls: remove about 2 tbsp of the mixture with a decorating pen tool (or a mini pipping bag) and set aside for swirls later. Transfer the chocolate mixture from the blender into the prepared cake pan over the crust. Make sure the mixture fills the pan evenly. Freeze for 15-20 mins while working on the next step.

4. Clean out the blender pitcher. Add the remaining base filling that was set aside in step 2 to the blender along with the caramel layer ingredients. Blend until smooth. Carefully spoon this mixture over the chocolate layer in the pan***. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.

5. Optional: if creating swirls, draw parallel lines with the chocolate mixture on top of the cake. Then use a skewer and drag it through the chocolate lines in a perpendicular manner, alternating between going up and down on each line. You can also curve the skewering lines slightly to create a rounded swirl look.

6. Freeze the cake for 6 hours or overnight to set. Enjoy!****


*Maple syrup isn't considered a raw sweetener, so if you wish to keep this recipe more fully raw, use a raw sweetener of your choice, like raw agave, etc.

**To pre-soak nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Additional Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.

***Spooning the mixture on top bit by bit helps the layers to remain even.

**** Storage notes: treat this cake like ice cream. Keep it cake frozen at all times until ready to eat, and freeze any leftovers. If left too long at room temperature it will begin to melt back into the consistency it was in the blender.

Keywords: espresso salted caramel vegan cheesecake (gluten-free)