Ready for the easiest (and most super delicious) nut-free, dairy-free, and baking-free cheesecake? This one is a bit unique in the flavor department, with a special something happening that most other raw/no-bake cheesecakes will never achieve. And the texture... super creamy and so satisfying.
Sunflower seed butter + cheesecake are not exactly the classic ingredient / recipe pairing that pops into your head, or rolls off your tongue per se, but you have to believe me when I tell you the combo makes one crazy delicious cake. Or better yet, don't believe me -- make this so you know just what I'm talking about...
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
I think Dorothy Parker was thinking of someone like me when she said that ^^ -- me in a nutshell when it comes to baking ;). There's really no limit to how many ways I'll try to make a cheesecake. So how did I end up with this one?
Some time ago I made this Nut-Free & Dairy-Free Baked Cheesecake as an alternative for a very popular nutty baked cheesecake (both recipes I absolutely adore), and learned that sunflower seed butter + dairy-free yogurt = pure deliciousness.
I've often attempted to substitute nut butters with sunflower seed butter in some of my desserts to see if that would help out the nut-free crowd and found that its flavor is just very strong / particular / and not homogeneous within many desserts. But combining it with yogurt more than resolved my issues with using it in a cake. Somehow the flavor in this recipe almost resembles cottage cheese -- an unexpected discovery that I was quite pleased with.
And the use of sunflower seed butter here does several things: it enables this cake to be dairy-free but also nut-free, and it's rich enough naturally that you don't need to add any additional oil (so no coconut here either, for those that mind). And if you've got a weaker blender / you struggle to blend down the cashews most raw cheesecakes call for, this recipe is perfect because the seeds are already pre-blended. Any blender should be able to handle this super easy cake.
The sunflower seed butter also means no soaking or straining of nuts, so the whole process is rather streamlined and you can literally make this cake in 15 mins or less if you're familiar with raw cheesecake making. And, most importantly, many people have asked whether there's a way to keep the baked version I referenced above unbaked so as to preserve the enzymes and healthy culture in the yogurt -- and voila! This no-bake version allows you to do just that.
Last but not least, as usual, this recipe is for a small 5" cake. To size the recipe up or down, you'll find the downloadable cake sizing guide below handy.Print
Sunflower Seed Butter Cheesecake
Creamy no-bake, dairy-free cheesecake, made without nuts. Sweet, tangy, and totally satisfying! Gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 5" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Dessert
- ¾ cup pumpkin seeds (or another nut or seed)
- 4 soft medjool dates, pitted
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- ¾ cup sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup non-dairy yogurt (I used an agave-sweetened one, but can also use unsweetened and adjust sweetener in the recipe separately)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Process all crust ingredients into a sticky crumbly mixture in a food processor. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into a flat crust. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the filling.
- Blend all filling ingredients into a smooth consistency in a blender. Transfer this mixture into the cake pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and decorate with desired toppings. Return to freezer and allow the cake to set for 5-6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove from pan, thaw out a touch and enjoy! (keep leftovers frozen).
Keywords: Vegan Sunflower Seed Cheesecake (Nut-Free & Gluten-Free)
Amber Arnold says
Could I use non dairy cream cheese instead of yogurt?
Hi Amber, yes you can. Only thing to consider is the consistency. Most cream cheeses and their alternatives have a thicker/denser consistency than yogurt, so if the kind you're using is very dense and you're having trouble blending you just add little bit of non dairy milk to thin things out. Although I suspect it will be ok even just straight up. Enjoy! :)
This is so fantastic I have a strange intolence to penuts and cashewers and I love these recipes that use seeds. I also made it with prunes instead and it works just as well. Your recipes are so beatiful. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Skye. I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying these treats! :)
Looks yum!! Could coconut butter be used instead of the sunflower butter? Or pumpkin seed butter? I'm pretty sure sunflower seeds are on my list of things to avoid. Thank you!
Hi Ashlee. I think coconut butter will give you a slightly too firm cake potentially, though might be alright if you thaw it out long enough. It wouldn't be my substitute of choice. Pumpkin seed butter would probably work better, though the flavor would be quite different, and the color will be darker. I'd give it a try if it was me trying to avoid sunflower seeds though :)
If you're interested, I do have a pumpkin seed-based cake that's similar: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/pumpkin-seed-butter-ice-box-cake/
Or this tahini cake (if you're ok with sesame): https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/tahini-orange-blossom-cheesecake/
Do you think it works with dairy yogurt as well? I’m not intolerant..
Hi Debora. It should work just fine with regular yogurt, but I'd go with a thicker one (like a Greek style yogurt) as dairy-free yogurts tend to be on the thicker side.
Can I use other kind of nut butters, like almond? Thanks :) Elena
Hi Elena, it's a sunflower seed butter-flavored cake, so the flavors are calibrated to that. If you use another nut butter you'll probably need to adjust the sweetness and flavors to taste a bit, but functionally it should work just fine. If you're into other types of nut butters and are looking for a cake, have a look on the recipes page -- lots of options there, and lots of almond :)
Man, this looks amazing. I've not had a raw dessert in a long time and I might have to make this! <3
Thanks Casey! :)
Beautiful and such a simple and easy recipe, indeed! <3
Thanks -- it's simple but has a surprisingly new yet familiar flavor somehow. I loved it.
deb day says
Hello Audrey, Thanks for your lovely recipes for GF folks like me.
Is there another pan that would work with the sunflower seed butter cheesecake?
Hi Deb. If you're talking about a different springform size, then yes -- there's a guide at the bottom of the recipe on how to increase or decrease the recipe according to your springform pan size.
If your talking about making it without a springform altogether, you can do one of three things:
1. Use silicone liners in a muffin pan to make mini cakes
2. Use any tupperware container or regular cake pan of a similar size, but make sure to line it with parchment paper (I just take one larger sheet and stuff it in to fit the pan -- make sure the sides are taller than the pan so you can pull the entire cake out with ease). The only thing with this option is that you won't have the smooth sides -- but the wrinkly / rustic edges are a look some people like anyways.
3. Use a tart pan with a removable bottom of a similar size.