"She put the lime in the coconut..."
During a discussion with a friend last week I remembered this song and it's been on my mind since... and maybe this creamy lush dessert was the way to finally get it out of there! It's so darn catchy.
Anyways, I hope I didn't just pass the song-in-head issue right over to you. If I did, at least you know of a potential cure ;)
Randomly filled with inspiration of all things limey and coconutty, this cake turned out so lovely I had to share it straight away. The flavors are on the light and mellow side here. You get a lot of the lime from the filling, and a good dose of the coconut through the cake base. I also made this cheesecake oil-free by using coconut cream in the filling, which made it extra creamy and delicious.
If you're looking to add a stronger limey zing, add a couple tablespoon more lime juice to the filling.
For the lime-like color, I used a mixture of a small amount of spirulina and turmeric powders. I absolutely love how close it came out to an actual lime using natural foods for the colors.
For the cake layering pattern, I used a bit of a wild bullseye pattern, where you basically pour a bit of one mixture into the pan and then a bit of another in a different color into the center of the previously poured mixture, and keep repeating and alternating with the pattern. This sounds a bit complicated to explain in writing, but once you actually get to it you'll see it's super easy.
I say I used a "wild" version of this pattern because I was pretty loose with it and open to swirling and a more natural distribution of the filling. If you wanted it to be perfectly symmetrical, you can transfer the two mixtures into piping bags so that it's easier to pour the mixture in a more exact manner as an alternative.
And if for any reason you don't feel comfortable with that technique, just spoon some of each mixture into the pan in an alternating manner, then swirl the filling lightly with a spoon and voila ;)
Coconut Lime Cheesecake
A delightfully creamy vegan coconut lime cheesecake. This recipe is free from gluten & grains, refined sugars, and added oils, and can easily be made raw.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Dessert
- 1 cup toasted coconut chips*
- 3 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut butter (manna), slightly warmed so that it’s softened**
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained***
- ½ cup coconut cream****
- zest of 1 lime
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp spirulina powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric (spice)
1. Process all crust ingredients into a moist sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer into a 6" springform pan and press down firmly into a crust. Set aside.
2. Blend all filling ingredients into a completely smooth and creamy consistency in a power blender. Transfer half of this mixture into a pitcher of some kind and set aside.
3. Add the lime layer ingredients to the remaining mixture in the blender and blend to combine.
4. Pour some of the lime colored mixture into the center of the pan (about a quarter of it). Then pour about a third of the lighter mixture into the center of the lime mixture you just put in the pan (this will cause the lime mixture to spread out a bit towards the sides). Then pour more of the lime mixture into the center of the white layer you just poured (which will create something like a bullseye pattern), then repeat with the light mixture. Keep alternating until you run out of the two mixtures. Then tap the pan lightly on the counter to level out the mixture in the pan. Use a skewer or a small spoon to lightly swirl some patterns into the top of the cheesecake.
5. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight. Then thaw out slightly and enjoy! (Keep leftovers frozen).
*For the coconut chips, you’ll want to use ones that are as similar to these in texture and consistency (crisp, thick, and nicely toasted). They add a good dose of coconut flavor to this cake. I used these. You can usually find them at health food shops and the natural aisle of many grocery stores, or online (amazon or iherb etc.). If you can’t find those, look for something similar, just keep in mind that if you’re using finer chips, for example, you might need to make a bit more of the crust as they’ll process into a finer consistency. For a raw version, there are similar coconut chips available that are raw. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can use almonds or other nuts / seeds of your choice.
**Can also use 1 tablespoon coconut oil instead, if you prefer.
***To pre-soak cashews: 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). 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.
****The firm white stuff from the top of a chilled can of full fat coconut milk. I used two 160 ml / 5.4 oz cans of the Thai Kitchen brand.
Keywords: Vegan Coconut Lime Cheesecake (oil-free, gluten-free)
Cate murray says
Turned out great but I used macadamias in crust so didn’t need any oil component to bind the crust as macadamias are pretty oily naturally and added a couple extra dates. Tastes delicious thx
Curious did you use macadamias in place of the coconut butter/oil or partly in place of some coconut chips?
Hi Laura, I believe Cate meant she used macadamias in place of the coconut chips in the crust (which is an optional alternative, using other nuts or seeds, in the footnotes to the recipe), and therefore omitted the coconut butter (oil-component in the crust). Would be great if she chimes in again to clarify though :)
Cool. So happy to hear it worked well with the macadamias. Thanks so much for sharing!
iris burruss says
This is a general inquiry...I have not used any of your recipes yet but they look wonderful! I receive them all the time because I’m always looking for a different, healthier perspective on desserts. I look for gluten free and vegan but additionally I look for natural sweeteners in a dessert recipe. The 1 MAJOR challenge I seem to come across is the use of bananas and cashews in cheesecake recipes and nice cream. Both of which I am to avoid. For noice cream can avocados and dates be used as a substitute for the texture and sweetness of the banana? And what nut can replace the cashew for cheesecake???? I would love to see more recipes either using another but or suggesting a suggested substitute for cashews on the notes. *** Thank you for sharing your desserts and your help.
Hi Iris, I do use cashews frequently as I enjoy them and they create a lovely texture. However, I have a section dedicated to cashew-free desserts on the blog for those who can't do cashews. You can find it on the main recipes page by selecting the "cashew-free" tab up at the top) -- so you can find cashew-free (and mostly banana-free) cakes and ice creams there.
For nice cream, avocados are great, though they make a richer "cream". You can also try other creamy fruits, like mango, papaya, or raw coconut meat (the creamy white stuff from a young coconut) for the base of a nice cream. I just like bananas because they're easy and accessible for me and make a good nice cream, but many of the other fruits I mentioned work great too.
Thank you for that recipe. I have prepared it for a vegan friend. Coco and lime match perfectly, the whole making a very refreshing dessert. I have tested it beforehand with 2 small pans , one cake being frozen and the other kept in the fridge overnight ( I had added soy lecithin and it was quite firm, like a mousse). Both were delicious. Can't wait to try other recipes from your blog !
Thanks so much for sharing, Florence. I'm so intrigued by the soy lecithin version! Sounds very interesting. I'm glad you and your friend enjoyed it!
Thank you for the amazing recipe and thank you for putting that song In my head (love it)! Your blog is amazing and your Instagram account brought me here, hungry and hopeful. You do not disappoint!!!
Thanks so much, Michelle :) That song is an oldie, but a goodie!
Can I replace the spirulina powder by matcha powder?
Hi Sophie. You certainly can, but in my experience matcha doesn't color things as strongly as spirulina, so you'll probably need to use more -- you can use a bit at a time until you reach the color of your liking. The spirulina in the small quantity here doesn't affect the flavor at all, but if you use a lot of matcha obviously budget for the cake to have a bit of a matcha flavor :). You might also not need the turmeric then, because matcha tends to be a lighter and yellower green on its own (I used the yellow in turmeric + the deep green of spirulina to create a bright limey green color).
If you try it with the matcha, I'd love to hear how you went and how much you ended up using.
I am not a novice when it comes to making "RAW" pies and "cakes. " I decided to try this delicious coconut lime "cheese-cake." I followed your recipe above to the 'T' and to my horror the cake is nowhere near as deep as the one featured in your picture above. Either your photography has been touched up to give the appearance of a deep cake or you provided the wrong size cake pan 6" spring form pan which I used too. My cake is nowhere the same depth as the picture above. Therefore I am curious what size pan did you actually use ? Please advise. Thank you.
Hi Kasi. Although as you can see most of the pictures are close-up pics, my photography hasn't been touched up to make the cake appear taller -- the pictures are true to its height following the recipe.
The pan I used here is indeed a 6" pan. I just took a few pics to show you what the pan looks like:
It's not an exceptionally tall cake (the filling doesn't fill the pan to the top), but the photos are true to life in terms of what I get with this recipe. Particularly the last picture should give a clearer idea of the cake height when not sliced.
Thank you for your reply and photos. I will send you photo of my pan later via my email which is the ONE you had suggested to buy from AMAZON 6″ wide and 3 ” deep and incidently the pan from AMAZON is a much lighter aluminium pan than the photo pictured above. However, I do also have a 4″ wide and 2″ deep aluminium pan which is identical to the picture above in colour. I have filled this pan with many other of your cheese cake recipe which have filled that pan (4″) almost to the top and having removed from the freezer look identical to your cheese cake picture featured above, a much taller slice and also thicker base crust. Back in the early 1980’s I had my own organinc bread bakery business compromising of 17, 000 sq ft with 17 employees and shipped all over the USA for approximately 9 years. Additionally I am British and for many years have made hundreds of different sized cakes and decorated them too – Dundee, traditional Christmas cakes, wedding cakes and smaller individual cakes for different social occasions therefore I feel I do now my cake pan sizes. Look 6″ is 6″ in what every country one resides in therefore I feel your recipe needs to be DOUBLED to even look remotely as tall as your cheese cake in the picture looks like. I am so disappointed as I wanted to take the cheese cake to a pot luck today and since it is not presentable I shall not take it to the event.
You are right Audrey, the filling does not reach the top of the pan far from it. In actual fact following your recipe above to the exact ratios the filling even with the VERY THIN crust only covers 3/4 of an inch. There is something definitely wrong with this recipe. The taste is sensational, however the RATIOS are totally off for a 6″ spring form pan and that also includes the “crust”… There is absolutely NO WAY with your recipe featured above does the crust look as thick as the picture featured using the 6” SPRING FORM PAN…..
What you’re describing definitely sounds off. Regarding the pictures in the post, as I mentioned, they’re from when I made the cake using the pan I showed above. The aluminium pan is another one that I've been using for many years for this blog and for the recipes in my book (same diameter: 6”). It recently got warped while traveling, so I’ve been using this one instead the last couple of weeks.
Crust thickness can really depend upon how finely you blend it, and how firmly you pack it in, so there will be variances with every recipe as you make it. I have written the recipes I share and take pictures of the results as according to the way I make them.
In any case, for the benefit of making sure the recipe was indeed recorded accurately, I just went and made this cake again to double-confirm all the measurements are correct.
Here you can see pictures as I went along making the crust and the results. Starting with the 1 cup coconut chips, using the brand I linked to in the recipe:
Here is what my mixture looks like once processed:
And here's what it looks like once packed into the pan:
And a side-view:
I chilled it briefly just now so I can measure it before adding the filling. For me, the resulting crust runs about 1/2” around the edges:
Here's a photo showing this cake was made in the 6" pan I posted a photo of above:
And now to the filling...
Here's my 1 1/2 cups cashews before soaking:
Here they are soaking in water:
And here's what they look like after they're soaked (plumped up and expanded):
Here's me measuring out the coconut cream that I mentioned I used in the recipe (this is half of the amount required, so I repeated after the photo. Also used the same measuring cup to measure the lime juice and maple syrup):
Here's what all the ingredients without the cashews and coloring look like in the blender in terms of volume:
And here's what it looks like with the soaked cashews added:
Here's what it looks like blended in my Vitamix, in terms of volume:
Here's what it looks like divided (with the half removed out of the blender and the coloring added to the blender):
And here's the filling added to the pan in an alternating pattern (before swirling):
And from the side, and with a ruler measurement it looks like this:
And here it is from another angle:
And here it is in the process of having the top swirled:
I also posted a quick video just now in my instastories on Instagram of the cake in the pan just before freezing (not sure if you're on Instagram, but if you are, you can see the video for the next 24 hours).
I will post another update of the cake out of the pan with measurements tomorrow once it all sets.
Audrey: Thank you so much for the extra detail in providing me with information on the ratios of your deliciously flavoured Coconut Lime Cheesecake as to try and find out why my cake did not look anywhere as lovely as yours. I shall wait until I receive the coconut flakes you suggested to use which I just ordered from Amazon and also the exact same Thai Coconut and will be happy to make it again, as I had no issue with the flavour and will let you know how it turned out. No I am not a follower on Instagram. I appreciate your efforts and the photos above detailing the procedure. Though I am curious reviewing the photo of the pan featured it looks like it is slightly narrower as it gets closer to the base? Your cakes look gorgeous and I also like that the recipes are small as using premium ingredients can get very costly. Best regards, K
A quick question you mentioned to use Thai Crème, however, the picture is depicting Thai Milk, but it looks thick like a crème. I mentioned this because I saw both crème and milk on the shelf at the store today and purchased the crème one. Please advise. Additionally since the coconut flakes are extremely expensively I shall opt out and make a different crust and will send you an email with a picture of my efforts, and hoping this next time round the filling will be more than 3/4 ” off from the nut crust. Best regards, K
Just wanted to follow up on that finished cake. So here are a few more kitchen photos of the final result:
So here's where I left off in my earlier reply -- this is the cake just coming out of the freezer:
Here it is unmolded. In answer to your question by the way, no, the pan sides are straight -- just the camera struggling to capture an angled tall cylindrical object. You can see that the cake itself is perfectly straight along the sides though:
Below is a photo showing once again it's definitely the 6" diameter cake (note the ruler had to be lifted above the cake because I didn't want to put a dirty ruler on it, so the numbers seem a few mm off because of perspective):
And here's a slice on the same plate I used in photos above:
And here it is with those same forks from photos above for perspective:
And voila, the final product:
For the milk, I used the Thai Kitchen full fat milk (explained in recipe notes). I've seen various coconut cream cans around, but I find that some brands don't always firm up in the same way when chilled, which is why I usually go with the Thai kitchen option -- it seems the most reliable. The reason it's so firm is because when you chill it (best to chill in the fridge overnight, or keep in a cold place ahead of time for a bit), then the firm white creamy stuff rises to the top of the can and is easy to scoop out with a spoon.
I hope the cake works out for you on the next try!
Thanks for these detailed photos. I had the same experience thinking my raw pies were VERY flat about one inch. So now I see there's about a half inch difference. Possibly it's because I pressed the crust down much firmer than you do so I'll try it that way. OR I'll just use more ingredients LOL.
I figured out what I’ve been doing wrong! This is one of my favs here but as I posted yesterday (on another recipe where you had to post all those step by step photos)…it kept coming out really flat. About an inch total in height.
So yesterday you said the crust should be “crumbly” and to be sure to use the blender. I was pressing my crust flat AND I forgot I’ve been using my Cuisinart FP lately NOT my Vitamix. Today I made it CORRECTLY and the filling is POOFY and reaches the TOP of my 6″. So yeah, the Vitamix definitely aerates the cream much more (even though my texture was ok in the FP it just wasn’t fluffy!).
Thank you for all the gorgeous raw desserts!
Hi Kasi, oh good. I'm glad the mystery is solved then :) and that you're enjoying the cake after all.