Pretty-in-pink, lush, creamy cheesecake and a perfectly chocolatey crust... simple, mysterious, and utterly delicious. Now I know I make a lot of raw vegan cheesecake, but this one is novel for multiple reasons:
- It has an incredibly soft, cream cheese-like texture (triggering all kinds of "I can't believe it's not real cream cheese" talk...)
- Its lovely pink hue is completely natural
- It's fruit-free -- yep, no classic pink raspberries, strawberries, or cranberries here... so ideal for those looking for fruit-free options.
- It has a veggie snuck into it...
- Cheesecake + chocolate crust for the win here ;)
The process of making this cheesecake went something like this:
Friend: Audrey, make a Valentine's dessert please.
Me: Valentine's?! :S
Yeah, something pink, you know... and chocolate...
Me: OK, I may have just the thing... let me get the beets...
Haha #sorrynotsorry! It's been a while since a veggie-inspired cake happened here, so figured it's time to revive the trend and share something a little different...
It's just that, well, I love putting veggies into things if I can get away with it (there's a whole section for that on the recipes page)... and I had just the thing to make a lovely pink cake in my pantry -- beetroot powder. Plus beets and chocolate are yummy together... follow my logic?
If you're not a veggies-in-your-sweets kind of person, don't sweat it -- you can't taste the beetroot in this at all. But you get all its nutritious goodness, and most importantly its beautiful natural pink hue. Way to beet the system, huh? ;)
I've been using beetroot powder for quite some time now, in things like smoothies or nice cream, cake icing, etc. I like that you can control the "beet" flavor better with the powder in some ways, as the flavor of the powders I've tried is usually milder-tasting than say a boiled beet (nothing against beets, but they're not always super complimentary to a simple smoothie or an ice cream... ya know).
And it's handy -- I usually resort to using a pinch when I just need a little something extra that's pink and nutritious. It's quite shelf stable too, and makes a beautiful natural color -- totally worked its magic in this cake, wouldn't you say? :)
And a little goes a looong way because it's dehydrated (and therefore condensed) -- so 1 tablespoon (or 3 tsp) of powder equals one fresh beet! I mentioned in the directions that the color of the cake can be adjusted with more or less powder, but just keep in mind not to go overboard (i.e. adding ¼ cup powder or something, unless you really love tasting beets in your cheesecake, that is...).
Last but not least, as per usual, this raw vegan chocolate beet cheesecake recipe is for a tiny 5" cake. See the downloadable cake size guide below the recipe if you need help with sizing this cake up or down. Also, if you need any tips to get comfortable with raw cake making, you may find Unconventional Treats handy for that.
Oh, and one more final note: because this cake is designed to be very lush and creamy, it'll also get quite melty if not kept frozen. So be sure to serve it frozen, or thaw out for just 5-10 minutes prior to serving.Print
Vegan Chocolate Beet Cheesecake
A lush raw vegan cheesecake made with beets and a gluten-free chocolate crust. Such a pretty pink color and a fun way to add a bit of veggies to your cake!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 5" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Dessert
- ½ cup raw almonds (or cashews)
- 1 soft medjool date, pitted (skip if going fruit-free)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¾ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked & strained*
- 5 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1-3 teaspoon beetroot powder (depending on light or dark a pink you want it**)
- edible dried rose petals and buds, cacao nibs, dark chocolate covered amaranth balls
- Process all crust ingredients in a food processor into a fine sticky crumble. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into an even flat crust. Freeze while working on next step.
- Make sure all filling ingredients are at room temp (not cold***). Blend everything, except the beet powder, together in a power blender into a smooth creamy consistency. Add a little bit of the beet powder (1tsp at a time) and blend to incorporate. Add a bit more powder if desired to adjust to your liking (see notes**). Transfer this mixture into the springform pan over the crust. Decorate with any desired toppings.
- Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Keep frozen until serving time. Slice and enjoy! Keep any leftovers frozen.
*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). 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.
**With the beet powder, different powders from different brands might vary in their texture, flavor, and color. This is why I recommend starting by adding just a little bit of the beet powder to the filling mixture at first, and then add more if you feel that your cake can handle it well to your taste. You can just taste a tiny bit of the cake mixture after adding a little bit more to see how you like the taste and the resulting color, and if you want to try adding more, add a bit more and blend again.
***If any of the ingredients are cold the coconut oil can start to solidify within the blender and therefore not blend through properly.
Keywords: Raw Vegan Chocolate Beet Cheesecake
What cup and spoon measurements are you using? I’m in New Zealand so they could be different, very excited to start trying your recipes 😊
Hi Faye. My cups are ~250ml, tsp is 5ml, tbsp is 15ml. Enjoy the cake :)
Dear Audrey, the taste came out good, but I had lots of fails. Though it's a small cake, the filling came out so little and not liquid at all, so I added more almond milk. Also the taste of the cashews is too strong. I always fail in raw cakes. How do I overcome the cashews taste? Can I replce the cashews with coconut cream from the fridge? Thank you in advance, and just THANK YOU for great recipes ✌🏻❤️
Hi Yamit. Thanks very much :)
Do you mean you ended up with less filling than what it looks like in the first photo above (using a 5" springform pan)? Or just that you ended up with less filling than you'd like (if so, then can easily double the filling amount in this recipe for a taller cake).
Did you change anything in the recipe ingredients or quantities of ingredients by any chance (besides adding almond milk)?
Do you use raw or roasted cashews? Are they pre-soaked first?
I don't think just coconut cream will work as a sub because you need something a little more dense (hence cashews). But your replies to my questions above might help me think of more ideas / solutions.
This looks great, I am planning to make it for my husband on valentine's day. He is allergic to eggs and I am on a low carb diet, so it's really hard to find dessert recipes without flour and eggs. Just one question, I am on low carb diet so instead of maple syrup, can I substitute with Erythritol? Do I need to adjust the other liquid amount?
Thanks in advance! :)
Hi Celina, I haven't tried (erythritol and my tummy don't co-operate + I love the flavor of maple syrup) but I know some of my other blog readers use it successfully in my raw cakes. If you use it here, just adjust the sweetness to your liking. If it's only a tiny amount of the powder, you can just add a bit more almond milk and coconut oil to compensate for what remains of the 3 tbsp allotted to the maple syrup in the filling. You can taste the filling as you go along to adjust the sweetness to your liking. For the crust you can skip the maple syrup altogether if you prefer.
Hi Audrey, thanks a lot for the reply. I just made it for Valentine’s Day and it turned out beautifully! I used red food colouring as I didn’t have beetroot powder at hand, and I scaled the recipe up for an 8 inch cake pan. Everything turned out perfectly and the cake is very yummy. My husband commented it tastes like ice cream cake :p I will try to thaw it earlier next time to see if it will resemble cheesecake consistency. Great recipe, thank you for sharing! I’ll be checking out your other recipes for inspirations to use the remaining raw cashews.
Perfect, I'm glad it all worked out :)
You know, there are also stevia-based syrups you can find. I know the company Pyure makes a version. So if you can get some that can be an easy substitute in most of these types of recipes.
Lovely cake, Audrey! Can't wait to make it for my girls gathering. I'm wondering if I can use cranberry powder in replacement of beetroot powder? Couldn't find the beetroot powder yet :(
Yeah, absolutely. Just taste the mixture in the blender to make sure it's not too tangy for you just in case (and if it is, add a wee bit more sweetener). But I think cranberry powder would be lovely here. Enjoy it! :)
Hi Audrey, I m sooo glad I bumped on your blog while looking for wht all I can do with beetroot powder , and this cake looks gorgeous... M going to make it this Friday for my brother's birthday ... Will share my experience then .. we recently turned vegan during lockdown and your recipes are all I need rite now to take care of my sweet tooth... Thank you !
I have a question though.. Earlier times when I used to make lot of frozen yougurts (nice-creams too) ... They would crystalize for some reason ..so I strted making in smaller quantities so that we could finish it at a go ... Will these cakes crystallize too after being frozen and refrozen (if at all there r leftovers ) ? Or is there something I am doing wrong ?? May sound stupid but how exactly do I freeze it ? Thank you !
Hi AC, no, these cakes don't normally crystallize in the freezer (unless you leave them in there unprotected/uncovered). So with a cake like this, once it's ready, I take it out of the pan and slice it up, and immediately (or as soon as possible, if serving to others), I put the remaining pieces back into the freezer in a covered container. Raw cakes usually keep well for months that way.
Sometimes things get "icy" too if there's a lot of water content. So with fruit-based nice creams I find that that's the case -- when you first make it you don't notice the higher water content, but once you freeze a nice cream it can get a bit "icy", unless you add some source of fat to it, like peanut butter, etc. in which case it should keep better in the freezer. With these cakes though, they're formulated for the freezer so you don't need to worry about that :)
Julia Savory says
Genius recipe and site! Just looking at the pic, there seems to be a sheen on the top. Why is this? Thanks.
Hi Julia. It's because the top of the cake thaws out first and fastest so the color looks a bit different and reflects light differently than the rest of the cake too in photos. While chilling the top has no contact with cold metal, so when you begin to thaw the cake out (which is especially the case while I'm taking photos for the blog, which can take a bit of time as you can imagine... ) the top thaws first, then the sides, then the interior.
This is the easiest showstopper and delicious! You can’t screw it up because there’s no baking! Incredible recipe! Made it for Valentine’s Day but it’s already gone. I’m whipping up another and hiding it. Lol Xoxo
Hi Cindy, that's the best feedback ever :) Thanks so much. I'm so glad you're enjoying this cake.
Dorisse Aha says
Hi Audrey, This cake looks lovely and I want to make it bigger although find your raw cake multiplication help confusing. Multiply 6x to convert a 5" cake to a 9"? Really? Thanks!
Hi Dorisse, yes, that's correct. Even though it sounds like a small jump in inches, in cup volume the pan size difference is huge. A 9" cake pan can hold 6 times as many cups of blended ingredients as a 5" cake, because as the diameter of the cake increases, so does the pan volume (also 9" pans tend to have taller sides than 5" inch pans, which are tiny). Hope that helps!
This looks absolutely stunning! Coincidentally, I have just ordered some beetroot powder from Amazon, so feel this must be a definite sign! This would be a perfect Valentine's Day cake for our family celebration - especially for my husband who loves cheesecake!
Thanks Katerina. Sounds like this cake was definitely meant to happen in your kitchen then :)
Can I use almonds in the filling instead of cashews. There is a nut allergy in the family.
Hi Heidi. In my experience almonds yield a different texture (a but grittier) and flavor (less smooth and creamy, more almondy) than cashews. You can use them, but you'll end up with something different to this cake here. I do however have a bunch of similar cashew-free cake recipes on the blog as alternatives for those who can't have cashews. You can find them on the main recipes page, just select the "cashew-free" tab + "cake" tab + "no-bake" or "raw" up at the top of the page to find them: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/all-recipes/
audrey weigelt says
Where do you find the choco covered amaranth balls?? So excited to try out this recipe!
Hello fellow Audrey :)
I used to buy them from a brand called Elan Organics here in Canada. Unfortunately they seem to have stopped selling them and I haven't been able to find a direct alternative. My videographer Janel, however, has been using chocolate covered hemp seeds from Amazon and they are a pretty good substitute. I've also purchased dark chocolate covered cacao nibs in the past from Amazon that work well as well. If you can't find any of these options you can just use mini chocolate chips or more cacao nibs instead.
can you use processed (unsalted) rather than raw nuts in the cheesecake?
Hi Juie. Yes, you can (you'll still need to pre-soak them, as per the directions). The flavor will be slightly different (roasted cashews have a slightly stronger "cashew" flavor and sweetness), but should still work fine for the cake.
Haha, "way to beet the system." Good one! Wonderful recipe and beautiful pictures too as usual!
When we get another processor it will be exhausted my the end of the month! My other one took quite the "beet"down!
You're too punny :) Thanks!
My other half requested this recipe for a birthday treat, but she was kind enough to share it with my healthy/vegan-food-hating and generally foul teenager and he adored it. The recipe is easy to follow, can’t recommend it highly enough.
Aw, that's awesome -- thanks so much for sharing, Adrianne!
hi. I just want to make sure, is it really 3/4 cup of cashew? Cause i used a bread loaf pan and the filling barely filled up an inch.
Hi there, yes it is 3/4 cup cashews. The volume of ingredients that a standard loaf pan is much bigger than a 5" springform pan (which has the capacity to hold about a cup and a half of ingredients in total), so it makes sense that in a loaf pan this would spread out thinly.
I have a huge sweet tooth and have recently given up sugar. I loooove everything dairy but am intolerant so reluctantly stay away from it. This dessert is HEAVEN and I can’t believe it’s guilt, gluten, and pain free 😍🤗. Audrey, you are so talented and gracious with your knowledge! You make your recipes accessible and easy! I’m trying the peanut butter fudge here after I finish my review :) Thanks again 💗
Amy -- best feedback ever :) Thanks so much. I'm really glad you're enjoying these recipes.
Excellent recipe, I used this one for a dinner party and I doubled the doses too to be able to serve more guests. I love these desserts because they are actually pretty fool proof and absolutely outstanding and luxurious.
Interesting using of beet powder in the recipe, nearly impossible to taste. I ran out of maple syrup and substituted honey instead (make sure you tell your vegan guests about this, just in case).
Thanks for publishing and filming them on youtube as well.
Thanks so much for sharing, Diana. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)
Where do you get chocolate covered amaranth? Sounds lovely to top desserts like this. This beet one looks gorgeous.
Hi Ruth. I absolutely love them for accenting desserts :) Unfortunately they appear to be nowhere to be found any more. I used to buy them from a company called Elan Organics here in Canada, and towards the end when I had the feeling they're being discontinued I bought tons of them. I also used to buy their chocolate coated quinoa balls -- same look. I did find one Canadian source that sells them in bulk, so I'll probably order these in the future: https://www.yupik.ca/en/our-products/grains-and-seeds/quinoa/organic-dark-chocolate-quinoa-pops.html but unfortunately they don't ship worldwide.
Janel, the blog videographer, found these chocolate coated hemp seeds from Amazon, which look the same. It's just a bit confusing for me because the ingredients of those say they include some non-vegan ingredients, like confectioner's glaze and something called "butter oil" (this one is listed in the product description on Amazon, but not on the label on the package), but Janel says the package she received says vegan on it. So something to check with the company, I guess.. https://amzn.to/2DWkuUs
Wow Audrey. First of all, let me say your beautiful blog here gives me the most beautiful inspiration when it comes to sweets, especially when it comes to serving sweets to loved ones. I made this cake first for a dear friend and ended up having some leftovers as I had used a 4 inch pan. I made a mini-serving in a cappuccino cup and then gave to my mother -- she's never raved over a recipe so immensely -- and that woman is a foodie of ALL kinds of foods. She then made only one request on her "day before surgery dinner" and it was this cake. Right before surgery she said -- "Man. I wish I could have had that cheesecake for breakfast right about now!" So THANK YOU for making such a beautiful blog and beautiful recipes for us to enjoy. I left out the chocolate as she is more of a vanilla kind of girl. And she's been begging me to make some cookies out of that crust, so that is next on the agenda :) Thank you Audrey! For happy AND healthy recipes :) -Briahnna
Briahnna, that is the best comment ever!! :) I'm so happy your mom has been enjoying this cake so much. Thank you for sharing!
Loved your beetroot recipe, i got it from a friend.
She tweaked it a bit, cause i live in a village and didn't have all the ingredients in my kitchen.
So for the crust we simply used: almonds & cashews & coconut oil.
For the topping we left out the vanilla milk (possibly tweaked amounts of other things to compensate) and used a little bit grated beetroots instead of powder, simply put in blender together with the cashews.
Today i made it again for a friends birthday, and since it is frozen it is the perfect type of cake to make in advance!
Anyway, my mum and friend loved the design i made (a butterfly) and i would love to add pictures, but i don\'t think i can add those in the comments… so i will send them by e-mail, hoping you can add them here.
Lots of love,
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and for the beautiful photos (which I've attached to your comment above) -- I'm absolutely in love with the butterfly design!! :)
And thanks for sharing your substitutions -- I'm so happy you were able to make this cake work with the ingredients available to you.
How do I use real beets instead of powder?
simply put small pieces (or grated) in with the soaked cashews when you blend it all together it works perfect.
Note: if you add to much, you will have to add quite a bit more honey/maple sirop to compensate for the bitter taste. My small whole beetroot needed 3-4 spoons more honey/maple sirop. So i recommend starting with small amounts.
I'd go with Lobke's suggestions above.
The powdered beetroot packs the nutrients and color (minus the water), and I find it's not too bitter so long as it's used in small quantities. That said, real beetroot should work fine in small quantities -- you don't need much to make it work. As Lobke suggested, you might need to adjust the sweetener a little since freshly boiled beets have a more potent taste. So start with just a tiny bit and see how it goes.
I was looking for ideas for baking (or in this case I guess not-baking-lol) with beets and came across this beautiful cake. I must say, it's gorgeous and intriguing! Thank you for dreaming it up.
Thanks so much :)
Does it specifically need Almond Milk? Could I substitute Coconut Milk or real milk instead?
Hi Liora, coconut milk would be lovely in this. Feel free to go with whatever you've got on hand. Enjoy! :)
Looks like a lovely recipe :) can I please ask before I attempt to make it... 1 "what" of dates in the crust? 1 cup? Or 1 tbsp ? Thanks
Hi Georgina -- just 1 single date :)
Audrey!! Willow and I made this yesterday and it is AMAZING!!!!! The color is so stunning (photos don't do it justice) and the creaminess (and cheesiness factor is through the roof. Omg. Willow usually leaves the crust for me to eat, but she actually devoured her entire slice - that says a lot. Josh said this was the best cheesecake crust he's had because he's not a fan of date-y crusts. I added a few Brazil nuts to the crust since I had them on hand and they pair so well with almonds. I love how easy this was to whip up! I attempted to swirl in some sweet beet sauce we had leftover from another recipe and I ended up with more of a layered look ? But it was SO good. I'll see if I was able to snap a decent pic to share on Instagram! I would like to get a 5" pan like you use - I think mine is a 6 or 7" pan, so I didn't quite get the thick crust or cheesecake part. We adore your recipes, friend! ❤❤
Thank you so much, Mandy!! :) So funny I actually read about your experience on your blog before I got to read through it on mine ?? I'm so happy it worked out so well on so many accounts. Your turned out so pretty -- I think in all my excitement reading all your feedback on your blog (and getting sidetracked by all your other delish recommendations from the month ?) I completely forgot to ask whether it's ok if I feature your photo sometime on my insta? :)
I love the tiny pans because it's mostly just the two of us or a very small group of friends to share cake with -- so it's nice for everyone to get a treat and move on to the next recipe experiment rather than worry about a massive amount of leftovers to contend with... Especially since some weeks I make so many things there's no way they could all be finished off if they were made big.
Lisa Albertson says
Yummy cake -- it was a hit for Super Bowl. I used 1 Tbs of beet juice instead of beetroot powder and adjusted liquids accordingly.
Hi Lisa -- thanks so much for sharing! Happy to hear it worked with the beet juice. What was the color like with 1 tbsp? I'm curious now :)
I made this cake over the weekend and despite getting teaspoons and tablespoons mixed up with the beet powder it came out so well! It was very red and the beet flavor was definitely there but it still tasted awesome! Thanks for sharing :)
Hi Claire, thank you so much for the feedback -- so happy you liked this, even with the extra beets in there :)
Lisa | Mummy Made.It says
I've been making heaps of veggie cakes too!! I love being a little bit sneaky.
Hehe. I wonder what it is that makes it so fun :) Must be the "getting away with" process... like what else can I get away with here...? ?
So just to be nerdy I could slice up some raw beets and dehydrate them at say 130 deg or higher for a few hours then stick them in a coffee grinder and have beet powder? Kinda like making kale chips? I should so do that with some spinach too.
It's a beautiful recipe, thank you.
Hehe. Not nerdy at all -- and def yes :) That's all the powder is really, dehydrated ground beets. You'd just want to make sure they are dehydrated enough that they'll grind down into a powder and not clump up.
Oh, and I do actually do that with spinach, kale, and dandelion greens, lamb's quarter, as well as lovage, etc. in summer -- it works :) I then keep it in containers to use as "greens" powder in the colder months. The only thing is you really have to make sure it's fully dehydrated, as otherwise they won't grind as fine and can go moldy if there's any moisture locked up in there. The other thing is that a whole vitamix full of (loosely or lightly packed) with dehydrated spinach will give you a only few tbsp of powder ?! So it's not the most sustainable method if you're purchasing your greens. I was doing it because we had a small farm and a wild garden with a massive abundance of edible "weeds" so I had nothing to lose...
Thanks, I'd been thinking about it for a while as I always have left over greens hanging around. I've also blanched and frozen them to use in smoothies or soups later on. Obviously not raw but it works for me. I had also thought of dehydrating raw greens and storing them in the freezer to prevent mold because, you know. lazy.
Not lazy... time efficient ;)
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
Hehe it's so easy to forget that veggies in cake sounds weird to 99% of the population! Perhaps we are the odd balls on this one, but based on the beautiful color and I am sure super luscious taste I think the it's the non beets-in-cake people are the ones missing out :D The color is absolutely perfect, and your description of the texture makes me all kinds of dessert hungry. Gah I need to order beet powder!!
Hehe. Agreed. No reason to leave the veggies out of the sweets :)
Strange that I didn't receive your mail with this post(I was waiting, and then I thought to go to your blog and check..who knows, just saying). This cake is the one I was looking for for this Valentine, so easy to make, so delicate and delicious! Thank you, Audrey!
Hi Natalia, sorry responding so late -- I think I forgot to send the email out on this one until a bit later ?, so that's why.. And thank you :)
Is this possible to make using beets if I can't find the powder?
Thanks in advance...it looks fabulous!!!
Hi Carrie. Someone just posted the same question below at the same time you did, so see my reply there :)
The powder is usually easy to find online, at a vitamin / supplement shop, or even in the natural / supplement aisle of big grocery stores (they sell it in capsules sometimes).
Beautiful Cake, i like all you recipes.
Can use fresh beet insist of beet powder..
Hi Claudia. You probably could... but here's why I didn't:
-- whole beets need to be cooked (to soften)(unless you have good digestion and don't have a problem eating a raw beet and a good blender), and I wanted to keep the recipe quick & raw (the beet powder I used is raw / dehydrated).
-- whole beets have moisture in them, so the cake would need to have less liquids added to compensate, which then also reduces a bit of the classic white fluffy cream cheesiness factor (though not a biggie).
-- I find whole beets, especially if cooked, have a much stronger flavor and aroma which would come through in a cake like this, and I wanted something plain / classic tasting. The powder is quite neutral in comparison.
That said, I think whole beets would be fine if you're ok with the above. Let me know how you go if you try it :)