This little raw cheesecake is not like the others... Can you tell? I didn't think so. What's the difference? It's cashew-free! I know there are plenty of you who can't do cashews, so here I'm sharing one of my favorite cashew-free raw cheesecake alternatives.
You know me and my cheesecakes, right? Actually, if it's your first time here, maybe you don't... so let me fill you in: I LOVE making raw cheesecakes. They're probably one of my favorite desserts to make, and something I whip up several times a week... (in fact, I make so many I can't keep up with sharing the recipes for them on the blog, so I've been selfishly keeping them all to myself or shelving them for special projects instead... This one was going to suffer the same fate, but after getting so many requests for it since sharing a pic on Instagram I just had to post it here!). Almost every time I share a cheesecake recipe I get comments and emails from people who can't do cashews, and feel a little sad about it because I want everyone to have their cake :)
Here's a quick video of how this cake comes together:
I use cashews for most of my cheesecakes because they are the easiest nut to work with -- they have a pretty neutral flavor and a wonderfully smooth, soft texture that mimics the taste and feel of a real cheesecake pretty darn well. But you can most definitely make a raw "cheesecake" out of other nuts as well, and in fact I frequently do (especially when I run out of cashews...).
In most cases it's not a straight substitution though, as each nut has its own flavor and texture, and the cake will behave quite differently if you just sub out cashews for other nuts. You often need to tweak the sweetness levels, add more coconut oil for binding, add a bit more flavor to offset any prominent tastes, look out for grittiness issues, etc. So as you can imagine, while I'm always happy to share substitution ideas on given recipes, it's not always so straightforward if I haven't tested it yet myself. Here, however, is a cheesecake recipe that's naturally cashew-free so you don't need to worry about any of those nagging details.
For this cake I used macadamia nuts. Ok, *cringe* don't roll your eyes at me... I know macadamia nuts aren't the cheapest, but they are great for this sort of dessert on several counts: they blend into an exceptional texture that mimics real cheesecake, they are naturally pale-colored, and have a fun flavor that pairs beautifully with the strawberries and lime in this recipe. Is it worth the splurge? I definitely think so! Most especially if this is made for a special occasion. Now, if you're making it just for yourself and are concerned with the cost, I have a solution -- get yourself a tiny pan and make a smaller version of this. I do that all the time, which brings me to my next point...
If you're interested in downsizing or upsizing this cake, see the downloadable cake pan size guide below this post.
Other suggestions -- use a cupcake pan instead for smaller cheesecakes. I do that sometimes and it works a treat. Or tupperware containers -- just line them with parchment paper first so you can remove your cake once it's set and you're good to go.
Ok, back to this cake... Strawberries + Macadamia + Lime make an otherworldly dessert! The strawberries and lime cut and balance out the richness of the macadamia and make this cake light, sweet, tart, and very flavorful.
But, if you still want to go with cashews for any reason, you can always use this older raw strawberry cheesecake recipe instead. I have many other recipes that use alternative nuts and seeds for cheesecakes, so if for any reason cashews and macadamia don't work for you check out the nut-free section on the recipes page to find something more suitable.Print
Strawberry Lime Macadamia Cheesecake
A raw vegan strawberry cheesecake with tangy lime accent to underscore the richness of the macadamia base filling. Sure to be a crowd pleaser. Gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Dessert
*Make sure ALL ingredients are at room temp before starting -- important!
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 3 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or raw sweetener of choice, like agave)
- ½ tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1½ cups raw macadamia nuts, presoaked and strained*
- 9 tbsp maple syrup (or raw sweetener of choice, like agave)
- 5 tbsp coconut oil, liquified
- 7 tbsp lime juice
- zest of 1 lime (optional, for extra zing)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled**
Extra Strawberry Layer:
- 1 cup more fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, liquified
Optional Decorative Toppings:
- Use any toppings of choice, such as fresh strawberries or other berries. I used freeze-dried strawberries, dried lavender, dried rose petals, and jasmine flowers on mine.
- Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and process into a fine sticky crumble. Transfer the mixture into your 6" springform pan and press down into a crust shape. Place in the fridge while working on the filling.
- Blend all filling ingredients into a smooth mixture (a power blender like a Vitamix works best, or just pause frequently to scrape down the sides and keep blending). Transfer most of this mixture, leaving about 1-2 tablespoon in the blender, into the pan over the crust. Set aside.
- Add extra strawberry layer ingredients into the blender and blend into a smooth mixture. Carefully pour this over the filling in the pan (I like to use a spoon and just plop the mixture bit by bit over the filling rather than pour it straight down so that it's distributed a bit more evenly). Use a skewer to swirl in the top layer into the bottom layer a little (optional). Top with any decorative toppings if using.
- Cover the pan (I like to cover it with paper towel then a sheet of plastic wrap and an elastic to help it not get too much of a frost bite, but it's optional) and place in the freezer for approximately 5-6 hours or preferably overnight for the cake to set. Remove the cake from the freezer and thaw out a little before serving (about 1 hour in the fridge or 15-20 minutes at room temp). Enjoy! (Freeze any leftovers).***
*To pre-soak the 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.
**If using frozen strawberries instead, make sure they are thawed out to room temp)
***Storage note: raw cakes behave much like ice cream in consistency. They are firm when frozen, should be thawed out very lightly (about 10 mins typically) for serving, and then anything not served should be put back in the freezer. Otherwise, as the cake warms back up to room temperature it will turn into the consistency it was in your blender, and that's not a good outcome.
I tried this recipe today but used coconut syrup instead of maple syrup, as thats what I had in my cupboard. But the base colour came out brown instead of light pink. Would coconut syrup change the colour? I didnt think it would make a difference. Also, I found the crust mixture was difficult to spread and compact in the pan. It kept sticking to the spatula and fingers. This is compared to another recipe I used where the mixture is nuts/dates only. Why do you add syrup and coconut oil?
Hi Lisa. Yeah, unfortunately coconut syrup is known to darken desserts. I don't recommend it as a substitute where the food is colour-sensitive for this reason.
As for the crust, you can skip those additions if you like, but I prefer them for the finer texture and taste of crust that they make. You might find it easier to spread if you use coconut oil that's soft but not liquefied (as an alternative) to see if it'll make it easier for you to handle. Sometimes it can also get a bit sticky to handle it gets a bit over-processed. If you prefer to just stick to dates and nuts I'd recommend upping the amount of dates (and maybe lowering the nuts a little) to make sure the crust has enough sweetness to it and binds properly.
Thank you for sharing your experience btw. I've not tested this recipe with coconut syrup myself (I just know it darkens things from my general baking experience) but it's good to know the outcome in case other readers want to try the same.
Lisa Mirtsopoulos says
Sticky crust mystery solved. I made this recipe again today, but this time using maple syrup instead of coconut syrup. The filling mixture is pink in colour and there is no stickiness in the crust. Your recipe, as is, worked perfectly. Lesson learnt - follow the instructions!!
Wow, thanks so much for the follow-up, Lisa! So interesting how the coconut affected the cake, especially the texture.
So many of your luscious looking recipes call for dates and I can't have dates. I am also allergic to raw nuts. If I heat treat them for at least 3 minutes (the time it takes to kill the protein I am allergic to) I can safely consume them. So, is there any substitution for the dates? And, do you think it will work if I roast the nuts for a few minutes or will that change the consistency of everything?
Hi Susan. In the raw cakes the dates in the crust act as a sweetener and add a bit of chewiness, but they're usually not essential (especially if you see that a crust only uses 1-3 dates. If it's a significant amount, like 1/2 cup then it's a different story..). You can omit the dates in the crust and add another tbsp maple syrup and increase the coconut oil to 2-3 tbsp (it will act as a binder instead).
No problem if you lightly roast the nuts first. Just soak them as per instructions after the roasting so that they are hydrated and blend smoothly.
Chick Fil A Menu says
In addition to being delicious, it is very nutritious and made my family happy today, thank you for teaching me how to make Audrey!
Aw, you're most welcome!
Chick Fil A Menu says
Thank you for your help!
I made this recipe today for my boyfriend, he says I'm an excellent cook, but the credit is all yours, Audrey!
I'm so happy to hear he enjoyed it! :) Thanks for the lovely feedback.
Can I also make cheesecakes oil free ?
Hi Loes, I have lots of oil-free cheesecake recipes on this website. Check out the recipes page and select the tabs "cake" + "oil-free" to see them come up: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/all-recipes/
This cake looks great! Would it still taste good without the lime? Just looking for a sweet cake.
Roxine Brown says
Well I just made it last night and after all was assembled and put in freezer I realized I forgot to put the lime juice in the blender. I’m bummed as I love lime but I can tell you after I serve it tonight. 😩
Aw bummer, Roxine. But it gives you an excuse to make it again sometime with the lime included ;)
Hi Seema, you can taste the filling mixture before adding the lime to it and see if it's to your liking. It's not a very tart cake though, I just find the lime makes the flavors pop and adds some freshness to the cake. You can also try this cake instead if you prefer as it's more on the sweet side: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/gluten-free-vegan-raw-strawberry-cheesecake/
We all loved this! Thanks Audrey.
Hi Sue. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the lovely feedback :)
This cake is amazing, and such a beautiful cake deserves fresh local strawberries. Too bad strawberry season is so short here in Canada!
Everytime I make it, I always get so many compliments.
Hi Vero. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, and I absolutely agree about strawberry season!
What would you use in place of almonds in the crust? It's the only nut I cannot eat because of allergy.
Hi Karen, you can use just about any nut in the crust here. My recommendation would be pecans, but things like walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, etc. would work well too. Pecans would give it the best flavor and texture though in my opinion. Enjoy :)
Any chance you know of a good alternative to the coconut oil? My son can't have coconut but making this without cashews excited me because it's difficult to find recipes I can make for him.
Hi Christina, I just responded to Paige below with a similar question with the following:
Unfortunately the coconut oil plays a significant role in this recipe. You can substitute with cacao butter, but that would add a strong chocolate taste that would significantly alter the taste of the cake.
That said, I do have tons of cashew-free and coconut-free recipes, including some cakes, on the blog if you look on the recipes page and check off “cake” + “cashew-free” + “coconut-free” https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/all-recipes/
Hi, is there an alternative to coconut oil for this recipe? i can't have coconut or cashews and was super excited when i saw this one was cashew free. Thanks!
Hi Paige, unfortunately the coconut oil plays a significant role in this recipe. You can substitute with cacao butter, but that would add a strong chocolate taste that would significantly alter the taste of the cake.
That said, I do have tons of cashew-free and coconut-free recipes, including some cakes, on the blog if you look on the recipes page and check off "cake" + "cashew-free" + "coconut-free" https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/all-recipes/
Thanks for sharing! How far ahead of time can I make it?
Hi Vanessa. It can be kept frozen for up to 3 months, so long as it's well protected from freezer-bite.
This looks so good! Do you use this filling base in any other recipes?
Hi Suzanne, thanks so much. No, I don't usually. I prefer the cashew-base in most cakes, but this one was an exception -- the flavors just came together really well. I do have one other macadamia cheesecake on the blog: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/carob-mesquite-macadamia-raw-cheesecake/ as well as tons more that are non-cashew based (if you search on the recipe page under "cashew-free"), if you're interested.
Delicious recipe... I do have a question ... when is the best time to cut the cake? After I freeze it, it's easy to take out of the mold, but can't cut it. If it stands out for a while and I cut it the, the cake starts to loose the form. I wanted to make it for a party and pre cut it, but it didn't look as pretty as yours. Do I need to defrost in the fridge instead? Suggestions? Thanks in advance!
Hi SC, I usually take it out of the mold, then thaw it out for about 10-15 minutes on the counter, then slice it. Then you can return it back to the freezer in slices and serve it later whenever the party is.
Tip for even easier slicing: keep a tall glass of hot water nearby. Insert a big chef's knife into it to warm it up and leave it there for a few seconds. Then wipe the knife down quickly with some paper towel and make a cut in the cake to cut out one side of a slice. Then dip the knife back in the hot water, warm it up, wipe it dry with the paper towel and make the second cut to cut out a slice. Repeat this in between cuts. The slightly warm knife helps the cake to cut easier. You can also run the knife under hot water from the tap instead if it's simpler. If you're interested, I have a video of how to do that + some more tips in my book Unconventional Treats.
This looks DIVINE!! But we don't have any issue with cashews and I wondered if you could give me the instructions for switching BACK to them, since it would be cheaper (wink, wink!)
thank in advance!
Thanks for the compliment :) I know macadamia can definitely be pricey in some places...
This cake was designed for use with macadamia. It can be modified to use cashews, as explained in other replies in the comments below. However, you might find it simpler to just use this cashew-based strawberry cheesecake recipe from the blog (just use lime juice instead of lemon, and toss in some lime zest for a lime version): https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/gluten-free-vegan-raw-strawberry-cheesecake/
Hi Audrey! This looks amazing and can't wait to make it tonight! I know you said to freeze leftovers - do we need to freeze (after the initial freezing to set) if we will be eating the next day, or maybe two days later? I noticed for the cashew strawberry cheesecake said to put in the fridge after the initial freezing to set, so wasn't sure if that's the same here, or does this cake need to stay frozen?
Thanks for any advice you might have!
Hi Ioanna. This cake needs to stay frozen until serving time. Think of it like ice cream -- it'll melt if it's left out of the freezer for a long time. The other strawberry cake is an exception to the rule, but most raw cheesecakes require being kept frozen. You just thaw them out lightly for 10 mins or so and serve. And put anything uneaten back in the freezer. If it thaws out too much / too long it will melt back into the consistency it was in the blender, and you wouldn't want that to happen ;)
Thank you so much for responding! I’m about to pull it out of the freezer - looks beautiful and what I tasted from the blender was delicious!
Wonderful -- enjoy it! :)
Hi do you have a nut free vegan cheese cake receipe to share? 🤞🏻
Yes, there are lots on this blog if you look on the recipes page and click on "cake" and "nut-free" they will come up.
I'm about to make this for a party, so want to make sure I do it right. How are you measuring the "1 cup strawberries"? Are they whole? Chopped? Sliced? And it's so difficult, because the size of the strawberries varies. Do you have any idea of the WEIGHT of the 1 c strawberries, so that we're all using about the same amount? That might be better for recipes like this. ;-) Thanks in advance for your advice!
(this is not an answer, sorry in advance if I got your hopes up) I was going to ask the same question too, but also how do you measure your nuts for one cup? (i.e. whole, chopped, sliced, etc.) I'm in the process of soaking my macadamia nuts right now and they're chopped (and roasted) because I couldn't find anything else. Do you think because I measured them when chopped would change the recipe compared to if they were whole?
PS: Kathy, if you see this, I measured my strawberries as whole through water displacement (putting them in a cup of water until the water level increased by the amount) until I got 2 cups... Don't know if that'll help you though...
The one cup medium-small strawberries that were whole, but de-stemmed. But if you end up with a bit more strawberries in there, the recipe will work just fine too. It's quite forgiving. I don't have the weights as I don't generally weigh my ingredients for something like this -- just how I work :)
So...I am allergic to cashews AND macadamia nuts. How could I make this with almonds or pecans (the nuts I'm NOT allergic to)? Thanks for the tips.
Unfortunately almonds and pecans don't work so well for a cake like this. However, there are lots of other alternative recipes on this blog that don't involve macadamia or cashews you might like to try out instead. To find them, go to: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/all-recipes/ and select the buttons "cake" and "nut-free" at the top. Can also select "raw", if you're looking for a raw recipe specifically. In the "nutty" options there are a few made with other nuts as well, like hazelnut or almonds that you might want to check out as well.
can i use roasted mac nuts in this strawberry cheesecake?
Hi there. Strangely someone asked this exact same question right before you, so see the reply below :)
Hi, can I use roasted macadamia nuts in this recipe? If not, would it be best to sub another non roasted nut? Thank you.
Roasted macadamia will work, but they will alter the flavor of the recipe somewhat (note: they will still need to be pre-soaked to soften them up for blending). You can use cashews as well, though you'll probably want to use a bit less sweetener to taste (as cashews bring a sweetness of their own). Alternatively, there are other similar cheesecake recipes on the blog that don't use macadamia (see recipes page and select "Cakes" for more recipes).
I made this cake and I had a worry so I would need your knowledge and advice if you don’t mind.
My cake after mixing all ingredients for the top filling, and be put on the freezer never set. Put it longer in the freezer than said and even after put it in the fridge but was still a kind of thick smoothie texture. Do you think it could come from the strawberries? I did the lime / chia seed one several times already and it always sets wonderfully. Thanks in advance for your help.
Aside from that the flavours were absolutely delicious (it became a smoothie! Yummie)
Sorry this one didn't work out for you. I make this recipe often, and so do many of my readers, and I've never heard of this happening so far. The only thing I can think of is: are you sure the coconut oil went in and in the right quantity (as per recipe, keeping in mind nothing else was changed)? That's the only thing I can think of... :/
Hi Audrey, thanks for your answer. I will try to do it again for sure so I will follow your advice and make sure i keep an eye on the coconut oil ;) . Tastewise though it was so good I will try it again for sure!
Helllo :) i was wondering if i can take out the oil in the recipe because I cant digest it. Or are there any substitutes i could use? :) thanks in advance for your answer :) Elena
For this particular cake the oil is an essential part as it is what binds the cake together and gives it some of its smoothness. I do have similar cake recipes though on the blog that are oil-free (you can look on the recipes page under "oil-free" and "cake" for more options), for example this pink pitaya cake.
This looks beautiful and delicious and I’m keen to make it today! I wondered do I measure the 7 tbspn of solid coconut oil before liquefying, or liquefy the oil then measure the 7 tbspn? The volume of liquefied vs solid coconut oil differs so thought I’d check. Thanks in advance Audrey!
Hi Jay, you can measure the coconut oil liquefied or softened (fully solid is not ideal). A touch more or a touch less coconut oil will not affect the recipe too much in this case though.
Have you tried using macadamia and cashews together? I'm just often left with amounts of nuts that couldn't make enough cheesecake using one type and wonder if I could do a "mix". Any thoughts on how that might work/not work?
Hey Megan. I throw stuff like that together all the time :) Improv with leftovers is the best. Actually, I prefer normally to mix "dilute" the macadamia with cashews because I find the maca flavor on its own can be a bit overpowering sometimes (this cake excluded -- the macadamia solo works well here). A mix of both can definitely work in a cake like this too though.
I want to make this for when I get people over after the birth of my daughter. For obvious reasons it isn't handy to do this at that very moment. If covered well, how long can this be frozen?
Hi Loes, I'm sorry for the delayed reply. It can stay frozen up to 3 months, so lots of time :)
Anne-Julie Caron says
How many servings does a 6'' make?
Between 8-10 servings. Sometimes even 12 (as personally I go for smaller slices since raw cakes can be quite filling).
Anne-Julie Caron says
Hi, do you think it is possible to just put it in the fridge overnight? I don't wanna feel like I'm eating sorbet or ice cream. I'm looking for a cheesecake kind of texture.
Hi Anne-Julie. This will be creamy, but cold. I do have several really good baked cheesecake recipes on the blog (look on recipes page by selecting "baked" and "cake", or search "baked cheesecake") -- the baked ones can be served chilled or room temperature and a have a lovely cheesecake-like texture.
Anne-Julie Caron says
Hi Audrey, I like raw cakes, like raw cheesecakes. I just don't want a frozen dessert. Do you think that dessert will be fine in the fridge? And for the top layer, I just put it in the cake? Thanks!
Hey Anne-Julie. Unfortunately this cake wouldn't work in the fridge. But if you want a cheesecake that holds up in the fridge or even at room temp, check out this recipe:
Easy Baked Cheesecake
and a nut-free version of above
and a pumpkin version for a twist... :)
Hi! This looks very good. I can't get limes where I live. Can I use lemon juice/zest instead?
Hi Nava, yes of course. Lemon goes well here.
I love your recipes! I am attempting to try some of them this weekend and i'd love the nutritional facts (calories per serving) on these! Also if you had a printable version? Keep up the amazing work I love these!
Hi Leanna, I don't track the nutritional info for these, so don't have it on hand. But you can easily run any recipe you find online through one of the many free recipe calculators out there to get all the info you need.
This cake is included in my raw cake collection which is printable, if you like: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/simple-raw-vegan-cakes/ Or you can just print out this recipe directly from the website (there's a print button in the recipe card).
Dear Audrey, my sincere greetings from Switzerland! Fantastic site you have! I have a quick question. Can this cake be made with an addition of agar agar and if so, would I add it to the lime juice and warm it up, then add to the rest of the filling ingredients? I would need to transport this cake so it retains its shape and form in this heat. What amount of agar would you recommend? we have it in a powder form.
Hi Lilia, I don't have any good tips on using agar here. I've experimented a little with agar and raw cakes but haven't found a satisfactory solution so far. I'd recommend just keeping it frozen when transporting. I sometimes drive many hours with the raw cakes. I just pack them up in a cooler bag with ice packs. It helps if you keep them in the springform pan for transport (with the top covered with something like plastic wrap to keep it protected) and allow the ice packs to touch the sides and base of the pan to keep things colder.
Hi Audrey, I tried making the cake yesterday. The colours were great but I think the coconut oil that I had used overpowered everything so can only taste the tartness of the lime and no strawberry flavor......:(
Oh no! :( That's too bad it didn't work out. Do you know if the strawberries you used had a lot of flavor? Sometimes if a batch doesn't taste great, the flavor gets lost in a cake amidst all the other ingredients. A very strong coconut oil would also have the tendency to do that.
Hi Audrey, can I ask how do we prepare the raw almonds? Do you wash and dehydrate them first before making the crust? Thanks!
For the crust, it's up to you. If you prefer to have your nuts pre-soaked (for maximum digestive and nutritional value), then yes, you can soak them in water for 8-12 hours (you can also add a tbsp of salt to the water to help things along), then rinse them off thoroughly and then dehydrate at 108F (for raw, or higher if not raw) until they are fully dry and crunchy.
If you don't normally soak and dehydrate your nuts, then you can just use them raw as they are in the crust with no additional preparation being required. The end result in terms of taste is more or less the same. So it's more of a dietary / digestive preference.
Delicious, absolutely delicious! I made 2 little cakes with this recipe and everyone at home loves it. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely recipes with us all : ) Blessings xx
Thanks so much for the beautiful feedback, Rebecca! :) So happy everyone liked it!
Audrey - I made this today!!! What a gorgeous and simple recipe!!! I just love it! The cake is currently sitting in my freezer - I don't know how it will taste, but what I tried as I was making it was pretty special! I topped it with fresh figs and lots of absolutely stunning edible flowers for my daughters 2nd Birthday. Thank you so much! I just can't wait to cut it open tomorrow and see if it looks as spectacular as yours - gosh I hope its as delicious as it looks :) Thank you for putting together such a beautiful, healthy and EASY recipe. Very excited when I found it. With your permission, Id love to post photos on Facebook of my cooking adventure today and a link to your page with your recipe?? :) <3
Hi Max, thank you so much for the lovely feedback. Of course you're welcome to post photos with link to the recipe. Thank you! :) I hope your daughter's birthday was a blast.
Hi there, does it need to be in the freezer. What happens if you keep it in the fridge instead of the freezer? Would it melt or be soggy?
No, it wouldn't work in the fridge, unfortunately as it needs freezing temperature to set properly. It'll just remain on the liquid side in the fridge.
Does the pan need to be greased?
Hi Penny, no, for raw cakes you don't need to grease the pan so long as you're using a springform pan.
Hi, I am so excited to make this! I made your lemon ginger cheese cake and it was wonderful. Your cakes are lovely as well as delicious. Thank you for your creative inspiration!
Hi Barb -- so happy you're enjoying the cakes :) Thank you for the feedback. Appreciate it.
made this recipe last week and it was delicious! still have a piece so might devour it tonight ;)
Thank you for the recipe! I will definitely be making more of your recipes
Thank you for the beautiful feedback -- so happy you liked it :)
Made this for a vegan friend, but loved it so much that I can't wait to make it again.
Oh, yay! :) So happy you liked it, Lynn! Thank you for the wonderful feedback.
Lucy L says
I just found out about your blog and all I can say is your blog is a gem! Half of my family is lactose intolerance and I never thought I will have a chance to enjoy cheese cake. I would definitely give this recipe a try right away. My only question is that all the nuts that are mentioned in the filling are they raw nuts or roasted nut? Nuts are not that popular in my country so the option is quite limited. Thank you
Hi Lucy, they are raw nuts in this type of a cake.
Not sure if nut butters are popular where you are, but if those are easier to source there are a few baked cheesecakes on the blog that might work for you instead:
And then there are some non-bake ones that come close without the raw nuts too: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/nut-free-sunflower-seed-butter-cheesecake/
or this one for something similar in texture but nut-free: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/pistachio-orange-blossom-raw-avocado-cake/
Hope some of these options work for you :)
For an 8" or 9" pan should I double it?
Hi Maude. For a 9" you can double it. For an 8", you can do x 1.5. There's a pan size recipe conversion chart at the bottom of the page for easy reference.
Can I change the coconut oil to other simpler ingredients? It's hard to find in my hometown. Can I change macadamia to pistachio?
Hi there. Hmmm... no coconut oil... well, ok, let's see... If you leave it out entirely, you'll have a cake that is not as creamy and that melts faster. You can try substituting it with some unsalted non-dairy butter, or a mix of non-dairy butter and coconut cream.
Alternatively, there are some oil-free cakes in the recipes section that might work better for you. See the recipes page here and select "cake" and "oil-free" in the tabs.
You can definitely use pistachios, though you'll probably need to lower the sweetener to taste, as pistachios are naturally a bit sweeter than macadamia.
Claire Mc Gorian says
This was honestly the yummiest raw cake I have ever tasted! Loved that it was so easy to make too :) thank you for sharing this with us! Can't wait to try more or your recipes
Aw, so happy you liked it, Claire :) Thanks very much for the lovely feedback!
can I use cashew instead of macadamia?
Absolutely. I'd recommend lowering the maple syrup though, as cashews have a naturally sweeter taste compared to macadamia. Someone left a comment below that they made this with cashews and used 6 tbsp sweetener, which is just about what I normally use for cashew-based recipes so it sounds right. Enjoy!
Sounds delicious but I am allergic to all berries except cranberries. Citrus doesn't 'like me' either. Any substitutes? Thanks!
Hi Shelley. Cranberries would work great, though you may need to add a bit more sweetener since they are more tart as compared to other berries.
You can replace the citrus with a plant-based milk instead and maybe add a touch more salt to taste. The lemon juice is there to add a tartness to the recipe to mimic "cheesecake", but considering cranberries are quite tart that should be easily offset with the plant milk and extra hint of salt.
Let me know how you go with the substitutions -- I'd love to hear what you've done and how you liked it.
P.S. Not sure if you've seen this cranberry cheesecake recipe on the blog as another alternative: https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/raw-cranberry-cheesecake-cakelets/
One of my coworkers can't have almonds but she can have the macadamia nuts. Can I substitute 1:1 the almonds in the crust for macadamia nuts? Is there something else you recommend?
Hi Katherine, absolutely. You can also use pistachios, or cashews, etc. But macadamia in the crust will work great.
I just made this for the 4th of July and was told it was restaurant quality! Thank you for a great, easy recipe. I added 3/4 can of coconut cream and half banana to the base plus a tiny drizzle of pomegranate vinegar. Also added cherries to the strawberry layer. So nice this is easily adaptable!
Thanks for sharing, Kristy! :) Glad you enjoyed it, and yes -- the best part of raw cakes is that there's a lot of room to customize to your liking..
Elisabeth Benson says
My vitamix just died replacement is 10 days put. Do you think can make the filling in a food procressor?
I wish I could say yes, but I don't think it would work :/ I recently tried to blend one of the cheesecake fillings in a food processor and it just doesn't blend smoothly enough (even in my brand new fancy processor) -- so you'll have a rough, lumpy texture, and the texture of cheesecake is such an integral part. One way you could circumvent that is to use about a cup of macadamia nut butter (which would have already been blended smoothly enough -- so no lumps if you just combine the filling ingredients in the processor).
I loved the sound of this so just had to make it! Firstly I can't believe how the mixture tastes like cheesecake! I'm currently waiting for mine to freeze so I'm hoping it turns out OK.
I made the recipe as is and used a 6inch round tin with a removable base BUT it's not a springform and not as deep as the recipes tin. So with mine I did make some small cupcake size as well with leftover base mixture and then kept aside some filling. I could have filled my tin to the top potentially I realised afterwards but I wasn't sure how much mix I'd have.
Anyway I loved the taste although mine tastes more like a lime cheesecake can't really taste the strawberry. Next time I might omit the zest and add the lime juice last slowly to adjust the taste. :) The texture of mine needs improvement as well, I think I will soak the nuts longer next time. I used the boil water 15 minute method. I also don't really own a blender. I have a hand mixer which was great for the base and I used my nutribullet for the filling. All the ingredients fit to my surprise in my nutribullet large cup and it had enough liquid to mix. As I said it was slightly grainy in texture so I will try soaking the nuts for longe . The nutribullet is actually a really high speed powdered mixer so I was impressed it was able to mix it as it did.
We tried one of my cupcake ones it was still slightly soft but I still enjoyed it. My mother however didn't like it at all. She couldn't taste the strawberry and I think the soft but grainy texture didn't help. But I do, so that's all that matters haha as I wanted to try something new as a nice dessert. Certainly room for improvement and I will be making a few more cheesecakes now that I know how great they taste with nuts! Thank you for sharing your recipe :)
Rachel - Australia
Rachel -- thanks so much for sharing. So glad you liked it (despite the challenges! ?) and you're right -- the best thing about these cakes is that you can control the flavor and adjust it slowly to taste before freezing. More strawberry, less lime sounds great too :) Sometimes it also comes down to the flavor of the lime -- some are quite strong and some are mild-flavored. I also often make tiny cheesecakes / cheesecake bites if I ever accidentally make too much filling, so that was a good call. About the consistency -- a good blender is definitely key to total smoothness. A nutribullet will handle the challenge, but it won't be as smooth as a cake made in a power blender -- but it's just a consistency thing and won't impact the flavor itself, so it's all good :) You can try soaking the nuts longer and also adding a bit more liquid to the cake (like a plant milk) as well as extra melted coconut oil -- the extra liquids will make the blending easier.
Obsessed with this blog, you are amazing!
Thanks MK! :)
Emi Reynaud says
This looks like a sweet, stunning and delectable creation! I shall get some ingredients together and make it very soon!!! That's a promise!
Wonderful, Emi -- enjoy it! :)
This looks absolutely delicious. Do you have any dessert recipes with no coconut oil? Or do you have a substitute for it? As it's a saturated fat it's absolutely not allowed on a healthy heart diet. Please help. Many thanks, melissa
Lots :) There's an oil-free section on the recipes page. But many of the other recipes don't use coconut oil either. In the raw recipes you can also substitute melted cacao butter for the coconut oil -- not sure if that works on your diet, but it's a good alternative.
Sarah Sic says
The recipe came together easily and tasted delicious! My dinner guests were very impressed that something made basically out of just nuts and fruit could taste so good! My only tweak next time would be to borrow (or finally buy) a Vitamix to get the filling really smooth. My blender just is not up to the task. Still tasted great, but I would like a smoother texture. Thank you for crafting such a beautiful recipe!
Oh, so happy to hear the guests loved it :) And yes, a Vitamix makes a world of a difference when it comes to the texture. It's like my most prized and utilized possession and one of my best investments. Once you get one you'll be using it for everything before you know it ?
If I want to use a 7 inch tin would you do a 1/3 more or a 1/2 more?
Hi Sally, a 1/3 more will be good. Enjoy it! :)
Brilliant thanks, I don't think I can post a pic of the cheese cake from Wirral but I'll post my findings back xx
Sounds good! :)
Are the macadamia nuts raw?
Can I use Cocoa Butter in equal amounts instead of Coconut oil?
Yes, I used raw macadamia.
Thank you! I am making it for Mothers Day!
Aw, that would be a beautiful Mothers Day treat. Enjoy it! :)
Donna Cuic says
Q...can you use any fruit? I'd love to try mango with this. Invited to some friends house for a mexican dinner and want to use mangos. Would the almonds and macadamia nuts be good with mango? Any opinion on doing that? We have no nut allergies so I can use any but I'm in transition away from dairy and animal products and looking for alternatives and this looks amazing!!
Yes, mango will work well in this. You want to use a fruit that's tart and sweet at the same time -- mango, strawberry, raspberry would be great. You can go with either cashew or macadamia. The cake flavors are currently balanced towards macadamia nuts, so if you use cashews you may need to use a bit less sweetener (to taste) for example. But many people have made this with cashews and loved it -- so your call, or I guess whatever is easier for you to buy. Both will go well with mango.
Super excited to come upon this recipe - I love raw, vegan cheesecakes, but when we discovered my son has a cashew allergy, I stopped making them. I tried searching for an alternative several times, to no avail. Today I was looking for a dessert recipe to take to a seder, and lo and behold, this recipe popped up with an alternative :) It must have been fate that they asked me to bring dessert!! Anyhow, I made these in a muffin tin (with liners)... for anyone interested, it made 10 (with 1 T. of crust in each). They are in the freezer setting up right now, but I have pretty much licked clean my blender - very tasty!! Thank you sooooo much. Can't wait to check out some of your other recipes.
Anna, I'm so, so happy you are all enjoyed this! I have a few other non-cashew cheesecakes on the blog that might interest you, like the nut-free baked cheesecake, the black bean cake, the avocado cakes, and so on. But I love this one so much. In fact I'm making it again today for an event myself :)
I was so excited, I gave him one for breakfast this morning!! He LOVED it... so did my daughter ;) Thanks again... will definitely be trying out some of those others you suggested!!
Amazing. Enjoy them, Anna! :)
Vera Kalabric says
I don't understand does any type of Philadelphia cheese go into this cake as you didn't mention any
This is a "raw cheesecake" which is a traditional type of cheesecake alternative made without any dairy -- just nuts, which create the texture and flavor of a cheesecake. I don't use dairy in any of my recipes.
Hi, made this not too long ago and the only problem I found was that when I put it in the freezer it got so rock solid but if I put in the fridge the top layer stayed super liquified, is that normal or is there something I'm doing wrong?
Hi Emily, I keep mine frozen and just thaw it out a little before serving. The top layer has less coconut oil, so it will melt faster. If you wanted it to thaw out longer without it melting away you can add a bit more coconut oil to the top layer. Another alternative is to swirl that top layer in all the way, rather than leaving it at the top.
Thank you for your comment since I was wondering about the 'frozen tart' issue!
Never made a raw dessert and I was looking through recipes if the freezing was always part of it.
And I didn't find anybody commenting on this. Maybe nobody finds this a problem, and it could also be different in different climates..
But I don't want a icy cold or partly frozen cheesecake, and was wondering myself if I could just chill it in the refrigerator for 12 hours, and skip the freezing part.
But thanks to your comment I now know that wouldn't be a good idea!
I do wonder if there are other options to solve this.
Andrea AaS says
Thank you so much for this recipe. I stopped using dairy almost a year ago, and have been missing cheesecakes so much! I'm allergic to cashews and started experimenting with macadamians - but I've been scared of the cheesecake and potential failure (failure normally doesn't scare me, but the cheesecake is somehow holy to me). The only thing is I usually like it 'pure' - only filling with fruit or berries on top if I use them. Do you think it could still work if I skipped the strawberries? I would probably have to adjust the liquid, adding more juice, oil or just water?
Of course, I'm also allergic to almonds and strawberries, but replacing the crust for a different recipe and substituting with other berries shouldn't be a problem:)
Again. Thank you so much for this recipe!
You could use macadamia for the crust, or pumpkin seeds -- I love both :)
For the filling, I do have a pure macadamia cake in my book, but from all my experiments -- this strawberry version is the only one that tastes like a cheesecake. Without the tart berries, the macadamia flavor overpowers. I also found it needed a lot more sweetness without any berries. So you end up with a delicious cake, but it's hard to nail down that cheesecaky "tang". If you're ok with another berry, I think raspberries would be great. That said, I love my plain macadamia cake too -- so I say worth experimenting :)
I have other versions in my book as well using seeds and pistachios. So you can play around with those too. You might like this version of a plain baked nut-free cheesecake -- tastes like a really good cheesecake without the dairy, sugar, or nuts. And then there are some more wild ones on this blog -- like this cauliflower cake, this avocado cake, bean cakes, etc. -- lots of options :)
hi! i would like to ask you .. are u using creamcheese at all? how do you get it to get so thick?
No, I don't use cream cheese -- I'm dairy-free, and the cream cheese substitutes available are never great. The cake thickens thanks to the combination of macadamia, the liquids and coconut oil. Coconut oil hardens when chilled. Give it a try sometime so you see how it works :) Tastes like real cheesecake, has the texture of real cheesecake, minus the cheese.
Eden Passante says
No bake cheesecake is the best! This looks so beautiful and I love the flavor combinations!
Thanks very much, Eden! I must agree -- love playing around with these cheesecakes :)
I cannot use liquid sweeteners with the diet I am on right now. What would I have to change to use monkfruit? (monkfruit is a 1:1 ratio with sugar)
Hi Jasmine, I've never tried monkfruit, though I know it's known for its sweetness. I'm very experimental and love to try any fruit I can get my hands on... but sadly we don't have these here in Canada.
That said, you'll need to just substitute it to taste really. I'd start with 3/4 cup and see how you go. I'd love to hear how it turns out :)
Audrey, your cheesecake is stunning! It's beautiful inside out! I made it and it was the love from the first bite. I normally don't like macadamia nuts because they are so rich and "fattening", but this cake.... Loved how you added lime juice and zest. It was the perfect combination of flavors. Just plain amazing with a lime hint. Thank you so much!
Thank you so much, Lana! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it. I know exactly what you mean about macadamia -- they're not my favorite nut for the same reason, but when paired with light and refreshing things (strawberries, lime) they work a treat.
I just made this recipe with some modifications, as I used what I had handy: Raspberries instead of strawberries, walnuts for the crust and cashew nuts replacing macadamias. I also toned down on the maple syrup to 6 tbsp instead. The result was amazing! Now I get to share a cheesecake with my boyfriend, who hates any dessert with cheese in it. It was my first recipe from this blog I will try out some more for sure! Thanks!
That's amazing, Aline. Thank you so much for the feedback and so happy you were able to modify the cake to your liking & with what you had on hand. Sounds delicious with the raspberries and walnuts. Enjoy it! :)
Hey, love this recipe, desperate to try it out! I made my first cheesecake last week and now I love making it! Just a question about the decorative items you used, do you just dry out your own flowers or buy them like that? And o take it they aren't edible?
Sometimes I dry my own flowers, but usually I buy -- I use them so much my garden won't keep up with me :) (although I'm working on growing more ;) ). I usually get mine from Amazon, etsy, or local shops. I put links to the flowers I used in this recipe so you can have a look (under optional decorative toppings). They are actually all edible! (except the stem of the white flower -- edible, but not particularly tasty... ;) ). You just have to make sure you buy specifically edible flowers -- you'll find lots in the places I mentioned online. My favorite to use are rose petals (white, pale pink, deep shades of burgundy -- I usually have a mix on hand), rose buds, jasmine petals, lavender, cornflower (they're super blue), sunflower petals, heather... So many edible varieties :). I love using them as a natural topping as opposed to the usual "sprinkles" and chemically cake toppers, etc, as they are obviously a lot more natural, wholesome, and lovely-looking.
Enjoy the cake!
Wow, I just made this and it was sogood and so easy! It was light and fluffy and so pretty.saving this in my good enough for company file. Thank you!
I'm so happy to hear that -- thanks for the lovely feedback. Glad you enjoyed the cake!
Thanks for sharing your recipe! I'm thinking that the springform you used is smaller than I imagined since the topping looks thick for only 1 cups of strawberries. Can you say the diameter & height (and maybe brand) of springform pan you used for this?
I shared a link to the 6" diameter springform I used above -- nothing fancy. Just taller walls.
I see what you mean about it looking more than 1 cup. The topping looks like that because of how I swirled it in -- a lot of it went to the sides and all around (I just stirred it in in a circular motion along the edges a bit more than in the center). If you look at the sliced cake photos, you'll see that it doesn't go that deep on the inside. It's just how the swirling happened to work out for me -- which will vary from cake to cake, kind of like tie-die...
Elle @ Only Taste Matters says
Breathtaking! Absolutely breathtaking! And I am enthralled with macadamia nuts! Perfection!
Thanks very much, Elle! Appreciate it. The macadamia definitely make this a special cake.
Evi @ greenevi says
This is totally insane and I am totally in love, Audrey!
I am pretty sure this is the most beautiful cake I have ever seen in my life!!!
Thank you so much, Evi <3 Strawberries make a pretty cake! :)
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Oh! This cheesecake look absolutely stunning, Audrey. And this two tone layer and the pretty pink color is so beautiful. I wish I could have a big slice right away.
Thank you, Anu. I love the two-toneness of this cake as well :)
Kyra @ Vie De La Vegan says
I love that you've used macadamias instead of cashews! Macadamias are my favourite nut. I'm hoping to get some macadamias from my macadamia tree this year - it's currently flowering and the bees are going mad, buzzing happily around :D
What?! Your very own macadamia tree? Get out of town. That's amazing. All the cake and cookies you can make :) Sounds lovely!
The Vegan 8 says
My daughter would go bananas (no pun intended, lol) over this cake because of all the pink in it! And even though she recently had a bunch of the strawberry frosting I made her, she would still gobble this up I'm sure! It's such a pretty soft pink and so feminine, I just love it. I love the addition of lime too, totally reminds me of summer and a cherry lime smoothie I like to make...although I love that this one has strawberries too. Beautiful cake Audrey!
Thanks so much, Brandi! I can totally picture Olivia appreciating all the pinkness :) The only thing better might be this cake topped with your frosting :D
Nadia's Healthy Kitchen says
That's one beautiful cheesecake Audrey :D Having a slice right now would make me so happy! You don't do deliveries, do you? :P
Hehe, thanks Nadia! I wish I could do deliveries. Some days I'm drowning in cake ;)
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
This is absolutely stunning! I can't get over how pretty this is! I wish I could take a bite. So, so pretty! Pinned and sharing.
Aw, thank you so much Emily for your kind comment and for sharing! Appreciate it ♥
Harriet Emily says
This is stunning Audrey! It's so beautiful. I love the two tone layer and the pretty pink colour. The decorations on top are perfect too! I love that you used macadamia nuts to make this cake, I've never tried that before. Such a great idea! Lime and strawberry are a great combination!
Thanks so much, Harriet. Can't claim the idea for the macadamia -- I've seen a few other recipes over the years as well, but they certainly do make a good raw cake, only it's a really trickier than cashews to pair them with other flavors. With strawberries & lime --> delicious! :)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
So growing up, cheesecake was the grossest thing in the world. But now that I wouldn't never have a "real" one anyway, I have to try a raw vegan on! Sounds soooooooooo much better and well...obviously it's better ;)
Hehe, Rebecca. I think it was the same for me -- my family never had it and I didn't understand the appeal. The first cheesecake I liked was made by my sister-in-law (before she was my sister-in-law...) and I was hooked since. There's something very elegant about this type of dessert, and of course they taste amazing so can't go wrong with that pairing for most occasions.
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
You read my mind with the first sentence. There is just something about this raw cake in particular that is magical in my opinion! The flower, the light, the two toned, it's incredible Audrey! I love my 6" springform too, but your cakes always fool me into thinking they are bigger. This is definitely birthday cake material <3
Thanks Natalie :)
Is your pan short-rimmed? Just asking because I have a few of those too, but I love this one with the tall walls because you can make taller cakes and they always look a lot more impressive than the wider & flatter ones.
The look of this cake is very interesting, isn't it? I really had no idea where I was going with it -- just felt like making a cake with those flavors, but when I looked at the finished product I saw so many things at once -- something like Ukrainian or Eastern European embroidery maybe on top? :) And the walls for a strange reason remind me of cotton candy -- not in taste, but that's the feeling looking at it evoked. Anyhow, rambling.. :) Just funny how the creative process works -- I rarely know what to expect until I'm done :)
It's quite difficult to get macadamia at my area. Do you think I could substitute with cashew nuts instead? ;)
Hi Daphne, yes, cashews will work, but I would reduce the lime juice to 5 tbsp and then adjust to taste. I find with cashew-based cheesecakes you only need about 5 tbsp lemon/lime juice for this size cake, but with the macadamia nuts I felt like it needed a more prominent / intense citrus element. I also normally do about 6 tbsp sweetener for cashew cakes because the cashews themselves are a tad sweeter, so start with that and up the sweetness more if you feel it's needed to taste. Other than that, go for it -- I love strawberry cashew cheesecakes! Enjoy it :)
Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says
This cheesecake is soooo beautiful and looks to-die-for! Love the idea of using macadamia for the filling!
Thank you so much, Bethany! I've been feeling like macadamia lately and have always been a fan of macadamia & strawberries or cranberries together, so it was time to put that combo into a cheesecake :)