A creamy and delicious raw vegan cheesecake, with a cherry chocolate chewy crust and layers of chocolate and cherry filling.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- optional: ¼ cup dried cherries
- 1½ cups raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- 1¼ cups fresh cherries, pitted**
- 7 tbsp maple syrup (or raw sweetener of your choice)
- 7 tbsp coconut oil***
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- ½ cup more fresh pitted cherries
1. Process all base ingredients in a food processor to combine into a fine sticky crumble. Transfer to a 6″ springform pan and shape into a flat crust along the base. Freeze while working on next step.
2. Make sure all ingredients are at room temp before getting started. Blend all cherry filling layer ingredients, except the ½ cup additional cherries, in a power blender until completely smooth. Remove a few tbsp of this batter for swirls and set aside on the counter (I used this cake icing pen tool and just filled it up with the mixture).
3. Add in the remaining cherries and pulse a few times to incorporate them into the filling and chop them up slightly (you don’t want to blend them too much as otherwise they’ll blend into the filling). Transfer ⅔ of this mixture into the prepared pan with the crust (leave the remaining ⅓ in the blender). Smooth out the top and tap the pan on the counter a few times. Then freeze for 15 mins.
4. Add chocolate layer ingredients to the remaining cherry mixture in blender and process until smooth. Carefully spoon this mixture evenly over the cherry layer. Tap the pan on the counter to even the layers out a little. Then use the reserved cherry mixture (see step 2) to create swirls on top of the cake (I added some lines across the cake and encircled the edges with the remaining mixture, then used a tooth pick to swirl some patterns).
5. Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Enjoy! Keep the cake frozen until serving time and freeze leftovers.****
*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.
**Can also use frozen and thawed out cherries, but you need to make sure they are at room temperature first before adding to the blender, as otherwise the coconut oil will firm up and won’t blend properly.
***I used an unscented coconut oil for this cake so that the coconut flavor doesn’t come through.
****Treat this cake like ice cream — it will melt if kept out in a warm temperature too long, so it should remain frozen until serving. It can be thawed out for 5-10 minutes on the counter to soften up a little.