A few weeks ago this easy bake cheesecake happened, and it was everything you could possibly want in a cheesecake: it was light, tangy, dairy-free, and yet, YET there were a few of you who informed me that actually, there was one more thing you wanted. You wanted it nut-free. Most particularly, cashew-free. So back to the drawing board it was until this new nut-free version happened.
I totally get this, because nuts can be a no-go for a lot of people (and I was one of them for years, so I get it). So I set to off to remove the nuttiness from an otherwise lovely baked cheesecake, and actually, I am sooooo glad you guys asked for this! Because even though I’m personally ok with cashews (and perhaps have been known to eat cashew butter straight from the food processor), this nut-free baked cheesecake turned out just lovely. I think I may actually like this one better than the original version, it’s that good.
A dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free baked “cheesecake” seemed a tall order to begin with, and so removing the nuts from it too made it a bit of a challenge… although it was a challenge easily resolved with a few swaps. Cashews in the crust turned into pumpkin seeds (though sunflower seeds would work well too). Cashews in the filling got swapped out for sunflower seed butter… the result? YUM.
Sunflower seed butter can have a particularly strong flavor to it, but when cut with yogurt, it turns into pure cheesecakey magic.
I also added a few tbsp apricot jam and LOVED the new flavor it added. You can’t taste apricots, but you can taste a little something that makes it more special.
One last note: the cake pictured has a thicker crust than what the recipe calls for. I doubled the crust originally but felt it was too much crust for cheesecake. So I remade it again with a thinner crust and it was just perfect, but sadly I didn’t get a chance to take new photos since that cake got served up to company before I got to that (they loved it btw :) ). So just note that the crust on your cake will be a bit thinner, but just as delicious.
A creamy, nut-free vegan baked cheesecake with a sunflower butter and yogurt base.
- 1½ cups raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or sunflower seeds
- 8 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
- 1 cup dairy-free yogurt (I used an agave-sweetened one)
- ¾ cup sunflower seed butter
- 8 tbsp agave (or maple syrup, coconut syrup, etc.)
- juice of 1 lemon (I used a meyer lemon)
- 2 tbsp apricot jam (I used St. Dalfour’s fruit-sweetened jam)
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a tall 6″ springform pan (base and sides) and set aside.
- Process all crust ingredients in a food processor into a fine sticky crumble. Transfer into the oiled pan press down to shape into a crust with your hands along the base and sides of the pan (Tip: make sure you “seal” the gap in the base when shaping the crust — i.e. don’t leave cracks in the crust, so that the filling doesn’t leak out anywhere while baking). Set aside.
- Blend all filling ingredients into a smooth mixture in a power blender. Pour over the crust.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 mins until the top is nice and golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack completely (a few hours or overnight is best)(note the top will sink as it cools, which is normal). Remove from pan, slice and enjoy. Store leftovers in the fridge. Enjoy!