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 cheesecakes, 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 ?
Me: Valentine’s?! ?
Yeah, something pink, you know… and chocolate…
Me: OK, I may have just the thing… let me get the beets…
? #sorrynotsorry. It’s been a while since a veggie cake happened, 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 lovely nutrition, and most importantly its beautiful natural pink hue. Way to beet the system, eh? ??
I’ve actually been using beetroot powder for quite some time now, in things like smoothies or nice cream, cakes, etc. It’s full of nutrition, but doesn’t quite taste like a boiled beet (which is nice in its own way, but not always complimentary to my simple smoothie… ya know)
And it’s handy — I usually resort to using a pinch when I just need a little something extra that’s 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 tbsp (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 1/4 cup powder or something, unless you really love tasting beets in your cheesecake ?).
Last but not least, as per usual, this recipe is for a tiny 5″ cake. See downloadable cake size guide below 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.
- ½ cup raw almonds (or cashews, etc.)
- 1 soft medjool date, pitted (skip if going fruit-free)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (*see note below)
- ¾ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked & strained (**see notes below)
- 5 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 tsp beetroot powder (or more, depending on light or dark a pink you want it)
- edible dried rose petals and buds, cacao nibs, chocolate shavings
- Process all crust ingredients in a food processor. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into an even flat crust. Freeze while working on next step.
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temp (not cold). Blend everything together in a power blender into a smooth creamy consistency. Adjust the pink hue to your liking (by adding a hint more or less beetroot powder). 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.