Please note that this post contains affiliate links of products that I love and use. This rewards me with a small commission if you choose to buy through the links and none of this will cost you anything – but it does help me pay the bills and deliver you quality content. – Love, Gloria.
Ever since I went vegan there was only one thing that could dampen my mood due to sheer food envy. Sitting across from someone who is eating a slice of New York cheese cake. I tried so hard to find a replacement that would satisfy me and after almost a year of research and failed attempts I developed this cashew cream cheesecake.
At heart I am a purist when it comes to food. Only the best ingredients work in a dish that is so simple and the basic ingredient of this dish is dairy. It seemed out of reach for a horrific time of never ending six months. And then it happened. I was sitting in a cafe in Cambridge and had a slice of vegan cheesecake. That was it. I had to have the recipe. I had to learn how to make this creamy piece of heaven. Frankly I could not convince the chef to give me the exact recipe but I did get the base ingredients. Cashews, lemon juice and coconut milk. It took me about a total of 8 batches to get something that is as close as it gets to my once beloved New York cheese cake.
Cashew Cream Cheesecake
For the base:
- 150 g almonds
- 125 g chopped dates or about 6 medjool dates
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 pinch of salt
For the cream cheese:
- 200 g cups cashews
- 80 ml coconut oil
- 125 ml coconut milk, full fat full fat
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 65 ml agave syrup
- Making the base: Put the ingredients for the base into the food processor and pulse until it resembles a crumbly texture. Be careful not to over process or you will end up with almond butter which in itself is extremely tasty but not what you want to make in this case. The reason for using coconut oil is that it solidifies at temperatures below 25°C (75°F) and this small amount of oil is already enough to hold the crust together.
- Now chose what you want to make your beautiful cashew cream cheesecake in. This can range from one big cake for which you want to choose a suitable form. Another option would be to use a muffin tin or you can use food rings as I prefer it.
- Food rings are by far the easiest choice and they come in various sizes. Place a piece of baking paper into a form big enough to hold all food rings you want to use and place the rings on top of it. Press the crust mixture into the rings. Put the tray aside an continue with the cream.
- Making the cream cheese: You need to soak the cashews in cold water for about 4-6 hours to soften them. If you are in a hurry same rule applies for all dried produce. You can reduce the soaking time by using hot water. Place the cashews in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and let them sit for 15 minutes. Do not cook them. Once the cashews are softened, pour away the excess water. This step is necessary if you want a silky smooth cashew cream because the soaking softens the cashews immensely.
- Now pour all the "cream cheese" ingredients into the food processor and blend at maximum speed until it is as creamy as you want it to be. It is as simple as that. Now spread it on top of the crust and off it goes into the freezer.
- Depending on the temperature setting it will take 2-5 hours to set. The cakes keep nicely in the freezer for about a month. Once taken out they keep well in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. I wouldn't recommend keeping them outside at room temperature for longer than two days.
- Once they are set you can simply push them trough the ring and either put them in a freezer bag and store for later use or put on the counter top to thaw for 30-60 minutes and serve them freshly made.
That looked so good I had to make it. I used crumbled up cookies as base though. It was delicious! Do you think you can make this with other nuts as well? Where I live cashews are really expensive.
You can also use macadamia or almond, but you need to soak them over night.
How do you get the cashew filling smooth? I made it and it was a bit gritty
How many cashews? 200 gr or 2 cups. Well it’s more or less the same… But please tell me. I am Dying to eat a “cheese”cake after all this time I have quit all dairy products.
Thank you in advance !
I made this for my girlfriend. She is vegan. She loved it so much. I put fresh raspberries on top, nothing else. Was so good!
I am glad she liked it. If you want to impress her more try my vegan crepes or hazelnut spreads.
Love your recipes. Would suggest maybe moving away from agave. Even Dr Weil says I’ve stopped using agave myself and no longer recommend it as a healthy sweetener. The reason agave ranks relatively low on the glycemic index is because it has a high content of fructose. Fructose does not readily raise blood sugar (glucose) levels because the body doesn’t metabolize it well. New research suggests that excessive fructose consumption deranges liver function and promotes obesity. The less fructose you consume, the better.
As it turns out, agave has a higher fructose content than any other common sweetener, more even than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Because of its reputation as a “natural” sweetener, it is now widely used in products claiming to be good for health – from teas to nutrition bars and energy drinks.
I use Yacon syrup – a bit expensive and it’s brown, so you loose some of the creamy white color that Agave allows, but on a healthy low glycemic index scale- it loads better for you. Thanks again for all the recipes.
Thank you so much for the feedback. I never heard of yacon syrup. Funnily enough I planted some in my garden this year. My agave syrup is almost black and unfiltered, it still didn’t change the colour of the cashew cream at a noticeable level. So frankly I am not too worried about the looks of it. I don’t use sweeteners (as in adding extra sweetness to drinks or food) on a regular basis. Here a sweetener is needed as base flavour and I haven’t found a decent substitute for honey yet so I stuck to this. I tried maple but it ruined the taste. I will gladly look around for yakon syrup. Since I maybe buy a bottle of agave every 3 months (about 2cups) for a two people household I am not concerned about the higher price. Really appreciate the time you took to add all the info. =)
Edit 19/07/15 I have tried it now from 3 different manufacturers. I find the taste of yakon syrup extremely vile. =/
Pretty! This was a really wonderful article.
Good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve book-marked it for later!
Can u use 100% pure stevia instead of agave. I am going sugar free at this time?
Yes, you can. You might have to add a little bit of liquid though if you use powdered stevia, a few teaspoons of nut-milk should suffice.
That looks so good! Does it hold up in a lunch box or will it go liquid when it’s warm? I wonder because you freeze the cake.
P holdsworth says
Loved this recipe, so easy and quick!
I used a nice strawberry coolie with this recipe – full marks from me. You need to make some other variants of this recipe – it’s gorgeous.
Thank you so much for the feedback. Strawberry is such a nice addition to this recipe. I will make sure to add more variations. – G
Saw this on google, can i make this nut free?
I will look into it and let you know when I come up with a nut free version. =)
Gábor Solymár says
My girlfriend was blown away by this, thanks for sharing!
Wow, stunning page.
Ming Bo says
Came across this on Google, quick to make and tasted wonderful m! Thanks!
Glad you liked it! -G
Lene Pedersen says
This is the only vegan cake I’ve ever gotten my stubborn dad to try. So easy and quick…
Hope he liked it! – G
Can you make a large cake with this recipe? Triple the recipe and make one really big cake?
I don’t see why it shouldn’t work. – Love, G.
Jenna Henderson says
Can you make a raspberry version of this? I mean as in raspberry in the cashew cream. It used to be m y favourite cheesecake but I’m lactose intolerant.
I haven’t tried that yet but you got my curious. – Love, G.
Matthew Peters says
Loved how simple this was, keep going Gloria! 🙂
Jonas Ingolson says
This was heavenly, thanks for sharing your recipe!
Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) therefore
i guess I’ll just sum it things i submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still a new comer to everything.
Are you experiencing any points for newbie blog writers?
I’d really appreciate it.
I can only suggest to not overdo the writing in the start. It can be overwhelming if you post too frequently. Also don’t let negative comments get to you. You will get them and some might be hard to swallow but in the end it is your blog. Write what you want and if someone does not like it they don’t have to read it. Keep it positive and have fun, most of all add pictures! Posts with a lot of pictures get the most views for me. Hope this helps a bit. – Love, G.
I just wanted to check on the amount of agave. It lists 150ml, which is way more than 1/4 cup of liquid and looks like a lot of sweetener for a cheesecake this size. Is it supposed to be 50ml?
Oh good grief! Yes, that is wrong. Very wrong. The correct amount is 65ml. I have no idea how that 150 snuck in there. Thank you so much for pointing it out. I fixed it now. – Love, G.
Ann Urwin says
Is there a substitute for the coconut milk and coconut oil? I’m vegan and making this cheesecake for someone allergic to coconut and also lactose intolerant. Thank you
You can use any type of milk. Almond or cashew milk are a good substitute. You could substitute the oil in the cream with any type of oil that you prefer. The base is a bit tricky. I chose coconut oil because it solidifies when cold and helps holding the base together. You could try swapping it out for vegan butter. Hope this helps. – Love, G.
I’m hoping to make this cake this weekend, but I have a quick question. I don’t have agave syrup so I’m wondering if honey would work as a substitute? Have you tried it? I’m not vegan, I just can’t have eggs or dairy, but honey is fine.
Sorry for the late reply. Honey should work. I am not eating honey because I am vegan but it is the same type of sweetener so it should work. – Love, G.
Quick and easy, I made this while waiting for dinner in the oven to cook. I used a failed attempt at cashew cheese instead of the soak cashews, coconut water instead of coconut milk and golden (cane) syrup as I ran low on agave. It worked really well, but because the syrup was so much sweater I had to add more lemon juice. I’ve made vegan lemon meringue once before, but I was still surprised when the mixture curled, LOL. A few minutes in the blender fixed that though. What I got this morning was a nice stiff tart, but not much flavour, so I spread natural berry jam instead of compote over it. What a delightful little find! I shared it with others on a local vegan page too.
Oh my, I just laughed out loud while reading this. That is my type of cooking, make it up as you go. Love it! Thank you so much for this comment, not only did it make me laugh but I also was reminded that I still have not posted my fruit covered versions! I have never tried to add jam on top, I add freshly blended fruit. Jam seems like a nice and quick addition.. I will definitely try that. – Much Love, G. <3
I can’t wait to make this. Just wondering if I could substitute the agave nectar with molasses. Thank you!
I have not tried it with molasses but any liquid sweetener should work. – Love, G.
I have just found your recipe blog, looks great! I wonder if you could comment on how your cheesecake tastes in the coconut flavor range. Not for me, we love coconut and have it especially in curry dishes; however NOT for my son- in -law who HATES coconut and avocados (another great ingredient for vegan cooking). I’m trying to find a vegan cheesecake recipe for him since he needs to be off dairy. Since we follow a vegan diet I told him I would try to make him a cheesecake (his ultimate favorite) that is dairy free and he would like, (some a pretty awful!) Regardless, I’ll make yours some time for us, but sooner for #1 son-in-law if it does not share a coconutty flavor! Thanks for your efforts!
Hello Tina. Personally I can not taste it but I love coconut so even if it was present I would not really notice it. I did ask 5 friends just now who I made it for in the past. None of them said it tasted of coconut – from what they can recall. I hope this helps a bit. I can not guarantee though that someone who absolutely hates coconut will like that cake. I have that issue with coffee, the slightest hint and I can not eat or drink it. So I can relate to that problem! I do hope you can find a good recipe if mine is not up to pesky eating standards. =D – Love, G.
Will it work with a blender? worried i won’t be able to make because it may not be smooth?
It works with blenders if it is a high speed blender. If it can make really creamy smoothies it should be able to process this as well. – Love, G.
I made some minor adaptations to your recipe:
1) Cacoa butter instead of coconut oil. This makes it even firmer. By the way, I don’t use a freezer, the fridge is cold enough to stiffen it up.
2) Add some whipped aquafaba! This gives it the airiness it was missing a bit.
3) Soaked, dried abricots instead of dates, but that’s just personal taste.
Cacao butter is an excellent idea! I have yet to venture into the world of aquafaba. It is still untested territory for me. Do you have a beginner friendly recipe you could share? I read on several occasions that it can be a hit or miss and quite a few struggle working with it. =D – Love, G.
Just made and eaten this. I have to say it’s amazing. Even my sceptical OH said it was good.
Made it as my daughter is lactose intolerant and I find lactose free cream and cream cheese just doesn’t set like normal ones and you get a runny mess.
This is the solution. It tastes amazing.
I added some blackberries freshly picked from the garden.
I also used some dairy free biscuits to make the base and these worked well. I will try your base next time.
Will be checking your other recepiex out too.
I tried an almost exact recipe from Instagram a few days ago, but I had no measures, I had to estimate from the video.
Disaster – no way was my ‘cheesecake’ smooth, it was totally grainy and I think the coconut milk may have split too.
(Is it possible to overwork the mix in the blender causing it to split I wonder?).
I soaked the cashews for the recommended time, but put them in the fridge for a day until I needed them. Big mistake?
My blender is a good one, but I cannot imagine a smooth result using cashews…..surely there will always remain ‘small bits’?
I did leave out the coconut oil….I didn’t have any, plus the video included such a small amount I thought I’d get away with it.
I would be grateful if you could spot the main issues with my feeble attempt. Desperate to have another go – this time I will follow your recipe.
Trying new recipes can be tricky. I remember my first attempt at oven fries. I salted them before baking with resulted into mush, total disaster. Cashews do go very creamy when you process them. I found out that blending the cashews on their own first (without adding the other ingredients) until smooth helps with the gritty texture if the blender cannot handle it. Mind you, I have a Vitamix and even that one does not get into it that well so I use a food processor for this. The problem is the thickness. Blenders struggle with thicker things a lot more than food processors do. I hope it worked out for you and let me apologize profoundly for taking so long with replying. I had major issues with my previous hosting and just found your comment in the spam folder.
Are the almonds for the crust supposed to be raw or roasted? Thank you!
It really is all about taste. If you like to have a stronger nutty flavour; roast them. If not; then don’t roast them. I prefer the second option :).
We used maple syrup and more lemon juice and zest for more taste. We put fresh strawberries on top with mint and lime zest and it was delicious!
has anyone tried using macadamia nuts instead of cashew? Or do you have another recommendation?
Tia Bliss says
I have tried this but it comes out really gritty, any tips?
Damarys Hernandez says
Are the 448 calories per serving? if so, what does 1 gram look like as a serving?
Danielie Williams says
So I just made this today and I can’t wait to try them! They are in the freezer as I write this! This will be my first ever made Vegan Cashew Cheesecake, ever, and first time ever having Vegan Cheesecake. I can tell by tasting the crust and the filling before it sets that this is going to be absolutely wonderful. Thank you!
Supriya Kutty says
I love cheesecakes especially Blueberry cheesecake. They just taste so good, I have tries other cakes as well. This cake looks so healthy as it contains lots of dry fruits. I will definitely try this cake at home and let you know. Thank you so much for sharing this great blog, Do keep sharing.