Raw, Vegan Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake

By • July 9, 2013 38 Comments

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Author Notes: Think raw, vegan dessert means a fruit cup? This rich, creamy, and beautiful raw cheesecake is going to prove you wrong. It freezes well, too, so it's perfect to make ahead when entertaining!Gena Hamshaw

Serves 12

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups pitted medjool dates

For the filling

  • 3 cups cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped out for use, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup strawberries
  1. Soak the cashews in water overnight or for three or more hours. Drain them of water and set aside.
  2. Place the almonds and sea salt in a food processor and grind roughly. Add the dates and process until the mixture is uniform and sticks together when you squeeze a bit in the palm your hand. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9” springform pan.
  3. Use a high speed blender or food processor (high speed blender is preferable) to blend all filling ingredients except for the strawberries thoroughly, until silky smooth. If you’re working with a processor, you may need to stop often to scrape it down.
  4. Pour just more than half of the filling mixture into the springform pan. Use an inverted spatula to smooth it over. Transfer to the fridge for thirty minutes or more to let this layer set.
  5. Blend the strawberries into the remaining filling mixture. Set it aside in a bowl while the first layer is setting. Once the first layer has been in the fridge for thirty minutes or longer, spread the strawberry layer over the plain vanilla layer. Transfer whole cheesecake to the fridge and let it sit for two hours or longer before slicing and serving.
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Comments (38) Questions (3)

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5 months ago Abbie C

I have been dying to make this recipe for a while and I finally had the chance yesterday. This was very easy to make, tastes great, and was fun to share! The texture was less dense than traditional cheesecake, and was more toward the ricotta end of the spectrum, but I was able to get nice, layered slices anyway. I also substituted maple syrup for the agave syrup just because I had it on hand, which did not overpower the flavors of the other ingredients.

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6 months ago Molly

Can I leave out the coconut oil?

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6 months ago Molly

(Or use less than 2/3 cup?)

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6 months ago Danielle Kausler McKenzie

I had the same question Molly, so far no answer. My husband is very allergic to coconut and so many amazing recipes call for coconut in some form.

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6 months ago Brittany 'Henck' Bolerjack

Molly (and Danielle) the coconut oil helps it set up. that being said, I made it with only half of the recommended oil and it was fine. I'm betting if you made this with fresh blueberries instead of strawberries, it could work? Blueberries have natural set-up power so that might help with the lack of coconut oil! There are no-oil recipes for raw cheesecakes out there as well...

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12 months ago Rachel Toole

I made this cake on Tuesday night and popped it in the freezer and then got it out Thursday night and served it up for dessert. It was such a success!! The flavours were spot on!! I used frozen mixed berries, but put about 2 cups in, and the whole thing was unfaultable! Vegans, vegetarians and full blown meat eaters all LOVED IT!

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about 1 year ago Zensister

I made this for a 4th of July party yesterday, and it was a hit for vegans and non vegans alike. Between my cow's milk allergy and a couple of vegan guests, it was great to have a dessert that not only fit both needs but tasted great! Bonus points for not having to heat up the kitchen in July.

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over 1 year ago linda stojak

I just made this yesterday for Easter, and it was incredible! Mine cut perfectly, I strongly reccomend chilling the whole cake overnight once you make it, one hour is not nearly enough time. I chilled the first layer for over an hour before I added the strawberry laywer, then kept the whole thing in the fridge overnight. I guess the key here is chilling it long enough!

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over 1 year ago kimberly.godwin

This was probably one of the tastiest vegan desserts I've made. I took a earlier suggestion and used a large cup of raspberries (I'm allergic to strawberries) and it came out beautiful. I topped it with 1/2 cup of raspberries on top and it was devoured. It is a bit gooey and the slices don't quite come out as perfect as the picture, but who cares? I will make this for the next raw food workshop that my yoga studio puts on to show that you can eat vegan and still have your food be overwhelmingly delicious. Thank you for this recipe.

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over 1 year ago Swiss Meringue

The flavor of the filling is great, but it does not at all set firmly enough to slice. I ended up scraping it off and serving it like pudding with the crust crumbled on top to salvage it. Not a bad vegan pudding recipe I guess!

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over 1 year ago Ital Al-Amin

I want to make this this weekend. Does it still set well (firmly) refrigerated, as opposed to freezing?

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over 1 year ago Swiss Meringue

In my experience - it did not!

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over 1 year ago Angela

This was fantastic! So much better than trying to make vegan cheesecake with tofu cream cheese. I used a cup of cranberries in place of the strawberries.

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over 1 year ago Ham

This was perfect! I used 12 oz of raspberries and 1/4 cup of mint for my upper layer. After the entire cake set, I topped it off with an even layer of pomegranate seeds.

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over 1 year ago Sarah

This looks amazing! Going to make it for Xmas dessert. Are you able to tell me if you think it'll be ok if I make it a day or two ahead?

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over 1 year ago Brittany 'Henck' Bolerjack

Sarah, I made this and ate it myself over 5 days. It tasted virtually the same the whole time with a great texture, so i would say, YES!

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over 1 year ago Sarah

Thanks so much Brittany! Will make it tomorrow :)

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almost 2 years ago andrea

I made this today and it was fantastic! Like others I doubled the berries (used raspberry) and it added a much deeper flavor. I cannot believe this is vegan. And so delicious. Great recipe!

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almost 2 years ago Erin

Don't be deceived by this being a vegan recipe and thinking it's low calorie!! Certainly this is healthier than a traditional cheesecake, but it still packs some calories!
I doubled the amount of strawberries so there was a deeper berry flavor. I also froze it as a posed to just refrigerating it. Very tasty, I was extremely pleased. It's difficult to find good tasting vegan recipes especially desserts and this one did it.

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almost 2 years ago Kate

My Daughter and I are going to make this tomorrow. Can't wait

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almost 2 years ago Brittany 'Henck' Bolerjack

I made this and LOVED it! I served it with 1 cup of blended raw strawberries as a "sauce." If i do it again, i'll probably add a Tablespoon or two of fresh beet juice to the top layer to make it look richer :) Thanks for a great recipe!

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almost 2 years ago Ollie Zhang

Ooh the beet juice idea sounds wonderful! I think I may try that as well.

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almost 2 years ago Ollie Zhang

I've made this to great reviews from both vegans and non-vegans alike! I hadn't strawberries on hand so I substituted with blueberries instead. The only thing is that you couldn't really taste the berry flavor, but the cake is great nonetheless.

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almost 2 years ago Addie

Just made this today! I absolutely love the turnout, the texture and flavor seemed on point. Maybe next time I'll try a different berry besides strawberries!

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almost 2 years ago Rae Cobbs

I'm saving this for a friend who doesn't eat sugar. Where is agave juice sold?

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almost 2 years ago Danielle Kausler McKenzie

Is it possible to omit the coconut oil or replace it with another ingredient? My husband is allergic to coconut.

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about 2 years ago alibuckley

is it possible to substitute liquid stevia for the agave?

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almost 2 years ago alibuckley

This was SO good! Thank You!! i made it with liquid stevia in place of agave. also added cinnamon to the crust. will try again w/ lemon zest in the crust & raspberries... followed by lime & blueberries. such a great base!