Serves a Crowd

Raw, Vegan Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake

July  9, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Serves 12
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

What You'll Need
  • For the crust
  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ferrell Varner
    Ferrell Varner
  • Nafsin Nasir
    Nafsin Nasir
  • Leah Calvert
    Leah Calvert
  • Yashika Arora
    Yashika Arora
  • Abbie C
    Abbie C

49 Reviews

Ferrell V. October 2, 2020
Made this 3 times now and it's been a hit!
Miki D. April 28, 2018
We like the crust and the flavor of the filling, but the texture was too runny. No way would mine stay upright like the photo.
Nafsin N. January 23, 2018
Can I used roasted cashews? Having a hard time finding raw cashews...
Sammi O. May 4, 2023
Winco has them if in usa
macfly18 November 21, 2016
Hi, this looks amazing. Can anyone comment on whether it has a strong coconut flavor? Trying to juggle vegans and coconut aversions!
Elissa K. July 29, 2016
Is there a substitute for the cashews? Would Almonds work?
Leah C. January 17, 2016
I used maple syrup and it turned out great.
Yashika A. January 18, 2016
Thank you! :)
Yashika A. January 17, 2016
Hi.. Is there a substitute for agave nectar that I can use?
Sammi O. May 4, 2023
Use maple syrup
Leah C. August 10, 2015
This was absolutely delicious. I didn't have enough strawberries so I subed kiwi and it worked nicely. Highly recommended for a summer dessert.
Abbie C. March 16, 2015
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.
Molly January 28, 2015
Can I leave out the coconut oil?
Molly January 28, 2015
(Or use less than 2/3 cup?)
Danielle K. January 28, 2015
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.
Brittany '. January 29, 2015
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...
Rachel T. August 22, 2014
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!
Zensister July 5, 2014
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.
linda S. April 21, 2014
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!
kimberly.godwin March 23, 2014
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.
Swiss M. March 16, 2014
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!
Ital A. February 20, 2014
I want to make this this weekend. Does it still set well (firmly) refrigerated, as opposed to freezing?
Swiss M. March 20, 2014
In my experience - it did not!
Angela January 12, 2014
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.
Ham December 23, 2013
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.
Sarah December 21, 2013
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?
Brittany '. December 22, 2013
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!
Sarah December 22, 2013
Thanks so much Brittany! Will make it tomorrow :)
andrea September 19, 2013
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!