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
For the crust
1 1/2 cups
pitted medjool dates
For the filling
melted coconut oil
vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped out for use, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Soak the cashews in water overnight or for three or more hours. Drain them of water and set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.