Ok, wow. I’ve never tried this type of cake before, but now I think I’ve been converted into a worshipper of the raw cheesecake gods.
Raw cashew “cheesecakes” are a relatively new phenomena that have appeared in the past years, especially with the rising popularity of veganism and the raw diet. Personally, I think that calling these frozen cakes “cheesecakes” is a bit of a stretch. The filling, made with soaked cashews and coconut oil for a silky texture, doesn’t have the tangy flavor of cream cheese, but don’t get me wrong: it’s still delicious. Also, even if you’re not vegan (I’m not), you can’t deny that cakes made with all “whole food” ingredients are much healthier than conventional cheesecakes, packed with sugar, cream cheese, and too rich to stomach. Sorry Cheesecake Factory, I love you, but I don’t really appreciate the painful food come you give me.
Also, a bonus! These cakes don’t require a bake, and they’re super simple to make. Perfect for those hot summer days when the thought of turning on the oven sounds horrifying but you still want cake. All that you need is a super powerful blender (people swear by the Vitamix, but my Ninja works fine), and a working freezer.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to raw cheesecakes. You can change up the base recipe to whatever flavor combinations suit your taste. For my creation, I chose a classic combination: fresh strawberries and basil. Amazing.
I’m gonna just throw out some flavors to spark your imagination. How about:
Mango and coconut? (ooh, tropical)
Banana and date caramel (banoffee!)
Guava paste and vanilla (a play on the Puerto Rican pastelito)
So hey, what are you doing? Get yourself on this hype train and make your own raw cheesecake!
strawberry basil cashew cheesecake
adapted from my new roots
for the crust
- 1/2 cup raw mixed nuts
- 1/2 cup soft medjool dates
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
for the filling
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for at leasat 5 hours, or overnight
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/3 cup honey/maple syrup/agave
- 5-7 basil leaves
- 1 cup strawberries
Blend/food process the crust ingredients together until small crumbs form and the mixture holds together when you roll it into a ball.
Pack the crust mixture down in a 6 inch cake ring or springform pan lined with plastic wrap. Place the whole thing in the freezer to chill while you make the filling.
Melt the coconut oil and honey (or other sweetener) in the microwave, then mix to combine.
In a high speed blender/food processor, blend all the filling ingredients (minus the strawberries) on high until smooth.
Pour about half of the basil filling onto the chilled crust, saving a spoonful of filling for decoration.
To the rest of the filling, add the strawberries and blend until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling.
With the reserved basil (green) filling, place small dots of filling all around the outer perimeter. Run a chopstick through the center of each dot to form a heart shape. Or, if you have a different design you'd like to try, feel free to do that instead!
When done, place the cake in the freezer for a couple hours until solid. When ready to serve, let the cake sit out for 30 minutes before devouring. Keep all leftovers in the freezer.