vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust

vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust_hot for food

This recipe for a vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust has been in the bank for a long time and it’s become one of my most popular recipes! It’s been published by Chatelaine and Flare Magazine.

Before all this attention, I kept it in my arsenal and would always make it for dinner parties to wow my non-vegan friends! It totally works, plus they all feel good after eating it.

Recently I got to whip it up again for my first hot for food TV appearance and impressed the ladies of The Social. It’s a definite fave and now I’m sharing this little piece of vegan vanilla cheesecake heaven with you, too. 

Don’t worry if you prefer bite-sized sweets over big ones! I have a recipe for strawberry cheesecake bites that make a perfect pop-in-your-mouth treat.

vegan  vanilla cheesecake recipe
vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust_hot for food
4.5 from 2 votes
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vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust

This cheesecake is my secret weapon! Plus it’s so healthy you can eat it for breakfast.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword almond crust, chocolate, chocolate almond crust, vanilla cheesecake, vegan cheesecake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 x 4.5″ cheesecakes
Author Lauren Toyota


chocolate almond crust

  • 1 C raw almonds, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
  • 1/2 C raw walnuts
  • 1/3 C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 C coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

vanilla cheesecake filling

  • 1 1/2 C raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
  • 1/3 C agave nectar (or 1/2 C maple syrup for non-raw version)
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 1/3 C coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or the inside of 1 vanilla bean)


  • 1 C frozen mixed berries


  1. Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor and blend them into a coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. It should come together in the food processor and stick together when you pinch it.
  2. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer into mini tart pans with removable bottoms. You can also use 1 larger tart pan with a removable bottom or a spring form pan.

  3. Tip: if you prefer for the recipe to not be fully raw, you can poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes at 325°F. The nuts toast up nicely and it gives a yummy overall flavor to the cheesecake that might be more palatable to people who aren’t accustomed to raw food and desserts. Allow the crusts to cool completely before filling them.

  4. In a high powered blender, combine all the ingredients until smooth. This may take a while, but you really want to get it super smooth. You’ll need to stop and start the blender and stir the mixture around with a spatula or spoon in between processing.

  5. Pour the filling into the crusts just before the top edge. There is just enough filling for the 4 mini tarts, so be sure to scrape every last drop out with a spatula!

  6. Place them back in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours to set or overnight. Before serving the cheesecake, allow them to sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. They can keep for a while in the freezer as well, and you can pop them out whenever you have unexpected guests or a lingering sweet tooth!

  7. For an easy topping, you can thaw frozen mixed berries at room temperature while you wait for the cheesecakes to set. Alternatively, you can place fresh mixed berries in a bowl with a mixture of 2 parts lemon juice and 1 part raw agave nectar and let them sit for 30 minutes until they become soft and juicy. Pour mixed berries and the juice on top of cheesecakes right before serving!

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27 thoughts on “vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust”

  1. makes 4 x 4 1/2" cheesecakes

    I don’t understand for how many portions it makes? Would you please tell me? 🙂 Hug, Ellinor

    1. Hey Ellinor
      It’s 4 1/2" tart pans… so you don’t have to make them in that size you could make more smaller ones or one larger one perhaps. There are so many different sized fluted pans with the bottoms that pop out so I kind of had to leave it a bit open for interpretation. So the 4 1/2" cheesecakes are totally doable for one person or you could also consider half of that a serving. Just depends how much you want! But me and my guests have each devoured one each meaning this serves 4 people. Hope that helps!

  2. If you want to make this ahead of time would it do just as well in the fridge or would you recommend freezing it regardless? I’m just thinking if i leave it in the freezer longer than 1-2 hours it might get TOO solid.

  3. Hey just tried making this recipe! But I’m not sure what went wrong with the crust. I haven’t assembled it yet but the dough came out really wet. Like, when I took it out of the food processor, It was very oily handling it. I could legit strain it of the oil!! Maybe I mis-measured the oil? Or the fact that I used walnuts instead of almonds? (and I tried adding more nuts to balance the wetness out.) I’m kinda upset about it not turning out. The filling is really good, and might make something out of it. Do you know what went wrong?

    1. You might have let it run too much and the natural oils of the nut made it extra wet. I think you could still use it since the dessert is served frozen.

    2. I know its been 3 months, but I’m pretty sure the oil was a typo. I made it without the oil since its not included in the video and it turned out perfect

  4. I’m making this cheesecake today for the fourth time. Every time it’s for non-vegan guests. They are left amazed and in their happy place. It’s so freakin’ delicious!!

  5. i made these cakes for birthday dinner tonight! ohhh it was so delicious! cremy and fresh lemon flavor! just sweet enough! thanks a lot lauren. 🙂

  6. Has anyone tried making this with cashew substitute? I would love to make this for a friend’s birthday but she is allergic to cashews 🙁 Any suggestions, Lauren? x

  7. I omitted the coconut sugar and coconut oil in the crust and halved the amount of maple syrup in the filling.The cheesecakes were so good and perfectly sweet for my liking.
    I toasted the nuts and the coconut before adding it the food processor and I think that’s what made this taste so good.
    TL;DR: Toast the nuts and coconut before adding to food processor omit the coconut oil and sugar in the crust and use 1/4 cup instead of a 1/2 cup of maple syrup in the filling if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

  8. My crust is oily? Is it a typo to add coconut oil? Because its not in your video. I really liked them though, but if someone else is making these i would follow the video

    1. you know what… I think it is a typo. I’m so sorry! I think once I did make the crust with the oil but it doesnt need it. I’m a knob. We honestly do these things so fast or we did the recipes so long ago… like this one… that when we make the video we changed the recipe! haha

    1. mine is 9 1/2 wide x 1 1/8 – it might just be a little thinner than doing the mini cakes or just double the filling if it’s not enough.

  9. Hi! Is there any chance of replacing the maple syrup? I can’t find it anywhere and I really wanted to try this recipe 🙁

  10. When you soak cashews, is it suppose to be hot, luke warm, or cold water? I did hot water and I felt like that might have brought out the flavor of the cashews more(which I didn’t want Lol)? I’m new to this and I was wondering what is the best way to soak them and/or help mask the potent nutty taste?

  11. Easy and delicious recipe, the only downside is the price of the ingredients and that you need a good food processor to make the crust (I broke my blender the first time I did this recipe, so definitely use a food processor). Nowadays I usually sub the crust for graham cracker crust (still no food processor) and I do one big cake instead of four small ones. If you’re planning to do so I recommend to double o triple the filling since you need a higher ratio of filling:crust.

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