This recipe for a vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust has been in the bank for a long time. I’ve just never divulged my secret! I keep it in my arsenal and always make it for dinner parties to wow my non-vegan friends! It totally works, plus they all feel good after eating it. But 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.
vanilla cheesecake with chocolate almond crust
This cheesecake is my secret weapon! Plus it's so healthy you can eat it for breakfast.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!