Who knew the humble cashew could be transformed into a thick, creamy, sweet dessert? When soaked and blended, cashews transform into a smooth cream cheese-like consistency that makes them perfect for creating a silky cheesecake that people will never believe is dairy free.
Another bonus: no baking required! And in the warm summer months here in DC, I'll avoid turning on my oven at all costs. This cheesecake sets in a few hours in the refrigerator and is ready to slice and eat.
Blueberries add a beautiful color and flavor to this cheesecake, but feel free to substitute raspberries or blackberries if preferred.
Prep Time: 5 minutes (plus time to soak cashews)
Cook Time: 20 minutes + 5 hours to set
Total Time: Maximum 6 hours
Date and Nut Crust:
- 1 ½ cup walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 6-8 dates, pitted*
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight** (225g)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup blueberries (or berry of choice)
- ½ cup coconut milk (full-fat)
- ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp. maple syrup or agave (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Soak the cashews overnight in room-temperature water**. Rinse and drain the blueberries.
2. To make the crust, add the walnuts, cinnamon and sea salt to a food processor and blend. Add in pitted dates and process until you have a thick, sticky dough. Press firmly and evenly into a lined 9-inch cake tin and place in the freezer.
3. To make the cheesecake filling, add the drained and rinsed cashews into a blender along with all other ingredients. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. If you prefer your cheesecake on the sweeter side, add more maple syrup to taste.
4. Remove the cake tin from the freezer and pour cheesecake filling over the crust, smoothing to remove air bubbles. Place in the refrigerator for 5 hours, or until completely firm and set. Top with fresh berries if desired.
Tips and Tricks:
*If your dates are on the drier or harder side, remove the pits and soak them in hot water for a few minutes to soften them slightly.
**If you do not have time to soak the cashews overnight, you can accelerate the process by bringing a pot of water to a boil, adding the cashews, removing it from the heat, covering and setting aside for 30 mins to an hour.