I posted on Facebook asking about what recipe I should post for Mothers Day and my mom commented “definitely cheesecake”… so HI MOM! This is for you!
This cheesecake has really given me a run for my money! My first try was like most first try’s at recipes… okay, but not great. So, I adjusted it where I felt it needed it and tried again. The first two times I made it in a removable-bottom pie pan (Do those have a name that I need to know about?). I was carrying the second cheesecake to the fridge to set when the bottom I was holding caused the sides to droop and burn my arm.. in turn making me drop the whole thing on the ground… top down. In the mist of that, my food processor broke, so I resorted to using my Baby Bullet, which worked quite well actually.
This is when I decided to tweak the recipe a bit more and just make it a No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake. After a couple more tries and a lot of mess later, I had it! And here I am, to share it with you so you can save yourself the trouble. Not only is it a no-bake cheesecake… it also is SO SIMPLE with few ingredients.
First you want to make the crust. Truthfully, you could just buy a already made crust (just make sure it’s vegan, but many are!), but homemade is always better, am I right?!? I did buy store bought graham crackers (these are a little harder to find vegan, but Nabisco’s Original Grahams are sold most places and are “accidentally vegan”. That’s what I used here!). You, then, crunch them up a bit and put them in a food processor and ground them up until it’s light and fluffy, like flour. Add in the butter, maple syrup, and chopped dates; processed it until it is well combined and sticks together when you pinch it. If it’s not holding together or you like a chewier crust, you can add in a bit more dates and pulse a couple more times.
After that, you want to just press dump the crust into the bottom of an 8″ spring-form pan (if you use bigger then 8″, or you want a more New York style cheesecake, double this recipe) and press it as evenly as possible into the bottom. Traditional graham cracker crust is on the drier side, so this may take a few minutes. I found it helpful to press my whole hand down on as much surface as I could in a couple different directions, then working around that to press the rest. You could also bake this crust on 350°F for about 5-7 minutes and get a bit of a roasted graham cracker taste, if you wanted. Throw the crust in the freezer while you prepare the cheesecake.
For the main attraction here, you need to have already soaked some raw, whole cashews. I prefer the overnight method of at least 4 hours, but I am sure quick soaking them works just as well if you’re in a crunch for time. Remove the cashews from the water, rinse them, then put them in a blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend until creamy. This also will require some patience. That’s truthfully the hardest part about this recipe. Patience. You’re going to have to scrape the sides of the blender a few times and blend blend blend. Once it’s nice and creamy, you can pour it onto the crust from the freezer and smooth out evenly. Put it in the freezer for at least 4 hours. It will set and become thick and rich and delicious, so again, don’t rush this. When you’re ready to eat, pull it out and let it thaw for at least 30 minutes to soften (or if you’re like me… just power through and eat it frozen because you don’t have the patience anymore… Whichever is fine.)
The BEST Vegan Cheesecake – NO BAKE
Prep Time: 4+ hours
Set time: 4+ hours
- 10 full rectangle (or 20 square) vegan graham crackers
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/3 heaping cup chopped dates
- 1 1/2 cup raw, whole cashews (measured raw) – soaked
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 18oz package of vegan cream cheese
- 1/4 cup soft or melted coconut oil
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste)
- Toppings of your choice *optional
- Crunch up graham crackers and put into the food processor. Process until flour-like
- Add the rest of the crust ingredients into the food processor and pulse until well combined. When finished, you should be able to pinch the crust together.
- Press the crust tightly down into the bottom of a 8″ spring-form pan. Set in the freezer while you prepare the filling
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and put them into a blender. Add the rest of the filling ingredients into the blender and blend, blend, blend until it’s smooth, remembering to scrape the sides. If you are using a vanilla bean, cut it open and scrape the inside out for this recipe and toss the shell.
- Pour filling onto the already made crust and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours to set.
- When ready to serve, allow to thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
*You can refreeze/thaw, as needed. Should be good for about a 5-7 days