Delicious, gluten-free and vegan mini cheesecakes that are creamy, perfectly sweet, popping with lemon flavor & topped with fresh juicy berries. It the perfect guilt-free summer treat!
Happy 4th of July Friends!!!
I love this patriotic holiday. It’s the perfect day for cookouts with friends. I’m talking fun BBQs with great grilled food, like brats and burgers, summer drinks, like crisp rose and iced cold beer, and of course, mesmerizing firework displays.
Deano and I had a cookout last night with family and have another one today with some close friends. I was in charge of dessert last night and brought these amazing VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE lemon berry cheesecakes.
Ok I know what you might be thinking…..vegan cheesecake, how is that even possible? How can you have cheesecake with our any dairy? But stay with me. I promise it’s possible. And very, very delicious!
To prove to you that this recipe is as good as the real thing, I secretly tested it on my family last night. I didn’t reveal that the recipe was secretly healthy and vegan until after they ate it (I should really say devour, they went fast). They were shocked and impressed to learn the base of the dessert is made from cashews and contains no dairy/cheese at all.
It’s super creamy and rich and completely mimics the taste and mouthfeel of cheesecake. Best yet, it’s no bake and so much easier to whip together than an actual cheesecake.
My sister-in-law told me these mini treats were better than actual cheesecake. Plus, there were none left – a telltale sign that this was a successful recipe!
It’s the perfect dessert for your 4th celebrations. Really, it’s the perfect dessert for any summer celebration!
Let’s get to cooking.
This dessert is no bake and all comes together in a food processor. That means it’s easy to whip together and leaves very little mess. And no need to heat up the oven, so it’s perfect for those hot summer days!
The first step in creating this treat is making the crust. The crust is made from gluten-free oats (regular work too if you are not avoiding gluten), coconut flakes, cinnamon, salt, coconut oil, dates, and a touch of maple syrup.
The crust is sweet from the dates and maple, but balanced by the salt and cinnamon. It also get a nice crunch and texture from the oats and coconut flakes. Its a great accompaniment to the tangy, creamy cheesecake base.
To make the crust, first add the dates to the food processor to form a thick paste. Remove the pulverized dates from the food processor and set aside. Add in the oats, salt, and coconut flakes and blend until the ingredients are broken down. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the date paste, and process until it all comes together to form a wet sand like consistency.
Grease a muffin tin (this recipe makes about 9 mini cheesecakes) and line each with a thin strip of parchment paper (for easy removal). Add about 1/4 cup of the crust mixture to each cavity and press down. Set aside.
As mentioned above, the base of this cheesecake is actually made from cashews. That means no cream cheese or dairy of any kind is in this recipe. Seems unreal, but it totally works! I learned this technique about a year ago and am now obsessed. The cashews, when soaked, break down and create this smooth, creamy texture that works beautifully as a cheesecake base. Cashews also are have this sweet, nutty flavor that truly mimics the taste of actual cheesecake.
The key step in making the cashew cheesecake is soaking the cashews. You can pour hot water over them and let them soak for 4 hours. Or you can use cold water and soak them overnight. The reason you soak the nuts is it helps break down the nuts so they will process into a smooth, luscious cheesecake base.
To make the base, add the soaked nuts to the food processor and blend until they are partially broken down and still a little gritty. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. This may take 5-10 minutes. And you may start thinking this is not going to work. But be patient. The base will come together into this smooth, creamy texture. It just takes a little time. And it’s worth the wait!
Divide the batter among the 9 muffin tins with crust. Put in freezer for at least 4 hours to set.
When you are ready to enjoy this delectable treat, take out of the freezer at least 10 minutes in advance to let it thaw slightly. Use the parchment paper to easily pop out each cheesecake. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and fresh berries. Now take a bite. And be ready to be amazed!
The cashew cheesecake it super creamy, rich, and luscious. It has the perfect balance of sweetness from the maple syrup and cashews and tanginess from the lemon juice and zest. The crust is nutty and crunchy from the oats, sweet and sticky from the dates and maple, and a little spicy from the earthy cinnamon. It pairs perfectly with the tangy cheesecake base. Then the sweet, velvety coconut whipped cream and fresh, bright, sweet and tart berries bring it all together for one magical bite.
This is a special treat to all my vegan and dairy-free friends who thought they could no longer enjoy cheesecake. Heck, I’m not vegan and can eat dairy, and I truly prefer this cashew cheesecake over the real thing. This dessert is perfect for everyone!
Lemon Berry Vegan Cheesecakes
Delicious, gluten-free and vegan mini cheesecakes that are creamy, perfectly sweet, popping with lemon flavor, & topped with fresh juicy berries. It the perfect guilt-free summer treat!
- ½ cup dates
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cashews soaked*
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a food processor, add the dates and blend until it forms a sticky paste (it will clump together in a ball). Remove from processor. Add in oats, coconut flakes, and salt and blend until pulverized. Add in remaining ingredients and pulse until all the ingredients come together and becomes a wet sticky sand like consistency. Grease a muffin pan and add a small slither of parchment paper to each one. Add a 1/4 cup of the curst mixtures to each cavity and firmly press down (it should make 9 cheesecakes). Set aside.
Add soaked cashews to the food processor and blend until broken down but still gritty. Add in remaining ingredients and process until the batter is very smooth (this make take 5-10 minutes). Divide the batter evenly among the 9 muffin tins with crust. Freeze mixture for at least four hours.
Top with coconut whipped cream and berries.
Serve and enjoy!
*You can soak the cashews with cold water overnight or with very hot water for at least four hours. Soaking the cashews in the water helps break them down so they will blend into a smooth cheesecake base.