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Vegan Eggnog Cheesecake

Creamy, luscious mini, spiced-filled eggnog “cheesecakes” that are gluten free, dairy-free, and vegan.

During the holidays, eggnog is a staple for my family. We are slightly obsessed with the rich, decadent, creamy milk punch that you can only find this time of year. My little brother basically drinks it by the gallon – it’s hard keep a bottle of it in my family’s house for more than a day.

Right around Thanksgiving, I saw eggnog pop up again at my local grocery store. A little happy dance ensued (literally at the store; I’m pretty sure other patrons thought I was crazy). I got even more excited when I saw that Califia Farms (my favorite brand of non-dairy milk products) came up with a dairy-free vegan almond milk version of eggnog. And it only had 50 calories and 8 grams of sugar per 4oz serving. What?!!? It seemed too good to be true. I had a lot of reservations – how could they replicate a drink made mainly from milk and eggs without any dairy? But I was willing to give it a try. As soon as I got home from the grocery store, before I even put all my groceries away, I poured a glass of the dairy-free eggnog, and took a sip…..

It was even better than I expected. It tastes just like eggnog. It was almost better than the real thing. It’s got a great consistency (not too thick like real eggnog can be), the perfect amount of sweetness (unlike real eggnog which can be cloyingly sweet) and great rich, vanilla flavor packed full of ginger and other spices. I was thrilled that there really was a healthier, dairy-free alternative to this amazing holiday classic.  More happy dancing!

I’ve been drinking the dairy-free eggnog religiously, a glass of it with a touch a cinnamon just about every night. But why just drink it? Why not use it in holiday desserts as well? One of my favorite vegan desserts is cashew cheesecake – where cashews instead of cream cheese make up the base of the dessert. A vegan eggnog cashew cheesecake sounded like the perfect, healthy holiday treat.

Let’s get to cooking.

The first step is preparing the cashews to make the base of the cheesecake. To do so, you need to soak the cashews in room temperature water, preferably overnight, so they break down and can blend into a creamy, cheesecake like consistency. I prefer to soak the cashews overnight – the longer you soak them, the better consistency they will yield. But if you do not have the time, you can soak them in hot water for an hour. The warm water speeds up the process.

Once the cashews are soaked, you can start assembling the cheesecake. Make sure to grease a 12 cavity muffin pan. I also add a strip of parchment paper to each cavity to lead to easy removal of each cheesecake.

To make the crust, add 8 dates to a food processor and blend until it creates a chunky paste. Remove the date paste and set aside. Add in the pecans, walnuts, cinnamon and sea salt and pulse until the nuts are broken down into a crumble (similar to gravel). Add the date paste back into the food processor along with the honey, vanilla, and coconut oil. Blend until all the ingredients come together and resemble wet sand. Take about a ¼ cup of the crust mixture and press into each muffin cavity. Place in freezer to set (about 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, make the cheesecake base by adding the soaked cashews (drained), dairy-free eggnog, spices, touch of sea salt, honey, and coconut oil to the food processor. Blend until it is creamy. This step may takes 5-10 minutes. Be patient. The longer you blend, the better consistency you achieve. It is worth the wait! Scoop about a ¼ cup of the batter into each muffin cavity. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans. Place in freezer for 2 hours to set.

Remove all of the mini cheesecakes from the muffin pan. They should easily pop out (especially if you used parchment paper). I store my cheesecakes in the freezer in an airtight container. When you are ready to eat the cheesecake, remove it from freezer and let it thaw on the counter for about a half hour or in the fridge for an hour. Now grab your fork and slice it though the creamy, smooth cheesecake, and take a bite.

The cheesecakes are delicious.  Creamy, delectable little bites of heaven. They are packed full of warm spices, taste just like eggnog, have nice texture and crunch from the nuts, and just the right amount of sweetness. You can’t even tell they are vegan or dairy free. It’s totally true. I had my husband try a bite and I only told him they were eggnog cheesecakes. He was floored when I told him there was absolutely no dairy in it. Proof that this is as good as the real thing!

This is the perfect dessert to make this holiday season. It is easy to make, healthy, and full of familiar holiday flavors.  Your friends and family will be pleasantly surprised to learn that these are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.  A Christmas miracle!

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Vegan Eggnog Cheesecake

Creamy, luscious mini, spiced-filled eggnog “cheesecakes” that are gluten free, dairy-free, and vegan.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12
Author Dani

Ingredients

Crust

  • 8-9 dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cheesecake Base

  • 2 cups soaked cashews see notes for details
  • 1 cup dairy free eggnog I used Califia Farms
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Crust

  1. Grease a 24 cavity muffin pan and add one strip of parchment paper to each cavity (make sure the strip is taller than the sides of the cavity)

  2. Place dates in a food processor and blend on high until it forms a paste. Remove the date paste from the food processor and add the salt  and nuts and blend until it forms a sand like texture. Add back in the date paste, plus, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla and blend until it incorporates with the nuts and forms a wet sand texture.

  3. Scoop 1/4 cup of the crust and press down into each cavity. Place in freezer to set (5-20 minutes, i.e. while making the base)

Cheesecake Base

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and blending until very smooth. This may take 5-10 minutes for the cashews to break down and to achieve a smooth, creamy texture.

  2. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into each muffin cavity. Smooth the top with a offset spatula or knife.

  3. Freeze for 3-4 hours to set cheesecake. 

  4. Let the cheesecake thaw for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Remove each cheesecake from the muffin pan. 

  5. Top with pecans and cinnamon (and whipped cream if desired)

  6. Serve and Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

I recommend soaking the cashews in water overnight (the longer you soak the cashews, the better they will blend and breakdown). If you do not have time to soak them overnight, you can soak for 3-4 hours with warm water or 30 minutes with very hot water. 

Store the cheesecakes in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Just make sure to take the cheesecakes out 30 minutes prior to eating so they will thaw and be more creamy and delicious when you eat them. 

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