Vegan and Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote

When I went dairy-free, I thought I’d never enjoy cheesecake again. Oh, sure, there are soy cream cheese substitutes, but I can’t tolerate much soy, and besides, it tastes “off” to me. So when my friend Noelle at An Opera Singer in the Kitchen opened my eyes to the existence of raw vegan cheesecakes, such as the ones offered by Earth Cafe and this recipe, I was amazed. Amazed is such an understatement. I was ecstatic. Soaking raw cashews to make cheesecake? I tested out this theory when completing this Daring Bakers challenge, and was so impressed, I knew I had to go all out and make a cheesecake.

Then life got in the way, and the months passed, and still no cheesecake. I decided that we’d waited long enough, and I went ahead and made plans to make it. I made a crust following a recipe from The Almond Flour Cookbook, as that crust served me well in other pies I’ve made previously. (If you eat gluten-free and don’t already own a copy of this book, I highly encourage you to get one! The recipes are easy to make, require few ingredients, and are delicious.) I did add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to the crust, just to enhance the flavor. Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe, as there’s no real need to change it.

As for the cheesecake filling, it was a breeze to make. I don’t own a Vitamix (hopefully one day, I will!), but even my inexpensive blender yielded a creamy filling – it just took a bit of time to blend. I would even say that making this cheesecake was easier than a traditional cheesecake, because there was no baking of the actual cheesecake. No worrying that the cake will split. Just blend all of the ingredients, pour into the crust, and into the freezer it goes. And if you don’t constantly go peek at the cheesecake in the freezer, I imagine it’ll set up pretty quickly. Not that I would know anything about that.

I can’t wait to have an excuse to make this again. I might try a date and nut crust and go totally raw, as I’ve seen with other vegan raw cheesecakes, just to see the difference. But this cheesecake definitely was a delicious treat as is. So why wait? Whip this up, and sit back, relax, and close your eyes as you take your first bite. This is a dessert worth savoring.

Vegan, Gluten and Sugar-Free Cheesecake, adapted from The Daily Raw Cafe

Crust: (The Almond Flour Cookbook  Basic Pie crust, plus ¼ t almond extract), baked in a 9-inch springform pan and cooled (Elana also has the recipe posted on her blog here)

Filling:

3 c raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour

¾ c agave nectar

Juice of 3 small lemons (about 1/3 cup)

Zest of 1 lemon

½ c coconut cream (cream from top of coconut milk can)

2 t vanilla extract

¼ t almond extract

¼ t sea salt

3 T coconut oil

¼ c water

Drain cashews and place in blender. Add agave nectar, lemon juice, lemon zest, coconut cream, vanilla and almond extracts, salt and coconut oil and blend, scraping down the sides as needed with a spatula, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thick, smooth, creamy consistency results.

Once crust has been baked and cooled, fill with cheesecake filling. Freeze for several hours or until firm. Cut into slices while frozen, and thaw in fridge for about an hour before serving.

Blueberry Compote

10 oz frozen or fresh blueberries

1 T agave nectar

1 t lime zest

1 T arrowroot starch whisked into 1 T cool water

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil, covered, on medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring once or twice, until the blueberries have given off their juice and have softened. Add in arrowroot starch slurry and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

(Also makes a tasty topping for ice cream, pancakes, and waffles!)

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and A Spunky Holiday.

Comments

  1. says

    This looks delicious! I have a similar “cheese pie” on my blog using cashews and pumpkin, and I’m really hoping I’ll get to a point where I can successfully reintroduce nuts into my diet…so annoying to not be able to make my own recipes! I’m sure you feel the same way about your older recipes with dairy…although if you’re able to recreate them all dairy free like this one, you probably don’t even miss it!

  2. says

    Oh baby this looks great. It looks ‘real’ too! I’ve made a whole bunch of bogus gf pie crusts lately…I should go back to the tried and true almond flour one. It may not be flaky, but it tastes oh so good.

  3. says

    Now that I’m back to dairy free, I was thinking the other day that I would miss cheesecake. This looks amazing and sounds so easy. I’m going to have to get some cashews soon!

    BTW, did you get the email I sent you yesterday? You just never know when your mail will end up in someone’s junk folder on accident.

  4. says

    This cheesecake looks phenomenal, Alta! I’ve enjoyed raw key lime pies made with cashews and I know I’d love this cheesecake! :-) Incidentally, I use almond flour as a crust all the time without baking the crust. Usually I just add some honey to almond flour, press it into the pan and it’s good to go. ;-)

    We’ll all be out buying cashews and following your lead now. Thanks so much for sharing this one, Alta!

    Shirley

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Dan, I just found that Elana has it posted on her blog! So I’ve included a hyperlink to it in my recipe. I didn’t originally do this, as it was straight from her book and I didn’t want to mess with copyright infringement.

  5. Niv says

    This looks so yum and I am so wanting to try it but my son is severely allergic to cashews. Any suggestion on what would be a good substitute.

    Thanks.

  6. says

    Cheesecake is my absolute favorite. I keep seeing cashews used this way and have never tried it, but your photo and your enthusiasm have me ready to try it. Agree with you about Elana’s book and her crust recipe. Never fails me.

  7. says

    This looks like the perfect cheesecake! I’ve had cashew-based cheesecake before and loved it. I think the blueberry topping would make it extraordinary!

  8. says

    Oh this looks awesome! I attempted a Gf, vegan cheesecake the other day and it BOMBED. Glad to see you didn’t have such difficulties, as this looks so perfect. You’ve inspired me to try again : )

  9. says

    Alta, I am late to this party, but I can tell you I am going to give this a shot. I may do a “regular” cheesecake and one of these for Thanksgiving…I don’t have to do the turkey this year so it seems my dessert list is growing longer!
    You’re so creative. You’re my hero :)

  10. Buddyslady says

    These are fabulous and deceivingly simple!!! Thank you for sharing!!! I am new to Paleo/Primal but recipes like these are going to make it easier than I thought! :)

  11. says

    Wow! This looks divine! I would love to try this. Unfortunately though, I just found out that I am sensitive to cashews and coconut! Boo-hoo! Do you think I could sub some other nut for the cashews? Almonds maybe, or macadamias or something? Also, do you think I could sub something else for the cream? I am pretty much dairy-free too and so I’m now wondering what I can sub for the cream now that I can’t do coconut cream (or cashews) Any tips? Thanks so much!

  12. EJ says

    I just made this and it’s fabulous!!! Even the omnivores in the house were seriously impressed! Thank you!
    (Incidentally, I actually didn’t have everything to make the crust, so I just ground up some ginger snaps, combined them with some coconut oil, and baked this in the bottom of the springform pan for about 8 minutes before adding the filling. Turned out really well, but of course, is not gluten-free.)

  13. ikon says

    is there a way i can skip the coconut oil? i really don’t like my cheesecakes to always taste like coconut. well, ever, really.

    • tastyeatsathome says

      ikon – I don’t see why not. I like the mouthfeel, and coconut oil does firm up in the fridge, but I’m sure it’d be fine without it!

  14. says

    I am making this tonight!!
    Though I used a super basic raw crust recipe that I’ve been using lately… equal parts dried fruit and nuts. I used dates, walnuts, and coconut shavings for this one. The filling is incredible!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Marie, I am going to try a version with a raw crust this weekend. This particular posted recipe had a cooked crust because I had a family member who cannot do many sugars, especially dates, but she can handle agave. I think a dried fruit and nut crust would be spectacular.

  15. Tami Dawson says

    This is amazing! Even my partner who can eat whatever he likes enjoyed it and he normally cant stand the vegan, gluten free sugar free stuff i have to eat!

  16. says

    I loved this recipe so much, I made a second one a few days later! This time I did a raspberry compote. Thank you SOOO much, i think this is going to be one of my favourite new recipes!! :)

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Marie, I am SO glad you enjoyed it! I made a strawberry version the other day for Easter, but I guess I’ll have to make it again to post it, because I didn’t take pictures. It was good too!

  17. Healing123 says

    Oh my goodness, fantastic! Dancing in the kitchen. Not only does it taste awesome, the recipe steps were well written, that even a beginner, much like myself was successful. Well done! Will make it again.
    DO you have any cheese non dairy recipes that use Cashews, would love to find a good one.
    Wow.

  18. kelli says

    I used this cheesecake recipe as filling for things that call for cream cheese like pumpkin cheesecake dip, or raspberry pretzel salad. old favorites we miss at the holidays. SOOOOOO good much better than the dairy option. My family of 5 cant do soy either and it is wonderful to have another option. I used the leftovers in my green smoothies for a chi tea cheesecake shake. thanks a ton!!

  19. MaryB says

    Very excited about trying this but can I confirm if by ‘c’ as in “3 c raw cashews” in the measurements you mean cups?
    Thank you :)

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