Mini No Bake Raspberry “Cheesecakes”

A good cheesecake has always been one my favourite cakes, and I was thrilled when I realised that, as a vegan, I still get to enjoy these creamy, sweet, slightly tangy and very satisfying desserts.

You would think that something that relies so heavily on eggs, milk or cheese would be almost impossible to veganize, but surprisingly that’s not the case!

Vegan cheesecakes are healthier than their conventional dairy and egg-laden counterparts. Free of cholesterol and animal fats, the recipe below features nut crust; fillings made from raw, soaked nuts and natural sweeteners; and fresh fruit toppings.

Naturally, it’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free and no-bake. Who would think a cheesecake can be healthy and delicious at the same time?

I am in a dessert-making frenzy this week, and after making the delicious simple banana bread, I wanted to try something a bit different.

The ingredients for this one might be a bit more expensive than for the banana bread, but they’re definitely worth it! These cheesecakes are refreshing, don’t leave you feeling heavy and “sugar rushing”, and they’re perfect for summer.

One of the best things about them is that you can recreate them in dozens of different ways. You could use different nuts for the crust or different fruit combinations for the filling (chocolate, vanilla, mango & lime, blueberry, peanut butter – the list never ends!)

What you’ll need:

  • Food processor or high speed blender
  • Muffin/cupcake tray (you could freeze them in a different shape if you don’t have the tray)
IMG_9370a
Ilma Ibrisevic: Mini Vegan Raspberry “Cheesecakes”

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes (12 cups)

Crust
  • 1 cup almonds (you can use already ground almonds or almond flour too)*
  • 5-6 dates (you can use any, but Medjool work best)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

* I used 1/4 cup of coconut flour and 1/2 cup of almond flour. I used less than 1 cup in total  because coconut flour as a substitute is more absorbent). If using just almond flour, use 1 cup.

Filling
  • 1¼ cups raw cashews (soaked for 3-4 hours or overnight)
  • ¾ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup (or agave nectar or coconut sugar)*
  • ¼ cup coconut butter (can also use coconut oil)
  • pinch of sea salt

*Feel free to add more if you like your cheesecakes quite sweet. I used less than this to make them more light and fresh. Pro tip: taste the mixture to adjust sweetness (also, it tastes amazing at this point).

Instructions

  1. Soak dates in hot water for 2-3 minutes (longer if not using Medjool dates).
  2. Add almonds to the food processor and process until ground. Skip the processing if you have almond flour. Add the rest of the crust ingredients to the food processor and combine. You should end up with a sticky, slightly moist texture.
  3. Line a muffin tray with liners. Press 1 tbsp of the crust into each muffin cup. If you don’t have muffin tray liners, cut out small pieces of parchment paper like this to help you get them out of the tray later on.
  4. Clean the food processor/blender. Add all filling ingredients (except for the coconut butter/oil) to the blender and blend for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut butter/oil and blend again until smooth.
  6. Divide the filling between the muffin cups.
  7. Freeze for 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Before serving, leave out for 15-30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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