This creamy raw plant-based cheesecake with a delicious cherry walnut crust will be your new favorite HEALTHY dessert! Low in sugar, gluten-free, and easy to make, my Creamy Vegan Cherry Cheesecake is a delicious alternative to traditional cheesecake with a fruity twist that can’t be beat.
Unpopular opinion: I don’t like cheesecake.
Well, I should clarify. I don’t like traditional cheesecake.
Something about the thought of cream cheese, something I enjoy in a savory way (hello, lox and cream cheese!) in a dessert just grosses me out. Granted, I liked Peanut Butter Pie, which has cream cheese in it…probably because it’s masked by TONS and TONS of peanut butters, Oreos, and chocolate. But that’s besides the point.
My point is….I don’t usually like cheesecake. So it’s a bit odd that I am sharing a cheesecake recipe on the blog today. Let me explain…
I was at one of my favorite local vegan restaurants with my family recently and my dad (who loves cheesecake) ordered their dessert special…raw vegan cherry cheesecake. I wasn’t planning on trying it, but I was intrigued on how closely it would resemble the taste and texture of real cheesecake being totally vegan and gluten-free. To my, and my dad’s, surprise…it was AWESOME!!!
The cheesecake base was creamy, smooth, and rich tasting. The cherry topping was thick and sweet. And the crust was a wonderfully chewy, dense mix of nuts, seeds, dried, fruits, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean) that complimented the overall flavor of the dessert.
I was blown away by how good it was and even more shocked that I had found a cheesecake I actually liked! I knew I had to try to recreate it on my own at home. Especially since my whole family was begging for a copycat recipe!
While I came up with recipe for my creamy base, I had a brilliant idea for what to make my crust out of…Cherry Walnut Cinnamon bars from Thunderbird! As you know, I am an ambassador for them, so I always have some of my favorite bars on hand.
Since I wanted the base to be raw and made out of fruit and nuts anyways, what better way to make it more convenient than by shaping it out of their delicious Cherry Walnut bars?
With ingredients like dates, walnuts, cherries, buckwheat groats, sweet potato, cinnamon, turmeric, and sea salt, the bars had everything I needed to make the perfect crust for my Creamy Vegan Cherry Cheesecake!
Creamy Vegan Cherry Cheesecake
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 9 pieces 1x
- Category: Dessert
- For the Crust:
- 7 Cherry Walnut Cinnamon Thunderbird Bars
- For the Cheesecake:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 cup full-fat, canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- For the Cherry Topping:
- 12 oz frozen cherries
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup coconut or date sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray. Unwrap the bars and mash them together into a large ball. Working with the large ball, press the bar mixture into the baking dish until it evenly coats the bottom. Let sit in the freezer while you make the filling.
- Place the ingredients for the cheesecake in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour over the crust. Freeze the cheesecake for at least 6 hours until set. It can then be cut into bars and kept in the fridge until serving. If your cheesecake is frozen longer than 6 hours, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
- While the cheesecake freezes make the cherry topping. Place all the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan set over medium heat. Heat, stirring constantly at first until the cornstarch and sugar are dissolved. Continue to cook until the mixture comes to a simmer. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until thick and bubbly. Pour into a bowl and chill until serving.
- Serve each slice of cheesecake topped with the cherries. Enjoy!
A creamy cashew-based cheesecake naturally sweetened with maple syrup, sweet n’ juicy cherry sauce topping, and raw, gluten-free chewy cherry-walnut crust makes for the perfect healthy dessert for you and your family to enjoy. I know my family sure did!
Whether you’re plant-based or not, this cheesecake will WOW you. It’s so creamy, rich, and delicious! It’s hard to believe that so many real, WHOLE FOOD ingredients go into it. Perfect for the holiday season or just for a fun treat to have around the house! Either way, you won’t be disappointed and you don’t have to feel an ounce of guilt indulging in a piece of this nutrient dense dessert. ?
Do you like cheesecake?
What’s your favorite kind of dessert?
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