Raw Vegan Cheesecake, with a chocolate marble swirl, is a deliciously sweet treat that's perfect for dessert in the summertime. Since they're small, they're terrific when you just want a bite or two of something sweet. This a no-bake recipe, you don't have to worry about turning on the oven and heating up your kitchen. It's super easy to make a dairy free cheesecake with blended raw cashews. This recipe is vegan, lactose free, and gluten-free.
Mini Raw Vegan Cheesecake
I first created this recipe for mini raw vegan cheesecakes a few years ago, when I was taking the Rouxbe Plant-Based Professional course. For our final assignment, we had to create 5 recipes for a canapé party project. I made Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, Mini Tomato Tartlets, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Seitan Skewers with Chimichurri and Jalapeno Limi Aioli.
After all of those tasty savory bites, I needed something sweet for dessert. And of course it had to be chocolatey. I'm not very good at creating baked dessert recipes. Creating baked goods is more of science, and I have an arty brain. My baked goods recipes need lots of testing. And then a little more testing after that. And if it doesn't work out, you're left with a cakey pile of cooked flour. I do like to create raw desserts though, because many of them just require blending, and if it doesn't taste good you can add a little of this or a pinch of that.
What I created was a recipe for Chocolate Marble Raw Vegan Cheesecake. Since it was a canapé party, I made them into mini cakes that can be eaten in just a few bites.
How to Make Mini Chocolate Marble Raw Vegan Cheesecake
Don't let this recipe fool you, it's really easy to make! I used a mini tart pan, but you can use a muffin pan if you like.
- First you mix together the crust ingredients in a food processor until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Then you take a bit of the crumb mixture and press it into the bottom and sides of your pan. You then repeat with the other 11 sections of the pan. Set the pan aside.
- Next you mix all of the filling ingredients together in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.If it seems too dry, add a few teaspoons of water. Once the filling is smooth and creamy, pour it into the prepared crusts.
- Then you mix together the chocolate sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- You drizzle a little bit of the sauce onto each cheesecake using a squeeze bottle or a piping bag, or a small spoon. Use a toothpick to “marble” the chocolate by gently dragging it back and forth.
- Finally, you place the pan in your refrigerator or freezer for a least two hours to let the cheesecakes set. Carefully remove the mini cheesecakes from the pan to serve Them. They taste almost like ice cream when served straight from the freezer!
Store your mini cheesecakes in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. They'll last for 5 to 6 days in the fridge, and about 6 to 8 months in the freezer.
Cashews are truly magical. Raw cashews can be mixed together with water and used to replace dairy in everything from salad dressing to cheese. I often wonder who discovered this amazing trick. Because I use them so often, I buy them in bulk. I store them in the freezer so that the natural oils they don't contain won't cause them to go rancid.
While creamy cashew recipes can be made with any type of cashews, the raw type is idea. Raw cashews are soft, and they have a mild flavor. Roasted cashews aren’t as soft, and they will give your recipe a roasted, almost burnt flavor.
Raw cashews aren’t technically raw. Cashews have to be processsed with heat in order to be removed from their shells, which are toxic. They’re usually steamed or boiled in the process. They are considered “raw” because they haven’t been roasted.
For this recipe, you should soak your cashews for about 2 hours to soften them a little. They should then be drained and rinsed. High-speed blenders can sometimes mix up unsoaked cashews smoothly, but I sometimes find a few leftover chunks in my Blendtec if I don’t soak them.
There are two popular kinds of dates that you have probably seen at the grocery store – medjool and deglet noor. Deglet noor dates are small and firm with a sweet flavor. Medjool dates are larger and chewier, with more of a caramel flavor. They’re softer, so they lend themselves well to raw dessert recipes.
This recipe calls for medjools. If, you can use deglet noors, but I would recommend soaking them to soften them up. Since deglets are smaller, you may need two or three more to get your crusts to stick together.
Cacao vs. Cocoa
Cacao is considered raw, and it’s made my cold pressing raw cocoa beans. Cocoa powder has been roasted at a high temperature. Cacao is said to have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering insulin resistance. And of course, it’s a mood booster!
Cacao powder can be pricy, although I’ve found it reasonably priced at Trader Joe’s. You can also buy it relatively inexpensively in bulk on Amazon. If you can’t find it, dairy-free cocoa powder can be used instead, but keep in mind that cocoa powder has been roasted at a high temperature and doesn’t have the same health benefits as cacao.
Mini Chocolate Marble Raw Vegan Cheesecake
- 1 ½ cups raw walnuts
- 6 medjool dates
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder or cacao nibs
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least two hours, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ⅓ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
- Lightly brush melted coconut oil on the sides of a mini tart pan or muffin tin.
- Mix together the crust ingredients in a food processor until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Take a bit of the crumb mixture and press it firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Repeat with the other 11 sections of the pan. You can get really precise and divide the mixture into 12 equal parts, or you can just eyeball it (the way I did) and estimate how much you need for each mini cheesecake. Set the pan aside.
- Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. If you’re using a Vitamix and you’re worried about the mixture getting “stuck”, start on a low speed and gradually increase it. Turn it up the highest speed, and let it blend until completely smooth. It may struggle for a few seconds at the beginning, but once it gets going it should blend smoothly. If it seems too dry, add a few teaspoons of water. Once the filling is smooth and creamy, pour it into the prepared crusts.
- Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Drizzle a little bit of the sauce onto each cheesecake. You can use a squeeze bottle or a piping bag, or you can use drizzle with a small spoon.
- Use a toothpick to “marble” the chocolate by gently dragging it back and forth.
- Place the pan in your refrigerator or freezer for two hours (or overnight) to let the cheesecakes set before serving. Carefully remove the mini cheesecakes from the pan to serve.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.