This raw vegan cheesecake is the perfect summer dessert: creamy, refreshing and perfectly balanced due to the slight tartness of the raspberries. The lemon zest in the crunchy almond crust adds an extra pop of flavour, which will blow your mind. This healthy dessert couldn’t be easier to make – it requires only 5 ingredients and there’s no need to turn on the oven! It’s vegan, paleo, gluten and dairy free, but most importantly, it’s super delicious.
(Psst, no coconut oil!)
You know one thing I haven’t talked about on here? Chemistry. Which is strange, given that – you know – I’m an Inorganic Chemistry PhD student.
Here’s the thing: Chemistry is fun and wonderful and exciting and in my humble opinion the closest we can get to “magic”. I’m sure many physicists, mathematician and artists are shaking their fists at me right now and shouting war, but hey – to each their own.
Unfortunately, Chemistry has something of a bad rep. Not because things can go “boom” (and that mostly only happens in movies anyway) or because you didn’t like it in school. Nope, it’s that annoying way people describe a food or a cosmetic product or whatever else as “having chemicals in it”. What does that even mean?!
(And obviously, it’s the evil chemists who have put the “chemicals” in there. Duh.)
I know what people mean to say. They mean that the product contains (what they deem to be) potentially harmful or hazardous chemicals. That in itself is problematic because a lot of the public opinion on what is or isn’t harmful is shaped by poorly informed media or dogmatic social media “tribe leaders”. But clumping the supposedly harmful chemicals together with the rest is just… gah! Water is a chemical. Air is a mix of chemicals. Your skin is a super complex mix of chemicals. And I don’t think any of these are out to get you.
It’s the same for food. Sugar is a chemical, coconut oil is a mix of chemicals, gluten is a chemical, and so on and on. None of these are inherently good or bad. They just… are. Sugar is yummy, and creaming together butter and sugar is frankly a joy – but for someone with diabetes sugar might not be the best idea. Coconut oil is hailed like this super duper healthy ingredient, but if you’re allergic to it, you should probably (definitely) avoid putting it on your face and into your smoothies. Gluten has been made into this Dinsney-esque monster – when it’s really only a portion of people that have problems with it.
My point is – (1) stop saying “chemicals” like it’s a swear word and (2) pleeeaaaseeee stop relying on unreliable media and dogmatic social influencers to tell you what to put into and onto your body. Do your research, analyse your information sources and check in with your body. Often.
Also, Chemistry is awesome.
So there. Rant over.
Let’s get to the good stuff. The creamy, refreshing and incredibly delicious raw vegan stuff, a.k.a. this raw vegan raspberry cheesecake. It’s healthy, paleo, gluten, dairy, egg, soy and refined sugar free – but what these labels don’t tell you is that it’s also. So. Insanely. Good.
There’s the contrast of textures between the crunchy almond base and the silky smooth raspberry cashew cream filling. The sweetness of this raw vegan dessert is balanced by the slight tartness of the raspberries, so that the end result isn’t cloyingly sweet, but rather fresh and ideal for summer. The lemon zest in the crunchy almond crust adds an extra pop of flavour, which will blow your mind.
This raw vegan cheesecake couldn’t be simpler to prepare – with a total of 5 ingredients and requiring only 30 minutes of actual doing-things time, it’s a real piece of cake. Or raw vegan cheesecake, as it happens. It also doesn’t require you to turn on the oven (always a bonus in summer) or to dirty a bazillion bowls that you need to wash up afterwards. Now that’s a recipe we like, right?
This raw vegan cheesecake does have chemicals in it. There are the carbs, the protein and the fats, the chemicals that make raspberries all tart and refreshing and yummy, there’s the water and then there are the bazillions of other chemicals. And you know what, I freakin’ love chemicals, especially when they’re in the form of a mouth-watering dessert.
- 1½ cups coarsely ground almonds
- zest of 1 lemon
- ⅛ cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
- 2½ cups cashew nuts, soaked in 3 cups of water for at least 2 hours, drained (keep the water!)
- 3 cups raspberries
- ½ cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
- food processor
- round cake pan/baking tray with removable bottom (I've used an 8 inch (20 cm) one)
- 2 bowls
- sieve (optional)
- Line the bottom of the cake pan/baking tray with greaseproof/baking paper. (optional)
- In a bowl, combine all crust ingredients and mix them well until everything is evenly distributed.
- Press the crust mixture into the cake pan/baking tray and compress it until you get an even layer.
- Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
- In a food processor, blend the raspberries.
- Pass the pureed raspberries through a sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds. (optional)
- In a food processor (no need to wash it in between!), blend the soaked and drained cashew nuts until completely smooth.
- Add the raspberry puree and the maple syrup to the cashew cream, and blend until everything is well-combined.
- If the mixture is too thick, add the water you soaked the cashew nuts in, 1 tbsp at a time. I've added 12 tbsp in total (I don't recommend adding more than that). The final consistency of the cheesecake filling should be like a thick cupcake batter.
- Transfer the raspberry cashew cream onto the almond crust and smooth out the top.
- Allow to set in a freezer overnight.
- Remove the cheesecake out of the cake pan/baking tray by lifting out the bottom. The cheesecake filling may stick to the sides of the cake pan/baking tray. If that happens, allow it to thaw slightly (about 5 - 10 minutes) and try to remove it again (warming it with your palms helps).
- Cut a piece and tuck in!
- The cheesecake keeps well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to a month. (It's usually gone by the end of the day, though...)
Looking for more raw vegan deliciousness? I have just the thing(s)!