Vegan raspberry cheesecake with a gluten-free almond-oat crust, dairy-free cashew coconut cream cheese filling, and a tart raspberry topping.
I’m writing to you today from bright snow-covered Virginia.
The snow started on Sunday and white stuff has been falling off and on since then for the last three days (it’s now Tuesday).
I dawned sapphire snowpants, my blue Northface down jacket, and a cerulean wool hat my sister knit me for Christmas to take my daily walk.
“The blueberry”, M and I fondly referred to the monochromatic ensemble, laughing as we made two sets of footprints in freshly fallen snow.
Yeah, you have to be pretty darn confident to rock that many shades of blue at the same time in public.
So I was feeling so conspicuous and cool that I decided to make my first snow angel in 15 years.
We staked out a fresh plot of snow away from the kids sledding and the half-built snowmen to imprint my likeness.
Have you made a snow angel recently?
I plopped down on my back and laid there for a second, feeling the cold clarity of the snow underneath me.
Guys, for a split second I wasn’t quite sure what to do.
Finally, I waved my arms and legs back and forth wildly, feeling snow shift around me in small mounds.
I stood up to admire my snow-art, giving M the thumbs up as he laughed, recording the ridiculousness on his phone.
It also snowed last week on M’s birthday!
Which brings me to my recipe for today; Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake.
It’s baked in the oven and made deliciously dairy-free with three layers!
You know the tendency to get gifts for people that you secretly want yourself?
Well, that’s kind of how it went with this cheesecake.
Originally, I wanted to make M a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday.
But, as it turns out, that’s the kind of cake that I want on *my* birthday.
While I’m all about the chocolate, double chocolate, more chocolate, M prefers a fruitier, tart confection.
Once he finally resigned to the fact that I was, obviously, making him a birthday cake, no ifs ands or butts, he sighed and requested cheesecake.
In hindsight, it was a bit of a gamble trying out a baked cheesecake for the very first time the night before his big day.
Sure, I’ve done my fair share of frozen cheesecakes in past blog posts, but I’d never baked a cheesecake before.
Let alone a cheesecake with not just two layers, but three!
Luckily, it all worked out splendidly.
I knew it was a winner when M went back for seconds after I asked Alexa to sing happy birthday.
How to Prep Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake
This cheesecake takes a bit of planning and prep, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
The only thing you *really* need to do in advance is soak the cashews for about an hour, so don’t forget this step!
Add the cashews to a bowl and cover them with enough boiling water to cover them.
Doing this will soften the cashews for extra creaminess!
After 60-ish minutes, drain and rinse the cashews and start the cheesecake.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a bread pan (yes, a bread pan!) with parchment paper.
Cheesecake in a bread pan is so much easier than cheesecake in a cake pan, friends!
What You Need to Make the Almond-Oat Crust
OK, now that everything is set up, let’s make the first layer: the almond-oat crust!
This crust is totally gluten-free and tastes ridiculously similar to a graham cracker crust with just 5 ingredients.
Here’s what you need:
- gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- raw almonds
- sea salt
- coconut sugar
- coconut oil, melted
How to Make the Almond-Oat Crust
Add the oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a high speed blender and blend on high until you have a fine meal.
Add in the melted coconut oil and pulse on low until a loose dough is formed, scraping down sides as needed.
The mixture should stick together when pressed with two fingers.
If it’s not sticky enough, add a tin bit more melted coconut oil.
Transfer the mixture to the base of the parchment-lined bread pan and spread it into a well-packed crust.
I like to add another sheet of parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object, like a glass or protein scoop to press down firmly to evenly distribute.
Make sure to push up on the sides a bit to form the crust edges.
Transfer the bread pan to the oven and bake it for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden.
What You Need to Make the Filling
Let the crust cool slightly and reduce the oven heat to 325°F while you prepare the filling!
Here’s what you need for the Coconut Cashew Cream Cheese Filling:
- raw cashews
- coconut cream
- vegan cream cheese
- arrowroot or cornstarch
- pure maple syrup
- melted coconut oil
- lemon juice
How to Make the Filling
Any opportunity to reduce the dishes sounds like a good idea when baking a cake, right?
M and I usually alternate dish-washing evening duties, on this particular night it happened to be Lauren dishes night.
Luckily, in this recipe, you can use the same blender bucket for the filling!
Rinse out the same blender, then add in the soaked and drained cashews, coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, arrowroot starch, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice.
Blend it all up on high until the mixture is super creamy and smooth.
I recommend using Kite Hill cream cheese for the vegan cream cheese- it worked wonderfully in this recipe to create the best “cheesecake-y” texture and taste!
Taste the blended filling and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity and/or maple syrup for sweetness.
I added a little extra lemon to mine because M likes his desserts with a little extra tang.
Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and spread it into an even layer, then gingerly tap the cake pan on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles.
Bake the cheesecake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (I did closer to an hour), or until the edges look very slightly dry and only the center has a little jiggle.
What You Need to Make the Raspberry Filling
While the cheesecake is baking, prepare the raspberry filling on the stovetop.
Here’s what you need:
- frozen raspberries
- fresh lemon juice
- maple syrup
- chia seeds
I used frozen raspberries for this recipe, but you can also use a similar measurement of fresh raspberries!
How to Make the Raspberry Filling
Add the frozen or fresh raspberries to a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Once the fruit begins to melt, add in the maple syrup and lemon juice.
Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 8-10 minutes, until it’s warm and bubbling.
Stir in the chia seeds and let the compote rest for 5-10 minutes to gel.
The chia seeds will plump up and naturally thicken the raspberry topping while adding a boost of protein and fiber!
Allow the raspberry-chia mixture to cool completely while the cheesecake finishes baking.
When the cheesecake is done, let it cool for a hot second, then spoon the cooled raspberry filling on top and spread into an even layer.
Your Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake is almost done!
How to Put Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake Together
After admiring how beautiful your layered dessert looks, steal yourself away (or go watch the Mandalorian on Netflix like I did), and allow it to cool.
Once the cheesecake is completely cooled cover it loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at *least* 4-6 hours.
I recommend stashing it in the fridge overnight so you have a sweet dessert ready for the following day!
To serve the Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake, lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut the cheesecake into thick bars.
I sliced mine kind of like how you might slice a banana bread.
We found that the cheesecake tastes optimal immediately as opposed to sitting out at room temperature for 15- 30 minutes.
With this in mind, I recommend serving your cheesecake nice and chilled straight from the fridge!
How to Serve Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake
Enjoy this Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake as an elevated baked dessert.
It’s perfect for cheesecake lovers of all kinds!
Because it’s vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free, this recipe has something to offer everyone at your table.
The luscious red raspberry layer also lend this cheesecake to special occasions.
It’s perfect to make and share for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and dinner parties.
To make different berry variations, try making the top berry layer with blackberries or blueberries instead.
The cheesecake will keep in the fridge for up to one week, although it tastes best in the first few days.
More Vegan Cheesecake
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Vegan cheesecake with a gluten-free almond-oat crust, dairy-free coconut cashew cream cheese filling, and a tart raspberry layer. Bake the next before for the best results!
- 3/4 cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- pinch of Himalayan sea salt
- 1– 2 TBSP coconut sugar
- 5 TBSP coconut oil, melted
Coconut Cashew Cream Cheese Filling:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup coconut cream (use coconut cream OR solid parts of full-fat coconut milk ONLY)
- 8-oz. vegan cream cheese (I used Kite Hill brand!)
- 1 TBSP arrowroot or cornstarch
- generous 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 TBSP melted coconut oil
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 12-oz. bag frozen raspberries
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- Add the raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let them soak for 1 hour, uncovered, then drain and rinse.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a bread pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add the oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a high speed blender and process them on high until you have a fine meal.
- Add in the melted coconut oil and pulse it on low until a loose dough is formed, scraping down sides as needed. The mixture should stick together when pressed with two fingers.
- Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined bread pan and spread evenly to distribute. Be sure to push up on the sides to form the crust edges.
- Transfer the bread pan to the oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 325°F.
- Rinse out the blender, then add in the cashews, coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, arrowroot starch, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Blend on high until the mixture is very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity or maple syrup for sweetness.
- Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap the cake pan on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges look very slightly dry and only the center has a little jiggle. This is normal!
- While the cheesecake is baking, prepare the raspberry filling. Add the frozen raspberries to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the fruit begins to melt and bubble, add in the maple syrup and lemon juice. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 8-10 minutes, until bubbling, warm, and thickened. Allow the mixture to cool completely while waiting for the cheesecake to bake.
- When the cheesecake is done, let it rest for 10 minutes at room temperature to slightly cool. Spoon the cooled raspberry filling on top and spread into an even layer.
- Once the cheesecake is completely cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.
- To serve, lift out of the pan with parchment paper and cut into bars.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for 5-7 days. Serve chilled straight from the fridge!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven-Bake
- Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Grain-Free, Refined-Sugar-Free
Photography by Hot Pan Kitchen