Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake

To be more precise, this is my recipe for Raw Vegan Cherry Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake. The filling is a coconut base with a cherry layer on top with a chocolate brownie crust. I made it for my friend Jaime’s bridal shower and I was really pleased with the results!

Raw Vegan Cheesecake Filling

One thing that I’ll say about this type of recipe is that I generally make it over 2 to 3 days. I’ll start the cheesecake filling at least one day in advance, or make the crust in advance. It’s a lot to do all in one day, and it all needs time to set in the fridge or freezer. If you’re making it on the same day you plan to serve it, make sure to prepare it all at least 6 hours in advance so that it has enough time to refrigerate.

I should mention in advance that I’m really not good about getting the right quantities figured out for the numbers of servings. I’ll often end up with too much crust, so I’ll use extra crust to make the base for an extra tart or two which I’ll set aside in the freezer to use for a different dessert another day. Generally, if I end up with extra coconut filling (I usually double this recipe) I just eat the extra. 🙂

To make this recipe, start with my basic raw vegan cheesecake filling and take it from there.

Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake

(aka. Raw Vegan Cherry Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake)

Aprox. 12 servings

Equipment:

  • You’ll need a good food processor to make this recipe.

Basic Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 400 mL of raw coconut milk or 1 can coconut milk (canned coconut milk is not actually raw) or the equivalent made into coconut kefir in advance
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of light raw agave, or to taste
  • dash of sea salt
Cherry Layer:
  • fresh or frozen cherries, about 2 cups pitted plus some extra for decoration
  • Brownie Crust:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • .33 cup raw cocoa nibs, or cocoa powder
Method:
  1. If you’re making the crust in advance, start with step 11. If you’re making all of this in one day, spare yourself the work of cleaning the food processor multiple times and proceed with step 2 in this order:
  2. Blitz the dried coconut and coconut oil in the food processor. Leave it long enough that it becomes completely liquified. This might take a good 5 minutes or even longer.
  3. Add coconut milk to the filling. Blitz it again.
  4. Remove half of the filling and set aside. This will be used for the cherry layer.
  5. Add a quarter cup of agave and some sea salt to the coconut base. Adjust to taste. Remove from food processor and put in a bowl or container and place in the fridge to set.
  6. Take back the unsweetened filling that you had set aside and put it in the food processor. Start to blitz this again, adding about half of the cherries to start. Keep an eye on how wet the filling is getting from the cherries. The moisture level will depend on the cherries that you use. When you’ve achieved the colour and consistency that you like, mix in about a quarter cup of agave or to taste. Do not overmix.
  7. Remove this layer from the food processor and place in a container or bowl to set in the fridge.
  8. Mix in any other flavour of choice before adding the agave. This can be fruit, citrus, vanilla, chocolate, etc.
  9. Add light agave, to taste, and a dash of salt. Do not over blend once you’ve added the agave, just long enough to mix it in.
  10. Set filling aside in the fridge to solidify while you make your pie crust.
  11. For the crust, start by blitzing the walnuts in the food processor until the walnuts start to release some oil and begin to clump together, so past the “flour” stage.
  12. Start adding the dates a few at a time until all of the dates have been added and this comes together as a kind of moist dough.
  13. Add the cocoa nibs or powder. Blend until combined.
  14. Press into a tray or springform pan. Chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
  15. Cover brownie base with the white coconut mixture. Chill for at least 30 minutes, longer is better.
  16. Add the cherry layer and chill for at least one hour. Decorate with fresh pitted cherries.
This seems like a lot of work, but it’s just because of the 3 layers. If you spread the prep over a couple of days, it’s really not a big deal and totally worth the results. Enjoy!
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10 thoughts on “Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake

  1. Pingback: Raw Vegan Pie Crusts, Cookie Crusts & Brownie Crusts « Mandi's Alternative Baking Blog

  2. Pingback: Raw Vegan Pie Crusts, Cookie Crusts & Brownie Crusts « Mandi's Alternative Baking Blog

  3. Pingback: Mandi's Alternative Baking Blog

  4. Hi Mandi. I have stopped using nuts because my son is developing hives from them, and was excited to see this filling. I made it and was VERY crumbly… I used 2 cups of coconut, 2 tbsp coconut oil, a can of full-fat coconut milk (since I didn’t mind if it wasn’t raw), and 1/4 cup agave nectar, and the salt.

    I’ve had many raw things before and this was very crumbly. Moist, but crumbly. It could get a pretty clean slice but when you put your fork it in it crumbled everywhere.

    I’ve made coconut-based fillings before using cacao and they get smooth and lovely. But this one didn’t.

    I tried it a second time using just the cream from the coconut can and that didn’t work either (same thing). I tried a third time using the original recipe again and adding lemon (not that I thought that would help, but I thought maybe I messed it up), and no dice.

    Any ideas? I obviously see that it works from your blog but I don’t know how to make it work in my kitchen!!!

    • Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear it! One of two things need to be adjusted:
      1. Your coconut butter is not blending in to a smooth enough consistency. Either your food processor isn’t strong enough the coconut you’re using is particularly dry. Is it completely liquified once you’ve blended it? It should be completely liquid before the coconut milk is added.
      2. The brand of coconut milk that you’re using might have a different fat vs. water content so you might need to add more liquid, not less. Possibly as much as double the amount of liquid.
      The next time I make a coconut base I’ll try to take more photos so that the exact consistencies are visible.

      • Hi Mandi, thanks for your very quick reply!

        My food processor is a powerhorse KitchenAid and definitely making it liquidified, so it might be the brand of coconut milk or coconut. I buy Let’s Do Organic Coconut (the full-fat one), and Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (tried both the organic and regular… and both of them full-fat).

        I never thought it would need more liquid – I would be afraid it wouldn’t set! I will try it again.

      • It sounds like the coconut butter is definitely becoming smooth enough. I have one more question. When you say that it was crumbly, was it holding its shape together but then crumbling, or was it not holding its shape very well? Really this should work with any coconut milk but the proportions might have to be played with. What I would probably do (though I’m a bit of a mad scientist when I get down to it) is make a test batch with different proportions of coconut milk and set them in little muffin molds in the fridge over night and see how they turn out. When you add the milk to the coconut butter, it should thicken up to be about the consistency of a blended cream cheese or a thick muffin batter. The coconut butter should really go a long way in holding it all together. I’ve used a few brands of coconut milk as well as my own homemade coconut milk and it’s always worked so I’m a bit confounded about it but those are my suspicions.

  5. Hi Mandi, thank you for helping me troubleshoot this.

    It was holding it’s shape (like I could slice it), but when you would stick a fork it in it would crumble. The part I mixed with cacao was smooth and stayed together.

    It definitely was the consistency of thick cream cheese like you describe. I wonder if it is the coconut I used as opposed to the coconut milk (I buy Lets Do Organic Coconut). I did try it with using just the coconut cream and then the full coconut milk. I also added lemon juice one time. Doy ou think that the coconut milk is better than the cream, since it should be more liquidy? Maybe too much coconut oil?

    • It definitely sounds like it needs more liquid, not less. The amount of oil shouldn’t effect it. I’d add more coconut milk and it can be thick or thin milk as long as there’s more liquid. It solidifies more than it seems like it will so when you’re blending it, it should be like a pretty wet cream cheese concoction but very smooth and wet enough that it can spread easily without any stiffness or resistance.

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