This dairy-free cheesecake is surprisingly creamy, thanks to a blended cashew filling that’s packed with a sneaky serving of vegetables. When served straight from the freezer, it has a texture remarkably similar to the real thing!
How to Make Cashew Cheesecake
Cashews give this filling its signature creaminess, but the real secret is the hidden veggie that’s also inside– zucchini!
When you peel the zucchini, it doesn’t impact the overall color of your dairy-free cheesecake, but it does improve the texture. It adds moisture and fiber, and makes the cheesecake remarkably authentic when you serve it right from the freezer.
I like to use a date-based crust for this cheesecake, paired with a buttery nut like pecans or walnuts. When you throw them together in a food processor, they form a sticky crust that you can easily press into the bottom of a springform pan.
To make the creamy filling, I like to break down the cashews in a blender first, then add in the other ingredients and blend until smooth. When you use a high-speed blender, you can even skip the soaking process and still wind up with a silky-smooth result.
You can use a 7-inch pan for a thicker cheesecake, as pictured here, or use a 9-inch pan for a thinner cheesecake. Either way works! The thinner cheesecake will firm up faster, and the thicker one will need more time in the freezer to set.
Because this cheesecake is naturally sweetened, I use a mix of honey and maple syrup to give it a more neutral flavor and color. If you use all-honey, it has a stronger honey flavor, and if you use all maple syrup it isn’t quite sweet enough and will be darker in color. Feel free to experiment with the sweetness, if you like, and find what works best for you.
This no-bake cashew cheesecake is best served straight from the freezer, because it will melt relatively quickly if you leave it at room temperature for too long. You can store it tightly sealed in the freezer for up to 3 months, so I hope you’ll enjoy it!
NUT/SEED/DRIED FRUIT | Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free
This cashew cheesecake is surprisingly creamy, thanks to a blended cashew filling that's packed with a sneaky serving of vegetables. When served straight from the freezer, it has a texture that is remarkably like the real thing!
Lightly grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal. I used a 7-inch pan in the photos here, but a 9-inch works also for a thinner cheesecake.
Prepare the crust: Add the dates to a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, and process until they are broken down a bit. Add in the pecans, oil, salt, and maple syrup and process until the mixture is sticky. (Be careful not to over-process, or the nuts will release excess oil and the batter will be oily.) Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the lined pan, then place it in the freezer to set while you make the filling.
Prepare the filling: Drain the cashews and place them in a high speed blender. Blend until they are finely ground, then add in the zucchini, lemon juice, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, and blend again until very smooth. (You may need to stop and scrape the blender a couple times to make sure everything gets incorporated.)
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust and smooth the top. Place the cheesecake in the freezer to set until firm, about 4 to 6 hours. (The thicker your cheesecake layer, the longer it will take to set.)
Serve the cheesecake directly from the freezer for a firm texture, or you can let it soften in the fridge for an hour beforehand to soften it up a bit. I recommend cutting small slices, as they are very rich!
This cheesecake will melt if you leave it sitting at room temperature for too long, so I recommend keeping it chilled until just before serving. Leftovers can be tightly covered and chilled in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Per serving: Calories: 234, Fat: 15g, Carbohydrates: 23g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 4g
- You can make this cheesecake using maple syrup only for a vegan version, but it will be darker in color and slightly less sweet. Feel free to experiment with other sweeteners, if you like.
- If you need to avoid cashews, you might want to try another nut, such as blanched almonds or macadamias, or you can try a seed, but keep in mind that the cheesecake will have the flavor of any nut that you use. Luckily, you can taste as you go and adjust the flavoring as needed.
- For a chocolate cheesecake, try this Raw Chocolate Cheesecake.
- If you’d like to make this cheesecake with cashew butter instead, replace 2 cups of cashews with 1 cup cashew butter. Raw cashew butter gives it the best flavor.
Reader Feedback: Have you made a cashew cheesecake before? Any other dairy-free desserts you love, or would like for me to recreate?