Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for many that means gifts, a special dinner and a fancy dessert. My love and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because we both believe that celebrating our relationship should not be left to one day of the year, and because we are not in favour of the personal pressure to spend that surrounds the day (not to mention that fact that Valentine’s Day originated as a celebration of a beheading, hardly a symbol of love). In 2020 more than $27 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day, with the average spending at close to $200. For those who do like to plan a special meal to celebrate, this rich and creamy no-bake Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce is easy to make and sure to impress.
Vegan cashew cheesecake is really very simple to make, and once you’ve got the basics down you can play around a bit, starting with the base, like changing the kind of nuts you use or adding some coconut flakes or cacao. I used walnuts for the crust in this recipe, but it really was a toss-up between walnuts and pecans. I just happened to have more walnuts in the freezer (I recommend storing nuts in the fridge or freezer to extend shelf life, so the nuts don’t go rancid). I added some additional ingredients and made a chocolate crust when I made my Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake, but for this one it is super simple: walnuts, Medjool dates and a pinch of salt. If you’ve ever snacked on a pillowy soft Medjool date stuffed with a walnut, you’ll already know how amazing the crust tastes!
In both the Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake and Vegan Strawberry Cashew Cheesecake I used coconut cream, the thick, solid part in the can of coconut milk that sits on top when the can is chilled. For this recipe I used coconut butter, which is also called creamed coconut or coconut manna. To learn more about the difference between coconut cream and coconut butter check out my Coconut 101 post.
A couple of key elements are required in making cashew cheesecake: soaking the cashews and having a good quality food processor or a high-speed blender that can handle nuts. Soaking the nuts softens them and the right kitchen appliance makes for a creamy cheesecake texture. My mom’s 30+ year old Cuisinart food processor does the trick for me. A springform pan is ideal but you can make this cheesecake in a pie plate or even a square glass baking dish. It’s just easier to serve when using a springform pan.
The blueberry sauce is a lovely compliment to the lemony taste of the cheesecake, but you could use strawberries or raspberries instead if you prefer them or that is what you already have in your freezer. If you have extra blueberry sauce it would be fantastic drizzled over Lemon Blueberry Cake.
Let every day be a celebration with whoever the special people are in your life and show them some love with Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce. If you try this cheesecake, I’d love to hear what you think or, if you make any changes, what you do differently. Leave a comment and rate it below.
Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce
- food processor OR high-speed blender
- 1 cup Medjool dates (about 10 large dates)
- 1 cup walnuts
- pinch salt
- 2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
- ¾ cup coconut butter (softened)
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 cup water
Prep in advance:
- Soak cashews in room temperature water for at least four hours OR cover in boiling water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Bring all ingredients for the cheesecake layer to room temperature. This will prevent the coconut butter from solidifying when it is combined with the other ingredients.
- Remove pits from dates. Add dates, walnuts and salt to food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly but sticks together when pressed between your thumb and fingers. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9” springform pan. Chill in the freezer while preparing the cheesecake layer.
- Warm coconut butter in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water until it becomes soft.
- Drain cashews. Blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy. You may want to scrape down the sides of the food processor a couple of times to be sure to get everything well blended. Pour over base layer in springform pan and spread evenly. Chill in the fridge for three hours to set.
- To serve, top each slice of cheesecake with two tablespoons of blueberry sauce.
- In a medium saucepan, bring blueberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey to a boil, stirring occasionally. While the blueberries are coming to a boil, whisk arrowroot starch and water in a measuring cup to dissolve. Add water and arrowroot starch mixture to the blueberries and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook sauce for 5-7 minutes to reduce liquid and thicken slightly. Let cool, then pour sauce into a jar to store in the fridge.
Strawberries or raspberries can be used instead of blueberries