I have to say, I am pretty new to the whole vegan desserts game. Beyond my black jack cherry ice cream bars, I don’t know why, but the thought of creating vegan desserts has always been intimidating. Like they use crazy ingredients in an even crazier manner and I was just like nooooooooooooooo thank you.
Boy, was I wrong!
These itty bitty vegan cheesecakes are kind of my newest obsession. They are so easy and so freaking delicious.
I’ll admit, I was worried about the texture since they have a cashew base, but after a quick soak and a blast in my high-powered blender, the result was a perfectly whipped dream.
There is so much information out there about the benefits of soaking cashews, as well as reasons why not to soak cashews, most of which revolves around the phytic acid content in the nuts. In the recipe itself, I include the basic soaking method, but let’s take a look at the different ways to approach soaking.
- For diets that don’t include a majority-portion of nuts and seeds: soak cashews for one hour, rinse, then add to the recipe.
- For diets that DO include a majority-portion of nuts and seeds: soak cashews overnight, then dehydrate in an oven at 250 degrees for 6 hours, or until just mildly damp, then add to the recipe.
I’m sure most raw vegans are already well-acquainted with the process of soaking and dehydrating nuts and seeds to reduce the phytic acid content, but I found it interesting to learn the why of it all as a non-vegan exploring the realm of vegan desserts. You’re going to want to use roasted, unsalted cashews for this recipe.
You go to pick out some coconut oil for this recipe and suddenly you realize, oh my, what kind should I even use?! Refined? Unrefined? Virgin?
- If you like a boost of coconut flavor, go with unrefined, or virgin coconut oil.
- If you want the other flavors in a recipe to shine, go with refined coconut oil, which has a more neutral smell and flavor.
- If you have digestive sensitivities or a history of allergies, you absolutely want to go with refined coconut oil, which has been stripped of the components most likely to cause reactions.
I personally prefer refined coconut oil because I want my original flavors to shine and because I do tend to have digestive issues, but you can feel free to use whichever type you like best.
I use golden oreos in this recipe. Oreos are technically vegan, but are produced in a facility where cross-contact can occur. This means that although there isn’t a chance for the product to be produced with non-vegan items such as milk, other products are being produced nearby with it, which could result in milk being splashed on the oreo-producing equipment and products. If this possibility is an issue, I would recommend swapping the oreos with your favorite vegan shortbread cookie.
OK! So, now that I’ve covered all the bases that I wanted to cover, can we talk for a moment about how freaking flavorful these things are?
There is lime juice, lime zest, and a smidge of lemon juice to give it that perfect key lime punch. And you don’t even taste the cashews. It’s so crazy.
That’s why I am in love with these things. PLUS! There is the whole no bake aspect. I mean, you can’t lose with this recipe. It’s just not possible.
Just don’t forget to grab yourself a mini cheesecake pan. It makes life so much easier.
More Vegan Desserts
- Black Jack Cherry Ice Cream Bars
- Creamy Coconut & Lime Rice Pudding
- Vegan Vanilla Cake with Berries
- Nectarine Banana Blackberry Ice Pops
- 2 cups crushed oreos
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 ¼ cup roasted unsalted cashews soaked for at least 1 hour
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- First, boil 2 cups of water. Place cashews in a mason jar and pour boiling water over nuts until they are completely covered. Let soak for 1 hour.
Make the Crust
- Grease a mini cheesecake pan, then set aside.
- Mix melted coconut oil and cookie crumbs together until well combined.
- Drop 1 tablespoon scoops of the crust into each well of the mini cheesecake pan and press the crumbs evenly around the bottom of the well.
- Repeat with each well until all the cookie mixture has been used.
- Put the mini cheesecake pan in the freezer for the crusts to harden.
Make the Filling
- Drain the cashews.
- Put all the ingredients in the order listed into a high-powered blender.
- Turn blender on low, gradually increasing to high speed. Blend until all ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
Putting it together
- Remove pan from the freezer, making sure crusts are hardened, then add 2 tablespoons of the key lime filling to each well. Smooth with the back of a spoon and tap the pan against a hard surface to release the air out of each well.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Enjoy with coconut chips, chopped pistachios, and sliced lime.