Strawberry ‘No-Cheeze’ Cake – (gluten-free, vegan, no-bake)

When I first adopted a totally plant-based diet, some 21 years ago, things like cheesecake went completely fell by the wayside. Vegan recipes hadn’t yet taken the world by storm and in those earliest days of compassionate eating, I did keep my culinary creations more basic. However, a few years later at a vegan gathering, I was thrilled to learn that not only was it possible to create a vegan version of cheesecake, but it could taste amazing.

Admittedly, the first ever vegan ‘cheese’ cake that I ate was still full of sugar, made with a biscuity, wheat-base and the main ingredient in the topping was tofu. It wasn’t exactly aligned with my healthier way of eating, so I never tried to recreate it. It wasn’t until many years later when I ate in a couple of out-of-this-world vegan restaurants, that I tasted a sugar free, semi-raw, healthier version… I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! My body began to dissolve into bliss at the mouth-melting, sensual experience of conscious, sweet decadence.

On both occasions I was sure to speak with the chef to offer my heartfelt compliments and ask what the toppings were made out of. They were both uniquely divine, using coconut and cashews for the topping. This just made perfect sense to me. The coconut helps to firm up the topping; and together with cashew nuts, creates the creamiest, cheesecake experience… no cream cheese required – ever!

 

With my recent strawberry abundance (my strawberry patch has been throwing out a few lbs of these red anti-oxidant rich berries every day), I decided that it was perfect time to write up a strawberry inspired ‘no-cheeze’ cake. I felt moved to use one of my trusted, raw no-bake bases, using nuts, seeds and dried fruits; and then utilise raw coconut butter (or in this case – creamed coconut block, which is a much less expensive version of coconut butter) and cashew nuts for the topping. Lemon zest works a dream to give that familiar conventional cheesecake zingy-ness.

Strawberry cheezecake with Trinity Bourne

The result was the most heaven-sent dessert! I served this recently for a group of 16 amazing people that I was catering for on retreat. They loved every single morsel!

Note: Creamed coconut is awesome! It comes in a solid block and is essentially the same as coconut butter. It’s not the same as coconut cream or coconut oil; so it can be a tad confusing (although super easy, once you ‘get’ the difference). For more information on creamed coconut block check out my page “What is Creamed Coconut versus Coconut Butter & Coconut Cream?”

Whilst the ingredients are healthy, it is still very rich and best enjoyed in moderation. However, there are times in life when only a decadent “Strawberry ‘No-cheeze’ Cake” will do, so I couldn’t resist sharing my delicious recipe with you – from my heart to yours…

Strawberry No-cheeze Cake - vegan cheesecake
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A delicious, easy, no-bake vegan strawberry cheesecake recipe. Gluten-free and rich in nutritional value.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
Base
  • 150g soft dates (pitted)
  • 75g walnuts
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
Topping
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 150g creamed coconut
  • 125g cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 125g fresh organic strawberries
Instructions
  1. This recipe works best with a food processor, although you can also achieve this with a blender (see notes below).
  2. Soak the cashew nuts for two hours in advance using filtered (or spring) water. Once soaked, drain off the water.
  3. Line an 8" (20cm) round baking or tart tin, with parchment paper.
How to prepare the base
  1. Grind the sunflower seeds in a food processor or nut mill, until you achieve a rough 'meal' consistency. It can be a little more rustic than flour, although be sure that it's well ground. Toss in the walnuts and grind to a rough meal too.
  2. Add the dates, vanilla extra extract and blend in the food processor until it all sticks together.
  3. Press this mix evenly and firmly into the parchment paper lined tin (pressing firmly is important to get the base to compress together perfectly); and then pop into the freezer, whilst you prepare the topping.
How to make the topping
  1. Grate the lemon with a very fine grater.
  2. Chop or grate the creamed coconut. If the coconut block is cold (i.e. if you store it in the fridge, then it might help to let it adjust to room temperature before using).
  3. Blend the lemon rind with the creamed coconut, soaked cashews (make sure you have drained off the water), maple syrup and fresh strawberries until creamy smooth.
  4. Pour or scrape the blended topping on top of the base. Smooth it out evenly and the pop it into the freezer to set.
  5. Leave in the freezer for at least an hour before serving. I prefer to freeze it for a couple of hours and then move into the fridge for serving later on.It is best to serve right from the fridge. This keeps it together perfectly. If you leave it out in a warm room for too long it will be much more fragile. If you keep it in the freezer then, then give it about a half hour to adjust to room temperature before serving. You can store it in the freezer for a few weeks too if needed.
Notes
If you don't have a food processor then it is possible to make this with a blender or hand blender. Some high powered blenders will allow you to grind down your sunflower seeds. Alternatively you could use a nut mill or pestle & mortar to grind the seeds. The walnuts are softer, so they should blend easily with any blender.
Creamed coconut comes in a solid block (it's not the same as coconut cream or coconut oil), it is essentially the same as coconut butter though. Confusing - I know! I use creamed coconut and coconut butter interchangeably. Read about it HERE
I do hope that you enjoyed this recipe as much as we do. Do feel free to let me know how you get on in the comments below and  your delicious creations…
For more delicious conscious desserts check out this page here: Healthy Sweet Treats

Or check out my recipe book here: Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen Recipe Book

17 Comments

  1. Sarojini ( yogi vegans ) June 26, 2015 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Yummy! I recently made a raw base lime cacao pie, but based on tofu. This cheesecake looks amazing! My first vegan cheesecake some 20 years ago was when I worked at the Assembly Rooms cafe in Glastonbury, which was then a vegan organic co-op. We made a tofu based cherry one and a banana and tahini baked one, with oat bases.

    • Yum! I’ve tasted raw key lime pie at a couple of places before and am thinking of creating one sometime soon.
      I don’t think I’d even heard of Glastonbury 20 years ago 🙂 I was out there winging it on my own… it made me quite resourceful, so I am glad it happened that way. How awesome that you worked there back then and that it existed.
      x

  2. joann June 26, 2015 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    just put it in the freezer. The bottom was delicious…tasting as I went…because I was a little wary about the strawberries not tasting as good as yours I added more…in fact, I am beginning to think my creamed coconut is too strong. I tasted it and there was only the coconut taste so I added more strawberries again and a touch of lemon. I had the same problem when I made the blueberry fudge…the coconut taste was overwhelming with little flavor. I measured meticulously…I’ll let you know when it comes out of teh fridge. I know it’s not the recipe so I’ll have to experiment with using less creamed coconut next time. 🙂 In any case, I’m sure it will still be divine!

  3. Kristine Hart July 3, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    I have to make this. I’m a huge cheese cake fan! One quick ques- Cream CoCo, is that frige or bake isle? Thanks for your time!

    Kristine 🙂

  4. nan July 4, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    trying to convert this recipe to cups. It is a little difficult, can anyone help me out? i would like to make this without to much guesswork, i have all of the ingredients but would like to know the right measurements for USA. Thanks

    • Thanks for reminding me that I didn’t add the cups conversion. I usually do this now, although the week I created this recipe was during a 7 day retreat that I was catering for and time was short for doing extras like converting. Next time I make it, I will check out the cups.

  5. nan July 4, 2015 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    No worries borrowed a scale from my mom. its in the freezer now. Test tastes were very good and surprisingly tasted so much like a cheesecake. Cant wait to dig in.

  6. Ginge July 20, 2015 at 6:45 am - Reply

    I can’t eat cashews or peanuts. Is there anything I can use to substitute these?

    • Hiya – I’ve never actually needed to substitute the cashews, so I’ve not yet tried an alternative.
      If I had to I would give brazil nuts a go (being sure to soak them until they were easy to blend into a cream). Alternatively I might just use extra creamed coconut from the block instead.
      Trinity
      x

  7. Jennifer Abbott August 22, 2017 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I just stumbled upon your site and am so glad I did.
    I am not vegan nor vegetarian….yet. I am trying to prepare myself and my kitchen for my transition. I do eat some meals sans meat or dairy.

    I am excited about this recipe because I am allergic to soy and many ‘dairy-free’ recipes call for tofu. I can’t wait to try it.

    Thank you for sharing you years of wisdom and for the struggle to be true to yourself.

    • Happy that you found me here. You’ll also be pleased to know that I rarely use soy in any of my recipes. Wishing you all the best for your transition.

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