I’m going to let you in on a little secret: this cheesecake recipe doesn’t have any cheese in it! It’s actually vegan, gluten free, and paleo! I know what you’re thinking – Is it lacking in flavor? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t do that to y’all.
I was inspired to make this recipe after seeing sooo many vegan and paleo cheesecake recipes floating around Insta and Pinterest (hello, Minimalist Baker 😍). I knew I just had to make my own. And put my own spin on it. Behold – the piña colada cheesecake!!! OMG. So good.
What’s better than a healthy, dairy-free cheesecake? One you don’t even have to bake, of course! These cheesecakes are actually raw! You just need to let them set in the freezer. How easy is that??
The ingredients list calls for coconut cream in the filling. This needs to be smooth coconut cream, as opposed to creamed coconut which can have a grainy texture. Sometimes you can find coconut cream on its own, but it isn’t that common. Instead, just grab a container (or 2!) of full fat coconut milk (unshaken and right-side up) and place it in the fridge overnight. The coconut cream will separate to the top. This trick doesn’t work with all coconut milks though. Here in the Netherlands I use a brand of pure organic coconut milk called Go-Tan, which comes in little boxes. It tastes amazing and separates beautifully. Other brands that work are Native Forest and Thai Kitchen, both of which are available in the U.S.
One last note here: please keep in mind that while these cheesecakes are meant to mimic the taste and texture of traditional cream cheese-filled cheesecake in all its glory, it’s pretty much impossible to get the exact same cheesecake experience without the dairy. That’s just how life is. Sorry! If you expect these to taste exactly like real cheesecake, then this recipe is not for you. The taste and texture are slightly different. BUT if you’re looking for a great dairy-free alternative with a tropical spin, read on, my loves!
- 1½ cups (225g) dried Medjool dates
- 1½ cups (150g) walnut halves
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 2 cups (200g) raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 cup (225g) coconut cream
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup fresh pineapple juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 cups (270g) pineapple pieces
- Before you begin to make the crust, lightly grease a muffin pan with coconut oil. Then cut 12 thin strips of parchment paper to line the muffin tins with. The strips will help you remove the cheesecakes from the pan once they are done, so make sure the edges have enough overhang to hold onto with your fingers. Line the muffin pan with the strips. See the photo below for an example.
- To make the crust, place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse for about a minute or until the mixture is well combined and broken down a bit. Don't over blend. The crust should still have a little texture to it. The mixture should stick together when pressed, but won't form one big sticky ball in the food processor (like you may want in other recipes). If the mixture seems a little dry, add a few more dates. If it's too sticky, add some more walnuts.
- Divide the crust mixture evenly among the twelve muffin tins. Press the crust down firmly with your finger tips or a shot glass.
- Place the muffin pan in the freezer.
- To make the filling, place all of the filling ingredients in a blender and blend on high until really smooth.
- Remove the muffin pan from the freezer and pour the filling over the crusts.
- Top the cheesecakes with pineapple pieces and you're done!
- Now, return the muffin pan to the freezer for about 4-5 hours or until the cheesecakes are completely set.
- While they are still frozen, remove them from the pan by gently pulling on the tabs you created earlier. This is when greasing the pan also comes in handy! If you forgot to grease the pan (hello, been there), use a butter knife to gently pry them out. Make sure to do this while they are still frozen though.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before serving to allow them to soften a bit. Store under refrigeration in a sealed container for up to 5 days. They can also be stored in the freezer in a sealed container for even longer!
How did yours turn out? Let me know in the comments below!