No bake cheesecakes are such an awesome dessert, especially for summertime. They’re one of my favorite things to bring along to family dinners, potlucks, or pretty much any type of celebration!
And since I’ve had so many requests for a dairy free cheesecake, I decided it was time to get serious about developing one. This cheesecake is not only decadent, but it’s also paleo, vegan, gluten & dairy free. This makes it the perfect thing to bring along to any gathering because it fits the bill on so many different dietary choices/needs.
The combination of blackberry and caramel has been one that I’ve been loving since our trip to Oregon a few years ago. We had these delicious caramel pots de creme with local blackberries at an Italian restaurant. That dessert obviously made such an impact on me, I’m still thinking about that delectable combo years later!
Tip: Before you even start into the recipe, be sure and get those cashews soaking for the filling. They make the smoothest cheesecake filling when they’ve been soaked for 8 hours.
To make the crust for this cheesecake, you’ll pulse together nuts and Medjool dates. If you can’t have almonds and pecans called for in the recipe, simply sub in another type of nut, like a mix of cashews and brazil nuts.
The crust is done when it’s still slightly crumbly but it’s starting to clump together in the machine. From there, you pat it into a spring form pan lined with parchment paper. Then refrigerate it while you make the filling.
For the filling, it’s very important to soak the cashews before blending it because it makes a much smoother filling. I like to soak mine for 8 hours during the work day or overnight.
So if I’m making this on the weekend, I’ll soak the cashews overnight, and then finish the cheesecake in the morning. Or during a weekday, I’ll soak the cashews for 8-10 hours through the workday and finish the cheesecake in the evening.
You can use either a food processor or high powered blender for the filling. The high powered blender will give you a much smoother filling. As you can see in the above photo, the filling still has some texture to it. That’s because it’s the one I tried with the food processor. The food processor works well, but I think the blender works way better.
When the cheesecake is finished, it needs to set up for 3-4 hours in the freezer. This makes it a really great make ahead dessert because you can make it 1-2 weeks in advance. Simply let it sit in the refrigerator for about 60 minutes before topping with the berries and caramel for serving.
- 1 cup raw pecan pieces
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 8-9 Medjool dates, 5 ounces, pitted and quartered
- ½ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked for 8 hours, and rinsed thoroughly
- ½ cup coconut cream, see notes
- ⅓-1/2 cup Grade A amber maple syrup, add to taste
- ½ Teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 recipe Double Coconut Caramel Sauce
- 2-3 cups blackberries
- optional: edible purple flowers, see notes
- Line the bottom of a 9" spring form pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- Place all the ingredients for the crust into a food processor, and process until it starts to clump together in the machine, but is still a bit crumbly. Pat the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan, and about ½" up the sides. Place the crust into the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
- Place all the ingredients for the filling into a high powered blender, and blend on low speeds until the filling is smooth, using the tamper to keep the mixture moving. This takes about 2 minutes.
- Pour the filling over the crust, and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Freeze the cheesecake for at least 3-4 hours, or up to 2 weeks before serving.
- When you're ready to serve it, let it soften for at least 30 minutes on the counter. I like to let mine defrost for about 1 hour in the refrigerator for a more even texture. When you soften it on the counter the outer edges thaw but the middle is still frozen.
- Top the softened cheesecake with the blackberries, optional edible flowers, and drizzle with caramel sauce. Slice and serve the cheesecake with any remaining berries and caramel sauce.
I used a combination for the edible flowers of Johnny Jump Ups which are a small edible pansy along with some alfalfa flowers and lavender flowers from my garden. Just be sure whatever you use is definitely edible and not poisonous.
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