This No Bake Sweet Cherry Vegan Cheesecake is a rich, creamy, and delicious vegan cheesecake made with healthy and clean ingredients, including a gluten-free crust, a cashew-based filling, and a layer of sweet cherry topping that makes it perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth cravings during the holidays, while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
This post is sponsored by the Northwest Cherry Growers. NW Cherry Growers are working to research, promote, and educate people about the many health benefits of sweet cherries, including those grown in Northwest orchards. Check them out here!
Cheesecake is, by far, my favorite kind of cake — possibly even dessert. There’s just something so satisfying about a creamy and thick bite of cheesecake. There’s a problem with cheesecake, however. Most cheesecakes are loaded with sugar, high-fat processed cream cheese, and other refined ingredients that are not very good for you. Sigh.
So what do you do to when those cheesecake cravings hit you hard and you just cannot ignore them? You work on a healthy cheesecake recipe, that’s what you do. Or that’s what I do…
Once upon a time, I was a little skeptical about using cashews instead of cream cheese to make cheesecakes. Once I tried it, though, I was totally on board and I understood why everybody loved cashew-based vegan cheesecake recipes.
This easy vegan cheesecake is rich, smooth, and totes delicious, peeps. Plus: sweet cherries. OMG.
While this cherry cheesecake looks decadent, though, it’s totally clean and packed with nutritious ingredients.
I know it also looks like it requires a lot of work and it has all sorts of complicated steps. But that’s far from the truth, my friends.
This no bake vegan cheesecake is super easy to make. In fact, it’s actually easier to make than regular cheesecake, if you ask me. And it looks amazing. Just look at the pictures! Doesn’t this homemade cherry cheesecake look dreamy?
It’s also flipping delicious and loaded with anti-inflammatory superheroes, thanks to the sweet cherries!
I think I already mentioned that a couple of times. I just can’t help it. I have to say it many times because I’m super happy and excited.
The only problem you’ll have with this cherry cheesecake is that you’ll find it hard to stop at just one slice. I don’t usually have an issue stopping myself with desserts, guys, but this one tested me to the limit.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHERRIES + ARE CHERRIES HEALTHY?
For me, cherries + cheesecake = LOVE. And thankfully, cherries make a healthy no bake cheesecake. If you’re wondering why cherries are healthy, they are filled with…
- Melatonin: Studies show that cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which helps control your body’s internal clock and regulate your sleep patterns.
- Natural sweetness: Dark sweet or Rainier cherries both offer the perfect dose of juicy sweetness without excess sugar. Cherries boast a lower glycemic index than almost any other fruit, which means they release glucose slowly and evenly – helping you maintain a steady blood sugar level, leaving you feeling full longer and maybe even helping you maintain a healthy weight.
- Fiber: Eating cherries can help you reach the current dietary recommendation of two cups of fruit daily and can contribute to healthy weight maintenance, diabetes prevention and improved cardiovascular health.
They also contain:
- Vitamin C (16% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C)
- Vitamin A;
They are also:
- Low in calories (only 87 calories per cup).
To put it briefly, eating cherries is good for you. Plus, cherries make a super yummy treat and a delicious topping for a healthy cheesecake.
HOW TO PRESERVE CHERRIES
This easy cherry cheesecake is made with frozen cherries, which means there’s no reason to wait for cherry season to make it. Yeeey! If you remember back in August (AKA fresh sweet cherry season), I shared a Fresh Cherry Crisp recipe and I talked about grabbing up all the fresh cherries from the store, so you could preserve them. Well, friends, fresh cherries are much harder to come by during the colder months, so we have to rely on preserved cherries and my favorite type of preserved cherries is frozen cherries.
However, be cautious of buying preserved cherries from the store as they can be preserved with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. It’s best to do it yourself and it’s super easy, plus then you and can control the ingredients used for preserving them. Just think about all the amazing cherry recipes you can make year-round if you preserve your own fresh sweet cherries!
If you don’t know how to preserve cherries, you have a couple basic healthy options:
Freeze cherries. Cherries freeze really well and frozen cherries are great in smoothies and this cheery cheesecake, of course. In fact, the cherries I used to make this cheesecake topping were sweet cherries I froze this summer! If you don’t have any frozen cherries left, check your local natural food store for frozen sweet cherries.
To freeze cherries, you should:
- Pit them;
- Place them on a baking dish in a single layer;
- Freeze until firm;
- Transfer them to a Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer until you need them.
Dry cherries. Dried cherries are amazing in numerous cherry recipes including baked cherry goods or granola. To make them, you can either use a dehydrator or dry the cherries in the oven.
HOW TO MAKE NO BAKE CHERRY CHEESECAKE
How do you make a cherry cheesecake? Well, you (1) start with the easy 3 ingredient crust, then (2) you move to the raw cashew filling, then while that’s freezing (3) you prep the easy sweet cherry topping made with frozen sweet cherries. In a nutshell, those are the steps for most cherry cheesecake recipes. However, since this is a healthy cheesecake, the cherry cheesecake ingredients are different than the ingredients you would normally use. And the best thing about this cherry cheesecake is that you no longer have to worry about how long to cook cheesecake, you just don’t have to cook it! No cracking. No water baths. No oven heating issues. No problem!
To make the crust you need the following ingredients:
- raw pecans
- sea salt
The smooth dreamy filling is made with:
- raw cashews (that we soak in water)
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- coconut oil
- full fat coconut milk
- pure maple syrup
And the sweet cherry topping is made with:
- frozen sweet cherries
- pure maple syrup
- lemon juice
- arrowroot starch
- lemon zest
Now that you know my cherry cheesecake ingredients, it’s time to discuss how to make cherry cheesecake. Ready?
To make this easy cheesecake recipe:
- Start by soaking the cashews in boiling hot water for about an hour.
- In the meantime, add the raw pecans, sea salt, and pitted dates to the food processor and mix until you obtain the consistency of a loose dough.
- Set the “dough” aside and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Don’t worry, this really is a vegan no bake cheesecake so no baking is involved.
- Transfer the pecan-date dough to the loaf pan and, with your fingers, pack down the mixture. Your cheesecake crust is now ready.
- Since the cheesecake crust is ready, it is time to work on the cheesecake filling. Drain the soaked cashews, add them to blender followed by melted coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the filling over the cheesecake crust and place in the freezer.
- While your cheesecake is setting in the freezer, work on the sweet cherry topping. To make the cherry topping, combine the cherries, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, and maple syrup in a saucepan for 12-15 minutes.
- Add the arrowroot starch and whisk in until the mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then add it over the cheesecake.
Your cherry cheesecake is now done. Now tell me this is not easy cherry cheesecake. In my humble opinion, this is also the best cherry cheesecake recipe. Let me know if you feel the same.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF VEGAN CHEESECAKE
Gotta love this vegan cheesecake. It is so so so good. And, as you already know, it’s a healthy no bake cheesecake. How is it healthy? Well, this vegan cheesecake is:
- High in protein;
- Low in fat, compared to a regular cheesecake.
And it’s made with…
- cashews that are high in minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and manganese that promote brain, skin, and bone health;
- coconut oil and coconut milk that support normal body functioning and add richness to the cheesecake;
- pure maple syrup that is high in nutrients and minerals (zinc, manganese, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and riboflavin) which is a tastier and healthier alternative to refined sugar.
So, basically, this healthy cheesecake is not only a dreamy dessert, but also an amazing source of nutrients. Umm….winner, winner!
Don’t get me wrong, this vegan cheesecake is still high in fat. But, as you may know, there are 2 types of fat. The good kind and the bad kind. This cheesecake is filled with goodness so the fats are good for you. You get monounsaturated fat from the cashews and unsaturated fat from coconut oil.
Double win. Plus: cherries 🙂
MAKING A GLUTEN FREE CHEESECAKE
Not everybody is good at baking so no bake cheesecakes are clearly an amazing option for those of us who would rather not bake a cheesecake. And, if you replace the cheesecake crust with a no bake one too, why wouldn’t you make the crust gluten-free at the same time, right?
That’s what I thought.
A regular cheesecake crust is made with graham crackers, butter, and sugar. Not a very healthy combo. Loaded with saturated fat, refined flour, and sugar.
The cheesecake crust for this vegan cherry cheesecake is made with pitted dates and pecans — 2 delicious, simple ingredients that are also loaded with nutrients.
Another win. How many wins so far? Are you counting?
I already explained how to make the gluten-free crust and I talked about the health benefits of the cheesecake filling so, naturally, I have to talk about the health benefits of the crust.
- Pitted dates are naturally sweet and they are perfect in baked and no bake desserts. And they are high in fiber and high in antioxidants, which is always a good thing.
- Packed with vitamins and minerals (potassium, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and manganese), pecans contain monounsaturated fats and they are very good for you.
These 2 combined make a killer cheesecake crust.
HOW LONG DOES NO BAKE CHERRY CHEESECAKE LAST?
This cherry cheesecake is amazing because you can store the leftovers in the freezer. If you somehow end up with leftovers. Strangely, that rarely happens to me. Ok, not strangely because it’s totally obvious how much I adore this homemade cherry cheesecake. Plus literally all my kiddos can’t get enough of it, either. Good thing it’s super easy to make and good for us, right?
If you want to store cheesecake for later, you can store the cherry cheesecake for up to a month in the freezer, but make sure it’s in an air-tight container and wrapped in plastic wrap once it’s frozen in individual slices (so it doesn’t get overly icy). Thaw it for 5-10 minutes before serving.
3 MORE NO BAKE CHEESECAKE RECIPES
I bet you know what’s coming. Yep: three more no bake cheesecake recipes. How exciting is that? Super exciting, that’s how much!
NO BAKE RASPBERRY BEET MINI CHEESECAKES
First on the list – No Bake Raspberry Beet Mini Cheesecakes. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or for those days when you want an adorable and healthy dessert, these No Bake Raspberry Beet Mini Cheesecakes are super easy to make.
A muffin tin and a blender are all you really need to transform the ingredients into a delicious No Bake Raspberry Beet Mini Cheesecakes. Get the recipe.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
This Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Smoothie is the second no bake cheesecake I want to show you. Fall-perfect and breakfast-perfect, this smoothie is packed with pumpkin and cheesecake goodness.
Aside from the delicious pumpkin & cheesecake taste, this Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Smoothie is ready in less than 10 minutes, high in protein, high in nutrients, and perfect for a grab and go breakfast. Get the recipe.
MINI NO BAKE CHEESECAKE RECIPE
Lastly, we have another vegan cheesecake recipe. Of course, another no bake one too. This Mini No Bake Cheesecake Recipe was my first attempt to vegan cheesecake and I still love it a lot.
Super easy to make, cute looking, and with a strawberry swirl surprise, this Mini No Bake Cheesecake Recipe will surely become one of your favorite vegan cheesecake recipes. Get the recipe.
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup pitted dates packed
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 cups frozen sweet cherries, pitted
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp arrowroot starch
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
First, cover the raw cashews with boiling hot water and let them soak for one hour. It's necessary to soak them to soften them.
Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper. Carefully pack down the date-pecan mixture evenly using your fingers. This will serve as the crust.
To make the filling, drain your soaked cashews and add them into the blender, followed by the lemon juice, melted coconut oil, chilled coconut milk (just scoop the top of the hardened coconut milk from the top of the can, and leave the clear liquid underneath), and pure maple syrup.
Blend together until very smooth. The smoother this mixture is, the creamier your cheesecake will be. Now, pour the filling evenly into the loaf pan over the pecan crust.
Place the pan tin into the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours to allow the mixture to set.
When you’re ready to eat, just pull up on the parchment paper to remove the cheesecake, then slice into long triangle slices. You may need to allow it to set at room temperature for 5 minutes to thaw.
To make the cherry topping, combine frozen sweet cherries, water, pure maple syrup, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until cherries release their juices and mixture reduces some, about 12-15 minutes..
Add the arrowroot starch and whisk until smooth.
Cook until thick and bubbly, about 1-2 more minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, then serve over the cheesecake.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend. This post is sponsored by the Northwest Cherry Growers. NW Cherry Growers are working to research, promote, and educate people about the many health benefits of sweet cherries, including those grown in Northwest orchards. Check them out here!