Lemon and Lavender Cheesecake (Vegan)
This elegant and delicious 'cheesecake' relies on the creamy texture of cashews to offer a rich vegan alternative to a popular dairy dessert.
About This Dish
Cheesecake is a wonderful thing ... if you're not vegan or lactose-intolerant. This special dessert has the texture and color of cheesecake, but it's entirely dairy-free. What's more, it's far easier to put together than a cheesecake and the ingredients are all good for you. No, really! Yes, there's sugar and fat, but they come from all natural sources: dates, nuts and coconut oil.
The subtle scent of lavender and the tart flavor of lemon bring this delightful cake to a new level of elegance. It's a beautiful dish to provide for an upscale gathering — or just make a cake for yourself to enjoy all week long!
This recipe is inspired by One Green Planet with just a few of my own adjustments. You can make your own adjustments as well. While I think the mix of almonds and hazelnuts for the crust add a light and sweet flavor, you may want to try pecans or walnuts or something else entirely. Feel free to get creative with this dish, or keep it simple. Either way, it's a winner.
- 9- or 10-inch springform pan or pie pan
- Blender or food processor
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 3 cups raw cashews (soaked for 2-3 hours)
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender (less if you want a more subtle flavor)
- 3⁄4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 2⁄3 cup maple syrup
- 3⁄4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line the inside of your springform pan (or regular pie pan) with plastic wrap or parchment paper. This will keep the crust and cake from sticking to the inside.
- In a food processor, combine the nuts and dates. Pulse until they create a sticky dough that still has plenty of chunky texture from the nuts.
- Pull the dough from the processor and place it in the center of the pie pan. Using your fingers, press the dough down to form an even crust on the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the fridge.
- Rinse out the food processor, then combine the (soaked and drained) cashews, lavender, lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and vanilla. Blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible, about 3-4 minutes. You will likely still have a little texture from the cashews, but as long as it is nearly smooth, it's ready.
- Pull the pie pan from the fridge and pour the mixture over the crust. Give the pan a wiggle to make sure it is evenly spread out. Cover, and place in the fridge to set, at least 3 hours.
- When the cake is set and firm (and doesn't jiggle at all when you wiggle the pie pan), open the springform lock, grip the plastic wrap edges and place the cake on a serving plate. Gently pull the plastic wrap out from underneath. Top the cake with a few sliced almonds and a few bits of dried lavender. Serve cold, and enjoy!