Pretty Darn Raw Vegan Cheesecake with Blackberry Topping

raw cheesecake

Today is my birthday, (yay!) and to celebrate I decided to use this awesome and simple recipe for my birthday cake (I changed it up a bit). What a great gift to receive-  thank you so much, RawFoodNut!  I also really wanted to create a new version of my all time favorite- blackberry vegan cheesecake.

Oh man!  After tasting this- there is no reason in the world I need to ever bake a cheesecake again.  Nope, never.  Ever.  And a super bonus… it is very healthy!  For those of you who have had the pleasure of eating amazing raw desserts- this is a great recipe… and has lots of wiggle room in the ingredients, etc.  For those of you who have not experienced raw cheesecake- try this out, and fall in love. <3

I personally am still inching my way into higher-raw eating.  This was the first “raw” cheesecake I have ever tasted, let alone made myself- and already I am hooked.  I just can’t believe I have never tried one of these before… Happy Birthday to me!  And Happy Cake-eating to you!

Raw Vegan Cheesecake



  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1 cup dried Medjool dates


  • 3 1/2 cups raw cashews -soaked for at least one hour
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup agave *
  • 1 cup organic, unrefined coconut oil- liquefied (see below)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt

Blackberry sauce

  • Handful of fresh blackberries
  • 4 large dried Medjool dates
  • 2 hefty squirts agave


To melt coconut oil, if solid:

Measure out 1 cup of solid coconut oil and place in shallow bowl of warm water.  As it softens, stir.  Replace the water in the shallow bowl with fresh warm water and repeat until all is melted.  I needed to change the water about 4 times to make it reach a fully liquid state.

To make crust:

Blend almonds and dates in  a food processor until finely chopped.  Press mixture very compactly into the bottom of a spring-form pan.  I used the bottom of a glass to press the crust down, and it worked perfectly.

To make filling:

Take all filling ingredients and blend in food processor until smooth.  Just let it go for a few minutes…. the texture should be nice and creamy.

To assemble:

Pour filling on top of crust and spread out until smooth.  Cover with foil and freeze overnight. The freezing process will re-harden the coconut oil and  set up the cake.  After it is frozen you can refrigerate and it will be ready to serve after about one hour.  Even though you have to freeze this cake to set it up, it is not a frozen cake… once refrigerated, it takes on an extremely similar texture to a regular ol’ cheesecake.

raw cheesecake

berry topping
To make topping:

Whiz berries, dates and agave together in a food processor.  Isn’t not cooking way too easy?

raw cheesecake

*apparently agave syrup is- not technically raw,— but I don’t do honey— I think this is way healthier than some other things I could have chosen to throw in there—I am still learning much about eating raw—and it’s my birthday. :)

And despite what the above linked website says.. my agave’s label claims that it is produced at a low temp (under 118 degrees)–  can I be sure of this?  Well, no.

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52 Responses to Pretty Darn Raw Vegan Cheesecake with Blackberry Topping

  1. Kyla says:

    This cheesecake looks so yummy! I thought that when I was a vegan, I’d say good-bye to cheesecake. But I’m so happy to have found this! I want to try it this week, but I was wondering, would 2 cups of cashews work instead of three? I measured them and there are only 2 cups worth. And I actually had to make a special trip to the store for them, too. Maybe I could use 2 cups and another nut or something? Thanks for posting this! :)

  2. Cc says:

    Two tidbits of info!

    1.) You can buy raw agave nectar at health food stores- it isn’t heated above cooking temperature so is still considered raw. It will announce it is raw right on the front label.

    2.) If you want a coconut oil that has no coconut flavor, go with the REFIND type. This may not be raw- I’m not sure about that, but it has no coconut flavor and a higher cooking temperature (great for stir fry, etc) UNREFINED coconut oil has lots of coconut flavor and a lower cooking temperature. This version is great to use as a lotion or hair oil as the nutrient content is higher than its refined counter part, and therefor more beneficial for your skin. I also like to use coconut oil as a replacement for butter when I make cinnamon toast- a very thin layer makes the toast crunchy and creamy at the same time!

  3. Kristin Leach says:

    Would it be possible to do this in single servings; like maybe a cupcake pan?

    • allyson says:

      yes! absolutely. I’d recommend using a silicone muffin pan if you have access to one so the pies are easy to get out of the molds. :)

  4. Laurel says:

    I KNEW there was a reason for those soaked cashews in my fridge. I’m celebrating Allyson’s birthday with a slice of her wonderful cheesecake. Why does mine have blueberries though? Anyway. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

  5. Laura says:

    I was wondering if there is any other nut I could use instead of cashews? I am allergic and its almost always used in raw or vegan cooking, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

    • allyson says:

      Hi Laura,

      Unfortunately I don’t know of any that would work as well as cashews as they seem to have the perfect texture for raw desserts and I’ve never actually had to stray from the commonly used cashew for nut based creams and cheeses… but I’d look for a higher fat nut with a creamy consistency when blended, possibly pistachios or brazil nuts? Although I’ve not experimented enough with them in this type of dessert to say for sure whether it would work. Sorry I can’t be of more help; good luck, though! <3

  6. Allyson,
    I blogged about this recipe. Just wanted to share :)
    <3 Ashley

  7. Mine is freezing right now and I’m SO excited! My husband is so skeptical. I can’t wait to change his mind :) Love your site and I your new cookbook looks fabulous!

  8. Lauren says:

    This looks delicious! I have seen on a lot of raw cheesecake recipes that people used agave :)

  9. Avril says:

    Hi there! I’m keen to try this recipe, but I’m not sure where in South Africa (Johannesburg specifically) to find solid coconut oil!! I’ve never come across it! Could I use margarine as a substitute? Not great, I know… Thanks so much!

    • allyson says:

      Hi Avril! Hmmmm…. I actually think margarine might be too soft for this… as solid coconut oil when cold is pretty hard stuff. It may be worth a try but I think the texture may be off a little. It would be an entirely different cheesecake, but you could always use melted baking chocolate or chocolate chips instead of the coconut oil. Sorry I’m not more help on this one!! <3

    • Hillary says:

      Hey, Avril. I used to live in a warm climate where coconut oil wasn’t solid, either. But, once you stick it in the fridge/freezer (assuming it is 100% coconut oil) it will solidify. I think the solid/liquid temp line is around 78*.

    • Deidre in Southeast Louisiana says:

      Avril, I know it’s been a while since you posted this..but I think a good substitute for coconut oil might be irish moss. It is actually seaweed. You can read about it. You blend it with water and let it set overnight in the fridge and it will gel. It adds no flavor, just body you need to make your dessert ‘set’. Anyway..just a thought

      • allyson says:

        cool, so it’s like agar, but uncooked. I’ve read a lot about it, but never have tried it myself… now I must! thanks for the great tip, Deidre.

  10. Caroline says:

    I found this post on MY birthday and it’s also my first attempt at a raw cheesecake! It’s defrosting in the fridge and looks amazing – can’t wait to taste! Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. […] actually tastes quite a lot like cheesecake! Here is the recipe for anyone who is interested… http://www.manifestvegan.com/2009/11/pretty-darn-raw-vegan-cheesecake-with-blackberry-topping/ Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

  12. Angela says:

    Hi Allyson – Finally got around to posting my results… I didn’t really change much, but made a key lime version… Very refreshing! http://www.vegangela.com/2011/07/04/almost-raw-vegan-key-lime-cheesecake/ Thanks again for this awesome recipe… I’m already thinking of so many other possibilities! :)

  13. […] recipe is based on Allyson @ Manifest Vegan’s Pretty Darn Raw Vegan Cheesecake. All I did was replace the lemon with lime (the juice and zest of 4 limes for a 8″ […]

  14. […] oil, freezer-safe, gluten-free, holiday & special occasion, raw Check out this recipe for Pretty Darn Raw Vegan Cheesecake from Allyson @ Manifest Vegan. Like Allyson, I’m trying to incorporate more raw foods into my […]

  15. […] “good” day for raw eating today. I made an awesome “cheesecake” for dinner. That link will take you to the recipe. It’s amazing how the middle layer […]

  16. Angela says:

    Finally getting around to make this! What size spring form pan did you use?

    • allyson says:

      Awesome Angela! I used an 8″ springform pan. :) Hope you love it!

      • Angela says:

        Sweet – thanks for getting back to me. Mine is about 6″ so it will just be a bit higher. Cashews are soaking as I type this… no turning back now! Will let you know how it goes… :)

        • Angela says:

          Hey I know it’s been forever but I just wanted to say that this was awesome and it has definitely replaced any tofu versions for me! I’ve just made a variation to it as well… it’s sitting in the freezer now and I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for your amazing blog! :)

  17. outoftheoven says:

    Do you have to dry the cashews at all before using them in the recipe or should they still be damp/wet?

  18. […] recipe is a combination of this cheesecake I made a while back + an insatiable craving I’ve been having lately for some banana cream […]

  19. Rusalka says:

    Wow, this cake looks awesome and delicious! I’d love to make it myself but I have a (rather stupid) question: did you use dried or fresh dates?

    • allyson says:

      Hey Rusalka,

      Thank you so much… and its not a stupid question at all. I used dried Medjool Dates. Glad you asked.. now I’ll update my post to say the same. :)

  20. […] took body building supplements, and weighed 220 pounds to becoming a vegan. The journey was long,Pretty Darn Raw Vegan Cheesecake with Blackberry Topping …Today is my birthday, (yay!) and to celebrate I decided to use this awesome and simple recipe for my […]

  21. HealthyNoms says:

    Oooo yummy! This cheesecake looks so amazing! My husband LOVES cheesecake and is so pleased that he doesn’t have to give it up even though we’re vegan! Definitely going to have to make this :)

  22. Nicola says:

    I found your blog via Vegan.com and have already made this cheesecake. It’s waiting for me in the freezer tonight – I’ll do the topping tomorrow and if the kids don’t like it I guess I’ll have to just eat it all myself!!!

    • allyson says:

      Hey Nicola! I am happy you found my site! I hope the “cheesecake” turns out great and you AND your kids love it!!

  23. […] *If squash is already playing a leading role in your feast, why not skip the usual pumpkin pie and go raw? […]

  24. Becky says:

    Happy birthday!!!!

  25. […] photo from the Manifest Vegan blog, and here’s the recipe. Spread the […]

  26. Jes says:

    Happy birthday! And what a beautiful treat to celebrate it with!

  27. I love raw desserts, I’ve been making them like a maniac lately. This recipe looks delicious, there is nothing like a good cheesecake. Only problem is…I HATE coconut, even a slight hint of it. Can you taste it very strongly in this recipe? Is there anything I could possibly sub for it? Thanks!

    • allyson says:

      Ya know… I even tasted the oil (I bought a jar of it from my grocery store) just a little glob off the end of my finger, and it seriously tastes like grease…no coconut smell, nothing. It’s pretty much taste-less… like a flavor-less lip balm. I think it works so well in this recipe because it is firm at room temperature… and that’s what solidifies the filling. Now, as far as a replacement for it—-I think cocoa butter would work .. if that is available to you. ?

      That is so cool you have been digging some raw desserts lately- this is my first attempt, but it left one heck of an impression on me! I will be making many many more raw desserts starting in the very near future. :)

      • greatful danes says:

        Coconut oil flavor depends on whether you buy refined or unrefined. Always best to buy organic to start. Unrefined is the healthiest and the one that will taste like coconut. If you have a recipe that you don’t want the coconut flavor to come through on, then use refined coconut oil which does not have a coconut taste at all- but then it probably isn’t raw. Not sure on that technicality but someone else might know :)

  28. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Your Daily Vegan and Anna Zalazar, Allyson Kramer. Allyson Kramer said: This cake alone has pushed me ten steps closer to eating "high raw" : http://tinyurl.com/yavgykt Yuuuuum. #vegan […]

  29. KD says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLYSON! And man oh man, that sure does look awesome!