As Valentine’s Day approaches, a little plant-based decadence is in order! This Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake can be made as minis or one standard size. No eggs are used, so this cheesecake is easier to bake than traditional recipes (no fear of falling)!
- 1½ cups cashews (about 7 ounces)
- 6 ounces Medjool dates, pitted and halved (10 to 11 dates.)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup dry/uncooked millet
- 2¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh raspberries (optional)
- Berry Sauce:
- 4 ounces fresh raspberries (about 1 cup; plus, a handful extra for garnish)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ounce Medjool dates, pitted and halved (about 2 dates)
- Place the cashews, dates, lemon juice, water, millet, and vanilla into a blender jar. Blend for 10 to 20 seconds, then let sit for at least 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Blend the mixture again, until completely smooth (adding a tablespoon of water at a time as needed). Spoon into a muffin tin lined with parchment paper liners (or a silicone muffin pan, or other nonstick mold, like my 2.25-inch heart mold shown below), filling halfway. Push 1 to 2 raspberries into this batter (these make a great little surprise in the center). Finish filling with batter to the top. (If you have extra batter, fill a muffin liner with it and bake alongside the others.)
- Tap the pan on the counter top many times to release any bubbles in the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes on a sheet pan (if using silicone), on the center oven rack. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 60 minutes. When completely cool, cover and place into the refrigerator.
- To make the raspberry sauce, blend the raspberries with the pitted dates in a blender until smooth. Drizzle the cheesecakes with raspberry sauce and a place a few raspberries on the side of each serving.
- When ready to serve, remove the pan from the refrigerator and remove the individual cheesecakes while cold. Serve immediately or after sitting for 5 to 10 minutes, as these taste better on the cool side and are firmer.
Pan option for small cheesecakes: If you don’t have or want to use a silicone baking pan, feel free to use a muffin pan with paper liners. You can use other types of molded pans as well; the number of final cheesecakes will vary depending on the well size and how much you fill the wells.
Crust: I did not add little crusts with my mini cheesecakes, but I did with my large cheesecake (see photos below). You can use a crust or not with either size. Here is the crust recipe I love to use with all my pies and cheesecakes.
The sauce: I have used raspberries here, but they can be swapped out with blueberries or strawberries just as easy.
Millet: I use ground millet in this recipe because the color helps achieve the most accurate cheesecake color, and it's a great ingredient to firm up this cheesecake, instead of using coconut milk or oil, cornstarch, or agar agar (a seaweed-based thickener). Oats act a bit like millet when blended into desserts, to firm them, but millet results in an even firmer cheesecake. If you don't have millet, however, I think oat flour would work too (although I have not tried this with this recipe, but I do use it in my pumpkin pie recipe to firm it up).
Instead of cashews: I have not tried this recipe with any other fat base (besides cashews), so I can't guarantee how it would turn out. But I image there is probably a way to successfully use macadamia nuts or tofu.
Above: As you blend the cheesecake batter, be sure that it’s fully blended and smooth, not just partially (like the first photo). Use your blender’s tamper to help keep the ingredients moving.
Above: This is the silicone pan that I used (and here in my store). When you’re done blending the batter, transfer it to a bowl, which will make filling your hearts easier.
Above: 1) Fill each heart well halfway, 2) place 1 to 2 raspberries in the middle (optional), 3) cover the raspberries and fill with batter to the top of the well, and 4) your cheesecakes will rise up during baking a little, then will flatten out a bit as they cool.
Above: You can serve your mini cheesecakes any way you like. Here are 4 examples: topped with raspberry sauce; drizzled with raspberry sauce with 1 raspberry on top and dusted with some grated nuts; plain sitting on some raspberry sauce; and the same but with some grated nuts on top. (These are very rich, so one heart is one serving.)
Above: If you’d like to bake a standard-size cheesecake, double the recipe. Since the volume will be too much for the Vitamix (even with the tamper being used), I used my food processor (however, grind the millet first in your Vitamix or use pre-ground, whole-grain millet flour).
Bake in a cheesecake pan (or round cake pan) as shown below and line it with parchment paper (it would probably be fine without parchment too, since there’s a lot of fat in the recipe, but I added paper just to be safe).
I put a fancy design on top of mine (I used this video to get ideas), but this is optional. Bake on top of a sheet pan for 55 minutes; the edges should start to brown a little. Making this with a crust is a great idea (see here for my favorite crust recipe).
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please share a comment below or on my Facebook page. If you’d like to print this recipe, use the green “Print” button near the top-right of the recipe. Learn more about the Straight Up Food Cookbook here. Thank you!