How to Make a Layered Vegan Cheesecake
I first came across the idea of a nut-based “cheesecake” when watching vegan videos made by Laura Miller, my most favourite YouTube presenter. To be honest, the idea had never occurred to me before, and I was really intrigued by it. Cashew nuts form the base of this recipe, but there are lots of other amazing, interesting ingredients that help to build this beautiful cake. The colours come from fruit powders, so no E-numbers here! It’s not the cheapest recipe on the planet, so I cut it into pieces and freeze it, and it lasts ages. Don’t forget to pre-soak the nuts, as this activates them and makes them easier to blend.
From Bee’s Adventures in Cake Decorating: how to make cakes with the wow factor by Bee Berrie, published by Pavilion Books (£12.99).
Image credit: Haarala Hamilton.
Makes one 3-layer cheesecake, 15cm/6inch diameter
For the base
- 60 g/2 oz pumpkin seeds
- 60 g/2 oz sunflower seeds
- 60 g/2 oz buckwheat groats or puffed quinoa or pine nuts
- 20 g/ ¾ oz cacao nibs or 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 120 g/4 ¼oz soft pitted dates (e.g. medjool), chopped
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla-bean extract
- 1–3 tbsp water (if needed)
- 300 g/10 ½oz cashew nuts, soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours, or overnight
- 100 g/3 ½ oz almonds or hazelnuts, soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours, or overnight
- 130 ml/4 ½fl oz almond milk
- 80 g/2 ¾ oz raw honey or maple syrup
- 100 g/3 ½oz coconut oil, melted
- 6 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp blueberry powder
- 3 tsp raspberry fruit powder
- Fresh raspberries
- Edible flowers
- 15cm round cake tin »
- Cling film
- Food processor
1. Line a 15-cm/6-inch round cake tin with strong cling film.
2. Pulse all of the base ingredients together in a food processor a few times to get started, then continue to blend for about a minute, until the mix starts sticking together.
3. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and press down with the back of a spoon or your hands, until it’s nice and smooth and even. Freeze until ready to use.
4. Drain and rinse the cashews and almonds, then blend only these two together in the food mixer until completely smooth – pulse on high and low alternately to ensure all the big pieces are broken down.
5. Add the remaining ingredients, except the fruit powders, and blend until smooth.
6. Now divide the mix into 3 bowls, and add the fruit powders (I made one mixture with blueberry powder, one mixture with raspberry powder and left the third plain), and mix until you have a beautiful bright, fruity colour.
7. Remove the base layer from the freezer and pour one of your coloured mixtures on top first, ensuring it’s even. Return to the freezer for 2 hours, then pour on the next coloured layer and repeat. If you prefer, you could do thinner layers of each for a stripy effect.
8. Decorate with fresh fruit and edible flowers, and serve.