Cashew Cheesecake

Cashew Cheesecake


Rich, creamy and full of flavor — this dairy-free, raw cheesecake is made with fermented cashews instead of cream cheese. Make it either using fresh lime juice or lemon juice for a refreshingly tangy cheesecake.
  • Serves: 1 to 9
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 30,650
  • Success Rating: 56% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Gathering the Ingredients for the Crust

• 2 cups almonds*
• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup finely chopped dates


BEFORE YOU START: If you have not already, be sure to soak the cashews for the filling. If you are fermenting the cashews, you will need to start a couple of days ahead. See step 3 for how to naturally ferment the cashews.

Note: Instead of almonds, other nuts such as walnuts can be used and/or they can be mixed 50/50. Macadamia nuts can also be added for extra richness. In this case, use only about 3/4 cup of macadamia nuts with the other nuts as they are quite rich and contain more oils.

Step 2: Preparing the Crust


Combine the almonds (or nuts of choice), vanilla and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the mixture until it is finely ground and meal-like.

Slowly add the dates a bit at a time, pulsing to make a tight mixture that holds together.

Note, the mixture should just hold together when pressed with your fingers. If the mixture seems a bit too dry, add another date or two. If the mixture seems a bit too wet, add a few more nuts.

Once ready, press the mixture into the bottom of whichever pan(s) you are using — a 9 1/2-inch springform or an individual cheesecake pan (the pans shown in the picture have removable bottoms).

Alternatively, for a cheesecake that will look a bit more rustic, you could use smaller ramekins or muffin tins. In this case, line the ramekins or tins with two strips of parchment in the form of an X and then place a circle of parchment on top of the X — these “tabs” will make removing the cheesecake easier later.

Place the pan(s) into the refrigerator or freezer while you make the filing.

Step 3: Gathering the Ingredients for the Filling

• 3 cups soaked and fermented cashews*
• 1 1/2 cups Almond Milk*
• 1 cup fresh lime juice (or lemon)
• 3/4 cup agave
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• 3 tbsp lecithin**
• zest of 2 limes (or lemons), if desired
• 3/4 to 1 cup coconut oil


For the cashews, soak overnight in double the amount of water. To ferment the cashews, rinse them the next day and then cover again with double the amount of water and let sit at room temperature to ferment for another 24 hours. When done, the cashews should have a slight tang to them.

*Note: For this particular recipe fresh homemade Almond Milk was used, which will produce a creamy, richer finished product than if using store-bought. Also note that the ratio of nuts for the home-made almond milk was 1 1/4 cups nuts to 3 cups water.

Also note that instead of the almond milk blended fresh fruit can be used instead to create another cheesecake variation.

**Lecithin can be found in many health food and some specialty grocery store. Liquid or powder lecithin will work for this recipe. Be sure to buy organic.

Step 4: Preparing the Filling


Combine the nuts, almond milk, lime juice, agave, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until very smooth.

At this point, make sure you have your pan(s) ready to be filled — before adding the coconut oil and lecithin.

Note: Because measuring can sometimes vary, depending on measuring cups used, the person etc. The amount of coconut may need to be increased. Before adding the lecithin and coconut oil, check to see how much filling you have — if there is over 6 cups of filling, you will need to increase the amount of coconut oil to 1 cup (instead of the initial 3/4 cup).

Next, add the lecithin and coconut oil to the nut mixture and process until very well blended. If adding zest, add at the very end and just pulse once or twice to incorporate. Note that this will add little flecks of zest throughout the cheesecake, which you may or may not want.

Step 5: Chilling & Serving the Cheesecake


Immediately pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan(s) and transfer to the refrigerator or freezer for an hour or two, or until fully set and firm.

If you have made a large cheesecake, slice and serve individual pieces. If you have made mini- cheesecakes, remove them from the pan and serve. Serve the cheesecake(s) plain or top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and garnish with a bit of fresh zest, if desired.


  • Jessica O
    Jessica O
    Hello! Is there any substitute for lecithin that could be used?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Jessica - Great question. As a binder, you might consider using arrowroot, flax seed (ground up), pureed fruits and veg's, silken tofu, agar agar or perhaps meringue powder. Thanks again for learning with Rouxbe! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Yoly  D
    Yoly D
    Hello! Is there any way to make this a baked recipe? I would love it to set by baking, not freezing, so it won't melt outside.
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Yoly and thanks for your comment - I will do a bit of research on your inquiry and get back to you just as soon as I can. Thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Yoly - so we explored your question with the Rouxbe team and no one has tried to bake this particular recipe. We would love you to try this and report back? Please let us know how the results come out! Thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Kathryn K
    Kathryn K
    And can this be made oil-free?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Kathryn - great question. So I haven't made this recipe without any coconut oil although I have made it with considerably less than ¾ of a cup of oil - that said, my instincts tell me that your filling may turn out bit "denser" without any oil at all - but I think your flavor will still be spot - on. I look forward to hearing how it goes! Thanks for engaging with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Sally L
    Sally L
    Mmmmm, I LOVE this! Totally and utterly delicious :-D I made it with coconut milk instead of almond milk (full fat from the can) so it was a coconut and lime cheesecake. I used dates in the cheesecake mixture instead of agave, and used Agar Agar instead of lecithin. I also used lime essential oil to boost the flavour of lime without having to add extra lime juice which would alter the consistency (using an essential oil approved for internal use). I'm going to try a strawberry version next! Thank you.
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Thanks so much for sharing Sally - sounds absolutely wonderful! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Miriam B
    Miriam B
    Is there a nut free alternative
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Miriam - great question. Indeed, you can make a vegan cheesecake without cashews (or any nuts). One of my favorites is one that uses Vanilla Soy Yogurt as the base - using vegan vanilla pudding powder. I like to top this recipe with fresh fruit. I hope this helps - thanks so much for engaging with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Kimberly C
    Kimberly C
    They are so good
  • Kimberly C
    Kimberly C
    Can you make it with fruits
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Kimberly - great question. You can definitely include seasonal, fresh fruit with this dessert. I love it with fresh raspberries, so do my children! Thanks for engaging with Rouxbe. Chef Kirk
  • Tisha T
    Tisha T
    Hi, I’m allergic to cashews, but substitute macadamia nuts in most recipes. Would they work here where it uses fermented cashews?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Tisha - thank you for your great question. So I haven't made this exact recipe with macadamia nuts but I have made macadamia nut cheese and followed the same process of soaking the nuts and then blending in the same high-speed processor - and it worked perfectly. Hence, I believe you should be able to follow the same process with macadamia nut for this recipe. I look forward to your results. All the best and thanks for learning with Rouxbe. Chef Kirk
  • Debbie R
    Debbie R
    Thank you for this recipe that is totally vegan. I make a great cheesecake which I have perfected in 40 years, however it is not vegan. My daughter is vegan and loves vegan cheesecake. Thank you for the recipe. I can't wait to try it. Debbie R
  • Yasser  K
    Yasser K
    its new it is so good
  • Garrett R
    Garrett R
    this was awesome
  • Martha W
    Martha W
    I what can you,substitute for coconut oil?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Martha - great question! So I've substituted olive oil for the coconut oil in this recipe as my daughter is not a fan of coconut and it worked great. You might also consider mashed bananas or apple sauce perhaps...I've tried both and they've worked nicely. I hope this helps and thanks for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Helena B
    Helena B
    When measuring the coconut oil, does it matter if it is in a liquid or solid state?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Helena - and thanks so much for your question. So one fun way to ensure accuracy with your Coconut oil measurement is to use the “displacement” approach. To do this, make sure your coconut oil is solid. (coconut oil has a melting point of 76 °F). Next, fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup of cold water.  Next, spoon the solid coconut oil into the water.  You’ll know you have enough when the water measures what you need plus 1 cup. For example, if your recipe requires ¼ cup of coconut oil, you will have your measure when your water/oil measure 1 ¼ cup. Next, spoon the coconut oil out of the water with a slotted spoon and you are ready to use…this method provides you with an accurate measure and you don’t have to scrape coconut oil into and out of a measuring cup, which can be challenging. So I hope this helps! Thanks so much for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Kelly C
    Kelly C
    Why does it say "Success: 0%"?
  • Balogun M
    Balogun M
    I think the liquid would be the best
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Kelly and thanks for your question. So "Success: 0%" is a rating that learners input if they found a recipe “successful”. When you see Success: 0% it simply means that nobody has rated that particular recipe as yet… I hope this helps and thanks again for cooking with Rouxbe Kelly! Chef Kirk
  • Xavier B
    Xavier B
    This had to be one of the most amazing desserts I’ve had. My first dairy Free and vegan. Thanks Rouxbe team the learning and practice.
  • Pratima L
    Pratima L
    how do i get my mold to look like this one in the picture? my presentation of it always turn out bad when taking it out the cupcake mold. the taste was delicious but still need better presentation.
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Pratima, Great question. To get this presentation I would use a ring mold. You can get them at any kitchen store or online. You can even get springform ring molds which make these even easier to master. Here is a link for a point of reference. Lauren
  • Hina  T
    Hina T
    Hi. Can i replace soaked figs instead of dates or not?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Hina, You can definitely substitute dried figs for dates. Sounds delicious. Thanks for your question. Lauren
  • Sarah  V
    Sarah V
    This is such a great tip!! Thank you!
  • Michele J
    Michele J
    Great information! Thank you
  • Hannah C
    Hannah C
    Hi, Please can you confirm the quantity of these alternatives to replace lecithin which says 3tbsp : arrowroot, flax seed (ground up), pureed fruits and veg's, silken tofu, agar agar Thank you so much. Hannah
  • Marcello  C
    Marcello C
    The 3 cups of cashews mean 3 cups of already soaked cashews or dry cashews before soaking?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Marcello and thanks for your question. Indeed, it's best to start with 3 cups of cashews and then soak them overnight…thanks so much for baking with Rouxbe! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Catherine F
    Catherine F
    Hi, I would like to know if it is possible to make the cake and freeze it, and take it out a week or so later? will it still be ok when it unfreezes?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Catherine. Absolutely. This is a great recipe to make in advance and freeze. I usually leave them in the freezer until just an hour (or a little longer) before serving and they turn out perfectly. Enjoy! Lauren
  • Valentina E
    Valentina E
    Can I use sunflower lecithin as the lecithin for this recipe? If so, how much?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Valentina! Yes you can. It works wonderfully. I think going a little lighter is fine, you get the same emulsification effect. Try 2 TB. Lauren
  • Arantxa M
    Arantxa M
    I,m allergic to tree nuts. Could you advise of some alternative substitutes?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Arantxa. For the crust you could use hemp seeds or another seed. For the filling you might choose to use silken tofu or use a thick hemp cream. Let us know how it turns out! Lauren
  • Tamami T
    Tamami T
    Hi! If I use agar agar instead, should I activate the agar agar by heating up the mixture?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Tamami. The agar needs to be heated but you do not need to heat up everything. I would make the filling separately, dissolve the agar in some water and then blend the agar- water with the filling. That is the easiest way to ensure the agar is activated without burning the nut based filling. Does that make sense? Lauren
  • Neomi H
    Neomi H
    Hi! Is it possible to replace the lecithin for cream of tartar? Have a great day!
  • Tamami T
    Tamami T
    Hi Lauren, Thank you for your reply. Yes it does. One last question. What is the main purpose of the lechitin. Can it be soy lechitin?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Tamami. Lecithin is an emulsifier. It helps create a really homogenous mouth feel and smooth texture. It can be bitter if over-used so I always err on the light side. Soy or sunflower lecithin both work. I have made this recipe with and without and there is a difference but it works without the lecithin as well. Lauren
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    HI Neomi, I have not tried that. I have used cream of tartar in certain desserts but I am not sure it will mimic the nature of lecithin exactly. My instinct is to skip lecithin and make the recipe as is minus that. If you try cream of tartar, please let us know in the comments how it works. Lauren
  • Jose P
    Jose P
    Hi, I need to know if I am using Agar Agar instead of lecithin, Would I just add Agar Agar as it is together with the Oil? Doesn't Agar Agar needs to be dissolved in cold liquid and then heated with any other liquid to get activated? I think Im lost here because I understand that Agar Agar works the same as unflavored gelatin, so would I need to dissolve and then heat Agar Agar? Can you guide me through the substitution part, thanks
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    HI Jose. The purpose of Lecithin here is to emulsify. Agar is more of a stabilizing agent. I know that by reading through the comments it is a little confusing. If kept cold, this recipe really does not need agar. I use agar to firm up more viscous liquids. Since we have a large amount of coconut oil to help this be solid when cold you can skip the agar. Lecithin works to create a smoother, more homogenous mouthfeel but is also something that can be left out if you cannot find it. Does that make sense? Lauren
  • Ingela B
    Ingela B
    Hi! Would lecithin granules work? Could I ground them? Thank you, Ingela
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Ingela. Yes! I use granules often. I like to pulse the lecithin with the coconut oil really well and then add the remaining ingredients and continue to process. It ensures the granules are really broken down. Lauren
  • Ben S
    Ben S
    thank you for this recipe. I'm sure we will use this here at mvcf. we've made cheese cake already. But I Am almost done with the Rouxbe course now. Is there any other recipes like this you have?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Benjamin. Do you mean dessert recipes or nut based, raw desserts? The chocolate ganache torte is a crowd pleaser, for sure!
  • Debbie S
    Debbie S
    What size pans are best to use?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Debbie: Thanks for your question. I personally enjoy a "thicker" cheesecake and I like to use a 7.0" spring form pan. I have made it in the 8.0" and while it works, the 7.0" seems to have more volume. But, I also have 6.0" pans--totally up to you. But, your question is a good question! Hope your cheesecake is a crowd pleaser!
  • Joshua H
    Joshua H
    I was wondering if anyone has tried using Psillium husk as a binder instead of lecithin? Obviously I know that lecithin binds oils and water together and produces a smooth outcome, and psillium would act more like agar agar - The difference being that agar agar has to be heat activated first and psillium doesn't... Any thoughts?
  • Carrie G
    Carrie G
    Almonds are a no for me. Would pecans be an ok substitute?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Hi Carrie, Yes, pecans will work. The flavor will be different, but give it a try and see how you like it! ~Eric
  • Muayyad K
    Muayyad K
    Hi Joshua I've used Psillium husk in GF bread and works well as a binder instead of lecithin. Though there are a lot of factors to consider here since it is not bread.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Muayyad-- thanks for writing, that is excellent advice. Psyllium seed husks work very well in this recipe! Happy cooking, Cheers, Char
  • Marina  F
    Marina F
    Would you use 3 tablespoons of either agar or psyllium? Both seem like a lot, I thought I’d check. Thx.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Marina: I would use an egg replacer (like Bob's Red Mill), however, I would use cocoa butter to develop that consistency of the cashew cheesecake. I think agar-agar would make it way to solid. You are looking for a creamy consistency. Good observation on your part. Let me know how the dessert comes out. Thanks for writing. Cheers, Char

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