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Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake {Grain-Free, Vegan}

By Sara McGlothlin

This cheesecake recipe came to be as a happy accident. I had no intention of baking it. Instead, I had my sights on Healthifying the Tagalong – my favorite Girl Scout cookie. With a cookie base, peanut butter center, and chocolate coating, I couldn’t wait to recreate the traditional treat in a more nutritious way. However, the cookie part didn’t turn out as expected, so instead of throwing it in the trash, I threw it in a spring form pan, and it became the crust to this cheesecake instead.

Sometimes you call an audible with baking, and you hope it will turn out OK, but the result ends up being just that – a plan B. But this strawberry chocolate cheesecake surpassed my expectations! I will say I wrote the recipe below with my go-to crust concoction. I know that one works, and wouldn’t want to pass any baking fails onto you.

The strawberry flavor is dominate with a hint of cacao on the back node. And yes I just used wine tasting terminology for a baked good. It fits! Enjoy plain or drizzle with chocolate for a decorative effect. For the chocolate drizzle, all you need is about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and a teaspoon of coconut oil. Microwave for about 50 seconds, and voila!

Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake {Grain-Free, Vegan}

Who says chocolate and strawberries are only for Valentine's Day? Enjoy this delicious plant-based cheesecake any time of the year. The strawberry flavor is complemented with subtle hints of cacao in every bite. Grain-free and vegan.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Soak Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings

Equipment

  • High-speed blender or food processor
  • hand mixer or stand mixer
  • 8-inch Spring Form Pan

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked 4-6 hours or overnight
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries stems removed and halved
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 8 oz package vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or arrowroot starch

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch round springform cake pan with cooking spray.
  • Make the crust. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the almond flour, coconut sugar, and tapioca flour. Stir to blend. Start beating on medium speed, slowly incorporating the melted coconut oil, increasing the speed and continuing to beat until a crumbly dough is formed. Gather the dough and press it firmly in the bottom of the cake pan (it should feel like damp, course sand).
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside until ready to use.
  • In a high-speed blender, add the soaked cashews, strawberries, coconut milk, coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, maple syrup or coconut nectar, raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, and tapioca flour or arrowroot starch. Blend until creamy, using the tamper as you need to get the blender going and until everything is smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the cake pan with the crust. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until edges have started to turn golden brown and “pullaway”from the edges of the cake pan (cheesecake should still “jiggle”and the middle may appear darker, but will set as it cools). Allow the cake to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before transferring to the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours to completely set.

Notes

Storage: Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator, covered or uncovered, for up to 5 days.
Plan Ahead Tip: The night before, soak the cashews in water, and place a can of coconut cream or coconut milk upside down in the refrigerator (doing so will allow any liquid to remain at the bottom when turned right side up, leaving the solidified cream at the top). Reserve the liquid for smoothies or freeze in an ice cube tray for later use.
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan

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