How easy is it to create the perfect summer dessert that delivers on the creamy, cool refreshment of ice cream yet can accommodate gluten-free and dairy-free eaters? Let’s put it this way: the hardest thing about this gluten-free and vegan strawberry cheesecake recipe by Meg van der Kruik is waiting to start while the raw cashews soak overnight. So yes, you’ll have to start long before you’re ready to sink a fork into this gorgeous, cookout-perfect dessert, but once you’ve made it, it’s yours to devour, and you can make two at once and keep the second one stores for your next craving.
Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Gluten-Free Recipe
Makes 1 (8-INCH) CAKE A few whirls of the food processor and 6 hours in the freezer result in a beautiful, slightly sweet GF/DF icebox cake by our dear friend Meg at This Mess Is Ours. You can use a cupcake tin to make single servings, too. If you don’t have a springform pan, use a deep-dish pie pan. You can skip the freeze-dried strawberries, but they do add color and tang. Well-wrapped leftovers keep in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
FOR THE CRUST:
- Coconut oil for greasing
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup pitted chopped Medjool dates
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING:
- 4 cups raw cashews soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and preferably overnight, drained and rinsed well
- 2/3 cup coconut oil in liquid form
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- Pinch of salt
- FOR GARNISH:
- 10 fresh strawberries 5 sliced and 5 whole
- Edible flowers (optional)
Make the crust: Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with coconut oil; set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, combine the almonds, oats, dates, salt, and vanilla. Process until everything begins to clump together, scraping down the bowl, if necessary, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan and gently press the crust into the bottom and around the sides until the crust layer is level and smooth.
Make the filling: In the bowl of a clean food processor fitted with the “S” blade, combine the soaked cashews, coconut oil, sliced strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, freeze-dried strawberries, and pinch of salt. Blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the strength of your machine.
Pour the blended cashew layer over the crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Gently tap the pan against the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Place the pan in the freezer until completely set, 6 hours or up to overnight.
To serve, remove the cake from the freezer and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently remove sides of pan.
To make slicing a bit easier, simply run your knife blade under hot water to heat it up, wipe it off, slice, and repeat. Serve garnished with a few strawberry slices and flowers, if desired.
Photography Todd van der Kruik