My one and only turned TWO this month. Time has flown by faster than I ever thought possible, and the fact that it’s May and my baby is now officially a toddler is just wild to me. I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, and her answer up until the week of the big day was “banana cake”. That is what I made her for her first birthday and apparently it made an impact. Who knew?
Then I made this strawberry coconut cheesecake for a dear friend and Evelyn was in LOVE. She couldn’t stop eating, or talking about it, so I knew I needed to make this for her birthday. I’ve made other strawberry cheesecakes (i.e. this one from Valentine’s Day), but let me just tell you, this is the creamiest version I’ve ever made. Shhh, don’t tell the others…
As with most vegan desserts, they are quite simple to make. HOORAY! That is my kind of dessert all the way around. There is no baking required and it sets up in the freezer. I made mine the night before and it was nice to have it done and ready to go as my little Evelyn wakes up ready to go with not a second to spare. We also had a big day planned. Life with a toddler right?
Here are the early morning birthday snuggles
Last year we had her birthday party extravaganza in our backyard and this year, since we had just moved to Florida the week before her birthday, we decided to celebrate at her favorite place on earth, the beach. She may not have had any friends or “buddies” as Evelyn calls them, but she did have her family, at the beach, with lots of waves and seashells. She was even serenaded by an accordion player who was being photographed on the beach. I’d say it was a pretty good day!
No other place on earth makes my kid this happy!
We are now Florida residents and can go to beach with very little effort. I am still amazed by this little fact. Especially since Evelyn has talked about going to the beach for months now. All throughout our morning and afternoon on the sand, she kept saying “we are at the beach!”. I know there are still hundreds of beaches to try out, but I think we may have already found our favorite one. It is probably from all the happy memories made here, but I can’t help but love this little spot!
Alright, back the strawberry coconut cheesecake, after all that is why you’re here, right? Below is how you make this beautiful cake. I was inspired by Paleo Gluten Free Eats, but I changed it up a bit to add more strawberries and replaced all the liquid with coconut cream because, I mean, go big or go home, right? Everything is better with more strawberries and more coconut cream.
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup coconut cream, liquid reserved
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream liquid
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
- 3/4 of a pint of strawberries, washed and trimmed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch or two of pink sea salt
For the crust:
- 1 cup of either almonds or pecans
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup strawberries, washed and trimmed
- 5-6 strawberries, sliced
- Flash soak the cashews. I pour boiling water over them and cover for 15 minutes, then rinse and do it again a second time. You could also just think ahead and soak them over night. You do you. You do you.
- While you cashews are soaking, make the crust by adding the almonds or pecans to a food processor along with the dates. Pulse until it becomes a dough that sticks together. Don’t over blend!
- Line a 9, 10, or even an 11 inch spring form pan or a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment. Press the crust into the baking dish and set aside.
- Rinse out the food processor and then add your soaked, strained, cashews.
- Blend until they become the consistency of pulp.
- Next, add the room temperature or melted coconut oil, along with the maple syrup and blend until the mixture is completely smooth. If in doubt, keep blending.
- Now add the coconut cream and the coconut cream water to the filling and blend for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the strawberries, vanilla and sea salt and blend for 1-2 minutes, and voila, the filling is done. Everything should be creamy and texture-less. Again, if in doubt, keep blending.
- Now just pour the filling onto the crust and set aside.
- Either rinse out your food processor or grab a magic bullet or ninja cup and add the topping strawberries (1/2 cup) and puree until completely liquid.
- Pour 4-6 lines of the strawberry sauce over the cheesecake. Then make 3-4 lines going the opposite direction of those ones. I put the sauce into a zip lock baggie and cut a tiny hole so I could control my lines a little better. But life is messy, so just embrace whatever you get.
- Take a toothpick and drag it vertically or in large circles to create a pattern. Stop when you like the design.
- Place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours until the filling is solid. It will warm up quickly at room temperature to be sliced into when it’s time to devour.
- Add the sliced strawberries just before serving.
It’s good folks, that is all that I can tell you!
So I encourage you to give this delicious cheesecake a try, and let me know what you think. It’s sweet, it’s creamy, it is incredibly rich and it’s loved by non vegans and vegans alike! It’s perfect for any celebration or occasion, especially Wednesday’s, or Monday’s or even Friday’s… who knew?
Happy eating! Check out my other gluten free + vegan recipes by clicking here.