May 5, 2009

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

by IsaChandra

I always say that I’m not a raw person but that isn’t exactly true. When I’m in SF I’m practically tethered to Cafe Gratitude and one of the best meals I had in LA was at Cru. Brooklyn used to have a hole in the wall (almost literally) restaurant where I would enjoy soggy dehydrated pancakes. Yeah, I said soggy and enjoy in the same breath.

I think I just don’t have the patience for the preparation techniques, like dehydrating and spiral slicing. And while raw is all wonderfully healthy, I’m not positive that cooked spinach is going to kill me, despite the wacky emails I get from time to time. Luckily for us vegans, raw food is almost exclusively free of animal products and so that opens up a whole world of experimentation. I love, for example, using soaked cashews to create creaminess. In fact, many of my favorite vegan desserts have been raw. I’m just not into that vegan cheesecake, loaded with telltale, groan-worthy tofutti and confectioner’s sugar. My favorite cheesecake from Cafe Gratitude contains coconut, dates and Irish Moss. So gather your ingredients and…wait. Irish Moss?

Yeah, so I wanted to make a minimum hassle recipe that was easy enough to create from ingredients you could procure from any health food store. I scoured the internet for hints on how to go about it and I decided on my beloved soaked cashews and coconut oil. The oil is solid at room temperature so ensures that everything stays together. No special equipment needed, this cake came together in a snap. The only prep you need to do is to remember to soak the cashews in advance. Also remember that the cake will need at least 4 hours to set.

The end result was a really, really rich and creamy cake. And you’ll believe me when I say I am not rich-dessert phobic, but the cake really does serve 16. It’s got plenty of strawberry flavor and a little tang from the lime. It needed a little extra strawberry blast at the end, so I threw together a quick strawberry sauce. The crust was modified from the Cafe Gratitude desserts cookbook. I Am Pilfering. To melt your coconut oil place it in a small covered container and place that in a bowl of very hot water. Melt it right before using so that it doesn’t solidify.

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Serves 16

Crust
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

Filling
3 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked overnight (or at least 3 hours)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free is preferred for raw desserts)
32 oz strawberries (reserve 9 for decorating), hulled and halved – about 4 cups
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Raw Fluffy White Frosting Recipe
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked overnight
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (alcohol free is preferred for raw desserts)
1/4 cup raw coconut oil, melted

Strawberry Coulis (Coulis is a fancy word for pureed sauce)
2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tablespoons agave syrup

Lightly grease a 9 inch spring form pan with coconut oil and set aside.

To prepare the crust, pulse nuts and salt in a food processor fit with a metal blade. When nuts are fine crumbs, add the dates and pulse until the dough holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottom of prepared cake pan. Set aside.

To prepare the filling, pulse cashews in food processor until crumbly. Add agave, water, lime juice and vanilla and puree until very smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure you get everything. Feed the strawberries through the top of the food processor and puree until incorporated. The filling should turn a pretty pink. With the processor running, add the melted coconut oil in a steady stream.

Pour the filling into the cake pan. It will look like a smoothie and you’ll think no way it will set, but it will! Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set. Make sure it’s level so that your cake doesn’t come out wonky. Let set for at least 4 hours.

Prepare the frosting in basically the same way as the cake. Pulse the cashews in the food processor until crumbly. Add the water, agave and vanilla and blend until smooth. With the food processor running, stream the coconut oil in through the top until combined. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until set, about 2 hours.

Prepare the sauce when you’re close to serving. Just mash the strawberries up with the agave until it’s all red and syrupy.

To assemble
Release the cake from its springform prison. Use a mini scoop to place 8 mounds of icing around the perimeter of the cake and one in the center. Slice the tops off the reserved strawberries and gently smush them upside down into the frosting mounds. If you don’t have a mini scoop, just use a spoon and make them as pretty as you can, they’re gonna get smushed anyway.

To serve, place some Strawberry Coulis on the plate and serve the cake over it. Dig in!



  • May 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm: jess

    I was about to say ‘You Go, Girl!’, but then I realized you didn’t offer me a piece.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm: Marika

    This looks so fresh and delicious and amazing. This is a thing of beauty.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm: IsaChandra

    Come over, Jess, there’s plenty left.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm: Catalina

    Cashews are so great. They can do anything.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm: Dom Deluise

    Dangit! Maybe it’s because I’m allergic to them, but it feels like a vegan’s love for cashews is rivaled only by his/her tofu-adoration. Can I substitute in any nut for the cashews in this recipe? (Raw) Almonds? Walnuts?

    This looks delicious.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:34 pm: snugglebunny

    I love raw cheesecakes. Now if I can just figure out how to make the filling in my Magic Bullet. And that frosting has possiblities. I wonder if that would be good with some cocoa added and spread on some brownies.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm: Cherie

    Beautiful! I love how the frosting looks, don’t think I’ve seen one set up so firm before. Nice. :)

    To the post who asked about a cashew sub, they might want to try macadamias?

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm: michmell

    Yuummmmmm! Bookmarked for when I get a bajillion strawberries in my CSA!

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:40 pm: Glauce

    Have to try it, looks so amazing and delicious!

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm: Shelby

    Oh wow, this is phenomenal!!! I must make this in the summertime =)

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm: Heather

    This looks beyond amazing.

  • May 5, 2009 at 6:56 pm: Gina

    I love raw desserts, this looks awesome :)

  • May 5, 2009 at 7:32 pm: Christian

    Rock on sister. Nice dessert.

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm: andrea e.

    it looks pretty good, i must try to make my own : )

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm: Josiane

    I’ve never liked cheesecake. Vegan ones made it seem like I could finally have a cheesecake that would be palatable to me, but truth is I’ve yet to have one, because like you “I’m just not into that vegan cheesecake, loaded with telltale, groan-worthy tofutti and confectioner’s sugar.” So thanks for this fabulous recipe – it looks like it will become the very first cheesecake I’ll be able to enjoy!

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm: IsaChandra

    Hey Dom Deluise, first off, RIP. Next off, try a mix of almond and macamia. Bet it’ll be slammin!

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:25 pm: Mo

    Omigod! Isa, I seriously love you. I am saving this so I can make it later. Yum!

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:38 pm: trina

    I think this might well be the strawberry pie that I have been craving for thirty three years. I can’t wait to try it!

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm: Andréa N.

    Wow! I’m not even into sweets or desserts… but this is ridiculous. I’m craving it now. Amazing pictures!!

  • May 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm: Jay

    Isa, this looks so good! I am trying to experiment more with raw foods. I can’t wait to try this! I am just wondering do you always have to soak raw cashews?

  • May 5, 2009 at 9:02 pm: IsaChandra

    Hey Jay! No, you don’t always have to soak raw cashews. I often do because you want to break them down into the smallest particles possible so that they’re as creamy as possible. For this dessert I think it’s important and for cream sauces I think it’s important. But if I’m making, say, a pesto with cashews then I won’t necessarily soak.

  • May 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm: dr. strawberry luva

    That is one of the most beautiful deserts i have seen in my life. I have no idea what coulis is but it looks slammin’ to.

    100% lovely! are those starberrys from yr garden?

  • May 6, 2009 at 12:47 am: Afsoon

    OoOo! Yes, please!

  • May 6, 2009 at 4:13 am: Laura

    Looks gorgeous! Can you taste the coconut… I’m a rare coconut hating vegan!

  • May 6, 2009 at 5:08 am: Penny

    This looks WONDERFUL! I might just try it for our next potluck… Feeds 16, did you say? We’ll see! (I’m a bit too fond of rich desserts for my own good…)

  • May 6, 2009 at 5:54 am: Melisser

    Gorgeous! dang. I wish I was there to share with you.

  • May 6, 2009 at 7:08 am: anni

    wow, i never thought raw food could look so yummy! i’ll make sure to try this recipe for our midsummers party(typical swedish tradition) in june. :) and btw, thanks for a wonderful blog!

  • May 6, 2009 at 10:10 am: Meagan

    Oh wow. This looks amazing, and I am totally going to make a raspberry version very, very soon.

  • May 6, 2009 at 10:38 am: IsaChandra

    Meagan, I wanted it to be raspberry! The raspberries at the store didn’t taste too sweet, though.

  • May 6, 2009 at 11:33 am: sparkythewonderdog

    I am unfamiliar with the properties of coconut oil – if you leave the cake out at room temperature for awhile before serving (say, at a potluck), is it going to get too soft?

    That looks totally yummy. Thanks Isa!

  • May 6, 2009 at 11:48 am: Harmony

    oh, YEAH!!!!!! we’re getting to you over here on the West Coast now, aren’t we!! :)
    making toDAY.

  • May 6, 2009 at 11:49 am: Harmony

    p.s. i am so thankful that you are bringing your yumminess to the raw food style. it could use a little isa!

  • May 6, 2009 at 1:06 pm: Mark

    This looks so great! For those of us who might be just a wee bit lazy, or making a whole dinner and a bit short on time, do you think it would still be pretty good without the frosting and coulis?

  • May 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm: Shellyfish

    I saw your tweet about this – damn…why don’t I have any cashews in the house!!! Looks delicious.

  • May 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm: IsaChandra

    Mark, I think leaving the frosting off would be totally fine. But the strawberry sauce takes like 3 minutes and really boosts the strawberry flavor so I would just go for it.

  • May 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm: vegetalion

    oh my god. This is on my “must make” list as soon as I finish eating all the chocolate peanut butter pillows I made this week…

  • May 6, 2009 at 3:24 pm: Tofusamurai

    I went to Cafe Gratitude last summer and it was amazing. We went for lunch and had to swing back by before we left SF for a few goodies to go. I got their (un?)cookbook and was bummed about the Irish Moss thing too. Your Cheesecake looks great and I was planning on taking my boys strawberry picking in the next week or so anyways, so I will be trying this out. Thanks!

  • May 7, 2009 at 12:25 am: Kate Quinn

    Ooh Yum!! I absolutely love the cream on top – will have to try that next time! Convieniently I have some cashews soaking… hmmm :) I think I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon!

  • May 7, 2009 at 12:52 am: leah

    cafe gratitude does have incredible desserts, so I can’t wait to try this simpler, unfettered version. and it’s not something I am forced to order in the form of an affirmation…radical.

  • May 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm: theconcept

    i’m totally making this for mother’s day

  • May 7, 2009 at 4:58 pm: anissa

    ISA!!

    i love you!

    when is Vegan Brunch coming out????????

    ive been looking all over the internet and your site for a date.. and i can’t find it! but i feel like everyone else knows when it is…. lol so im missing something

  • May 7, 2009 at 8:47 pm: Mary

    I am so excited to make this during strawberry season at the end of June! Maybe I’ll drizzle chocolate on top. Mmm….

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • May 7, 2009 at 9:45 pm: IsaChandra

    anissa, Brunch is out on May 25th, maybe a little earlier even.

  • May 8, 2009 at 3:55 am: Rose

    Wow im so happy i stumbled upon your blog! I was actually considering to buy your book just a couple of days ago.
    This cheesecake looks so great! I have tried to make vegan cheesecakes twice before, they both contained tofu and turned out horribly. But your recipie has no tofu :) I will have to try it! What is it that makes it set so well?

  • May 8, 2009 at 9:24 am: Jilly

    Wow, that looks so amazing!

  • May 8, 2009 at 10:17 am: Mihl

    Isa, you are my hero.

  • May 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm: IsaChandra

    Rose – blended cashews set up really nicely on their own but coconut oil is solid at room temp, and that seals the deal!

  • May 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm: Rachel

    What would you suggest as a cashew replacement? This looks fantastic, but I’m super allergic to nuts (allergic to sesame, too! It’s a tough life, vegan cooking wise)

  • May 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm: bazu

    COOKED SPINACH WILL KILL YOU!!!!!11!1

  • May 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm: IsaChandra

    Rcahel, try a mix of macadamias and almonds.

  • May 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm: melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 a Day

    That is beautiful…

    I love making raw desserts.. .. coconut oil and cashews are magical!

  • May 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm: Amy

    I just got done preparing this and everything is chillin’ in the fridge. It was a really easy recipe for me, and I’m kind of a spaz. The only change I made was using lemon juice. I think it’s going to turn out perfect!!!

  • May 10, 2009 at 6:27 am: Mandee

    I’ve been put off raw cheesecakes because I’ve heard Irish Moss is hard to use, but this raw cheesecake looks much easier and gorgeous. Thanks for the recipe, Isa,

  • May 10, 2009 at 11:47 am: Nancy

    Isa – Do you think this would freeze well? I can’t imagine boyfriend and I downing all of this within a few days.

  • May 10, 2009 at 11:28 pm: lucy

    does it get any more decadent? :-)

  • May 11, 2009 at 2:42 am: Cotane

    I made it and it was a huge success. I was really easy to make and tasted awesome. I like the intense fruitiness.

  • May 11, 2009 at 11:39 am: kimmykokonut

    This looks great! Can you find Irish Moss anywhere? I’d love to make something with that goo, I only had a drink once at a jamaican rastafarian place in florida and I was impressed with the texture. I can’t imagine how awesome it would be in a cheesecake.

  • May 12, 2009 at 12:15 am: britt

    It looks so yummy. I prefer vegan baking over omnivore baking any day. I will have to try making this sometime,but I think I will do blueberries instead.

  • May 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm: Vanessa

    Do you think I could make this without the agave syrup? Or perhaps suggest something instead of agave? I don’t have any in the house and have had a hard time finding any in the small town I live in. Thanks!

  • May 20, 2009 at 3:11 am: IsaChandra

    Maple syrup?

  • May 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm: Mark

    I made this and it was great. Then I froze it and let it thaw just about 15 minutes before serving so it was sort of like an ice cream cake. So good like that! (I might even prefer it.)

  • May 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm: lacey

    Wow that looks yum!

  • May 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm: Ang

    Just a quick question about this badass cheesecake–is the texture more like ‘cream cheese pie’ (soft, creamy, cannot stand up a fork in it) or is it more of a dense, brick-like NYC/Vegan Treats cheesecake?
    I happen to prefer the latter, so if it’s not super-dense, do you have any tips on how I might make it firmer (more cashews or non-liquid sugar maybe)? Thanks so much! I can’t wait to bust this out.

  • May 26, 2009 at 7:43 pm: IsaChandra

    Ang, you can certainly stand a fork up in it! It’s dense. Wouldn’t call it a brick, though.

  • June 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm: lorian

    raw desserts intimidate me, but i pulled this bitch off. thx for the easy breezy recipe! it’s delicious and creamy and just wonderful.

  • June 8, 2009 at 9:41 pm: Diane

    I made this pie two weekends ago and served it each weekend to different people. This is an awesome dessert that is totally luscious and should be served in slim pieces. It freezes well (to serve more people the following weekend). I put some hemp seeds and pistachios in the crust. Wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!

  • September 12, 2009 at 11:58 am: christy

    i actually have tried this cheesecake, and yes, it hits the ball way out of the f’in park. texture is amazing, you won’t believe it’s not animal by-product!

  • October 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm: shannonmarie

    I know this is a tad bit late, but this is the first I’ve stumbled across a raw recipe on your blog (I’ve been a little out of the loop lately). I used to make your cooked recipes before going raw again. Now, I just make raw versions on my blog. I hope you don’t mind, but your “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” book provided a lot of inspiration for me toward the end of last year. I’ve even gotten back to making more raw cupcakes recently. You should check them out :-)

  • October 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm: Moises

    Thanks for the recipe! I got Irish Moss, gonna try making it with out using the cashews. Hugs an thanks again from Hong Kong
    Moy

  • November 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm: Sarah

    This recipe rules! Made it for a potluck/show and everyone loved it. Definetly making this again, probably for thanksgiving.

  • January 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm: Jen Soup

    This is fantastic! i was thinking of turning my strawberries here into jam but after I saw this, perhaps a cake recipe will be great. I love the pictures by the way.

  • January 27, 2010 at 11:07 am: Emily stockman raw food

    Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  • January 31, 2010 at 5:18 am: Glee-chan

    Oh, I have not really tried using raw strawberry except in salads..but I think it will be great!

  • April 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm: Meat Is Murder

    Just thinking out loud here. Think it’s possible to switch the cashews with peanuts, the strawberry with chocolate and skip the lemon? Of course it would no longer be a strawberry cheesecake, or even raw. But in my head I imagine it could be a mighty good peanut butter cake. Better start with a small batch.

  • May 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm: Rebecca J.

    Do you have any tips for getting this out of the springform pan? Do you just leave the springform bottom stuck to the bottom of the dessert, or are you able to slide it off? Any tips for avoiding deformation/breakage?

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  • May 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm: Rebecca J.

    Spammer! Argh!!

  • June 7, 2010 at 6:45 pm: timberly

    This looks amazing…I’m glad it’s strawberry season. Isa you have made my vegan life so dang tasty!

  • October 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm: Detoxification Diets :

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  • December 23, 2010 at 3:23 am: Leah

    This looks amazing! Fresh strawberries are so expensive this time of year… do you think it would work with frozen strawberries?

    • December 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm: IsaChandra

      Yeah, except for the strawberries on top.

  • December 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm: Heather

    Rawberry! Cheesecake is my holiday desert solution this year. You are my hero.

  • January 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm: Alex

    Tried this, not sure what went wrong but it never solidified….even after keeping it in the fridge all night. Perhaps I did not leave in mixer long enough? Maybe the cashews didn’t soak long enough? Any thoughts?

  • January 12, 2011 at 2:53 am: Elizabeth

    Tried the recipe. NOM.

    That is all.

  • January 23, 2011 at 11:45 pm: Sarah

    Holy shit- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    I did not even THINK of raw desserts when I was trying to figure out desserts my father could possibly eat- he has Crohn’s Disease and can’t eat lactose or sugar or most prepared flour. He can actually eat this! My only switch would be honey in place of agave nectar (he can’t eat agave nectar), and preparing my own strawberry coulis with honey instead of sugar. I am DEFINITELY going to make this. Thanks again Isa!

    • January 24, 2011 at 4:46 am: IsaChandra

      I’m happy that you found a treat that your dad can eat!

  • January 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm: marina

    I have tried this recipe twice now and could not get it to set in the fridge, which is where I left it overnight both times. Any tips!?

  • February 12, 2011 at 6:13 am: Grace

    WOW! this recipe was GREAT! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am not vegan or a raw foodist, but LOVE this recipe. I will definitely make this again. Thank you again!

  • March 26, 2011 at 11:18 am: wendella

    HI, hi, totally serious-ditzy question: the three cups of cashews are BEFORE soaking right? because they get bigger! and my springform is not a 9 inch. best…

    • March 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm: IsaChandra

      Yep, before soaking.

  • March 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm: Wendella

    Thanks for the response. My niece has made this twice, to fantastic results. Mine didn’t hold together so well…. will have to try again. Cheers.

  • April 13, 2011 at 12:17 am: Sarah

    Made this today – it was great! It just didn’t set so I served it from the freezer to cut down on the sloppy factor.

  • April 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm: Anna

    The cheesecake part held up, but my whipped cream didnt… what did i do wrong? Regardless, it was very very good!!!:)

  • May 29, 2011 at 10:47 pm: Jessica

    Make sure you defrost the fruit before blending if using frozen strawberries! I didn’t and because it was so cold the coconut oil solidified into little lumps in the blender, and then it didn’t set. =(

  • May 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm: mina.aphrodosia

    I made this for my sister’s birthday and I was soo exiceted to give it a try, because it looks awefully yummy. It didn’t turn out nicely at all, though. I had to add tons of agar agar, because the strawberry cashew cream didn’t thicken at all, and the taste was, well… Because of all the fresh berries and the cahews it was an expensive pie for my bin, and the first recipe of Isa that didn’t make me go “ahhhh”, sorry.

  • May 31, 2011 at 9:41 pm: alexandria

    do you have to soak the cashews???…. and will the recipe still work with roasted cashews hmm ill guess ill find out

  • June 28, 2011 at 2:33 am: Andrea

    I used Blueberries instead, and made mini cupcake version with exact recipe, they turned out AMAZING thank you

  • July 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm: Laura

    Super excited to try this recipe.. but not very excited that my printer printed out over 10 pages of comments when I hit the print button on your post. That should probably be fixed…

  • July 10, 2011 at 11:57 am: Frollein

    I made it yesterday for a dinner for an omni friend of mine. She was absolutely delighted. Me too, by the way, it tastes so super fresh and yet creamytastic….. I took not only strawberries but also blueberries and redcurrants for it becaue they seduced me at the market. The three berries made also an extremely beautiful decoration with the white frosting. Thanks for this one :)

  • July 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm: Luke

    What can I use for a good coconut oil substitute? No stores around me has any. :(

    • July 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm: IsaChandra

      There really isn’t one for this cheesecake.

  • August 4, 2011 at 6:59 am: Cathy Carlblom

    Beautiful picture; I could almost taste it. Went to purchase everything I needed. Soaked the cashews the night before. Vitamix to the ready, followed the directions to the letter and put it all together. Placed the cheesecake in the frig for its “cooling off” period, actually nearly 24 hours until ready to assemble. Unlatched the springform lever and pulled up. The cake oozed sideways into a pancake. It does taste absolutely wonderful, and the crust is amazing too, but it’s not pretty at all, certainly not as pictured. After reviewing other “raw vegan cheescake” recipes, it appears that the majority suggest putting it in the freezer and placing it in the frig about 2 hours before serving. Perhaps this is the solution…or…any other suggestions?

    • August 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm: IsaChandra

      I really don’t know! I didn’t freeze it, but perhaps if your fridge is not cold enough then freezing would be the way to go!

  • August 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm: Mallory

    I also just made this and it refused to set…. no idea what went wrong but I’m super bummed out.

  • September 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm: Becky

    I made this the other night and it was fabulous! Mine set perfectly, but I used a little bit less than the full 32 oz of strawberries which may have made the filling a little bit thicker….less watery. Everyone loved it…even my kids. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  • September 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm: Cameron

    I made this yesterday and mine also did not set. I ended up having to freeze it and eat it frozen, because it gets all goopy when thawed out. Unfortunate, because the flavors are positively divine!

    I am considering three things that might have interfered with the cake’s ability to set: 1) I made the mistake of measuring the 3 cups of cashews after soaking, rather than before; 2) I used frozen strawberries, 3/4 of the way defrosted; 3) It’s warm enough here that my coconut oil remains in a liquid state, so I did not heat it up (to melt it) before adding it in. Do any of these seem like they could be the source of the problem?

    • September 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm: IsaChandra

      I’m wondering if the problem is that people are using frozen strawberries, which collect a lot of extra liquid. But that’s all I got!

  • October 3, 2011 at 1:04 am: Chris M.

    Don’t use FROZEN strawberries! Their cell walls are broken down and they’re all mushy. This makes it so much harder for the dessert to set! This was definitely my problem. Isa, can you add this to the instructions to not use frozen? Thanks!!

  • November 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm: Robyn

    I LOVE this recipe! I’ve made it a few times now and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.

  • December 6, 2011 at 12:21 am: Karen

    This is absolutely amazing :)
    I like to set it in the freezer anyways because I am impatient, then slice and freeze individually so I can pull out a little piece whenever I want some, plus the flavours seem to get even better with time.
    Thanks Isa

  • December 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm: Kyla

    Mine didn’t set either. I used fresh strawberries. The only change I made was using maple syrup instead of agave.

  • January 9, 2012 at 6:35 am: Morgan

    Uh – yum! Just put mine to set in the fridge and yes.. could be caught licking the blender. Tasty! (but glad I remembered not to lick the blades.) Thank you!!!!

  • February 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm: Therese

    Made this the other day and came out fantastically! I made half a batch strawberry flavoured, and half a batch pineapple with white chocolate and coconut topping.

    For one half I used frozen wild strawberries, which I rinsed with some cold water to speed up defrosting, then left in a sieve over a bowl to lose potentially excessive water whilst defrosting. I simmered the excess liquid from the strawberries to reduce it and used it as a flavourful substitution for the water called for in the recipe. Although I added my cheesecake mixture to little ramekins (so I can defrost cheesecake on demand!), the texture was lovely and thick, and I’m sure it would have stood up well in a springform pan.

    For the pineapple cheesecake, I used slightly less pineapple than I would have strawberries as it seemed more watery. The fresh pineapple lent delicious extra tartness, but I couldn’t really succeed in processing it to a smooth consistency – it may work better with canned pineapple. Nevertheless, I topped my mini pineapple cheesecakes with melted vegan white chocolate and a liberal sprinkling of dessicated coconut, which went very well with the pineapple, and the shredded coconut covered up that the cheesecake body wasn’t perfectly smooth.

    I was blown away by the authentic cheesecake-like flavour of the cashew, agave, vanilla and lime juice mixture before adding the fruit… May have to try a vanilla variation next time! I also have it in mind to try a vanilla version topped with a thin layer of strawberry jelly / syrup, or a white chocolate and stem ginger flavoured version. Or blueberry, or white chocolate and raspberry…

  • February 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm: Emma B

    Wow, this looks amazing! I don’t think I can wait for strawberry season to make it. Do you think it would work with mango? Without access to agave or maple syrup, do you think a regular sugar style syrup will work?

  • March 30, 2012 at 3:17 am: Dia

    Just happened to look at this amazing recipe today, and cannot wait until morning to get started on this! There’s just one hitch… wondering if I can substitute coconut oil with some other oil? My husband and I are super allergic to coconut oil. Thanks, in advance for your response!

  • April 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm: Robin F.

    I just tried this recipe this week when I came across a great deal on local strawberries and all I can say is WOW!!! The crust to this recipe really reminded me of graham crackers and the cheesecake was so creamy and it did set up pretty well. My only advice is to be liberal with greasing the pan with coconut oil just to ensure everything comes out clean and pretty. I hope you break out a couple more raw dessert recipes in the near future (PS- I share your pain with raw food so I won’t be too upset if this is the last raw recipe I see on PPK!)

  • June 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm: jayF

    what size are the cups you use?

  • June 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm: Tiffany

    I can’t wait to make this for Fathers Day on Sunday! I’m slowly working on promoting veganism in my family. I think they will be blown away by this dessert. It sounds absolutely amazing!

  • June 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm: THEB

    Hi, PLEASE HELP PLEASE.

    Second time making this, and it is not setting up at all!! It is the consistency of a thick heavy whipped cream. The first time I used refined coconut oil. My mistake I guess. So I bought unrefined virgin oil with this second batch.( Not really clear up there ^) Upon calling my local hometown health store they said they use a probiotic powder inside as well. Yet with this above recipe WHY WONT IT SET UP ??
    I Froze it for an hour or so didn’t do much, I have it back in the freezer today.

  • July 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm: Robinlee Garber

    This is gonna be the cake I bring to work for the Hospital Bake-off! You are so awesome, Ms Isa.

  • July 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm: Autumn Borek

    Hi, Isa. I came across this recipe kind of by accident, and it looked so good, I just had to try it. I followed the recipe to a t, but my cheesecake just would not get firm. I left it in the fridge overnight, but still had no luck. When I took it out of the springform pan, the whole thing just kind of collapsed. Any suggestions on what I might have done wrong? P.S. The filling was still amazing, so I ended up just scraping it out into a bowl and eating it that way.

  • July 22, 2012 at 12:38 am: Nicole

    I don’t understand how anyone got this to set. I left it in the refridgerator for almost 8 hours, and when i took it out it turned into a dripping gloppy mess all over the place. Any suggestions for a cake that won’t set?

  • July 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm: Krista Block

    My favorite dessert of all time! Thank you!

  • August 7, 2012 at 2:22 am: Katie-Lyn

    I just tried this recipe & sadly the cake as well as the frosting did not set properly. Literally, it is a big blob on my plate & melted all over my counter top. I even let it sit overnight!?! What happened??

    Alas, it was not all a lost, the crust & the filling are really tasty. I highly recommend if you make this cake, freeze it…

  • August 20, 2012 at 12:38 am: Suzana

    This pie is DELICIOUS!!! But the consistency was like a mousse, impossible to cut. Should I use less water next time?

  • September 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm: Angela

    Made this for a friend’s birthday yesterday, and it was awesome! After reading comments about it not setting, I skipped the 1/4c water, and I think it turned out perfectly. She was thrilled.

    I’m going to experiment with the same base recipe and use pumpkin pie filling instead…. if it turns out, I’ll let you know.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • September 7, 2012 at 7:57 am: Jessica

    I’ve made this several times in the past using hydrogenated coconut oil with wonderful success, and this time around I decided to try unrefined coconut oil and it tastes AWFUL. The aftertaste of the oil is overpowering and sickening and I just wanted to make sure that you guys all check the taste of the oil before pouring it in… I made this to serve at a function and I have had to toss the lot! It’s a good thing strawberries are in season, I’ll just have to try again.

  • October 25, 2012 at 5:59 am: shiya

    can this recipe be made without the dates? i’m not a big fan of dates. if not, is there a substitution for it?

  • November 6, 2012 at 10:14 am: Rob Pleitez

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  • January 19, 2013 at 9:52 am: Vegan Radhika Sarohia

    This looks scrumptious

  • February 1, 2013 at 3:17 am: Chelsea

    Hey Isa – So I’ve used the cashew cream dream before and (while I personally LOVED it in everything I tried it in) my partner really doesn’t like the cashew nutty flavor (especially in soups and deserts). He likes cashews well enough but for some reason the cashew cream just doesn’t do it for him. So now I want to try this…but it has that cashew cream in it.
    Any suggestions or substitutes that would work just as well without the nutty flavor?

  • February 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm: Chantel

    I’m not vegan but I don’t do dairy, and this is by far one of the best desserts I have ever made in my life. I’ve been feeding it to everyone I know (veg, omni, you name it) and they cannot stop talking about it.

    I was a little apprehensive given how many of the comments talked about the cake not setting, so I took the advice of others and completely skipped the water in the filling recipe (and halved what goes into the frosting). It set perfectly! I’m wondering if it has something to do with the moisture already in the soaked cashews and rinsed strawberries?

    • February 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm: IsaChandra

      I could never figure out why some had problems. I’ve made this (and variations) a million times and never had a problem, so it’s difficult to troubleshoot. In any case, happy it worked for you!

  • February 19, 2013 at 1:32 am: Chantel

    It might sound silly, but it could also be one of those cases where organic matters. Non-organic strawberries are gigantic things with less flavor and definitely more water content. Two 32 oz containers, side by side, look vastly different.

    P.S. I rediscovered this site after a few years away, and I feel like I severely cheated myself. I’m not vegan (but I’m pretty darn close) and the recipes I’ve made from here in just the past two months have been nothing short of extraordinary. I made this and the roasted butternut alfredo for the fella for Valentines day and dear gods am I winning. Thank you, Isa!

  • March 9, 2013 at 5:10 am: ella

    I made a Meyer lemon version as my tree is overloaded, and it was divine. I don’t have a springform pan and didn’t feel like buying one, so lined a pyrex baking dish with parchment paper oiled lightly w/ coconut oil. I then cut the cake in little squares kind of like petit fours, and everyone was wild about it. Couldn’t believe it was vegan, etc. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  • April 1, 2013 at 4:00 am: Michelle

    I made this for an event with vegan guests and it tasted amazing, but mine also failed to hold its shape, even though I completely omitted the water from the recipe. Just curious, are you measuring 4 c of strawberries or using a whole 32 oz box without measuring them? I used 32 oz (minus 9 for decorating) but measured them just out of curiosity, and it was more like 6-7 c rather than 4. I’m wondering if that may account for the issues some folks have been having.

    Fallen “cheesecake” notwithstanding, I thought it was delicious and may make it as a pie or in a glass baking dish next time so I don’t have to worry so much about it holding its shape. Thanks for the recipe!

  • April 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm: Michelle

    P.S. Based on the texture of the leftovers the next day, I think mine might have held if I’d let it set overnight rather than the five hours that it actually had.

  • April 11, 2013 at 5:53 am: Lily

    Delicious! One though would be maybe a little more lime? I felt it could have been a little tangier for a cheesecake. The consistency was perfect, after reading the comments about not setting, I actually placed mine in the freezer for the first 2 hours and then moved it to the fridge (it didn’t freeze actually freeze through in that time, probably just helped it firm up faster). The fluffy frosting I was really concerned about after blending it up, it was so soupy! I ended up freezing this for an hour cause I was in a hurry at this point and then putting it back in the fridge. It came out great! Very fluffy! Thank you for this great recipe!

  • May 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm: Renee

    I too experienced an unsuccessful set. Grrrr. It was for my vegan daughter’s birthday. After 5 hours in the fridge and one hour in the freezer, I decided to make parfaits with the smoothie like texture. The taste was great. Next time, no water.

  • May 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm: Michelle

    BTW, your instructions don’t mention adding the coconut oil to your filling…

  • June 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm: Emily

    I tried this recipe too, with fresh strawberries and followed every direction. I even let it set in the fridge overnight, but it’s still smoothie textured. Also, the frosting separated overnight! I’ve never gone wrong with a recipe by Isa Chandra before :(

  • June 10, 2013 at 7:10 am: NFA Trust Texas

    Thanks for all your inspiring raw recipes and exquisite photos! Rawmazing is my all-time favorite raw food recipe website.

  • June 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm: M

    I had to put mine in the freezer to get it to set. The flavor was nice but for the effort and the cost of ingredients, it wasn’t worth it. The frosting remained a liquid despite leaving it in the fridge for 4 hours. Will continue my hunt for a good raw cheesecake.

  • June 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm: Steph

    Ours came out perfectly, very delicious. next time, though, i am going to leave off the frosting. It’s good in its own right, but we felt it detracted from the cake. We’ll just garnish the top with sliced strawberries. The coulis made with maple syrup was a nice addition. Yum.

  • September 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm: michele

    I’m going to try this later in the week and I’m worried about it not setting. Had to laugh when I read here that coconut oil was solid at room temperature. Not room temperature in FL in summer! So I think it might be after-dinner dessert, fresh from the fridge, rather than take-it-to-the-picnic dessert. The container says that coconut will solidify at 76 degrees. I’m guessing it’s the oil or the amount of water in the strawberries that is making it unable to properly set.

  • September 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm: Leah

    My daughter will be 3 tomorrow and has chosen this for her birthday cake! Wish me luck! Looks amazing.

  • December 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm: Danielle

    I was wondering if there was a feasible alternative to the lime juice? I would love to try this recipe sometime but I had laryngeal reflux so I am trying to cut citrus out of my diet completely.

  • December 25, 2013 at 7:30 am: Julie

    I made this for Christmas lunch and although the taste was good it completely collapsed when I removed the sides of the springform tin.
    I followed the recipe exactly. A bit of a shame really. I had also refrigerated it over night so I don’t know what the problem was.

  • December 28, 2013 at 1:39 am: Leslie

    Where can I get raw cashews from?

  • December 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm: Jackie

    I have to wonder if the problem some folks are having with the filling not setting up properly is that they are measuring out 3 cups of whole cashews instead of 3 cups of cashew pieces as the recipe instructs. There’s a significant difference in volume between the two.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:36 am: Samantha

    My boyfriend is vegan so i often use your site for recipes! This was the first dessert i’ve made that is raw and vegan. It was BANG-A-RANG! Everyone loved it. It was nice and creamy. I added in some blueberries for a nice burst of flavor. It was so nice everyone eating together enjoying a meal. Instead of the usual boyfriend sitting in the corner with nothing to eat!
    Thanks!

  • February 14, 2014 at 5:29 pm: Deborah

    This is absolutely delicious. I made raspberry, not strawberry. I love that not only is it non dairy, but also non soy. Yum. Thank you, Isa. By the way the new cookbook is well worth the money and then some!

  • February 18, 2014 at 11:06 am: Anoushé

    Hi Isa! This looks amazing! I’ve been meaning to ask if you have a food processor you can recommend? I really need to buy a new one and wanted to know if you had any advice :) Thank you!

  • March 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm: Tamar

    hi can i omit the strawberries in the filling? thanks

  • March 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm: Kate Milan

    Just popped mine in the fridge ….not sure I can wait four hours – had to lick the bowl out and ….it’s delicious!!!

  • April 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm: Alex

    this is going to be the best Passover cake ever.

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  • May 28, 2014 at 12:28 am: Alice

    Hi! I’m wondering if you have a good substitution for someone allergic to pecans (no walnuts or peanuts for me either). Should I just double the number of almonds or should I pulse roasted cashews with it or something like that? Thanks!

  • June 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm: Crystal

    I have lemons not limes… would that work? Looks delicious!

  • July 6, 2014 at 7:15 pm: Sophia

    Agave nectar isn’t raw. The process in which it is made is similar to that of high-fructose corn syrup. No matter what the package says, raw agave nectar doesn’t exist.

  • July 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm: Karen

    I made this yesterday…delicious but didn’t set up as promised. Even after 24 hours in the fridge it’s still too soft to hold its shape. (Same with the frosting.)
    Any suggestions??

  • August 27, 2014 at 1:50 am: Magda

    Not sure what I did wrong but as soon as I opened spring form it all just swam out. It was more consistency of yogurt. Any ideas? Nest time I am thinking of freezing it and cutting slices while they are half frozen