Raw Lemon Berry Cheesecake
Right before I left for Australia, my husband left town for a last minute business trip to LA that also happened to fall on his birthday. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to spend his birthday apart and instead we decided to keep things super low-key the night before he left and treated ourselves to some mid-week sushi at our favorite neighborhood spot. Our wedding cake was a beautiful raspberry lemon layer cake that we both still dream about, but since we have almost entirely cut out dairy, gluten and refined sugar from our diets, I knew recreating it meant changing it up a bit so as not to cause us any digestive distress.
I had already planned on making some fresh cashew milk (you can see my recipe for that here) that day, so I added some extra nuts to use for this recipe and let them soak the night before. (win-win!!)
I am a huge fan of raw cakes and desserts not just because they are almost always the healthiest option, but because they are incredibly easy and almost impossible to mess up. The only tool you really need is the time and patience to soak the cashews (a minimum of 4 hours before) and wait for the cake to freeze (a few more hours), making it a dessert you definitely need to plan in advance for as it’s not something super simple to whip up last minute.
My friend Kara (@karaschab) came over the next morning to help me shoot some fun new content (coming soon!) including this cake, which explains why it was already cut into (whoops) and had a couple of slices missing!
1 cup medjool dates (pitted)
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for at least 4 hours)
1 can coconut cream
2 cups frozen mixed berries
2 lemons (zest and juice)
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean (powder or extract)
1. Soak the cashews in water for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight prior to beginning the process!
2. In a food processor, mix the almonds, dates, coconut and sea salt until it forms a sticky (& slightly chunky) crust. You should be able to pinch a bit of it in between your fingers and it remains stuck together. Feel free to add more dates to make it even more sticky.
3. Place the crust ingredients into a small cake pan of choice. Use your fingers to press and knead the crust into the pan until it is all stuck together and about 1/4 inch thick. If you’d like to be able to plate the entire cake (as seen in my photos), I recommend this springform pan so that once it is frozen you can pop it right out.
4. Place all of the filling ingredients except for the berries into a high speed blender until it forms a thick, smoothie-like texture. Pour 3/4 of the mix into the cake pan and place into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes to allow it to harden a bit. (you can place the blender with the remaining filling in the refrigerator while you wait)
5. Add the mixed berries to the remainder of the filling left in the blender, mix, and then add the second layer to the cake pan.
6. Let the cake sit in the freezer for around 2 hours to allow it to harden and then garnish with whatever ingredients you’d like! I love some more sliced berries, coconut flakes, or fresh flowers for decoration!
p.s. you can keep this cake in the freezer for up to a month and enjoy whenever you’d like a slice!