These dairy free cheesecake bites have been in the queue for awhile, but full disclosure – the first time I made these little treats I waited way too long to photograph them and then there were *somehow* only two left, because, well, they’re delicious and desserts don’t last long in this house. So I learned my lesson and whipped up a new batch, let them set up and then photographed immediately, because I wasn’t risking a dessert inhalation again 😉
Dairy Free Rainbow Cheesecake
So, all of that to say, that today I’m FINALLY sharing this recipe for dairy free rainbow mini cheesecakes. If rainbow foods aren’t your thing, you can totally make them a normal cheesecake color, so don’t let that discourage you. Now, let’s get to it!
No Dairy Cheesecake
In full disclosure, this recipe was inspired by my friend Tara who sent me this recipe to test out. I knew I wanted to find a way to eliminate the honey/agave and to dress them up a little bit with color, which is where my rendition was born. Before we get started, I can’t stress enough how vital of a role my Vitamix played in this. Without a Vitamix or food processor, I’m not sure you could bring this recipe to life, so make sure you have one of those on deck!
Dairy Free Mini Cheesecakes
You Will Need:
1 cup packed, pitted dates
1 cup walnuts (I used the kind from the bulk section of my grocery store)
1 1/2 cups cashews, quick soaked (I used the salted kind from the bulk section of my grocery store)
scant 1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. full fat coconut milk
How To Make Dairy Free Cheesecake
1. You’ll want to start by mixing up the crust, so take the dates and blend them on medium-high until they become small bits. Remove them from the container and add in your walnuts, blending them on medium-high until they are finely chopped. Add your date bits back in and blend together in your Vitamix or food processor. The mixture will become a big sticky ball, but will come out of your container easily. It’s relatively mess-free!
2. Divide crust evenly into two muffin tins and press down to make it flat; my mix was plenty for 12. Put in your refrigerator while you get to work on the filling!
3. Add soaked cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla into your Vitamix/blender and blend on high until thick and smooth.
4. Divide filling mix into 4 bowls and dye with food coloring gels. I chose blue, purple, pink and green – but the options are endless!
5. Remove muffin tins with crust from the refrigerator and spoon colored mix in a little at a time. It’s very important you don’t stir them around, rather just layer the colors spoonful-by-spoonful on top of the crusts. Mixing creates grey! You can also add any type of sprinkles you want 🙂
6. When all of the mixture is used, tap trays lightly on the countertop to remove air bubbles and place into freezer for 8 hours.
7. Remove from freezer and release the mini cheesecakes from the pan. Most of mine popped right out, but if they don’t, use the edge of a knife around the edges to release them.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – Dane is a cheesecake snob. I made these while he was working, so all I said to him was – look at these colorful cheesecakes I made! I made no mention of dairy free, or anything other than – HEY YOU! YOU LOVE CHEESECAKE! LOOK WHAT I MADE! And of course he was like “wow, those are so pretty!”, but he had no clue that they weren’t a traditional dairy-filled cheesecake, so I just waited for him to take a bite and see what he thought.
His first impression was that he knew right away the crust wasn’t graham cracker, which I feel like is a totally legit response. The crust is not like a traditional cheesecake (I’m okay with this detail), but it’s tasty in its own way. Otherwise – he thought that was my only modification. YOU GUYS – HE TOOK THE BAIT ON THESE! Only after he ate two did I break it to him he was eating a cashew-based cheesecake and there was, in fact, nothing cheesy about it.
I will forever file this under a dessert win for that reason alone. Not only are these colorful and fun, but they’re delicious and fit the spot on needing something sweet without it being over-the-top. I’ve since made them again in plain, cheesecake-color and they’re just as good, but not quite as fun 😉
I know it’s sometimes hard to try new recipes that seem a little bit intimidating at first like using soaked cashews or subbing in dates for sweetener, or maybe that was just me who felt intimidated by those things?! But I can honestly say that if I can do it – so can you!
It just takes a little bit of trial and error, finding good base recipes to follow that you can modify based on your own needs, and figuring out ingredients that you like. I think 5 years ago I would have looked at this like – what?! I’m not capable of doing that! So if you’re reading and feeling a little bit of the same – I want to tell you that..you can!
So let’s chat – have you ever had dairy free cheesecake? Is this something you would attempt at home? As always, if you make these, I would love to see! Share with me on Twitter, Instagram, carrier pigeon, telegraph…whatever ya got!