Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cheesecake

strawberry swirl cheesecake


This creamy and sweet cheesecake is based upon soaked cashews and sweetened with agave, It comes from our popular blogger friend Cara Reed who blogs at This recipe is from her book Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking. The topping optional but really puts it over the top. Check out her vegan, GF Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, too and our interview with her.

Excerpted with permission. Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking: Delicious, Gluten-, Egg- and Dairy-Free Treats and Sweetsby Cara Reed. Published by Page Street Publishing 2014. Photos by Celine Steen.

Decadent GF cover

I was never one for cheesecake. It just never held my attention like, say, brownies did. That is until I started to experiment with the incredible cashew—a food that could be made into almost anything. I became a cheesecake believer. The creamy flavor that cashews give this recipe is mind-blowing—you would never guess that the filling is made from nuts.

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
Makes: 8 servings
  • 1½ c/390 g Gluten-Free Graham Crackers, crushed
  • ⅓ c/75 g vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ c/50 g granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp/28 g brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp/6 g cocoa powder
  • 3½ c/896 g cashews, soaked for 2 to 3 hours
  • ¼ c/60 ml lemon juice
  • ½ c/120 ml agave nectar
  • 2 tsp/10 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ c/120 ml unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2½ c/570 g frozen strawberries, thawed and puréed (two 10-oz/570-g bags)
  • ¼ c/50 g granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 9–inch/22.5-cm round springform pan.
  2. Combine all of the crust ingredients until well combined. Press into pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool fully before pouring in the filling. In a blender, combine all the filling ingredients except for the coconut oil until completely smooth. If it is difficult to blend, add 1 tablespoon/15 ml of water at a time until the mix is able to blend properly. Try not to add too much, though—you want a thick filling. Add the oil and blend until combined.
  3. Pour over the crust. Combine the sugar and strawberry purée to make the swirl. Then, pour the strawberry swirl over the cheesecake and use a spoon to gently swirl it into the filling. Place in the fridge for several hours until firm. (You might need to freeze the pie for a few minutes before you take it out of the pan.)
  4. Serve with fresh strawberries and homemade Coconut Whipped Cream.

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