Graham cracker crust is layered with date caramel, roasted peanuts, and creamy cashew-based vegan no-bake cheesecake topped with tender chunks of cinnamon-simmered apples and a rich peanut butter drizzle.
Wednesday Thusday, and already, it’s been a week. I don’t know how things are going for you guys, but life is a bit nuts in my world.
Maybe you figured that out already, if you tried to get onto the site earlier this week. Things were broken for a good part of the day Monday, and still not quite right on Tuesday or Wednesday, hence me putting off my Wednesday post until today. Apologies if you couldn’t get on the site to access a recipe you were looking for. I’m hoping things are up and running for good at this point.
Dealing with that has made me a little cranky. So…cheesecake. Yeah, I usually save desserts for the weekend, but my site broke, it’s cold and rainy, and I want cheesecake now.
In reality I fed this to my family last weekend, but let’s pretend I’m enjoying it with you today. Everyone loved it, and someone actually said something along the lines of “it tastes just as good as a regular cheesecake, but I don’t feel like awful after eating it.” I paraphrased some of that, but you get the gist. I could use some cheesecake. The last thing I need to feel like is awful. Vegan caramel apple cheesecake it is.
I learned a little something from this recipe: when it comes to vegan cheesecake, no-bake is the way to go. Isn’t that great?! All this time I thought no-bake was a cop-out and doomed to be inferior to baked cheesecake. That may be true of dairy cheesecake (or it may not, don’t ask me), but vegan cheesecake sans baking results in the richest, creamiest, cheesiest, feel-good cheesecake on the planet. Just a little bit of coconut oil and a few hours in the fridge results in a cheesecake with the perfect level of firmness.
Other things that are great about this cheesecake: (1) It has caramel. Super easy date caramel that you blend up in two minutes and spread over a graham cracker crust. (2) It has peanuts. Because we all know the caramel apples with peanuts are way better than the plain ones. (3) It has tender, simmered, cinnamoney apple chunks, which, judging by your reaction to this pudding and this vegan apple pie, you guys dig as much as I do.
Caramel Apple Vegan No-Bake Cheesecake
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- ¼ cup brown sugar
For the Date Caramel Peanut Layer
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil melted
- 3-4 tbsp. water
- ¾ cup roasted and salted peanuts chopped
For the Cheesecake Layer
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. salt
For the Apple Topping
- 2 medium apples peeled and diced
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch salt
For the Peanut Drizzle
- 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2-3 tbsp. water as needed
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat oven to 400°. Stir all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Firmly press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool.
Make the Date Caramel Peanut Layer
While the crust bakes, place the dates into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Place dates into food processor bowl with coconut oil. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed and thinning with water as needed, until a smooth paste is formed. Spread mixture in an even layer over crust. Sprinkle with peanuts.
Make the Cheesecake Layer
Place all ingredients into food processor bowl and blend until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Spread mixture in an even layer over caramel and peanuts.
Place cheesecake into refrigerator and chill for 3-4 hours, until set. You can speed things up by placing it in the freezer for the first hour.
Make the Apple Topping
Place all ingredients into medium saucepan and stir a few times. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until apples are tender and most of the liquid has cooked off, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Spread over cheesecake layer once set.
Make the Peanut Drizzle
Stir ingredients together in small bowl, thinning with as much water as needed. Drizzle over apple topping.