June 5, 2017

Vegan Vanilla Bean Cheesecake With Coconut Whipped Cream

Recipe: Emma Knight with Hana James, Deeva Green and Lee Reitelman

Try this recipe for Vanilla Bean Cheesecake With Coconut Whipped Cream from The Greenhouse Cookbook.

greenhouse cookbookWhen it comes to decadent desserts that are filled with good things, we call upon Greenhouse alum Emily Kreeft. Emily is a nutritionist and our plant-based dessert authority. When she set her mind to creating a “cheesecake” that would be suitable for our friends with dairy sensitivities, we did not doubt for a second that it would be one of the best cheesecakes we had ever tasted. And it is. Top with coconut whipped cream and fresh berries for a cold, cloud-like slice of magic.



  • 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt


  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked (two to four hours)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (we use Thai Kitchen)
  • 6 vanilla beans, sliced lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Coconut Whipped Cream And Toppings

  • One 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (we use Thai Kitchen), refrigerated overnight
  • 1 tbsp powdered cane sugar or icing sugar
  • ½ cup blueberries, for garnish
  • ½ cup raspberries, for garnish
  • Shaved dark chocolate and chopped nuts, for garnish


Yield: 10 to 12 slices

  1. To make the crust, add the dates to a food processor and blend on high until they form a paste. Scrape out the date paste and set aside.
  2. Add the almonds to the food processor and pulse until pebble-like (not an almond meal consistency). Add the cinnamon, salt and dates, and blend until smooth.
  3. Line a 10 ½-inch round springform pan with parchment paper cut to fit snugly in the bottom. Scoop the crust into the parchment-lined pan and press it down firmly with your hands until it reaches the edges and is even on top.
  4. To make the filling, add the drained and rinsed cashews to a food processor. Pulse on high for 15 seconds. Add the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla seeds or extract, maple syrup and lemon juice, and blend on high for 1 minute, or until you can see and taste that the cashews are blended thoroughly. Pour the cashew mixture evenly over the crust, cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for 4 hours.
  5. To make the coconut whipped cream, remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge, drain any of the coconut water off the top, put the solids into a bowl, and sift in the powdered cane sugar or icing sugar. With a hand mixer (or with a whisk and some elbow grease), whip on high until peaks form. This will yield roughly 1 ½ cups coconut whipped cream.
  6. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and top with a layer of whipped cream and some fresh blueberries and raspberries (if using), or the garnish of your choice. The cake keeps well in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Pro Tip: For an intense vanilla flavor, grind the seeds from inside the vanilla bean into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle. We use Prana raw whole vanilla beans, which you can find at health food stores or online.


Elena Mari and Nathan Legiehn


Excerpted from The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant Based Eating and DIY Juicing by Emma Knight with Hana James, Deeva Green and Lee Reitelman. Photography by Elena Mari and Nathan Legiehn. Copyright © 2017 by Greenhouse Juice Company. Published by Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.