This recipe makes six individual vegan Vanilla Bean Pomegranate Mini Cheesecakes or one large cheesecake that can be cut into several slices. The no-bake cashew based filling is rich and creamy, and the pomegranate glaze is an easy yet festive touch.
Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? I’m so unprepared! Usually I’m all about it, going overboard with bows on presents and partaking in all sorts of other cheesy festive activities…but this year I am totally off my holiday game since we’ve been displaced due to the Thomas fire.
But what’s most important is that our home is safe (THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!) and we’re all together. We’re breathing clean air which suddenly feels like a luxury! When something like this happens it really shifts things into perspective and we realize we have heaps to be thankful for.
My husband, myself and our three cats have taken over my sister’s house in the Bay Area. Things considered, we’re actually having a great time, sneaking in all kinds of extra friend and family time. But I will say that with our schedules being upended and living out of a suitcase for the past several days, things like Christmas shopping, holiday baking, etc. have not been a super high priority.
Luckily these Vanilla Bean Pomegranate Mini Cheesecakes are bringing the Christmas cheer.
I made them at home in my own kitchen (oh how I miss my kitchen) the day before I high tailed it out of Santa Barbara to escape the smoke, and not wanting them to go to waste, I packed them still inside their molds into a cooler full of ice packs and toted them along with me up to Northern California for future enjoyment.
These Vanilla Bean Pomegranate Mini Cheesecakes can also be made into one full size cheesecake- just use a standard springform pan instead of cheesecake molds. Oh, and did I mention these beauties are vegan and gluten free? The rich and creamy cashew-based filling is studded with vanilla beans, and the crust is a mix of almond flour, pecans, dates, maple syrup and coconut oil.
I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season with your loved ones! Even though it has been sort of wonky for us, treats like these Vanilla Bean Pomegranate Mini Cheesecakes have totally helped. We also just bought tickets to see The Nutcracker at the San Francisco Ballet (a longstanding holiday tradition in my family), which is totally lifting our holiday spirits!
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Vanilla Bean Pomegranate Mini Cheesecakes
This recipe makes six individual Pomegranate Vanilla Bean mini cheesecakes or one large cheesecake that can be cut into several slices. The no-bake cashew based filling is rich and creamy without using dairy or eggs, and the pomegranate glaze is an easy yet festive touch.
For the crust:
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake:
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked in cold water for at least six hours or up to overnight
- ½ cup canned coconut milk shaken
- ¼ cup refined coconut oil melted and cooled
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the pomegranate glaze:
- 8 ounces pomegranate juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Pomegranate arils for garnish
Grease six mini cheesecake molds or a six inch springform pan with coconut oil (if using springform pan line the bottom with parchment paper).
Add the pecans, almond flour, pitted dates, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a dough. Press the dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
In the same food processor or high-powered combine all of the filling ingredients and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary and adding a small amount more coconut milk if needed to get it to help it reach a smoother consistenct.
Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Freeze for at least 3 hours or until completely firm.
Place pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by two thirds, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Combine cornstarch with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add to saucepan and stir. Bring mixture back up to a boil and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Before serving, thaw cheesecakes at room temperature for 15 minutes. Spoon pomegranate glaze over cheesecakes and top with pomegranate arils.
In the mood for more holiday sweet treats? Try these: