This Date Caramel Cheesecake is dairy free and vegan, with a light and silky texture and topped with a decadent date caramel sauce.
This post is sponsored by Natural Delights. All opinions are my own.
Let’s talk vegan cheesecake! I’ve shared Mini Pomegranate Cheesecakes, Mini Margarita Cheesecakes and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars in the past (all vegan). It dawned on me that I’ve never shared a proper sized vegan cheesecake that can be cut into slices. Well, today’s the day!
This Date Caramel Cheesecake is a traditionally flavored vegan cheesecake flecked with vanilla beans. The crust is made with an almond flour base. But the real star of the show is the salted caramel sauce served on top. Would you believe me if I told you that this caramel sauce is vegan, refined sugar free and made with only three ingredients??
How to make date caramel sauce
I used Natural Delights Pitted Medjool Dates, water and salt to make a delightful caramel sauce that’s divine on top of a vegan cheesecake (but feel free to use it for so much more than that, or even snack on it by the spoonful!).
To make the sauce, simply soak the Medjool dates in hot water to soften them. Then blend the softened dates with some of the soaking water and some salt to bring out the natural sweetness. Blend the mixture until a smooth consistency is reached.
What’s not to love about a vegan cheesecake?
Cheesecake has got to be one of my favorite indulgences ever, but boy is it rich, so I don’t find myself indulging in it very often!
The nice thing about a vegan cheesecake is that it can be much less filling, depending on how it’s made. The filling of this date caramel cheesecake is made with silken tofu. This gives it a light, airy texture and also makes this a protein rich dessert! A naturally plant-based binder called agar agar helps the cheesecake to set in the fridge- no baking required (except for a light bake on the crust).
Instead of graham cracker crumbs, the crust of this cheesecake is almond flour based, providing another source of plant-based protein as well as healthy fat. It also serves to keep this vegan cheesecake grain free and gluten free!
The luscious date caramel sauce is like the icing on this cheesecake, adding that unmistakeable salted caramel flavor to each bite.
Tips and Tricks for this Date Caramel Cheesecake
- When making both the cheesecake filling and the date caramel sauce, it’s important to scrape down the sides of the food processor or blender to ensure a smooth consistency.
- For the date caramel sauce, I prefer to use a high speed blender to achieve a silky smooth texture. A food processor works well, too, but will yield a slightly chunkier texture.
- The date caramel cheesecake will set up well in the fridge, as long as the agar agar has been dissolved in the saucepan prior to adding it to the tofu mixture. Keep a close eye when simmering to make sure that it is fully incorporated.
- Since there is no cream cheese used in this vegan cheesecake, lemon juice is added to give it a tangy flavor. Feel free to use more or less lemon juice while blending the filling to taste depending on how much of that tanginess you want.
More vegan dessert recipes
- Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Mousse
- Vegan Samoa Cookies – Gluten-free Girl Scout Cookies
- Vegan Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting
- Vegan Pavlova with Grapefruit Curd
Date Caramel Cheesecake
for the crust:
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the filling:
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 14 ounce package silken tofu
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- * 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup Natural Delights pitted Medjool dates about 8 ounces
- 1 cup hot water
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8-9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and tray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, stir together the crust ingredients until the mixture resembles sand. Press evenly into the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- In a medium saucepan, bring coconut cream, agar agar, vanilla bean, sugar and salt to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring to combine, for about 5 minutes, or until agar agar is completely dissolved. Lower heat to the lowest setting to keep the mixture warm while advancing to the next step.
- In a blender or food processor, purée the tofu until completely smooth. Add agar mixture, lemon juice and zest. Blend until fully combined and pour into prepared crust. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until set.
- Soak the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes. Transfer dates and salt to a food processor or high speed blender, reserving the soaking liquid. Add ½ cup soaking liquid to the food processor, and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue to blend, gradually adding soaking liquid until the mixture is smooth and pourable.
- To serve, cut the cheesecake into slices and transfer to plates. Top with a spoonful of the date caramel sauce.