These vanilla bean cheesecakes with figs and raspberries require no grains, dairy, eggs, or cooking! They’re the ideal cold sweet treat for the end of summer. Thank you to Rodelle for providing products for this recipe!
I’m back, and I brought mini cheesecakes! Vanilla bean mini cheesecakes made with cashews and topped with fresh figs and raspberries, that is. And you don’t even need to cook or bake anything! These little cheesecakes are so satisfying on a summer evening. The no-bake crust is just sweet enough, with a hint of chocolate and an almondy crunch, and the cheesecake layer is super-smooth and studded with vanilla bean seeds. On top are fresh raspberries and figs sitting like frosted jewels. The combination is so addictive that I know these will vanish from your freezer just as fast as they did from mine!
Here’s how these vanilla bean cheesecakes come together. First, you need to soak your cashews in hot water for an hour and soak the pitted dates in hot water for at least fifteen minutes. (Want to soak all your stuff the same amount of time? A little extra won’t hurt the dates!) Then, you’re going to pulse dates, almonds, and a little bit of cocoa in the food processor to make the crust. The chocolate isn’t a dominant flavor, but gives the crust a little extra something. I don’t like it when my desserts taste too much like dates, and the cocoa also helps mask that flavor a bit. You grease a muffin tin, line the cups with a little parchment paper handle like in the photo below, and pat a dollop of crust right into each cup.
Next, we’re blitzing the soaked cashews, honey, almond milk, lemon juice, and a little olive oil until super smooth to make the filling, and then stirring in our key ingredient: vanilla bean paste from Rodelle. This is the stuff of dreams, you guys! It’s the beauty and freshness of vanilla bean seeds mixed in with vanilla extract, so you get way more vanilla bang for your buck–all without having to scrape a single bean. I’ve been using vanilla bean paste whenever a recipe calls for either vanilla extract or a scraped vanilla bean, and it’s so easy and convenient. Sometimes when I need a special treat, I stir a tiny bit of it into my morning coffee. The flavor is spot on, and the specks of vanilla bean are so pretty!
In addition to loving their vanilla bean paste (and cocoa, lemon extract, and almond extract…the list goes on!), I love Rodelle’s commitment to the environment and to improving the lives of community members in Madagascar and Uganda, where their vanilla is grown, and in Colorado, where their wind-powered offices are located. Rodelle works directly with a vanilla bean farmer’s association in Madagascar to source vanilla and to improve agricultural practices to benefit the environment and increase farmers’ incomes. They also support a secondary school and a program providing safe stoves for vanilla-growing communities in Uganda.
Back to the cheesecakes! After the vanilla bean paste is stirred in, the seed-studded creamy filling is poured on top of the crusts and topped with fresh raspberries and slices of fresh figs. These two fruits are at their peak right now, and they pair so well with the luscious vanilla filling and the hint-of-chocolate crust. After that, it’s into the freezer to set. Once they’ve chilled for a couple of hours, you can enjoy the cheesecakes straight from the freezer, which is super refreshing (and pretty because the fruit takes on a magical frosted look!), or thaw them for twenty minutes or so at room temperature. Either way, these vanilla bean cheesecakes are winners!
- 10 mejdool dates (about ¾ cup), pitted, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, and drained
- 1¼ cups raw almonds
- 3 tablespoons Rodelle gourmet baking cocoa
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 2¼ cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water for an hour and drained
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Rodelle vanilla bean paste
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 4 fresh figs, sliced lengthwise into thirds
- NOTE: Prep time listed does not include one hour to soak the cashews and two hours for the cheesecakes to chill.
- Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil. Cut strips of parchment about an inch wide and long enough to hang over the edges of the cups--these will serve as handles for easily removing the cheesecakes later.
- To make the crust, pulse the ingredients together in a food processor, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until they come together into a ball. Pat a thin layer of crust into the bottom of each muffin cup. Wash the food processor bowl before making the filling.
- To make the filling, puree the cashews, honey, olive oil, almond milk, juice, and sea salt in the food processor until very smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cups.
- Top each cheesecake with two raspberries and a slice of fig. Freeze for two hours, or until firm. Serve frozen or thaw for 30 minutes before serving. Cheesecakes will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.
This post is in partnership with Rodelle. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep this site running!