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Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes

Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

I always try so hard to avoid bandwagons, but I usually seem to end up on them anyways. Exhibit A: remember when I lamented about the use of medjool dates in vegan desserts in this post? Well here I am now, offering a recipe with dates as a main ingredient. HOWEVER, in my defense, something I have seen (that I’m really excited about) is a LOT more dates in grocery stores!! I even found a package of dates at CVS. What?! It’s just showing that these types of recipes are gaining popularity – not just vegan ones, but recipes that use more natural ingredients and less refined sugar. Win!!

A quick note – don’t be intimidated by how long these directions are! I try to always write too much rather than too little, to ensure that my directions are easy to follow and clear!

Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeTwo Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe
5 from 3 votes
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Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes

Birthday cheesecakes made two ways: vanilla bean and spiced chocolate. For this recipe I used two 6" cake pans lined with parchment paper.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

Vanilla Base

  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 4 Medjool Dates pitted
  • 1/2 Tbs Coconut Oil not melted

Vanilla Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cashews soaked
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk canned
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil not melted
  • Drizzle Coconut Nectar optional

Vanilla Cake Toppings

  • 3 Tbs Coconut Milk canned
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Almond Butter
  • 4 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • Walnuts

Chocolate Base

  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 4 Medjool Dates pitted
  • 1/2 Tbs Coconut Oil not melted
  • 1 Tbs Raw Cacao Powder

Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cashews soaked
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk canned
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil not melted
  • 2 Tbs Raw Cacao Powder
  • Scant 1/8 Tsp Cloves
  • Scant 1/8 Tsp Cinnamon

Chocolate Cake Toppings

  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil melted
  • 4 Tbs Raw Cacao Powder
  • 3 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • Sweet Cacao Nibs

Instructions

Vanilla Base

  1. In a food processor, combine dates, walnuts, and coconut oil until a chunky meal is formed.
  2. In a 6" baking pan lined with parchment paper, press crust down until the meal sticks together and forms a solid base.

Vanilla Cheesecake

  1. Prep cashews by soaking for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. In a high speed blender, combine all cheesecake ingredients and blend until smooth. A note about the coconut milk - use the milk in its entirety, not just the coconut cream solids that rise to the top when the can is refrigerated.
  3. Pour cheesecake mixture on top of the base, and set in the freezer for at least six hours or overnight.

Vanilla Cake Toppings

  1. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk (not just the milk solids), vanilla almond butter, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Let caramel cool as much as possible before pouring over cake.
  2. For garnish, pile a heaping handful of walnuts on the top of the cake. Pour almond butter caramel over everything.

Chocolate Base

  1. In a food processor, combine dates, walnuts, cacao, and coconut oil until a chunky meal is formed.
  2. In a 6" baking pan lined with parchment paper, press crust down until the meal sticks together and forms a solid base.

Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Prep cashews by soaking for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. In a high speed blender, combine all cheesecake ingredients and blend until smooth. Same note about the coconut milk - use the milk in its entirety, not just the coconut cream solids that rise to the top when the can is refrigerated.
  3. Pour cheesecake mixture on top of the base, and set in the freezer for at least six hours or overnight.

Chocolate Cake Toppings

  1. Melt 1/3 cup coconut oil in a saucepan or in the microwave. Once coconut oil is just melted, stir in cacao powder and maple syrup.
  2. Stick chocolate drizzle in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes, so that the liquid becomes a little more firm.
  3. To garnish, pile a healthy heaping of sweet cacao nibs on top of the cake. If cacao nibs aren't your thing, walnuts or pecans will do! Drizzle chocolate over everything.

To Serve

  1. Let cheesecake thaw in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. It can also be thawed at room temperature for about a half hour or so. The shorter it thaws, the more thick and ice cream-like the texture is. Thawing for longer results in a creamy, fluffy texture. Both are delicious!

Recipe Notes

Although I used two 6" pans to make these cheesecakes, you can absolutely try combining the two recipes if you have a larger springform pan. The great thing about raw desserts is that they're extremely forgiving - if you make a little too much, it's not a problem! Just pour the leftover cheesecake mixture into a small mug or ramekin, freeze, and enjoy as a snack!

Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate Cheesecakes | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

P.S.

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram @wellandfull so I can see! :)

58 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    September 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

    haha! I love your first sentence. And these cakes are just gorgeous! Your note to Ryan was so sweet and open-hearted thank you for sharing it here with us. Happy Birthday Ryan. I love that you made two different versions.
    P.S. I am not a big fan of medjool dates in EVERYTHING either. I started using deglet dates and I absolutely love them. I find the medjool dates have a dominant flavor that I can always detect in whatever I put them in. The Deglet dates give me the texture and sweetness I am looking for without adding a date taste.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 8, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Thanks Kathryn :) And I’ve actually never heard of Deglet dates!! Where do you get them, Whole Foods? I’d love to give them a try.

      • Reply
        Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
        September 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        Oh! You are going to love them! I’ve gotten them at Whole Foods. Also, Shiloh Farms has them. Let me know how you like them.

        • Reply
          Sarah
          September 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm

          Nice!! Thanks Kathryn! :)

  • Reply
    Traci | Vanilla And Bean
    September 8, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I resisted too… then I started using them in many of my recipes, especially after getting a VitaMix. They are incredibly sweet, yet so good for us – just packed with good for you stuff! Ryan is some kind of wonderful Sarah… and your open letter to him made me tear up. So sweet, gentle. Indeed finding a man whose heart is tender towards animals seems rare these days. Give him 5 cheesecakes! These look absolutely delicious! Every time I use cashews and dates in a recipe, I am continually impressed and inspired with all they add in their versatility, nutrition and overall deliciousness! Thank you for this Sarah and the beautiful Song For The Day.. xx

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thank you so much for your note, Traci :) I was nervous about writing such an open letter here but I’m glad I did. I really care about this guy a lot ;) And I’m glad to be on the date-train now! They really are yummy + good for you! I’ve even found myself snacking on them in between recipes hehe!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Bakerita
    September 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I’m seriously drooling over how gorgeous these are!! Wow. Stunning.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks Rachel!! :D

  • Reply
    Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
    September 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    These cheesecakes are incredible! So beautiful and so delicious. Happy belated birthday to Ryan!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks Lauren!! And I’ll pass on the birthday wishes ;)

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    September 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    So beautiful dear! Happy birthday to Ryan!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you Rebecca! I’ll let Ryan know you said hi ;)

  • Reply
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
    September 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    So do not blame you for jumping on the bandwagon – especially when it results in cheesecakes as incredible-looking as these! And those caramel drizzles…beautiful <3 (as was your letter to Ryan!)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 8, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Aww thanks Claudia :) <3

  • Reply
    Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
    September 9, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Hi there! Found your blog through a comment you made at Fit Foodie Finds. Your photos, your recipes – WOW. I am like DROOLING. My bday isn’t close but I’ll be sure to let you know when it is, so you can like freeze dry one of these and mail it to me. K? K!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 9, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Hahaha sure thing ;)

  • Reply
    valentina | sweet kabocha
    September 9, 2015 at 7:55 am

    The 8/17 was my birthday, but I had no time to celebrate. Can you please send those cakes here? Thanks a lot honey ;)
    (they seems too delicious!)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 9, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Hahaha thanks girl! I’ll mail them right over ;)

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Both of these cakes are gorgeous! I seriously couldn’t decide which one I’d want!! And your Ryan fella sounds pretty darn special indeed!! Gotta keep the good ones :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 9, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you Katrina!! And he is a pretty special dude, I’m lucky to have him :D

  • Reply
    Alison @Food by Mars
    September 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Oh my goodness – double the fun why don’t you… these are gorgeous, the photos, the flavors… the cakes – beautiful job!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Alison! :) <3 P.S. Looking forward to see the libra recipes on your blog!

  • Reply
    Sophie
    September 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hiya! I’m interested in how these cakes would hold up at room temp? I make my cheesecakes with cacao butter (about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup per cake) and coconut oil and Irish moss to try and get them to hold at room temp a by better but they still get very soft…. It’s the only frustrating thing about a lot of raw desserts! If you have the chance to leave a bit out for a few hours and let me know how it goes that’d be great! (If there’s any left)

    Thanks :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      You know what! I actually have a small ramekin full of raw cheesecake that I made as a test for this recipe. I’ll leave it out when I go to work tomorrow morning and report back with the results!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 11, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Reporting back with results!! I left my mini cheesecake out in room temperature for four hours, and it was very soft but still held its shape! I think using whole cashews helps keep the cheesecake together, as opposed to a nut butter that is already churned and creamy. But my personal preference is keeping it cold, because then it tastes like more of an ice cream cake! :D When I served this for Ryan’s birthday, I had it in the fridge for about 3 hours prior to eating it, and it was a little softer than I’d like but still thick and creamy. Hope these details help!

  • Reply
    Meg @ Noming thru Life
    September 9, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I think we have the same beef with dates and the date everything vegan or raw bandwagon. But with that being said I’m sort of weird in that I love dates (spent years as a kid in the Middle East, so dare I say a bit of a snob too) but I HATE things like Larabars. I mean ick, I just can. But I’m totally down with this cheesecake. So no worries there. In fact, I’d let you make this for my birthday too :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      That’s so cool that you spent time in the Middle East!! Going to Istanbul and visiting the famous spice bazaars is on my bucket list. :D I would love to know more about your travels, I’m dying to get more stamps on my passport!

  • Reply
    Hannah | The Swirling Spoon
    September 10, 2015 at 12:36 am

    These cheesecakes are just gorgeous. How could they not be even tastier than a real cheesecake?! They look so good!
    And I am so SO happy for you guys, seriously. Love is the best.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

      Thanks Hannah!! :D

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    September 10, 2015 at 10:48 am

    You two are so sweet!!! I love this. Ryan is a lucky guy, and what a sweetheart. Happy birthday to him and a happy early birthday to you! These cakes are stunning and I’m with Valentina: please send some my way! xx

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Hahaha I’m going to have to start a vegan cheesecake mail order service ;)

  • Reply
    michelle @ Boards&Knives
    September 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    How sweet is this post?! I’m officially a fan of the raw cake thing – your spiced chocolate recipe looks especially tempting to me!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      You should try it out, girl! They’re so easy to make and so yummy! :D

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    September 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Oh my gosh, there is just too much deliciousness in this post. That chocolate cheesecake looks to die for. I have never tried making a vegan pie before! But I think I’ll have to, given how much I like coconut everything.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      You should definitely try it out!! They’re so easy to make, and so delicious! :D

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    September 10, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Your words are lovely Sarah! Ryan is a very lucky man. And these cakes…oh my, they are GORGEOUS!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Aww thanks Sophie :D

  • Reply
    Christine | Vermilion Roots
    September 10, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    These cakes look and sound awesome! I. have. to. taste. them!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      I hope you try them out, they’re so yummy and easy to make!! :D

  • Reply
    Amanda Paa
    September 10, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    such beautiful words to show your love Sarah, and of course, beautiful food.

    dates are amazing little gems aren’t they? i have yet to make a vegan cheesecake, but i would like to experiment. i’m sure they are so creamy! and no need to worry about over-baking them like a regular version. xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 11, 2015 at 7:59 am

      That’s what I love the most about raw desserts – no baking!! :D

  • Reply
    KT
    September 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Do these have to be stored in the freezer? Or do they do okay in the fridge?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 11, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Store in the freezer until you’re ready to serve! To serve, defrost in the fridge for about an hour, or at room temperature for 15-20 minutes! :D

  • Reply
    Rachel
    September 12, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Sarah you are an absolute genius!! As if one completely stunning cheesecake wasn’t enough, you whip up two out-of-this-world delicious cakes for us to drool over; damn you! I’m not surprised your boyfriend is accepting veganism when he has a culinary badass like you whipping up things like this for him! What a lovely letter to have written him too, it’s so wonderful when you find someone that just loves everything that you are; and I wish you both many, many more happy, laughter filled years together!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you so much Rachel!! I actually got a lot of inspiration from seeing all of the wonderful raw cakes you’ve make :D I’m a huge fan of Rawberry Fields!! <3

  • Reply
    Alexa [fooduzzi.com]
    September 12, 2015 at 7:58 am

    OH my gosh!! These cheesecakes look insanely delicious! That chocolate one…have.mercy. LOVE raw desserts!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Alexa!! :D

  • Reply
    Gena
    September 13, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Sarah, I love these cakes, and I will feature them in Weekend Reading, but what I love most about this post is the lovely tribute to your fella and his role in your life. It echoed much of what I love about my own boyfriend–his constancy, his incredible moral compass, and the way his steadfast temperament is a foil to my intense feelings. Happy Birthday, and may the year ahead bring you lots of happiness (and cake)!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 13, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you so much for your note, Gena! I’m a huge fan of Choosing Raw so I’m thrilled to be included in your weekend reading :D

  • Reply
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    September 13, 2015 at 5:54 pm

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  • Reply
    Michelle
    September 19, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Hi,

    Can you please tell me how much coconut oil i need in the chocolate topping, unfortunately the symbol has faded out and would love to make this recipe today/tomorrow :)
    I made the vanilla one last week and it was AMAZING

    Thank you !!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 19, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Hi! It’s 1/3 (one-third) of a cup! :D I’m so glad to hear you liked the vanilla one!!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    G
    October 1, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Hey!!

    I would LOVE to try out both of the recepies and actually am planning to do it next week, the only question is, can i use roasted cashew nuts? They don’t sell plain ones here, where i live at the moment :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 1, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Hmm…. well it would definitely give a different taste to the cakes, but they would still work as a base!! Just make sure you soak them overnight at the least so they can get nice and soft. And be careful whether the cashews are salted or not… if they’re salted then the cakes themselves will be VERY SALTY. Hope this helps!! :)

  • Reply
    Mishka
    April 23, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Oh my goodness, I had a joined birthday party yesterday so I made both of these, and the third birthday girl made a non vegan cheesecake. I altered them a tiny bit, and made the vanilla one with rum too and then the chocolate one I made with hazelnuts/almonds and goji berries instead. But they were gone in a flash and nobody was eating the non vegan cake, and I was the only vegan. So thank you so much for this recipe, it helped me convince a room of 30 meat eaters how amazing vegan desserts can be <3 And the caramel is to die for!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 23, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Wow!!! I’m so thrilled that everyone liked the cakes, Mishka!! Especially in a room full of non-vegans! ;) The changes you made sound amazing, too. I love hazelnuts!! Thanks so much for leaving a note :)

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