raw cheesecakeI can’t imagine anything easier than preparing a raw dessert – as always, the simplest things are the most spectacular. This raw lime cheesecake is not only stunning but also tastes fantastic – perfectly sweet and slightly tart with fresh citrusy undertones. The texture is so rich and creamy that one slice of this cheesecake is enough to satisfy all your cravings. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

Raw desserts are the best kind of raw food you can show off to entice your non-raw friends. After all, desserts are most people’s (if not everyone’s) favorite course.

If you’ve never tried making raw cheesecakes, try it. The main ingredients for all raw desserts are pretty much the same – nuts and seeds, fruit, liquid sweeteners – such as maple syrup, raw honey, coconut nectar, agave, or stevia – coconut oil and/or cacao butter, cacao powder, extracts, and spices. While it’s not much, the combinations are endless.

I don’t know if you can recreate any dessert using only raw ingredients, but cheesecakes definitely have a healthy raw version.

Raw cashew-based cheesecakes don’t rely on the chemistry of eggs and dairy to emulsify. Coconut oil helps to bind all the ingredients together rather than eggs. Cacao butter adds stability, so the cake can sit at room temperature without melting. And liquid sweeteners take the place of granulated sugar to mix in seamlessly.

Of course, every cheesecake needs a good crust, which is typically based on nuts and seeds. Instead of butter, dates and melted coconut oil are what hold everything together.

Although you might not believe me when I say that this raw lime cheesecake tastes like the real thing, I assure you – it does! 

raw lime cheesecake

Tips for Making Raw Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients

Cheesecake Crust

  • Almonds and walnuts: when choosing nuts for raw cheesecakes, I like to mix one type of hard nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts) and one type of soft nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts). I am using almonds and walnuts for this raw lime cheesecake, but the combination of hazelnuts and pecans is amazing too.
  • Medjool dates: dates make the cheesecake crust deliciously sweet. In addition, their sticky texture helps bind the nuts together and create a chewy crust. Of course, Medjool dates are the best because they are fresh fruit, aka soft and juicy but go with any dates you have on hand. If all you have is dried dates, soak them in water so they soften.

raw cheesecake crust ingredients

Cheesecake Filling

  • Cashews: most raw vegan cheesecakes rely on cashews instead of cream cheese. Cashews work so well because they have a neutral, slightly sweet flavor, a creamy, smooth texture when blended, and a light color. Although it can be hard to get the same results when substituting cashews in cheesecake filling, macadamia nuts and blanched almonds work pretty well.
  • Coconut cream: the combination of cashews and coconut cream mimics the taste and consistency of raw cheesecake very well. If you’d like to keep this lime cheesecake truly raw, use coconut cream from fresh coconuts.
  • Coconut oil: using a little bit of coconut oil is essential to help the cashew cream set and create the smooth cheesecake texture that melts in your mouth. Coconut oil is the main reason you should keep this cheesecake in the freezer because it melts at room temperature.
  • Maple syrup: my favorite liquid sweetener is maple syrup, but agave, honey, or date syrup work too. Avoid granulated sweeteners, such as coconut sugar, which don’t seamlessly mix in, leaving you with a gritty texture.
  • Limes: you can use regular or key limes for this recipe, but the flavor will be slightly different between the two, and you will need to juice a different amount. Key limes are more tart and aromatic, but they also yield much less juice than regular (Persian) limes. Either way, lime juice provides a tangy, tart flavor you expect from a good cheesecake, so add as much as you like.
  • Vanilla extract: the sweet vanilla aroma complements the tanginess of the limes. I usually use vanilla extract in this lime cheesecake, but you could substitute vanilla bean paste or a vanilla bean instead. The flecks of vanilla bean would look beautiful against the cheesecake filling.

raw cheesecake filling ingredients

How to Make Raw Lime Cheesecake

To make the cheesecake, you’ll need to use a powerful machine – a high-speed blender or a food processor. A food processor works best for crusts, while a high-speed blender excels at making smooth fillings. Other than the equipment you need, this cheesecake is a piece of cake to make.

  1. Process the cheesecake crust ingredients. Add the almonds and walnuts to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-process the nuts; they should retain some texture. Add the dates to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, pulse it a little bit more.
  2. Press the mixture into a springform pan. Transfer the crust mixture to a lightly greased 6-inch/15-cm springform pan and press it firmly into an even base layer.
  3. Blend the cheesecake filling ingredients. Add all the cheesecake filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  4. Assemble the cake. Pour the filling on top of the crust in the springform pan and spread it evenly, smoothing out the top. Tap out any air bubbles.
  5. Chill. Cover the springform pan with a piece of paper towel (to trap any condensation), and then double-wrap the entire springform pan with plastic wrap for the best chance of preserving the cake’s taste and texture. Transfer the wrapped cake to the freezer for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. The more frozen the cake, the easier and cleaner the removal from the pan.

lime cheesecake crust in a Vitamix food processor

how to make lime cheesecake

raw lime cheesecake filling in a Vitamix blender

How to Serve Lime Cheesecake

Once the cheesecake is properly chilled, release the clamp and remove the band. You can either lift out the round base or place the springform pan on a wide jar and drop down the band. The cheesecake should have a smooth, clean-sided finish. You can keep it on the base or transfer it to a platter. 

If you let the cheesecake freeze fully, it will be very firm straight out of the freezer. So, let it thaw briefly, for 10-15 minutes, before slicing. The cheesecake will melt if left out at room temperature for too long.

You can serve the cheesecake as is or top it with lime wedges and fresh mint.

How to Store Lime Cheesecake

  • Freezing: transfer the lime cheesecake to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 1 month. 

no-bake lime cheesecake

MORE RAW CHEESECAKE RECIPES

If you’d like to try more raw cheesecakes, here are a couple of recipes to get you started:

  • Raw strawberry cheesecake: this cheesecake is the perfect balance of rich, buttery macadamia nuts and tangy, fruity strawberries. It’s magically decadent yet light.
  • Raw chocolate cheesecake: this dessert is everything you want in a chocolate cheesecake – chewy crust and a rich and creamy filling with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

raw lime cheesecake
5 from 22 votes

Raw Lime Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Freeze time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 12 slices
This raw lime cheesecake is not only stunning, but it also tastes amazing -perfectly sweet and slightly tart with fresh citrusy undertones. The texture is so rich and creamy that one slice is enough to satisfy all your cravings.

Ingredients
 

Cheesecake Crust

Cheesecake Filling

Instructions
 

  • Process the cheesecake crust ingredients. Add the almonds and walnuts to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Add the dates to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it's too dry, pulse it a little bit more.
  • Press the mixture into a springform pan. Transfer the crust mixture to a lightly greased 6-inch/15-cm springform pan and press it firmly into an even base layer.
  • Blend the cheesecake filling ingredients. Add all the cheesecake filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Assemble the cake. Pour the filling on top of the crust in the springform pan and spread it evenly, smoothing out the top. Tap out any air bubbles.
  • Chill. Cover the springform pan with a piece of paper towel (to trap any condensation), and then double-wrap the entire springform pan with plastic wrap for the best chance of preserving the cake's taste and texture. Transfer the wrapped cheesecake to the freezer for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. The more frozen the cake, the easier and cleaner the removal from the pan.
  • Serve. Once set, remove the lime cheesecake from the springform pan. Let it thaw briefly, for 10-15 minutes, before slicing.
  • Store. Leftover lime cheesecake keeps well in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Notes

*Add the cashews to a medium bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for at least 8 hours to soften up and blend easily. You can also add 1 tsp./5.7 g of salt to the soaking water to help activate the cashews and neutralize enzyme inhibitors in the nuts.
**Place the can of coconut milk in the coldest part of the refrigerator overnight. Make sure not to shake or tip the can to encourage the separation of the cream and liquid. Once chilled, remove the can of coconut milk from the refrigerator. Scoop the coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can and leave the liquid at the bottom behind. Note: this recipe works even with full-fat coconut milk (not just the cream). I just like the richer texture coconut cream provides.
**To make this cheesecake truly raw, use raw coconut cream from fresh coconuts.
***Prep time does not include soaking the cashews, about 8 hours, and chilling the coconut milk, about 12 hours.
****Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12, Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 13g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: lime cheesecake, no-bake lime cheesecake, raw cheesecake, raw lime cheesecake, vegan cheesecake