Matcha Cheesecake (Vegan, Paleo, No-Bake)

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Two things you should know about me: I love matcha, and I spend way too much money buying store-bought vegan cheesecakes. So naturally, I decided to roll up my sleeves and develop a paleo, vegan, and no-bake matcha cheesecake. Yeah-it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, and it might as well be a matcha fiend like me. (Psst! If you’ve never tried matcha before, you can read up on why I love this umami-rich stone-ground Japanese-style green tea in my Cold Matcha Latte and Matcha Coconut Gummies recipe posts.)

Years ago, I sampled a raw vegan cheesecake at a hipster vegan joint in New York City, and it was love at first bite. I know you’re probably thinking: SHOULDN’T “CHEESECAKE” BE IN QUOTATION MARKS? IT’S NOT CHEESECAKE WITHOUT THE CHEESE, LADY! Frankly, I was skeptical, too, but my doubts melted away as soon as I tasted the creamy awesomeness of this sweet indulgence. Gluten-free vegan cheesecake is now one of my favorite desserts. Sure, vegan cheesecake doesn’t taste exactly like its traditional dairy-full counterpart, but the velvety texture and inventive flavor combinations bowled me over. Now, I seek it out whenever I’m looking for a treat. Best of all, as someone who’s lactose intolerant, I don’t suffer any uncomfortable side effects afterwards-a huge win in my book.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Fast-forward to testing batch after batch of my No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake. As you know, I’m super-finicky about recipe testing until the final result matches the (unreasonably) high expectations in my head. For a while, I didn’t think I could ever come up with a version that I’d be proud to share with you. But last week, I finally did it: I perfected a homemade matcha cheesecake that I absolutely love-and it also got two enthusiastic thumbs-up from my even-pickier-than-me mother!

A few notes about this recipe:

The creaminess of this “cheesecake” is derived from a combination of puréed soaked cashews, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Soaking the cashews does take 2 to 4 hours with room temperature water…

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…but you can speed up the process by soaking ’em in 4 cups of boiling water for 10-30 minutes. Don’t have time to use the soaked cashews right away? Rinse and drain them…

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…and then store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

A few additional notes: This vegan cheesecake is no-bake, but it’s not technically raw because I do use toasted almonds and coconuts in the crust. I think they taste better toasted! And use dry roasted and salted almonds-the salt balances out the sticky sweetness of the dates.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

I prefer using ceremonial grade matcha for this recipe due to it’s bright, vibrant green color…

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…but if you don’t care about your cheesecake ending up a duller shade of green/brown, you can definitely substitute culinary grade matcha. You’ll save money and the cheesecake will still taste fantastic-plus you can always serve it at the end of a romantic dinner with the lights turned down so low that no one can make out the color of the dessert.

This cheesecake is mildly sweet and matcha forward. If you don’t like matcha as much as I do, you can start with only 1 tablespoon and increase to taste. You can also add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter.

Finally, you can use this recipe to make either a cute 7-inch cheesecake that you can slice up, or you can divide the batter into a 12-cup muffin tin lined with parchment paper to create little peanut-butter-cup-size desserts.

Ready to wow your pals with a decadent matcha cheesecake?

Makes 12 individual mini cheesecakes or one 7-inch cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust

  • ½ cup (125 g) packed pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (70 g) dry roasted and salted whole almonds
  • ⅓ cup (19 g) unsweetened toasted coconut flakes (you can toast raw coconut flakes at 300°F for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional if using a springform cake pan)

Filling

Equipment:

Method:

Time to make the no-bake crust! Place the dates in the food processor and pulse a few times to roughly chop up the pieces.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Then, hold down the “On” button until the pulverized dates form a sticky ball that thwacks against the side of the work bowl.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Add the dry roasted and salted almonds and toasted coconut flakes to the food processor…

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

… and pulse until everything is the size of rice grains. The dough should stick when smushed together with your fingers. If your dates are dry, you can add a teeny bit of water to get the crust to hold together.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

If you’re making the cheesecake in a springform pan, grease the bottoms and sides with coconut oil.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Add the crust to the greased springform pan and use a piece of parchment to spread it evenly on the bottom. I like to push the crust down with an empty measuring cup to flatten the bottom evenly. (Warning: I know my pictures have the crust coming up the sides, but the crust on the sides can stick to the pan when you try to remove it. You may want to save yourself the time and annoyance of patching the crust on the sides by simply forming the crust on the bottom of the pan and leaving the sides crust-free.)

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Alternatively, grab a 12-cup muffin pan (or two 6-cup muffin pans) and pop in parchment muffin liners. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture in each muffin liner, and flatten with a piece of parchment paper to form an even crust in each one.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Take out a powerful blender. (Yes, you will have to dirty two different kitchen electrics for this recipe, but trust me: it’s worth it.) Add the liquified coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice…

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…maple syrup, soaked and drained cashews, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the blender.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Blitz until very smooth. Spoon out about ½ cup of batter and set aside.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Add the matcha to the batter in the blender and blitz until everything is mixed evenly.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Pour the filling into the pie crust.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Smooth the top of the cheesecake with an offset spatula.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Dollop the reserved cup of matcha-less batter onto the top of the cake in a circular pattern and then use a skewer to swirl it around in tighter circles to make a pretty design.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Making mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan? Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the matcha filling into each muffin liner.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Smooth the surface of each one, and then dollop a heaping teaspoon of the reserved batter on top. Use a wooden skewer to swirl the batter around to make a marble pattern.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Cover the pan(s) with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or until set.

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Ready to eat? You can thaw the cheesecake in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving, or you can leave it out on the counter for 10-15 minutes before dessert time. Pop it out of the springform pan…

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…and slice and serve!

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Or just pop out an individual mini matcha cheesecake!

No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

The frozen cheesecake(s) will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Once thawed in the fridge, the cheesecake should be eaten within 4 days. (But I have a feeling it won’t take you that long to finish it off!)


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!

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PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Matcha Cheesecake (Vegan, Paleo, No-Bake)

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 12 servings

This fabulous no-bake matcha cheesecake is paleo, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. It also happens to be super delicious!

Ingredients

Crust

  • ½ cup (125 g) packed pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (70 g) dry roasted and salted whole almonds
  • ⅓ cup (19 g) unsweetened toasted coconut flakes (you can toast raw coconut flakes at 300°F for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional if using a springform cake pan)

Filling

Instructions

  1. Time to make the no-bake crust! Place the dates in the food processor and pulse a few times to roughly chop up the pieces.
  2. Then, hold down the “On” button until the pulverized dates form a sticky ball that thwacks against the side of the work bowl.
  3. Add the dry roasted and salted almonds and toasted coconut flakes to the food processor, and pulse until everything is the size of rice grains. The dough should stick when smushed together with your fingers. If your dates are dry, you can add a teeny bit of water to get the crust to hold together.
  4. If you’re making the cheesecake in a springform pan, grease the bottoms and sides with coconut oil. Add the crust to the greased springform pan and use a piece of parchment to spread it evenly on the bottom. I like to push the crust down with an empty measuring cup to flatten the bottom evenly. (Warning: I know my pictures have the crust coming up the sides, but the crust on the sides can stick to the pan when you try to remove it. You may want to save yourself the time and annoyance of patching the crust on the sides by simply forming the crust on the bottom of the pan and leaving the sides crust-free.)
  5. Alternatively, grab a 12-cup muffin pan (or two 6-cup muffin pans) and pop in parchment muffin liners. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture in each muffin liner, and flatten with a piece of parchment paper to form an even crust in each one.
  6. Take out a powerful blender. (Yes, you will have to dirty two different kitchen electrics for this recipe, but trust me: it’s worth it.) Add the liquified coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, soaked and drained cashews, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the blender. Blitz until very smooth. Spoon out about ½ cup of batter and set aside.
  7. Add the matcha to the batter in the blender and blitz until everything is mixed evenly.
  8. Pour the filling into the springform pan and smooth the top of the cheesecake with an offset spatula. Dollop the reserved cup of matcha-less batter onto the top of the cake in a circular pattern and then use a skewer to swirl it around in tighter circles to make a pretty design. 
  9. Making mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan? Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the matcha filling into each muffin liner, smooth the surface of each one, and then dollop a heaping teaspoon of the reserved batter on top. Use a wooden skewer to swirl the batter around to make a marble pattern.
  10. Cover the pan(s) with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or until set. 
  11. Ready to eat? You can thaw the cheesecake in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving, or you can leave it out on the counter for 10-15 minutes before dessert time. Pop it out of the springform pan and slice and serve! Or just pop out an individual mini matcha cheesecake!

Notes

  • Soaking the cashews does take 2 to 4 hours with room temperature water, but you can speed up the process by soaking ’em in 4 cups of boiling water for 10-30 minutes.
  • Don’t have time to use the soaked cashews right away? Rinse and drain them and then store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • This vegan cheesecake is no-bake, but it’s not technically raw because I do use toasted almonds and coconuts in the crust. I think they taste better toasted! And use dry roasted and salted almonds-the salt balances out the sticky sweetness of the dates.
  • I prefer using ceremonial grade matcha for this recipe due to it’s bright, vibrant green color, but if you don’t care about your cheesecake ending up a duller shade of green/brown, you can definitely substitute culinary grade matcha.
  • This cheesecake is mildly sweet and matcha forward. If you don’t like matcha as much as I do, you can start with only 1 tablespoon and increase to taste. You can also increase the amount of maple syrup if you want it sweeter.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, No-bake

The post Matcha Cheesecake (Vegan, Paleo, No-Bake) appeared first on Nom Nom Paleo®.

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