Apple Cranberry “Cheesecake”

by Susan on November 15, 2009

Cheesecake1Needing to come up with a menu for a raw food dessert class that I recently taught, I decided to whip up a “cheesecake” recipe. It was actually pretty easy. And taste? The class was blown away. The crust is almonds and dates, and the base of the “cheesecake” is cashews! Don’t worry, I added apples and dried cranberries for that hit of fruit. The result? A healthy, tasty dessert that will be completely at home on your Thanksgiving or Holiday table. The consensus of the class is that non-raw people would never guess that this is raw, vegan or healthy!

Don’t be intimidated by this one, one serving is equivalent to only eating 1/4 C cashews and 1/8 C of almonds! Cashews are a good source of protein, fiber and also potassium, B vitamin, foliate, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper.

Apple Cranberry “Cheesecake”


  • 1 C Almonds
  • 4 Dates, soaked until soft with pit removed


  • 3 Apples, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 C Agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/2 t. Cinnamon
  • 1/3 C Dried Cranberries
  • 2 T Coconut Butter
  • 1/3 C Crust


  • 2 C Cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 t. Lemon juice
  • 1/2 C Coconut Butter (softened in dehydrator)
  • 1/4 C Agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 t. Vanilla
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 1/4 t nutmeg

Read Through This Recipe Before Beginning

2 hours before: Combine apples, agave and cinnamon. Place on non-stick dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 116 for 2 hours, stirring once during dehydration. Make crust: Place almonds in food processor. Process until finely ground. Add dates, process until well mixed. Set aside 1/3 cup of the crust. Press remaining into spring form pan. I used a 6″ for this recipe. You may have extra crust. Place in refrigerator. Make Filling: Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. This will take a bit. Pat over crust and return to refrigerator. Finish Topping: Combine dehydrated apples, dried cranberries, coconut butter and 1/3 C crust. Press over top of cheesecake. Return to refrigerator and chill for 2 hours before serving. Slice with sharp knife. Serves 8.

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle November 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Susan – this sounds delicious!


Leighann Garber November 15, 2009 at 1:43 pm

This is beautiful and looks yummy. I showed my husband, and he asked me to send him the recipe. :)


Eco Mama November 15, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Great idea and beautiful! I wish I could go to your classes!!!
Eco Mama


karmalily November 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Wow. That looks gorgeous! I’ve never attempted a raw cake before because I’m slightly intimidated by them, but this doesn’t look too hard, except I don’t have a dehydrator to make the crust. Could this been done by making and freezing the crust to make it sturdy?


Susan November 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm

The crust doesn’t need dehydrating. Just put it in the refrigerator. The apples are dehydrated but you could use fresh.


Kat Weitzel November 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I was fortunate enough to be at the class and I can attest to the fact that the cheesecake tastes as good as it looks. Not only was the food wonderful, but Susan is just as lovely in person as she is online!


Pam November 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm



Marty November 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Does the coconut oil and butter leave much of its flavor? If so, might there be a substitute to use since the flavor of coconut isn’t my favorite? Thanks Susan.


Susan November 15, 2009 at 6:24 pm

No…you don’t even taste the coconut.


GirlonRaw November 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I am soooo going to have to make this VERY soon :)


VeggieGirl November 15, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I wish I was in your class!


michelle November 15, 2009 at 7:23 pm

looks amazing! yum


marla {family fresh cooking} November 15, 2009 at 9:20 pm

This cake looks so good! Love the nuts and coconut butter combo. Where do I get a dehydrator sheet??


Susan November 15, 2009 at 9:26 pm

They are the non-stick sheets that either come with your dehydrator or you can order from the company. :-)


Ingrid November 15, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Thanks for sharing the link to this fabulous cheesecake. Mmm… sounds delicious and looks wonderful!! Intimidated?!? Not me. Where’s my fork! :-)


amanda November 16, 2009 at 3:20 am

So beautiful! Well done:-)


Miriam/The Winter Guest November 16, 2009 at 3:57 am

Hi, your tart looks delicious indeed, gorgeous photo! I recently attended a course on raw desserts, so interesting…


MaryMoh November 16, 2009 at 4:32 am

wow….this sure looks so delicious. I really like that. Thanks for sharing this beautiful ‘cheesecake’


Pure2Raw Twins November 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

YUMMY!! Can I have a slice : ) Your food always looks so good! Thanks for the recipe.


El November 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

Wow. This is definitely a festive use of cranberries. I love cheesecake but have most definitely never had one this healthy!


chocolate shavings November 16, 2009 at 11:16 am

That cake is just gorgeous!


Heather November 16, 2009 at 11:42 am

I just found your blog, and may I just say that I am blown away! This cake looks amazing, and I am really excited to sit down and explore your blog. Thank you for sharing


nati November 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm

looks sooooooo good! but i really dont like Cashews, so i think i will try it with walnut, Brazil nut or Hazelnut… what do u think??


Mandi November 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

This looks like heaven. Brilliant!


Stefania (formerly The Veg Next Door) November 17, 2009 at 8:02 am

That is gorgeous!


Joanna November 17, 2009 at 9:33 am


I really want to make this. When you say coconut butter, is it the oil, or the meat and oil combo (like the one from Artisana)?



Susan November 17, 2009 at 9:35 am

Coconut butter, not oil. Like the one from Artisana…exactly!


Joanna November 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Aha! Thank you :)) I’ll let you know how it turns out!


Joanna November 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm

My filling was very very thick, is that normal? And darker than yours too, because of the cloves. I added a bit of sweetener too. It’s very pretty!


Susan November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Yes…it is quite thick. You pat, not pour it in. It does set up well. I also add agave, thanks for pointing that out. It has been added in the recipe.


mindy November 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm

garlic cloves?


Susan November 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm

No, the recipe is not referring to garlic cloves, It is referring to the spice, cloves. See Cloves


mindy November 18, 2009 at 7:27 pm

are they refering to garlic cloves in this recipe?


Deena November 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I’m not able to purchase the coconut butter at this time, will using coconut oil make a big difference?


Susan November 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm

It will be a little different but should still work.


Antares777 November 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Very nice, Susan!


Pam Cook November 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

Thanks for this awesome recipe! I made it and it is my favorite raw recipe to date. The thing that makes it is the topping. There is something about the combo of flavors that is brilliant!

Being a cheesecake purist, I used very little spices in the filling (just a pinch of pumpkin pie spice), and added a bit more lemon juice. Still FABULOUS.

This will be a keeper for years to come!!


Nadia December 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Where do you get raw dried cranberries? Most dried cranberries have sugar added into them.


Susan December 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I either dry my own or get them at the coop. You can find them made with fruit juice. If you are 100%, I would suggest drying your own.


christina December 10, 2009 at 8:13 pm

this looks so great! especially for the holidays. thank you for sharing! however, i really hate coconut and i can taste it in anything (even the oil and butter)…do you have any suggestions as to what i can use in place of the coconut butter? i believe (i might be wrong), but doesn’t the coconut butter/oil help the desserts firm up? i am not sure what could act as the appropriate replacer, but i have found coconut in so many raw dessert recipes and it discourages me from making them so any suggestion at all would be so helpful. thank you so much


Susan December 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Yes, it is what makes the cheesecake set up. I wonder if trying raw white cacao (white chocolate) would do the same thing but I would be really careful what spices I use it with. Wouldn’t with this. Honestly, you don’t taste the coconut in this at all. Especially with all the spices in it. You might want to try it!


Zhenya Winters January 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

This Look Soo good!!! I am about to make it!!!!


Geneve January 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I just made the cake and it looks delicious. I used goji berries instead of cranberries because I find it difficult to find real raw dry cranberries. I will bring it to work tomorrow and I will not tell anyone that it is raw. Can’t wait to see what they will say about it. Merci pour la recette!


kate February 6, 2010 at 11:19 am

just made this cake for my dad’s birthday and it looks fabolous! can’t wait for tomorrow when his guests arrive (they eat everything that’s not alive and doesn’t move).
But the cake must taste awesome…I tried filling and God…I felt like in heaven


Diana@Spain in Iowa February 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I’m actually in the process of making this cheesecake as I type. I’m sad to say, I still don’t have a vita-mix or a good quality food processor so my filling is… chunky :( I just wanted to know what brand model food processor you use to achieve that creamy consistency. Looks so beautiful! Thanks so much!!



Susan February 13, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I use a kitchen aid. Do you have a blender? You could try blending smaller ammounts. Or just let it go longer in the food processor. Sometimes we stop too early.


Diana@Spain in Iowa February 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

Lovely recipe! Once the filling set up, you couldn’t notice that my processor didn’t completely make it smooth. Mine was also darker than your pic, but wonderful! I used a 9 inch spring form pan so it was considerably smaller. I will definitely be buying a 6″ and am excited to start experimenting with this recipe. Thank you so much!!


Andrea @ March 5, 2010 at 8:49 pm

What an amazing cheesecake! It looks positively delicious, I can’t wait to try it!


Maria June 28, 2010 at 10:12 am

I just made this last night. It’s so good!!! This is the first time I made something raw using a recipe from the internet that is actually as good as the description. So good! So tasty. The “cheese” portion of it tastes kind of like marzipan. I’m inspired.


Sarah November 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Wondering where one can buy coconut butter??


Susan November 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm It is under the ingredients category.


Tina November 22, 2010 at 9:40 pm

This sounds really good! I think I’ll give it a try for Thanksgiving! I’ll let you know how it turns out, and how the non-raw-foodies react. Should be interesting.


Susan November 22, 2010 at 9:44 pm

It is great. I make it a lot for classes. Always loved, and easy!


JD December 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I have made this three times this holiday season already!! It is great for a party table or football tailgating. The dollar store has so many plates to chose from and I can leave it at my hosts house that way too. So far, everyone loves it. And loves it even more when they find out how healthy it is. thanks for this and all your other ‘comfort’ recipes!! <3 <3


Marija Berto December 23, 2010 at 3:00 am

Thank you for all of the wonderful raw food recipes. I am vying to go raw especially with sweet treats.

I really dislike the taste of coconut. I can tolerate coconut oil or water, but flakes, butter, or any kind of dehydrated coconut makes me gag. Are there any other alternatives I can use to replace the coconut in this recipe and others?

Many thanks and best wishes in the New Year :)
Marija Berto


Susan December 23, 2010 at 8:39 am

Coconut butter is a key ingredient in this “cheesecake”. It is what allows the cheesecake to set up I don’t have a raw, vegan substitute. You could try oil instead of the butter but I haven’t made it that way yet.


Dsousa February 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm

This looks amazing! I have 2 questions though:

Can I use coconut oil instead of Coconut butter? Will it affect the taste?
How long do I have to wait for the filling to harden up before I add the toppings and crust?



Susan February 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

You can but it won’t taste as good, and you can put the topping on right away. The filling is very thick.


Marisa February 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I’m not a big fan of cashews, can I substitute them for walnuts or something else? Please let me know. Thanks!


Susan February 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

Cashews are the traditional nuts used for raw cheesecakes because of texture and also the mild taste. You tend to taste the spices not the cashews.


bruky April 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm

please let me know if there is any alternative to the coconut butter as I am allergic to coconut & this recipe looks HEAVEN!!!! (Can I try cocoa butter>>>)




Susan April 9, 2011 at 11:16 am

I don’t have a an alternative in this recipe without completely reworking it. :-)


Debera May 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

I make raw cheese cake with Cacao butter. It taste like heaven!! It is very firm. But I am not sure on the proportions. I want to try this one because the cacao butter is harder to get a hold of and it is really expensive. I can’t wait to try this one.


new2raw June 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm

the perfect dessert i love cheesecakes and baking but i am living a healthy lifestyle so wanted sugar and dairy free recipes, this looks and sounds amazing i great healthy dessert for holidays like xmas too, i love your site and its great to have healthy baking options


Victoria July 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I made this recently and it was a smashing success! Everyone was very surprised that it was a raw dessert.
Thank you so much for creating this!


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