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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{ 101 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?

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!

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.

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.

GirlonRaw November 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

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

Susan November 15, 2009 at 6:24 pm

No…you don’t even taste the coconut.

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??

LaTosha Johnson November 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm

This looks way too pretty eat-lol! I will definitely try making this dessert. Thanks!

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.

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