Raw strawberry dreamcake

Whoever came up with the basic raw cheesecake recipe is a genius. I’m constantly amazed, not only by its short ingredients list, but also by its versatility. You soak some nuts, blend them with some sweetener and coconut oil and whatever flavour options you prefer, and then you throw it in the freezer. This dessert is seriously hard to mess up.

I recently had a reader ask if it’s possible to make a raw cheesecake like my raw chocolate chili cheesecake that is free of coconut and cashews. Although both cashews and coconut oil are main ingredients in most recipes, I was determined to create an alternative.

Raw Vegan Strawberry Dreamcake | A Dash of CompassionHere’s the deal: a raw cheesecake means that all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes present in the whole foods you use to make the cake remain intact. Instead of a plateful of empty calories, you actually have a handful of fruit and nuts that are doing your body some good. Coconut oil is important in helping raw cheesecakes firm up because it solidifies at temperatures below 25 C. Cashews are also a staple because of their bland flavour. Soaking them is a pretty common practice: it neutralizes their enzyme inhibitors, makes them easier to digest and also softens them for easier blending. In this case, macadamia nuts came to the rescue and proper proportions made it so that the cake could sit at room temperature sans coconut oil without melting into a nutty mess.

For those who are sensitive to cashews or coconut, this is a dreamcake come true. I chose to make a vanilla and strawberry combo, but please don’t let that stop you from experimenting. If you like blueberries, use ’em. If you’re a chocolate lover, throw in a tablespoon of raw cacao. The sky is the limit. I made this recipe for two mini cheesecakes, but you can always double the ingredients for a larger cake. Enjoy!

Raw Vegan Strawberry Dreamcake | A Dash of Compassion


Print Print

Raw strawberry dreamcake

Yield: two mini cheesecakes



    • 1 cup raw almonds
    • 1/2 cup raw pecans or walnuts
    • 2/3 cup chopped dates
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
  • 1/3 cup raw agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries


    1. In a food processor, process the almonds and pecans to a coarse meal. Add the dates and salt and process to combine. The mixture should stick together when press between two fingers. If it seems a little dry, add a teaspoon or two of water.
    2. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of two mini 4.5-inch springform pans. Set aside.
  1. In a food processor or high-powered blender, process the macadamia nuts, agave nectar, lemon juice and vanilla bean seeds until smooth (this may take a few minutes).
  2. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mixture into each of the springform pans and smooth out the top.
  3. Add the strawberries to the remaining mixture in the food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Add the mixture to the top of the vanilla filling (there should be enough for about 1/3 cup each) and smooth out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the pans in the freezer for at least 2 hours or more to set. This tart can be frozen for several weeks. Just wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.



Receive new posts via email:

Follow Me

45 Responses to “Raw strawberry dreamcake”

  1. fooddoodles — March 10, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Those look incredible :) I have a problem getting the nuts I use for the filling to be so smooth, is that because my food processor isn't good enough, or because I haven't soaked them long enough? Or do I just need to keep blending? I've only attempted something like this once and it came out slightly gritty from the cashews. It still tasted fantastic though :D Thank you for sharing, I would love to try making this :)

  2. Ariana Anderson — March 10, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    Thank you soooooo much! I would've had no idea where to begin! I can't wait to make this! When I do, I'll be sure to let you know! This is truly a dream-cake for sure! Thank you so much!!!!

    I'm assuming this could be made in a regular springform pan too?

  3. Nicole — March 10, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    fooddoodles: Thank you! Definitely give it another go. Consider soaking the nuts for at least 12 hours at room temp, and then blend them with liquid (in this case, agave and lemon juice) for several minutes, stopping to scrap down the sides of the bowl a few times. It also helps to blend them in smaller portions. These mini ones were much easier to blend than a larger cake.

  4. Nicole — March 10, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    Ariana: Glad you like it! Please let me know how it turns out for you. If you use a regular 8-inch springform pan, you'll need to double the recipe measurements. Good luck!

  5. Twins — March 11, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Cake looks delicious. Love all the colors! :)

    Pure2raw Twins

  6. Mihl — March 11, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    How beautiful! I can't wait for strawberries to be in season over here. This cake will be the perfect summer treat.

  7. peasoupeats — March 11, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    I think you know already how much I love your blog. So much so I've decided to give you a 'Stylish Blogger Award'! Head on over to my blog to find out what to do next. Congrats – you deserve it:) x

  8. The Blissful Chef — March 13, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    Wow this is a dream come true! I'm trying to cut down on the oil in my diet so this will be just perfect to try!!

  9. Jamie Hayworth-Chin — March 13, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    I will definitely try this! I did the berry dream cake using cashews and when it sits out for any amount of time in melts into mush.

  10. The KitchenMaid — March 14, 2011 @ 1:17 am

    Hello – I found you via PeaSoupEats – and your gorgeous blog is everything she said it would be. This cheesecake looks phenomenal!

  11. Julie — March 14, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    This looks so good and it's very pretty. Have you served this to non-vegans yet?

  12. Nicole — March 14, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

    Thanks for the compliments, everyone!

    peasoupeats: Thank you so much! I'm honoured :)

    Jamie: I've had trouble with mushy raw cheesecakes in the past, too. This one seemed to hold together pretty well though, as long as it's stored in the freezer beforehand.

    Julie: Thanks! My veg husband LOVED this cake, but I've yet to serve it to other non-vegans.

  13. Jess — March 15, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    Wow! Very cool! The layers are adorable!

  14. Mary — March 15, 2011 @ 5:22 am

    Gorrrrgeous! Look at that crust!!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  15. Michelle — April 16, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    Hi there! I love reading your blog but this is the first recipe I will attempt :) I couldn't find any raw macadamia nuts as I live in a small town but found some raw cashews! Do you think the texture will still turn out okay with soaked cashews in the filling and no coconut oil? Thanks!

  16. Nicole — April 17, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

    Michelle: Thanks for reading! I think the raw cashews should work just fine as a substitute for the macadamia nuts. Hope you enjoy the cake! :)

  17. jess @ cupcakes and kale — July 3, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    i made this last night using a 6 inch pan and it was wonderful! easily fed 6, including 4 very happy non-vegans! i also found there to be a good bit of extra crust/filling so i made 6 mini dreamcakes in silicone cupcake liners – they are so darling!

  18. Nicole — July 4, 2011 @ 1:14 am

    jess: Thanks for the feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  19. Lisa — June 23, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    I accidentally bought roasted macadamia nuts :-( will this ruin the flavor of the cake?

    • Nicole — June 24, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

      I’ve never made this with roasted nuts, so I’m not sure how it would turn out. It will likely have a more pronounced flavour, but I’m sure it will still taste good :)

  20. arb — July 20, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    If you chop the macadamia nuts in half or so (before soaking), will the soaking time be less?

    • Nicole — July 20, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

      I recently made a version of this cheesecake without soaking the macadamia nuts, so it really isn’t even necessary. The nuts are soft enough already to blend smoothly. Enjoy!

  21. Amy — October 12, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

    Would I still need to double the recipe if I use an 8″ tart pan? It’s a lot shallower than a springform pan…It’s the only pan I have that works for this sort of thing, and I hate to make more than a little bit because there are only 2 of us and I can only eat so much of something like this…maybe it would just end up like a cheesecake bar if I did it without doubling?

    • Amy — October 12, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

      also, would frozen strawberries work?

    • Nicole — October 15, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

      Oh, I’ve never tried with frozen strawberries. They hold a lot of water, so it might work if you remove the excess water after they have thawed.

    • Nicole — October 15, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

      You could try it without doubling the ingredients, but the filling but be thin. If you are going to use a regular tart pan, I would suggest greasing the bottom with coconut oil or lining it with plastic wrap so it’s easier to remove the cheesecake. Hope you enjoy it!

  22. Inge — October 28, 2012 @ 8:42 am


    I love your blog and will be trying this one and the apple tart this week. I was wondering though, how you keep them from sticking to the springform?

    • Nicole — October 28, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

      Thank you, Inge! If your pan has a non-stick coating it will be fine. If not, you can lightly grease the bottom and sides with some coconut oil.

    • Inge — October 30, 2012 @ 4:36 am

      Thank you!

  23. kris — January 29, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    I was wondering the nutrition facts for this cake.

    • Nicole — January 31, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

      I don’t track nutrition facts. Sorry.

  24. Jenzie — July 5, 2013 @ 1:43 am

    Hey, is vanilla extract essential? Will the flavor be different if I dont have any? Im thinking its best to wait…

    • Nicole — July 5, 2013 @ 10:57 am

      Jenzie, the recipe requires a vanilla bean, and I’d suggest waiting until you can get your hands on one before making the cake.

    • Jenzie — July 25, 2013 @ 3:11 am

      Hey, just saw this now as Im getting ready to make this amazing recipe again tomorrow. I waited and used vanilla extract which was great. Thankyou so much for creating this recipe. Im not a fan of coconut or cashews so this is perfect. And still healthy. Only thing i did different was pure maple syrup. Woohoo I looove it!!!!!

  25. Audrey Snowe — November 1, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    Hi Nicole. Just wanted to say thanks for the lovely recipe. I’ve been into raw cakes for a while, but wanted to deviate from the cashew base, so found your recipe online and it worked like magic :). Made this to celebrate a friend’s engagement and everyone loved it!

    • Nicole — November 4, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

      Wonderful! Thanks for your comment, Audrey. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  26. Daryl — December 2, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    I made this for my birthday a few days ago. It was delish and looked great :)

    • Nicole — December 3, 2013 @ 10:25 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Happy belated birthday, Daryl.

  27. Marjorie Frankfurth — April 14, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    You said coconut oil was necessary in this recepie, yet it is not listed in the ingredients or in the instructions ?? Does it need coconut oil or not?

    • Nicole — April 14, 2014 @ 11:50 am

      As I explain in my post, most basic raw cheesecakes recipes require coconut oil and cashews. This recipe, however, doesn’t require either of them. So, no, coconut oil is not needed in this recipe. :)

  28. Guljan — June 22, 2015 @ 3:39 pm


    I was thinking of making this for my 2 year olds birthday. I was wondering if I wanted to make this into a larger cake (say 8 inch), would I just double the recipe?

    • Nicole — June 23, 2015 @ 10:39 am

      Yes, just double the recipe for an 8-inch springform pan. Hope you enjoy it!

  29. Ruby — November 8, 2017 @ 11:08 am

    Looks great! Even though it´s supposed to be sans cashews, can I still use cashews for the filling? And the same amount as the macadamias? Macadamias are so expensive here. ;)
    Can I use frozen strawberries? :)

    • Nicole — November 8, 2017 @ 11:16 am

      Hi Ruby! You’re right, macadamia nuts are quite expensive these days. It shouldn’t be a problem to sub with the same amount of cashews. I wouldn’t suggest using frozen strawberries because they hold a lot of water. It might work if you squeeze out the excess water after they’ve thawed. Hope that helps!

  30. Ruby — November 8, 2017 @ 11:24 am

    Thank you for quick answer :))
    That´s clever, will try that. Want to use organic strawberries, and we only have frozen ones, except for summer, in cold Norway :D
    Very helpful, thank you! Great blog!

Leave a Comment