Raw Black Forest Cheesecake

I had gotten my hands on some fresh cherries and they were just begging to be made into something special!  Although I had many ideas in my head the one that won was Raw Black Forest Cheesecake.
I know black forest cake usually involves a moist chocolate cake layer, but I thought chocolate cheesecake and cherry cream would be just perfect and maybe even better! I gave it a crunchy cookie crust as well, and it was the perfect base for the sweet creamy cake!
The cherries made the cherry cream layer a beautiful purplish red hue I was not expecting but it was a pleasant surprise.  I decided that it needed to be topped off with fresh cherries as well, and some vanilla cream, and voila!  It was just as I had imagined in my head but better since I could actually taste it!

Raw Black Forest Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake

Crust:
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat, dried in the dehydrator (or additional coconut)

1/2 cup dried finely shredded coconut

1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped

3 Tbsp raw cacao powder

Filling:

2 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
2 cups young coconut meat (or additional 2 cups soaked cashews if coconut unavailable)
1/3 cup coconut water
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean

1 cup fresh organic cherries, pitted

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Cream Topping:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained
1/2 cup young coconut meat (or additional cashews if unavailable)
2 Tbsp coconut water
1 1/2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean, or 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp coconut butter
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid

about 10 organic cherries pitted and halved or enough to cover the top of the cake
1/4 cup pitted organic cherries
1 pitted medjool date

Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process walnuts, coconut. buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the nuts are fine crumbs, then add the dates and cacao powder and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with coconut, coconut water, coconut nectar, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process for a minute until blended. Remove the filling from the food processor and divide into 2 bowls. Place one back into the food processor and add 1 cup cherries. Process until smooth and uniform in color and place back in the bowl. Add the second bowl to the processor and add the cacao powder and process until smooth.
To assemble cheesecake, pour the chocolate filling over the crust, then the cherry, smoothing the top.
Place in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up.
Meanwhile, to make the cream, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter and oil in a food processor and process until smooth.  With the motor running, add the coconut butter and oil and process a minute more.  Pour the cream into a bowl and let sit in the fridge until the consistency of whipped cream.  Place in a pastry bag and pipe around the edges on top of the cake and around the bottom.
Top the cake with the halved cherries (on the inside of the cream).  Combine the 1/4 cup cherries and the date in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Drizzle over the cherries on top of the cake.
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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

16 Comments
  1. June 10, 2013 at 15:00
    Reply

    OMG....:0 This looks RAWesome, Amy!!! Seriously. I had brainstormed of a black forest cake, but I think yours beats mine, lol! You just keep wowing me! ;) X<br />Have a wonderful week! :)

    • June 11, 2013 at 10:58
      Reply

      Thanks Miliany :)! You should still make a black forest cake, I am sure it would be delicious as well! Hope you have a fantabulous week too!

  2. June 10, 2013 at 15:02
    Reply

    Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous and sounds extremely yummy. Great job!<br /><br />Happy Blogging!<br /><a href="http://www.happyvalleychow.com/" rel="nofollow">Happy Valley Chow</a><br />

    • June 11, 2013 at 10:58
      Reply

      Thank you :)!

  3. Anonymous
    June 10, 2013 at 15:21
    Reply

    Oh, I can see this is asking for becoming my birthday cake! :) I'm so much in love with cherries... Thanks for the recipe!<br /><br />-Kristina

    • June 11, 2013 at 10:59
      Reply

      It would be a perfect B-day cake! You are welcome, I am happy to share :)!

  4. June 12, 2013 at 16:41
    Reply

    my coconuts didn't have much meat, so i ended up with about 2:1 cashews:coconut, and the cherries couldn't mask the cashew taste even though i added about twice your amount! i'm going to try this again someday, but do mostly cherries and coconut, with just a small bit of cashews. still learning...thanks for guiding :)

    • June 12, 2013 at 21:43
      Reply

      I always buy extra coconuts as they are so unpredictable ;). Did you use raw cashews? Because you should not be tasting them if you followed the recipe even if you replaced the coconut with them.

  5. June 13, 2013 at 00:57
    Reply

    so unpredictable! they've recently gone up a buck here to $3.50ea...crazy. i only got a cup of meat from three. i actually tried soaking dried shredded coconut for a couple hours, then vitamixing it (to see if i could get a fresh meat alternative), but that texture just doesn't go away. <br /><br />raw cashews, yea, but not soaked. do you think soaking has a significant effect on taste? the vitamix butters them up good, so i've never bothered. i figured that the nuts are essentially soaking once in the cheesecake anyway...

    • June 13, 2013 at 11:00
      Reply

      Soaking them does affect the taste/texture, they do not taste so nutty just creamy when you do so, which is why I say to soak them in all my recipes, plus they blend up smoother. Also, it makes them easier to digest which is important ;).

    • June 13, 2013 at 16:50
      Reply

      ok, will try it next time, maybe do a compare and contrast, thanks amy!

    • June 14, 2013 at 02:33
      Reply

      No problem! I am sure it will be way better!

    • June 18, 2013 at 18:31
      Reply

      hey amy ~ when you measure out your cashews...are your amounts typically before or after they've been soaked?

    • June 18, 2013 at 21:57
      Reply

      Before.

  6. June 18, 2013 at 02:17
    Reply

    I made this today and it is unbelievably GOOD! Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful recipes.

    • June 18, 2013 at 11:04
      Reply

      Awesome! So happy you made it and enjoyed it :)! You are so welcome!

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