Desserts

November 12, 2020

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups are a fun and festive holiday dessert. Make as cups or as one large cheesecake for a delicious and healthy treat.

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

Cranberries of some sort are a traditional Thanksgiving side dish... we all know that. I'm breaking tradition this year and making them the star of the show as a tasty and decadent dessert.

It's sometimes hard to make plant-based cheesecake taste like the 'real thing'. But the tang from the cranberries adds tartness to these cheesecakes and helps them feel more like traditional cheesecake.

These little cups are still plenty decadent though. Made with cashews, they've got a rich flavor and dense texture. A high fat content means that there will be lots of flavor. Perfect to please picky eaters or those skeptical that a plant-based diet can be delicious. This lil gems are sure to delight!

Features

  • Dietary needs -- this recipe is plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free
  • Perfect holiday dessert -- these cheesecakes are easy to make ahead of time, the seasonal ingredients will fit right in with any holiday spread
  • Versatile -- make these cheesecakes bite-sized by using a mini muffin tin,  single-serve with a regular muffin tin, or sharable using a cake pan

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

Ingredients

Crust

The crust is simple with only a few ingredients that blend together for a sweet, but neutral base.

  • Oats: Use quick oats for minimal processing time. Rolled oats will also work fine. If you need a gluten-free cheesecake, be sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats.
  • Raisins: Raisins add sweetness and stickiness to the crust. If you don't like raisins you can sub any other 'neutral' dried fruit. I recommend dates or dried cranberries (if you can find them without added sugar!).
  • Nut Butter: Any neutral nut butter will do. I used my mixed nut butter, but you can use store-bought almond butter or cashew butter.
  • Maple Syrup: A liquid sweetener helps bring this crust together, so it doesn't fall apart. If you don't want to use make syrup, you can sub date syrup.

Cranberry Cheesecake Filling

  • Raw Cashews: The base of the cheesecake. Make sure to buy raw, unroasted cashews.
  • Cranberries: By cranberries I mean fresh cranberries. You should be able to find them at most grocery stores during the fall and winter months.
  • Maple Syrup: A sweetener balances the tartness of the cranberries. We won't use too much, but it's definitely necessary in this recipe. Again, if you don't want to use make syrup, you can sub date syrup.
  • Hot Water: This helps smooth out the filling.

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

How to make Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

Step 1. Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes. This gets them soft so they can be processed into a smooth, creamy cheesecake filling.

Step 2. Make the crust. Pulse all the crust ingredients together in a food processor until combined. The mixture should stick together when pinched. Press into cups of a muffin tin or cake pan. I used a regular sized muffin tin  for individually-portioned cheesecakes, but you can use a cake pan for one large cheesecake or a mini muffin tin for bite-sized treats.

Step 3. Make the cranberry cheesecake filling. Add all the filling ingredients to the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and silky (this will take a couple minutes). Scoop a couple tablespoons of the mixture into each muffin cup, or pour the entire mixture into your cake pan.

Step 4. Place the muffin tin/cake pan in the freezer for at least two hours to let the cheesecake freeze completely. When ready to eat, use a knife to remove the cheesecake cups from the tin. Let thaw for a couple minutes before eating. Store in the freezer. Enjoy!

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

Preparation and Storage

Preparation: These Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecakes are the perfect make-ahead dessert. You can perform all the steps above days, weeks, or months in advance. When ready to serve, simply remove the cheesecakes from the freezer and allow them to defrost for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size).

Storage: These cheesecakes must be kept frozen. If left in the fridge for longer than an hour they will melt and lose their shape. For best results keep the cheesecake in the freezer until you are ready to eat it and freeze any leftovers immediately.

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for this healthy dessert that we get to enjoy. Let us always remember to be grateful for the gifts You give us. Amen.

Related Recipes

Looking for plant-based Thanksgiving/Christmas desserts? Here are some of my favorites:

Want more cheesecake? Check out my Peanut Butter Layered Cheesecake and my Raspberry Espresso Cheesecake.

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

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Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups

Plant-Based Cranberry Cheesecake Cups are a fun and festive holiday dessert. Make as cups or as one large cheesecake for a delicious and healthy treat.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

9

Prep:

40

min

cook:

min

total:

160

min

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 Cup Quick Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon Nut Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Maple Syrup

Cranberry Cheesecake Filling

  • 6 Ounces Raw Cashews
  • 1 Cup Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Hot Water

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make the crust. Pulse all the crust ingredients together in a food processor until combined. The mixture should stick together when pinched. Press into cups of a muffin tin or cake pan. I used a muffin tin, for individually-portioned cheesecakes, but you can use a cake pan for one large cheesecake.
  3. Make the cranberry cheesecake filling. Add all the filling ingredients to the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and silky (this will take a couple minutes). Scoop a couple tablespoons of the mixture into each muffin cup, or pour the entire mixture into your cake pan.
  4. Place the muffin tin/cake pan in the freezer for at least two hours to let the cheesecake freeze completely. When ready to eat, use a knife to remove the cheesecake cups from the tin. Let thaw for a couple minutes before eating. Store in the freezer. Enjoy!

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September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography