Spring is coming, people – I can really feel it this time. Every morning, the birds sing a little bit louder outside my window and while the weather has been a little on the wet side lately, April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, right?
While you’re waiting for the flowers to bloom, why not sit back with a piece of this Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake. It’s so light and flavourful that each bite will remind you of all the things we love about Spring. And if it doesn’t leave you with visions of Spring dancing in your head, well at least you got to eat some pretty amazing cheesecake!
This Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake is where it’s at!
It combines the subtle flavour of my favourite tea with a light, bright, refreshing burst of tart but sweet lemons. Plus, did I mention that this cheesecake is not only vegan and gluten-free, but also raw! I know, I know, it’s pretty amazing!
If you’re anything like me, the idea of making raw desserts can seem pretty intimidating at first. Don’t be scared though, I promise that this is going to be the easiest cheesecake ever to make. Remember? I’m the queen of easy!
Raw cashews are the base of this cheesecake but if you don’t tell anyone, I promise they’ll never even know. Soaking them is key – pop them in some water and place them in the fridge the night before. Don’t worry though, if you forget, or really have a craving for cheesecake, you can use boiling water and soak for 20-30 minutes in a pinch.
The crust for this delicious Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake comes together with just two ingredients: dates and almonds. Toss them into your food processor and blend for about 2-3 minutes, until a soft, chunky dough forms. Pour this dough into your cake pan and press it in there nice and firm with your fingers. The firmer the crust, the better here. As you can see from the shot below, I left my crust a little on the chunkier side which provides a nice, crunchy texture to the crust when the cake is all said and done – it’s perfect for letting you enjoy the soft creaminess of the cheesecake while still giving you a crunchy fix with the crust.
Freshly squeezed lemons and zest are the secret behind this Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake. Oh, and the Earl Grey tea leaves, of course. I happened to have some loose tea leaves in my kitchen that my beautiful sister gave me for Christmas, but if all you have is bagged Earl Grey, just cut open the bag and voila! Tea leaves!
After you’ve set up your crust, add all the remaining ingredients except the tea leaves and blueberries to your high-speed blender. We use a Vitamix at home and it’s perfect for this! Blend on high until a smooth, creamy batter forms. The coconut oil really lends itself to providing the rich, creamy texture of this cheesecake while the fresh, tangy lemon juice masks the flavour of the cashews, tricking everyone into thinking this cheesecake is made with dairy. I won’t tell if you don’t?
Once you’ve made your creamy, delicious, smooth, rich, tangy, sweet…oh sorry, got carried away there. Once you have your batter, you’re going to pour half of it over your prepared crust. Why half? Well we’re going to make magic with the other half. What’s my trick you may ask? Tea Leaves, my friend!
Add your tea leaves to the remainder of the batter and blend on high for another minute. This will allow the delicious flavour and aroma of the Earl Grey tea to fully penetrate your batter. Now don’t worry, the flavour here is not overbearing by any means. But if you love the scent of bergamot as much as I do, then this cheesecake is going to be right up your alley.
Pour your Earl Grey Tea infused batter very gently over the first layer, being mindful not to mix the two. The result will give you a beautiful dual layer effect when you cut into your finished cheesecake. Not only is this Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake delicious, it looks gorgeous too!
Top the whole thing off with a ring of blueberries. Heck, you could probably cover the whole thing with them if you really wanted to get crazy. Have a big ‘ole blueberry party up in there, I’m sure the cheesecake won’t mind. Plus, blueberries, lemon and earl grey tea are only the perfect trifecta of flavours and ain’t nobody gonna mess around with that trio 😉
Finally, the hardest part: the waiting game. Pop your cheesecake into the freezer for 2-3 hours and try not to die from anticipation in the meantime. To take your mind off the creamy, dreamy, decadent dessert you have waiting for you in for freezer, why not go for a walk? Run some errands? Clean your house? Okay, okay, what I really meant was binge watch The Mindy Project for the third time.
Alright, my friends! You did it! You survived an extended set up time and now you get to reward yourself with a delicious slice of Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake. Or two…three? Okay, I’m not judging!
If you really want to make some friends, share this delicious vegan, gluten-free and raw recipe with your friends and family. But maybe don’t tell them right away that it’s healthy. They’ll probably think that it’s so bad for you that they’ll just have a slice and leave more cheesecake for you. Ya, that sounds like a great plan!
As always, make sure you take some gorgeous pictures of your creations and tag them #glutenfreeveganpantry. I just adore seeing your take on my recipes and it’s a serious ego boost. If you’re not already, follow along with my shenanigans on Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter where I share sneak peeks of upcoming recipes, glimpses into my daily life, and the odd puppy photo from time to time.
Lots of Love & Happy Eats,
- 1 cup almonds
- 1¼ cup Medjool dates
- 1½ cup raw cashews, soaked (4-6 hours is best or use boiling water and soak for 20 minutes)
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ½ cup agave nectar
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3 tsp early grey tea leaves
- ¾ cup blueberries
- Add dates and almonds to food processor and process on high for 1-2 minutes until a chunky, sticky "dough" forms. Using your fingers, you should be able to press together some of the crust and have it stay together. If your crust is too dry, add more dates. If too sticky, add more almonds. I left mine a bit on the chunky side as I like the extra crunch but if you want yours more smooth, just process a bit longer to make the crust finer.
- Transfer your crust to your desired baking dish. I used an 8" spring form pan but you could make mini cheesecakes in muffin tins if you wish.
- Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, firmly press crust into the bottom of your baking dish, ensuring that it is packed evenly around the entire dish.
- In a high-speed blender, add cashews, lemon juice, agave nectar, coconut cream, coconut oil and lemon zest. Blend on high until filling is very smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour half of the batter over your prepared crust. Ensure that the batter is evenly distributed over the pie crust, tapping the dish a few times to get rid of any bubbles.
- To the remaining batter, add the earl grey tea leaves and blend for another minute. Scrape down sides if needed to ensure evenly blended.
- Gently pour the earl grey infused batter over the lemon batter, being careful not to mix the layers. Again, make sure this new layer of batter is evenly distributed across the baking dish, tapping a few times on the counter to get rid of any bubbles.
- Garnish your cheesecake with blueberries, placing them in a ring around the perimeter of your cake. Gently press the berries into the cheesecake so that half of each berry is in the batter.
- Place cake in freezer for at least 2 hours to set.
- To serve, allow to soften on counter for about 20-30 minutes.
your recipe looks just fabulous! I don’t use caffeine, so I’m wondering just how critical are the earl grey tea leaves to the recipe? Or can I use a different tea – herbal?
You could absolutely use a different tea leaf! The cheesecake will take on the flavour of whichever tea leave you choose to add to the recipe 🙂
I have a question regarding the blending with the Vitamix. When I made this today, I had trouble getting the batter pureed without adding a couple extra tablespoons of coconut cream and a splash or two of almond milk. It occurred to me that perhaps I was supposed to throw in the cashews AND the water they were soaked in, which might account for that. This is my first foray into using cashews as a base for a dessert, so I wasn’t sure. In addition – I noticed that the filling ended up very warm after the blending at the high setting on my Vitamix – is that normal? This is also my first foray in using the Vitamix for something other than smoothies/protein shakes/and light duty items, so I wasn’t sure if that was the intended result.
By the way – it turned out FANTASTIC (despite my possible errors)! I also really liked the idea of using lavender from one of the commenters. Lavender is so lovely with earl grey, I think that will be my next attempt! 😉
No, the water that the cashews were soaked in is not added to the vitamix. Sometimes, it can take a little bit for the cashews to get going in the blender, but with a little encouragement, they will usually blend up nicely. If I’m having problems, I usually do the exact same thing that you did – add a little coconut milk to get things moving so great job on that!
It’s also perfectly normal for the mixture to get warm from the Vitamix, not to worry 🙂
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the finished recipe!!
Hi Savanna, do you think that maple syrup would be a good substitute for the agave or honey? I usually replace it for other liquid sugars, but I don’t know if it would affect the flavour with the lemon and tea…
Hi Fiona, I love subbing maple syrup for sweeteners – it’s actually my primary go-to. I think if maybe you reduced the amount of maple syrup used and sample it as you add it, it should be okay. There may be a slight maple flavour that comes in but I suspect the lemon may mask it. Let me know how this turns out!
Nancy Torrisi says
Ok, I just made this literally minutes ago and I cannot WAIT TO EAT IT!!!!! You are correct in saying that I need to find something to do for the next two hours! ha! I am attending a gathering tonight in my neighborhood of a group of women who have committed to eating clean in 2016, and I think this cheesecake will be just perfect!! Thanks so much for a delicious and healthy recipe! YUM!
I made this earlier today and it was amazing! Thank you for the great recipe.
Hi there what type of pan would u suggest? Spring form, if so what size? Or other and what size?
I definitely suggest using a springform pan. You can use which ever size you prefer, the smaller the diameter, the taller the cake 🙂
I am currently making this for Easter. I made it once already about a month ago and it is to die for! We are neither vegan nor gluten free but have family who is so we are always looking for options for family gatherings. My only complaint from last time and I think because it is also a raw recipe is that the early grey tea even after blending it for awhile in the food processor was still gritty in the cheesecake so it wasn’t as smooth as I would like. This time we are making it minus the earl grey tea. Still a 10/10 either way!
this recipe looks great but what i don’t like about these food blogs, is that it comes up as a 5 star recipe even though no one that has rated it seems to have made it. it would be nice if people who left comments but didn’t actually try the recipe, couldn’t give it a rating.
Can I make these into individual bars
Absolutely! Just use a large square dish like a 9 x 12 or 8 x 12?
Could you sub honey for the agave?
Definitely! Some vegans don’t eat honey though which is why I used agave. The flavour should remain the same with the substitution.
I made this for a dinner party last night and it went over swimmingly. One friend had made a macadamia nut cheesecake a few months back and nearly died at the price, this one was more affordable and in my opinion tasted better too. One couple at the party had never had a raw concoction before and they were shocked, in a good way.
I made a tiny sub, using hazelnuts for almonds.
Thanks so much for this!
So happy to hear it was enjoyed so much!
I made this cake today for a friends birthday and it was absolutely divine. Thanks for a wonderful recipe using my favourite black tea.
Yay! Glad you enjoyed it!
Angel Fock says
Can I cut off the tea bags and use the tea leaves inside for this recipe? Thanks.
Hi there, would like to try this recope for my coming bday soooo much!! Looks amazing and YUM 🙂
By the way, may I know if I could substitue the coconut oil with other oil?
I would advise against it – the coconut oil helps to make the cake extra creamy 🙂
This was such a good recipe!!!!!!!!! thank you:D
I tried doing exactly as in your picture … https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1050420091656769&set=a.370608476304604.91499.100000663635081&type=3&theater
not sure if you will be able to see it!
Shared your recipe with almost all my vegan friends 🙂
You cake looks amazing!! You have really great photography skills 🙂 I’m really glad you loved it!
Hi Savanna, I’m excited to try this recipe, but I want to replace the lemon juice and zest with lavender. How much lavender would you recommend? A couple of teaspoons? Thanks!
Hi Jacky, I would still leave the lemon juice in the recipe and just omit the zest – the juice helps balance out some of the flavour of the cheesecake, helping to make it similar to a plain new york cheesecake. As for the lavender, I would start with one teaspoon and try the batter. If you feel it needs to be stronger, add a bit more and try it again. This is one of my favourite parts of raw desserts – you can keep tasting them and tweaking them until you get the flavour just right. Let me know how it turns out!!
I would really love to try this cheesecake! It looks fantastic. However, I am terribly allergic to cashews and almonds. So you have any suggestions for a crust that I could substitute? I was thinking a plain graham cracker crust, but it would definitely change the cheesecake a lot and i’m wondering if it would make the whole thing taste less than superb if it was meant to be make with the dates, almonds, and cashews.
Sorry if my English is bad…
It isn’t my first language so I mix things up sometimes.
Also, I’m not worried about the cheesecake being gluten free, if that helps.
A graham cracker crust would be a great swap out for this cheesecake. Alternatively, you could make the crust with walnuts. As for the cashews that make up the actual cheesecake layers, the only substitution that I can think of would be macadamia nuts. From what I’ve been told, they’re a great alternative to cashews for making smooth cheesecake bases. Let me know if you decide to try this recipe out with the substitutions – I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂
I can’t wait to try this! Dumb question: What’s coconut cream? I’m assuming it’s just the creamy part of coconut milk??
Not a dumb question at all! You’re absolutely correct – if you refrigerate your can of coconut milk, the water and cream will separate so that you can scoop out the coconut cream. Depending on where you shop, you may also be able to buy cans of pure coconut cream.
Definitely one of the most beautiful and intriguing cheese cakes I’ve seen lately, and I saw sooooooo many lately (THE cheese holiday for Jewish people – SHAVUOT – just ended)
Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comment, Moran!
Earl Grey is my absolute favorite tea! I cannot wait to try this! Seems so simple that I might even be successful!
Mine too, Laura! I have the utmost faith in you and I’m sure it will be absolutely delicious!
I made this in muffin tins for mini cheesecakes, and they were a huge hit! Didn’t have any blueberries so I just served them as they were, and everybody went crazy!
Yay! I’m so, so thrilled to hear that they turned out and that everyone enjoyed them!! 🙂
This looks so gorgeous! I’m just wondering how long this would keep in the fridge/freezer, because I want to make this for a dinner party I’m having in a couple of days, but my cashews are already soaked and I would like to make it ahead of time, if possible.
Thanks, Chloe. We kept ours in the fridge for a week and it still tasted just as delicious as when I first made it. I haven’t personally tried freezing it yet but I imagine it would keep for a few weeks in an air-tight container. Hope this helps. Let me know how your dinner guests enjoy it!!
Thanks, sounds good! I’m sure everyone will love it!
Alison @Food by Mars says
I LOVE that this has earl grey! What a lovely cake!! And no-bake is always a win…
Thanks, Alison! It’s really a dream come true: Cheesecake + Tea = Yes Please!
Such a lovely raw cake recipe.
I love it especially, because it is made of a few ingredients that everyone have in their kitchen…
Photos are inspirational as well…
Awww thanks so much, Jasmin!
The Vegan 8 says
This is incredibly beautiful! What a wonderful idea!
Thanks so much! I’m glad to hear you liked it!
Evi @ greenevi says
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I wanna eat it now so badly!
P.S.: Why can’t I give more than 3 stars for the recipe??
Thanks, Evi! I will look into the rating glitch – you’re the first person to mention it.
what a gorgeous cake, and I love that you used earl grey
Thanks, Heather! It’s my new springtime dish 🙂
YUM! This looks delicious 🙂 Just pinned to my “Must Try Desserts” board on Pinterest 🙂
This cake looks absolutely incredible!!!! Will definitively try it, thank you for sharing Hedi xxx
spring IS coming, this is by far my favorite time of year!
cheesecake is my favorite too, and this one sounds lovely. I love the photos, the cross section of blueberry is a fun detail 🙂
I’ll be happy when these April showers are replaced with May flowers – I miss the sun right now 🙁
This looks beautiful and sounds delicious. This is now on my must-make list!
Thank you so much, Jackie! Let know how you enjoy it!
Audrey @ Unconventional Baker says
Holy beautiful, Savanna. I’m a huge fan of those flavors together and will actually be sharing a few similar things in the next few weeks. But this is just one stunning cheesecake! Seriously. ♥
Thanks,Audrey! This means so much coming from you, the Queen of baked goods! <3
I can't wait to see what you're take on this flavour combination is. It's certainly a new favourite of mine! I see an ice cream rendition of this coming at some point in the summer...
eat good 4 life says
This lemon cheesecake is totally up my alley. I am a sucker for gluten free vegan desserts 🙂
Thanks! I think you and I will get along splendidly – I am also a sucker for gluten free vegan desserts 🙂 I have a really great recipe posted for raw chocolate mint tarts too that you would probably enjoy 😉
I am not a cheesecake lover (lactose is my enemy), nor would I ever consider myself a pastry chef by any stretch of the imagination. This recipe (and the incredible photos) begs for me to take a stab at it!
If I need husband points with my wife, this is what I’m going to make this weekend!
I think this would constitute at least a solid +500 husband points; maybe even a level up? 😉
Janel from NellieBellie says
Not only does this recipe look incredible but the photos…those are absolutely beautiful!! Kudos. And yummy!
Thank you so much Janel, you’re too sweet! xoxo