Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake

Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake // 80twentyToday I’m lucky to have the lovely Autumn here from one of the most delightful blogs, Autumn Makes and Does. I’m a huge fan of Autumn’s preserving projects, gluten-free sweets, and DIY cocktails and relevant accoutrements. (She’s a spirits columnist for Serious Eats, so she knows what she’s doing!) She and another awesome friend of mine, co-host a podcast together that’s adorable and hilarious. You should check it out. But for now, stay here a moment and check out this fantastic vegan “cheesecake” she brought us today. It’s a doozy!

I know we’re in the pink weeks, the stretch of days leading up to Valentine’s Day when cupcakes, cocktails, and even ravioli are coming up rosy. As much as I tend toward cynicism and toward being not-that-girly, I really do like pink.  This is all to say, it takes something really special for me to pass up the opportunity to indulge in a pink treat and this pistachio cheesecake is it.Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake // 80twentyMy favorite thing about pistachios is that they’re rich and elegant, without being too heavy. Blended with cashews in this vegan cheesecake, pistachios give the dessert a really pretty, muted green hue that really makes this a celebration-worthy dessert. Even with a run-of-the-mill blender, which I totally have, the cashews and pistachios blend up into a super smooth cheesecake thanks to an overnight soak in water. The result is a totally fancypants, creamy vegan cheesecake that is perfect for showing a little love.

A quick note about the 6-inch springform pan, which this recipe uses and I absolutely adore. I’m very much a “make due with what you’ve got” sort of girl and am really not one to go out and buy a pan just because a recipe says I need to. For whatever reason, I threw caution to the wind and bought a 6-inch springform pan to make a little flourless chocolate cake from Smitten Kitchen. Turns out, I love this little pan so much that now I make recipes like this one that are specifically for it. I find it’s just the right size portion-wise and it’s pretty cute too. (That said, before I had my 6-inch springform pan, I made a version of this in a saran-wrap lined round pyrex and it worked ok. I left enough extra saran-wrap that I was able to use it to pull out the cake).Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake // 80twenty

Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free
Author: Autumn Giles adapted from [url href="http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2011/01/raw-cashew-dreamcake-2/" target="_blank"]My New Roots[/url]
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted, halved, and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • ¾ cup raw or roasted and unsalted shelled pistachios, soaked overnight (I find that raw pistachios are especially hard to find, so roasted and unsalted work fine here too)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup agave
  • chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rub coconut oil on a 6-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or mini-chopper combine the dates, pecans, and salt. Blend until uniform and the pecans look like a very coarse meal.
  3. Press the pecan/date mixture into the springform pan using your fingers to achieve a relatively even thickness. Set aside.
  4. Strain the cashews and pistachios of their soaking liquid and rinse them well. Place them in a blender with the lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, coconut oil, and agave.
  5. Pulse a few times to begin to break down the nuts. Blend on high until the mixture is very smooth. This took me about 2-3 minutes of blending and I had to stop and scrape the sides a few times.
  6. Pour the filling mixture onto the crust and smooth the surface. Cover with foil and place in the freezer until solid, at least 4 hours.
  7. When ready to serve remove from the freezer 30 minutes prior to serving and immediately remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Garnish with chopped pistachios if desired.
  8. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge.

 

26 Comments

  • Reply February 10, 2014

    Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake

    [...] I’m so excited to be guest posting for Kris over at 80twenty today, sharing a super elegant vegan pistachio cheesecake with serious Valentine’s Day potential. Kris and I met at The Big Summer Potluck and since then I’ve felt totally lucky to know such a generous and warm-hearted lady. I’m a sucker for pink treats and I adore chocolate, but this rich, creamy pistachio cheesecake is something really special. I’m so happy with how it turned out! Head on over to 80twenty to get the recipe for this vegan pistachio cheesecake. [...]

  • Reply February 10, 2014

    Kelly @ Kelly Bakes

    There are so many things to love about all of this–where does one even begin? Shall I make a list? very well then, I’ll make a list!

    1. I love that this guest post happened because you two are just flipping fantastic. The end.
    2. I love pistachios.
    3. Making cheesecake, let alone vegan cheesecake, scares the pants off of me. Leave it to A to simplify it for folks like me! {She should just change her blog name to Autumn Makes It Look Easy…and Lovely.}
    4. I’m so proud of you, Autumn, for buying a 6″ pan! As I’ve discussed, I have just about everything for the kitchen, but 6″ cake pans and 6″ springforms are a must!
    5. I love pistachios.
    6. Thank you for the sweet shout-out and I hope both of you lovely ladies have a fantastic Valentine’s Day! xoxoxo

    • Reply February 12, 2014

      autumn

      Thanks, KBakes! I feel really validated by your 6-inch springform comments, so thank you :) Also, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a vegan cheesecake like this is WAY EASIER and LESS SCARY than a regular cream cheese cheesecake. No obsessing over cracked tops and/or whether your waterbath leaked through the foil barrier around your springform pan and ruined the entire thing! You must try it.

    • Reply February 13, 2014

      Kris

      Miss Kelly, You (of aaalll people) can do it. You’re the Kelly Bakes. :) And now I must get a 6″ springform. Happy V-day to you too, girl!

  • Reply February 10, 2014

    Nikki Gardner

    Wow, this looks good. If there is such a thing as synchronicity, then I must make this cheesecake. This is the first of three pistachio desserts I’ve happened upon online this afternoon. All while I’m supposed to be doing other work. The kicker is, I can’t actually make the fruits (or nuts?) of my procrastination efforts since I have everything but pistachios (which I’m fond of) in the pantry. Ha, well, soon enough.

    p.s. love the styling!

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      Kris

      Well you definitely have to make the cheesecake now! Isn’t it funny how just when you want to make something, you are missing a key ingredient. In fact, I often think that there’s a universal conspiracy for me to keep things around just so I won’t ever need them! Thanks so much for stopping by; your blog is beautiful. And do let me know if you make the pistachio cheesecake!

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Jesse

    I haven’t made this. I’m also not vegan, but am vegetarian.

    Whether I make this or not, this is literally brilliantly great.

    • Reply February 13, 2014

      Kris

      That’s so great, Jesse. We do hope you try it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Erika

    Ahmazing.. I’m a lover of pistachios and cheesecake. So the 2 of them together is all kinds of greatness in a springform pan.

    • Reply February 13, 2014

      Kris

      Hooray!! I hope you try it, Erika.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    [email protected]

    I can’t get over how amazing this looks. I’m trapped inside with a snowstorm but I’m seriously contemplating walking down the street to get the ingredients to make this!

    • Reply February 13, 2014

      Kris

      Haha! Rachel, I’m curious if you made the trek outside. You’d be braver than me. I’m all about curling up in a blanket, sipping tea, and watching movies during snowstorms. :)

  • [...] Vegan Pistachio Cheesecake from 80 Twenty [...]

  • Reply February 12, 2014

    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    I’m head over heals for pistachio and I want two slices of this cheesecake! I love that it’s also gluten-free – perfect for me!

    • Reply February 12, 2014

      autumn

      Thanks, Sarah! Because there’s lots of pistachios blended into the cheesecake, the flavor really comes through :)

    • Reply February 13, 2014

      Kris

      I’m head over heals for pistachio as well! The colour is a real selling point for me! :)

  • I still have not gotten around to trying vegan cheesecake. This must change!

    • Reply February 13, 2014

      Kris

      Do it, Mallory! It’s a pretty awesome dessert.

  • Reply February 24, 2014

    Kristin

    This recipe looks amazing! Do you think it could be altered to work in a 9-inch springform pan? That’s the only kind I have, and I would love to try it out.

    • Reply February 24, 2014

      autumn

      Hey Kristin,

      Thank you! Without scaling anything up, I think both the filling and crust would be spread pretty thin in a 9-inch springform. I think it would definitely be more like a tart than a cheesecake and I’m actually not 100% sure that there would be enough crust… what about trying to use a muffin tin and making some minis like these? http://minimalistbaker.com/7-ingredient-vegan-cheesecakes/

  • Reply April 1, 2014

    Emma

    This is totally beautiful Kris! I adore pistachios in sweets and savouries.
    The 6″ spring form is the perfect size for these kind of rich desserts too..

    • Reply April 2, 2014

      Kris

      Thanks so much, Emma! It’s perfect for a little treat, right?

  • Reply December 21, 2015

    abeason

    I’m so excited to make this for Christmas dinner. Do you have any idea how much I would need to scale it up to fit an 8″ pan? Thanks!

  • Reply September 27, 2016

    Abigail Francis

    Hi I made this for my hubby for his birthday.

    It’s such a lovely cake. I did add matcha tea to it. It added to the green, the health benefits and flavour.

    It’s brilliant. It went down a storm even with my 7 yr old boy
    5 stars

  • Reply February 26, 2017

    Melody

    As genuine and well meant constructive criticism the flavour of the pistachios in this recipe wasn’t strong enough to be recognisable. I used raw and un-roasted nuts and the cake was the same lovely colour and texture as the picture but it only tasted vaguely of vanilla and lemon. I was making the cake specifically for a pistachio lovers birthday so I was quite disappointed. If anyone else ever experiences this same issue, this was how I solved it: I made pistachio paste and then added it to the original batter. This process of making the pistachio paste is a little fiddly but worth it – this is the recipe I used: http://www.roadtopastry.com/blog/recipes/creams-custards-sauces/recipe-pistachio-paste. Once I added the pistachio paste the batter took on the strong and unmistakably rich nutty flavour of pistachio that I had been after. I also added pistachio nuts to the base. Turned out great in the end, but only as a result of much more research, ingredients and effort than the original recipe called for.

  • Reply September 5, 2017

    Caroline

    Melody, please let us know how much pistachio paste you added to the recipe it would be very helpful to know that.
    Thank you.

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