White Chocolate and Cranberry (no) Cheesecake



OK, cacao butter is expensive, I know it is, but it is Christmas after all and if Christmas isn’t the best time to indulge in something extra special then I’m not sure when is! I wanted to make something festive and raw that could be a real centrepiece, but something that was a bit different to all the other raw cheesecakes out there. I don’t actually find cranberries a particularly versatile ingredient; fresh cranberries are very sour and it is hard to seek out dried cranberries that don’t contain a higher percentage of sugar than cranberry. However, this recipe contains just the right amount to add a contrast to the sweet, white-chocolate and vanilla filling and sticky date base,  without being too bitter. I have added a tiny bit of lemon juice to replace the tangy ‘cheese’ flavour you would find in a normal cheesecake, and it brings out the flavours really well.

If you aren’t keen on Christmas pudding, this would make the perfect alternative Christmas day dessert. Or you could impress your friends at a Christmas party. Although the recipe says it serves 8, it could be cut into many more pieces as it is so decadent and just a tiny bit is satisfying. I really like this cheesecake served straight from the fridge as the cacao butter allows it to set really well and be easily cut. And why not have some fun decorating the top with your favourite festive ingredients? I chose to use fresh mint leaves and frozen, frosted cranberries as these gave the dessert a proper  Christmas makeover. I would love to see how some of you choose to decorate your Christmas desserts!

White Chocolate and Cranberry (no) Cheesecake
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: vegan, raw, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free
Serves: 8
  • 200g medjool dates, pitted
  • 200g cashew nuts, soaked overnight
  • 100g almonds
  • 100g cacao butter
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup/brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder (or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Place the almonds and salt in a processor and blitz for a minute
  2. Add the dates and process again until well combined with the almonds
  3. Line a push-up tin with clingfilm and press the mixture into the bottom, smoothing with the back of a spoon dipped in hot water if needed
  4. Place in the freezer
  5. Meanwhile, place the cranberries in a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until soft
  6. Drain them, add 1 tbsp of the maple or brown rice syrup and mash slightly with the back of a spoon and set aside
  7. In a bain marie, melt the cacao butter
  8. Place the cashews in a processor and process until smooth
  9. Add the vanilla, cacao butter, lemon juice and 3 tbsp of the maple or brown rice syrup and process again until combined
  10. Add the cranberry mix to the processor and blitz on the pulse setting for about 5 seconds until evenly spread but not blended (you still want pieces of cranberries!)
  11. Remove the tin from the freezer and pour the topping on top of the base
  12. Smooth with the back of the spoon and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
  13. Decorate with fresh mint leaves and cranberries for a stunning Christmas centrepiece!


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