This vegan banana caramel cheesecake is made with just 4 healthy ingredients! It’s raw, no bake, super impressive and nobody will know it’s gluten free and totally fruit sweetened.
Nerdy vegan alert: I often find myself completely in awe of fruit. Am I alone in this?! Think about it, how cool is it that it just grows on our planet, naturally sweet and ready to eat?! Then there’s the incredible variety of different cool, unique fruits. They say fruit is the true version of “fast food,” and if everybody moved from the horrifying fast food restaurants to fruit, we’d have a much healthier and happier population and planet! Anyway, while I’m on the subject I suddenly feel a huge need to list my top 5 favorite fruits, so in case you were wondering…
I’m suddenly STARVING.
Question of the day: what is your favorite fruit?! I seriously want to know, leave it in the comments so we can geek out over fruit together. 🙂
So now that I’m done admitting my adoration of any and all fruit and most of you think I’m weird, I want to talk about the best of the best. The GOAT – I just learned what the acronym means like, a month ago. Of course these titles are all in my own personal opinion, but this is my own blog, so we’re going to state them as fact today, okay guys?
I am in love with gooey, juicy, caramel-like dates, I pop grapes until an entire bag is gone, eat whole melons in one sitting for the best, sweet lunch. But there’s something about bananas that makes them my number one, go to, favorite fruit ever. Of course, flavor is key. I love their sweet, rich, pure flavor. Plus, they’re healthy! They’re full of vitamins and minerals, fiber, healthy carbs for energy, and they’re great for easy digestion. I love them plain, blended into smoothie bowls, made the main focus in nice creams. Such versatile little babes! They’re just all around the perfect food, growing on earth in their own cute package, ready to eat.
While chocolate cake is my number one dessert, bananas are my favorite food. I recently turned 25, and it wasn’t too shocking that if I wasn’t going to have chocolate cake on my birthday, I was definitely going to have something banana focused. As a result, this vegan banana caramel cheesecake was born!
I can honestly say that since starting my blog, cashew cheesecakes may be the best discovery I’ve made when it comes to vegan desserts. Cashews are pretty mind-blowing in terms of how they transform into such a creamy, rich cheesecake after some soaking and softening in water. The texture is seriously so smooth, and with the caramel-like sweetness of the dates, it’s to die for. I knew that my favorite fruit would combine wonderfully with a cheesecake filling, so I went with that and was SO happy with the result.
Let’s talk details!
First of all, we have the crust. This is NOT a traditional, graham cracker-like crust. It is not crunchy in any way, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you may want to find that component elsewhere and go with just the filling. It’s more sticky and soft, made with just some dates and almond flour. It has a different texture than the filling, a little nuttier and thicker. I love the crust as the base here!
Because it’s a little sticky, the crust may be difficult to get out cleanly, but this is cheesecake, not rocket science! If it sticks a bit, scrape it off with your fork, put the fork in your mouth, or if you have patience, onto your plate with the slice, and enjoy. The longer you freeze, the more it should set up. Combine the date paste and almond flour, press it into the bottom of your pan, and freeze while you make the filling!
The vegan banana caramel cheesecake filling is just 2 healthy ingredients. The base is cashews – that’s what gives it the decadent, rich, thick cheesecake texture. Soak the cashews for at least 3 hours, or overnight, in a bowl of water. Drain off the water and put the cashews in your food processor, along with the dates and some water. Make sure the lid is on VERY tight to avoid splattering, and blend until everything is super creamy.
The dates in the filling give a sweet, caramel-like flavor, and of course we need some banana flavor in a vegan banana caramel cheesecake. I added an entire layer of sliced bananas, cut into little coins and spread over the crust layer. After that, the cheesecake filling gets gently spread over the banana layer.
Put the cheesecake back into the freezer to set. I always makes sure to give it at least 8 hours. Prior to serving, you’ll just want to set it on the counter or in the fridge to soften up a little bit. The only caveat here is that the bananas will freeze up, which I don’t really like, so I like storing this in the fridge. I freeze initially so it can be sliced, but then I keep it in the fridge. My husband loves it straight from the freezer, for a firmer texture – this is totally up to your preference!
When you’re ready to serve, I highly recommend making a little extra date paste to drizzle over the top. The dates are the caramel component here, so if you really want a lot of caramel flavor, you’ll need to add some more on top! You could also cut slices and have some date paste on the side to put over each slice as you please. Extra bananas on top is a great way to go, too! Remember, when it comes to bananas, less is not more. More is more. More is better.
This vegan banana caramel cheesecake was the ultimate birthday treat! It’s sweet, silky smooth, and full of banana flavor. Top it with more gooey dates for even more caramel flavor, and you’ll never go back to “plain” cheesecake! It’s such a great raw, no bake choice for the summertime.
I just love bananas.
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!