If you’re anything like me, you long for the flavors of a Snickers bar. All that yummy chocolate, combined with crunchy peanuts, and sweet, sweet caramel.
And if you thought you wouldn’t be able to recreate these flavors as part of a vegan lifestyle, I’m more than happy to prove you wrong!
Going vegan is not just about giving up meat. You’re also giving up all dairy, including the likes of eggs, cheese, cream cheese, cream and ice cream.
And you could be forgiven for assuming that this means that most dessert recipes are off the cards.
But it turns out that there are some excellent substitutes around, and you still get to enjoy deliciously creamy and decadent desserts, such as this vegan snickers cheesecake.
It’s sweet and scrumptious and 100% dairy-free. And it requires no baking whatsoever.
You will need some basic kitchen equipment, such as an 8 by 8 inch baking dish, parchment paper to line it with, and a food processor.
How To Make A Homemade Vegan Snickers Cheesecake
Making this cheesecake can be split into 3 main areas. Making the walnut-date crust, making the filling, and decorating with extra toppings. Here’s what you’re going to need.
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 ½ cups of walnuts
- 1 cup of pitted dates
- ¼ teaspoon of salt (ideally sea salt)
Ingredients for the filling:
- ½ cup of coconut milk (ideally full fat) (You can substitute this for another plant-based milk if you wish, such as rice milk or almond milk)
- 1 ½ cups of cashew nuts
- ⅓ cup of maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or grape seed oil) (Alternatively you can substitute for coconut oil if you prefer)
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (what you’d get from one small lemon)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (totally optional but highly recommended!)
- ¾ cup of vegan dark chocolate (you can use chocolate chips, or simply chop up a bar)
- ¾ cup of peanuts (I recommend using ones that are both roasted and salted for maximum flavor!)
- ¾ cup of pitted dates (for the spreadable caramel-like paste)
Please don’t be intimidated by the number of steps it takes to make this delicious cheesecake. It’s actually very simple to do.
1 – Soak the cashew nuts for the filling in a bowl of boiling hot water for at least an hour. This will soften them, and give you a wonderfully creamy cheesecake filling. The drain them.
2 – Prepare your 8 by 8 inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper, ready for later.
3 – Now you prepare the ingredients for the walnut and date crust. Simply add the pitted dates to your food processor, and blend them together really well before removing the mixture and setting it aside.
4 – Next, you add the sea salt and walnuts to your food processor, and blend until it becomes powder-like.
5 – Place the date mix back into the blender with the grounded walnuts and salt. Use the food processor to form a loose dough. To check when it’s ready, squeeze a little between your fingers, and it should stick.
If, however, it seems to be too wet, simply add more walnuts. If, on the other hand, it seems too dry, you can simply add more dates through the sprout.
6 – Once the crust mixture is ready, you can then proceed to press it into your lined baking dish, to form a uniformly flat cheesecake base. It does help to weigh it down with something, so it’s more firmly packed.
7 – Put the prepared crust in the freezer to set.
8 – While that’s sitting in the freezer, you can go ahead and start making the date caramel sauce. Just add the pitted dates to the food processor and blend them to form a paste.
Then all you have to do is add a little hot water to form a scrumptious caramel like paste. The amount of hot water you will need depends on how fresh the dates are.
Please try to avoid adding more than 4 tablespoons of water, because this will make it too watery rather than spreadable. Then set the sauce aside.
9 – Now place the drained, soaked cashew nuts into the food processor along with the other filling ingredients (the lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, coconut milk, maple syrup, and optional vanilla extract).
Blend on a high speed until you get a smooth and creamy mixture.
10 – Now you get to taste-test! Try a little, and if you want it sweeter, simply add some more maple syrup, if you want more flavor balance, just add more salt, or if you want more brightness in the flavor, simply add in some more lemon juice.
11 – When you’re happy with the taste of your filling, you can then go ahead and pour it into the baking dish over the crust (the crust should be set at this point).
If you tap the baking tray on your countertop, this will get rid of any air bubbles that may be in the mixture.
12 – Now, you can swirl in the date-caramel sauce. I recommend using something thin for the swirling, such as a chopstick or toothpick.
13 – Next, sprinkle over the salted peanuts, and allow them to sink a little into the filling (tapping the tray helps). Cover the baking tray loosely with some plastic wrap, before sealing with some aluminum foil, and freeze until it’s set and firm.
(This could take between 4 and 6 hours.)
14 – Allow the cheesecake to thaw briefly before serving it. At this point, you can now top it with the remaining roasted peanuts and date-caramel paste.
15 – Then, for the chocolate flavoring, you can either sprinkle the vegan chocolate chips on the top, or you can use them to make a delicious chocolate sauce.
To make the sauce, all you really have to do is melt the chocolate. You can either do this in the microwave on full power for 30 seconds, or melt it in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water on the stove.
If you wish, you can drizzle the chocolate sauce over the cheesecake when it’s still hot.
16 – Slice the cheesecake into individual portions (you should be able to make up to 12 bars) and serve immediately. Enjoy!