A dairy-free Paleo-friendly cheesecake substitute full of sweet strawberries and made with cashew cream

Now, right from the beginning, be aware that this is NOT a cheesecake.  It’s just a very good substitute for one.  It’s gluten and dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, and sweetened only with dates and maple syrup.  But it’s not a cheesecake.  My family just wanted me to make sure you’re aware of that!

I’ve toyed with the idea of cashew cream a number of times, but have never gotten the texture or the consistency right.  One time I know it was my fault because I couldn’t be bothered soaking the cashews overnight and just tried to blend the bejabbers out of them (that’s the technical term right there).  It tasted ok, but it wasn’t the creamy smooth texture that I was looking for … I wonder why?  

Anyway, after a few more tries and I realized how important it is to soak the cashews overnight, then drain and pat them dry before trying anything with them, and voila – this was born.  It’s a combination of a number recipes that I was inspired by, but as always, feel free to adapt as you please!


Strawberry swirl cashew cream pie

Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


For the crust

  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup pecans or other nuts
  • 2/3 cup shredded or dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling

  • 2 cups cashews soaked in water for at least 4 hours, drained and patted dry
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the swirl

  • 2 cups strawberries diced
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs chia seeds


For the crust

  1. Process all ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor until it clumps together.
  2. Spoon and push into a prepared 10" springform pan and chill while making the filling.

For the swirl

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add additional sweetener if desired.
  2. Pour into a lidded jar and allow to set while making the filling.

For the filling

  1. Drain the soaked cashews and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Add cashews and other ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. This may take several minutes, even up to 5-6 minutes so be patient and scrape down the sides as needed.

To assemble

  1. Pour half the filling over the chilled base.
  2. Spoon dollops of the strawberry swirl onto the filling and use the back of the spoon to create a slight swirl.
  3. Repeat with the other half of the filling and swirl.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible prior to serving.