Strawberry vegan cheesecake jars

Strawberry vegan cheesecake jars

vegan cheesecake jars one

June is all about strawberries for me so I figured I’d better get started with strawberry-themed desserts as soon as possible, the season is short! I try to only buy them in season and switch to frozen if a sudden hankering for a strawberry smoothie hits me in the middle of winter (although it rarely does to be honest) so I cannot get enough of them when the season finally rolls around…

The sun is meant to be out in full force this weekend so we wasted no time and invited some friends for a BBQ, as you’ve got to make the most of the sunny weekends when you live in the UK! I have a pottery class for the whole day on Saturday and I’m working today so I decided to rein in my perfectionist tendencies and attempt low-effort hosting so that I can enjoy the day instead of fretting about food.

I am planning to marinate the filling for these simple fajitas tonight and cook them on our barbie and I bought a stack of corn tortillas so that I’m not tempted to be chained to the tortilla press and my hob for hours. On the day I will whip up a simple cashew crema and some guacamole and take a bottle of hot sauce out of the cupboard 😉 . For dessert, I came up with a super simple cheesecake in a glass with a side of gluten-free shortbread. One of our friends is a Celiac so I’ve taken extra care to make sure there is no gluten involved at all as I know how much he suffers if he ingests any.

What’s nice about this dessert is how easy it is to make, there are no setting agents involved, no faff. You simply dump all of the ingredients into a blender and blend the mixture until super smooth. It gets thick and creamy after a few hours (overnight is ideal) in the fridge. I flavoured it with lemon and cardamom but ginger would also be a great flavour match.

To add a bit of crunch, I made a tray of simple shortbreads, but I am serving them on the side rather than in the dessert so that they retain maximum crunch. I made mine from scratch for the sake of my friend, but many biscuits are accidentally vegan so you can simply buy some. I hope you and your guests / fellow diners will appreciate the flavour and the simplicity of this summer, strawberry-laden dessert. Less time in the kitchen, more time for catching the rays outside, I say…I’m like my basil plants – which are still thriving, who knew… – I need my sunshine to feel like all is well in the world.

vegan cheesecake jars strawberries

vegan cheesecake jars mixture

vegan cheesecake jars spooning

vegan cheesecake jars cookies

vegan cheesecake jars single

vegan cheesecake jars top down

serves
4-5
PREP
30 min
COOKING
12 min
serves
4-5
PREPARATION
30 min
COOKING
12 min
INGREDIENTS
STRAWBERRY LAYER

  • 500 g / 1 lb ripe strawberries

CHEESECAKE LAYER

  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp lemon juice + zest of 1 large lemon
  • 90 ml / 6 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 200 g / 1 cup silken tofu
  • 200 g / 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked*
  • 8 g / 4 tsp tapioca starch (optional, see METHOD)
  • scant ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)**

SHORTBREAD (makes 12)

  • 2 tsp psyllium husks (for GF version only)
  • 50 g / ¼ cup refined coconut oil or vegan butter, softened
  • 38 g / 3 tbsp sugar
  • 50 g / ½ cup almond flour
  • 65 g / ½ cup GF flour mix (I like this one), rice flour or regular AP flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom (optional)

METHOD
STRAWBERRY LAYER

  1. Reserve 4-5 small strawberries for decoration, chop half of your strawberries and mash or blitz the other half.
  2. Arrange chopped and mashed / blitzed strawberries at the bottom of each glass.

CHEESECAKE LAYER

  1. Place lemon juice and zest, maple syrup, vanilla essence at the bottom of your blender, followed by tofu and rinsed cashews.
  2. Blend until super smooth – you may need to use a tamper or simply a spatula to help the blender churn from time to time. You can skip tapioca if you wish – once chilled the mixture will still be indulgent and creamy, just a little bit less thick if you don’t add tapioca starch. This is a soft set mixture, if you want it firmer, you could skip tapioca and add ½ tsp of activated agar agar powder.
  3. Season with cardamom or ginger, to taste (if using).
  4. Divide the mixture between the jars (there should be 540 ml / 2¼ cups of mixture) and refrigerate for as many hours as you can – overnight is ideal to allow the mixture to thicken.

SHORTBREAD

  1. If making gluten-free shortbread, hydrate psyllium husks in 3 tsp water, set aside to jellify.
  2. Whisk softened coconut oil / vegan butter together with sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add both flours and salt and psyllium husk gel for gluten-free shortbread. I also added ¼ tsp ground cardamom. Knead until just combined. If you are making these on a hot day, you may need to chill the dough a little before rolling out as coconut oil is likely to get too soft when kneading. If using gluten flour to make these, you may need to add a teaspoon or so of water.
  4. Roll out on a lightly floured countertop, cut out as many biscuits as you can. Chill them for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 175° C / 345° F.
  5. Arrange chilled biscuits on a paper-lined baking tray and bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before lifting off the tray – especially the GF ones as they will be fragile while warm. I dipped mine in vegan white chocolate and sprinkled them with pistachios, but that’s totally optional.

*Cashews should be soaked overnight or for at least 30 minutes in boiling water.

**Skip the cardamom if you aren’t a fan or sub with ginger, fresh or ground.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
579
29%
sugars
30 g
34%
fats
35 g
50%
saturates
13 g
64%
proteins
12 g
25%
carbs
59 g
23%
*per jar
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5.0
5 reviews, 17 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Vanya:
I am starting to realize now that not all sugars are made equal...lol I will keep your information in mind... oh, and maple butter is basically maple syrup mixed with some oil (think of a healthy oil) and it has marmalade like consistency that you can spread on anything from toasted bread to pancakes or waffles for breakfast (similar to honey & butter mix)... I'm getting hungry as I type all this.
Thanks, Ania!
    Ania
    Ania:
    yes, the body metabolises them more or less in the same way (although some spike your blood sugar a bit less), but yes, they are all a bit different chemically so they behave differently in recipes. x Ania
Vanya:
Hi Ania, yes the homegrown strawberries have so much flavour and you pick them at the peak ripeness when they are the sweetest and most fragrant!
For the cookies, I used "maple sugar" - it has almost powder-like consistency and it is made from maple syrup and it is even more expensive than the syrup. I live in Canada - the country of everything Maple...lol so there is plenty of varieties of maple products - different grades maple syrup, maple candies, maple butters, maple sugar... I thought maple sugar will behave the same way as regular granulated sugar. I will try the cookies next time with the regular sugar (maybe coconut sugar). Thank you! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Sounds amazing! As do all those maple products you speak of (maple butter? I'm drooling at the thought of it). It may be called sugar and it may even look like it, but I suspect chemically it is quite different so it is likely to behave a little differently in baking too. Same goes for coconut sugar too actually. It is the same with flours, almond flour is very different to wheat flour and not totally replaceable 1:1 in all contexts. It will be fine, but you just need to be open to have to modify baking time etc. if you use alternative sugars. Ania
Vanya:
Hi Ania, so it turned out mom did have tapioca starch and after the strawberry picking we made the dessert at her place and in 2 doses - one with the 4 tsp tapioca per the recipe and one with only 1 tsp. I personally liked it creamier - the version with 1 tsp tapioca or maybe next time I will just skip it altogether since I am all into moussy creamy consistency :)
The biscuits turned ok an didn't spread in the oven as others have noted. But I did use maple sugar as a sweetener (it melts better into the coconut oil), where the package says that it is twice as sweet as sugar, so I only used half the recipe amount (1.5 Tbsp) but at the end they weren't that sweet, so maybe next time I will use the recipe amount (3 Tbsp). Also, it took longer than 30min for the biscuits to bake - maybe because they were cold from the fridge straight into the oven?!
The final product was very yummy and a real treat after the strawberry picking! Thank you for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Vanya,
    Great to hear that you and your mum enjoyed this dessert, it must have been especially nice with home-grown strawberries. As for the biscuits, the reason they took longer to bake is because you swapped sugar out for maple syrup. I have tested both in cookies before (like in these cookies) and I have noticed that maple syrup version always takes longer to bake/brown. Hope this helps! Ania
Vanya:
I was wondering if I can use Xanthan Gum or Arrow root starch instead of Tapioca starch (only because I don't have any tapioca at the moment)? Going strawberry picking tomorrow and decided to try your recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Vanya,
    I have not tried either of these but arrowroot would be my choice. Having said that you can skip that ingredient completely and provided you chill the mixture overnight, the mixture will still be creamy and indulgent. Hope this helps! Ania
Aimee:
Hiya,
Okay so I made these last night - and despite my blender exploding everywhere (it's time; I have to face the fact to buy a new one! ) - they were delish!
I didn't have any fresh strawberries so I stewed some apples with cinnamon, cardamom and date caramel and tossed some fresh raspberries in there.
I also skipped the tofu and did a mixture of your previous cheesecake jar recipes and just used cashews , coconut cream and added the tapioca.
Now, the shortbread are delish! I made 2 batches in 2 days!
But, I had a bit of a problem with th first batch's batter consistency- it was very wet.. I used coconut oil and I think it may have been too runny as opposed the softened coconut oil as mentioned in the recipe? So I ended up adding quite a bit more GF flour so that I could handle it.
I chilled them for a bit (less than 30mins) and popped them in the oven... Unfortunately they spread out a lot and I thought it was maybe because I hadn't chilled them properly. I ate them all in any case - because - still delicious!!
The following day and 2nd batch I made sure my coconut oil wasn't so melted and the batter definitely seemed as it should be..So I popped the rolled biscuits to chill a full 30 mins or more.
But they spread even more jn the oven than the other ones...
Do you have any idea where I may have gone wrong?
- I did use coconut sugar.
- I also chilled the prebaked biscuits on the tray I used to bake them on..could it be that?
I mean either way, they are absolutely delicious (did I mention that already!!) And have that perfect mouth watering crunch and moreishness of shortbread...hemce why I thought Id give a 3rd day of testing them a miss... ;)
Thank you once again for another smashing recipe! Xx
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Aimee, I'm glad you enjoyed these and sorry about your blender misbehaving. As for the shortbread, yes, the heat makes you think that you need to add more flour than you actually do - I added a note about this just after I published as I was making these again on Sunday and found that coconut oil was too soft to cut the biscuits out due to it being a hot day. I have not had any issues with these cookies spreading at all so I am puzzled. The only thing I can think of is perhaps mismeasuring, which can happen if you use cups as opposed to scales. Spreading would be due to the ratio of wet to dry ingredient being off so perhaps too little flours or too much moisture - could it be that? Anyway, glad you enjoyed these shortbreads and I hope they will behave better next time. x Ania
Susan:
This looks amazing! I am in Australian and, strangely, winter is out best season for strawberries. Which is great because it is winter right now!
Also excited to see that the cheesecake layer does not have coconut oil or coconut cream in it, and that the shortbread can be made with vegan butter. My coconut fat intolerant self thanks you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank Susan, I'm pleased to hear that you are excited about making this recipe and jealous of your strawberry flavoured winters - what a great climate you live in, I'm so jealous! x Ania
Sarah:
500 g is closer to 1 lb. Could you clarify which is correct? I know this isn’t a very “measured’ part of the recipe, but I’m sure the ratio of strawberries to cheesecake also makes a difference! Many thanks. Can’t wait to try this one!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so sorry, I completely missed this during my proofchecking. I personally think that you cannot have too many strawberries, but for these jars 500 g / 1 lb or just a little bit over seems sufficient. Ania
Kasia Niemiec:
Oh dear, I'm afraid I've got to diagnose myself with a hopelessly uncontrollable case of mouth-watering now...
    Ania
    Ania:
    hahaha, thank you Kasia :) lovely to hear and I hope you'll give these a go sometime...x Ania
Toni Zuercher:
Can this be made with almonds? My daughter is cashew intolerant
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Toni,
    I don't think you'll be able to obtain the same, creamy texture as almonds are less fatty. Macademia nuts are a good swap or coconut cream (separated from a can on full fat coconut milk after chilling in the fridge for a few days). Hope this helps! Ania
Aimee:
Oh yummy yum yum!
These look delish! X
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Aimee :) x Ania
Richard Church:
Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure! I hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
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