Vegan strawberry cheesecake slice

Vegan strawberry cheesecake slice

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice cross section

While I really miss holidays I realise that the reality of a lockdown has probably been a blessing for the state of our house. Last year occasional spells of hot weather and going away had dampened our motivation to work on the house during summer, which is why we spent the entire winter with no soft furnishings, no TV and a living room with bare, freshly plastered walls and a half finished floor. We sort of got used to our house being perpetually dishevelled – you can get used to surprisingly uncomfortable things if you put your mind to it 😉 – but now the cup has overflown and the annoyance of living like this has motivated us to start working on things again.

This weekend is phase 2 of our living room skirting board project. We cut and installed nearly half of the skirting boards last weekend, this weekend we shall continue with the other half and then it will take yet another weekend to patch up screw holes, caulk all of the gaps and paint the boards – something I will be taking charge of as with my near pathological attention to detail and proclivity for tasks that require hand dexterity I appear to do fairly well with things like that.

What is the most time consuming and difficult thing about this job is cutting the boards at exactly the right angle. Victorian houses have a lot of charm, yet part of that charm is that they feature no straight edges or 90° angles, which makes seemingly straightforward things like fitting skirting boards quite a challenge. Luckily Duncan is good at trigonometry and he is getting the hang of using a mitre saw like a pro, so things are gathering speed. We are really spurred on by how good the room looks already, despite it being not quite finished and very messy and so the motivation is at an all time high.

As we are bang in the middle of the strawberry season right now and I’ve spent way too much time on Pinterest looking for interior design ideas, I’ve made a super easy and quick yet delicious strawberry cheesecake slice for today. It requires no baking whatsoever and the entire thing is made in a food processor (base) and a blender (creamy layers). It contains no oil, it’s naturally gluten-free and is entirely sweetened with dates and maple syrup. It’s set with agar agar, but the amount of it is carefully calibrated to make sure the layers are just barely set. The result is delicate, creamy and a pleasure to eat and not a rubbery slice that you could bounce off a wall. Agar agar is quite heat tolerant, which makes this a perfect hot weather dessert. I hope you’ll make it and enjoy it as much as we did.

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice base

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice layer three four

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice strawberries

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice surface

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice cut

vegan strawberry cheesecake slice side

15x20cm / 6x8"
20 min
5 min
15x20cm / 6x8"
20 min
5 min


  • 6 Medjool dates (115 g / 4 oz), pitted and soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes
  • ¼-½ tsp fine salt (I like ½ tsp better)
  • 1 cup / 125 g pecans
  • 1 cup / 90 g jumbo rolled oats
  • 1½ tsp softened coconut oil (optional)


  • 230 g / 1 cup thick vegan coconut yogurt* (I used The Coconut Collaborative)
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean
  • ½ cup / 75 g cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 1½ tsp agar powder**


  • 300 g / 10.5 oz RIPE strawberries, more to decorate
  • ½ cup / 75 g cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2¼ tsp agar powder**
  1. Line the bottom and the sides of your tin with baking paper. I used a shallow baking tin of the following dimensions: 20 cm / 8″ x 15 cm / 6″ so when choosing a tin make sure the surface area of yours matches mine.


  1. Place softened and squeezed dry dates in a food processor together with all of the base ingredients apart from the oil.
  2. Process until oats and nuts are well chopped and you have a sticky ‘dough’ that holds together well. At this point you may want to add softened (no need to melt) coconut oil. I found that a tiny amount helps with texture, but it is not at all essential. If the dough is too dry, add a teaspoon or so of water.
  3. Line the bottom of the baking tin with the ‘dough’. Press the mixture down well with your fingers so that there are no gaps / air bubbles. Use the bottom of a glass, placed on a small piece of non-stick paper to prevent sticking, to compact the mixture even more. Put into the fridge while you make your cheesecake mixture.


  1. Place coconut yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla and cashews in the blender, blend until super smooth.
  2. Activate agar agar in 60 ml / ¼ cup of water (or thin plant milk). Follow the instructions on the packet and be ready to act quickly as once the agar agar is activated, you’ll need to act fast so that it doesn’t set in the blender.
  3. Add activated agar agar to the white cheesecake mix, blend for a few seconds so that it’s well distributed and then pour over the base and quickly level with a spatula. Allow it to set (fridge will speed things up but it’s not necessary) while you make the pink layer.
  4. Place half of the destemmed strawberries and drained cashews at the bottom of the blender (you don’t need to wash it) and blend until the cashews are super smooth. If there isn’t enough moisture in the blender, add a couple more strawberries.
  5. Now add the rest of the strawberries and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
  6. Prepare the strawberries for decorating by destemming them and slicing whichever way appeals to you. Set aside. You can decorate the top with strawberries once you pour the pink layer out or after cutting – as it is a very lightly set dessert decorating it after cutting produces neater looking slices.
  7. Activate agar agar in 60 ml / ¼ cup of water (or thin plant milk). Follow the instructions on the packet and be ready to act quickly as once the agar agar is activated, you’ll need to act fast so that it doesn’t set in the blender.
  8. Add the activated agar agar to the pink cheesecake mix, blend for a few seconds so that it’s well distributed and then pour over the white layer and quickly level with a spatula. The cheesecake will set within 30-60 minutes and putting it in the fridge helps a little. I found that it is even nicer the day after it has been made so I recommend making a day ahead if you can. Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge, it keeps for 3-4 days.

*Full fat coconut cream will work also, but you may want to add a tablespoon of lemon juice – do not add more than that, however, as acidity weakens the strength of agar agar.

**You can use agar agar flakes instead but please be aware that they are 3 times less potent than agar powder so make sure to triple the amount specified. It also requires prolonged simmering to activate – please follow the instructions on the packet.

15 g
12 g
2 g
4 g
26 g
*per slice
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3 reviews, 10 comments
Love this recipe and so does my daughter. I have to make this once a month for her to take to school. But now she is about to enter kindergarten and her new school it but aware (meaning no tree nuts or peanuts) and she herself is allergic to sunflower seeds. Any chance you have ideas for alternatives that would be allowed in her school and not have sunflower seeds? Thanks!!!
    Hi Jessica,
    Delighted to hear that this recipe is such a favourite with you both. This is a tricky question and I will be honest, I cannot think of any straightforward swap. You could perhaps make the whole thing based on coconut cream, silken tofu and maybe some white chocolate (or cacao butter) but the amount of agar needed to impossible to guess without some experimentation. Sorry I cannot be of any more help! x Ania
I would like to try this recipe but in the past have never been able to get cashews to be blended into a smooth cream. I'm wondering what blender you're using?
    Hi V,
    I use a very basic and quite old Kenwood and a bit of a trick to get them smooth - you could achieve the same with a more powerful blender and a tamper. Once the mixture gets thick enough so that it stays in the blender, I basically churn it with no lid on. With a spatula, I make shallow (just deep enough to break an air bubble that tends to arise under the surface) circles in the direction of the moving blades while the mixture is running. DISCLAIMER: This is what I do but I cannot recommend you do that as I don't want to be held responsible should anything go wrong... Ania
I’d be interested to know if anyone has tried to freeze this and have a party this summer and I really like to go what I can in advance as too stressful otherwise!
Hi Ania, thanks for your reply!
It is possible I maybe didn't manage to scrape all the agar from the pan...But glad to hear yours also goes gelatinous and isn't a liquid..
I see the top berry part has now seemed to have set a but better than the cream part, and I know I was quicker at adding the agar on the berry round.
I'll definitely try again!
Thanks so much for your amazing recipes, absolutely love your site!
Have a wonderful weekend! X
    Thanks Aimée, I'm so happy to hear that and I do hope you'll try it again and that it will work out better next time. I should point out that the intention was for this slice to be just barely set so that it's creamy and delicate rather than firm and jelly-like so if you are after something a little firmer, you may want to increase the amount of the setting agent. Let me know how you get on and have a great weekend too! x Ania
I made these this afternoon...I think I went wrong with my agar powder activation...I used the quantities you stated in the 60ml water relative to both the cream follwed by strawberry layer.
But, as I was trying to bring the agar & liquid to the boil, it became like stiff jelly (it didn't remain a boiling/simmering liquid to pour into the cream blend...), so I scraped it in whilst the cream was blending to incorporate... its been in the fridge a good 6 hours now, but unfortunately, though tasty, it is very messy... I have tried searching on google for more info on agar powder but it all seems to be a pouring liquid consistency still when boiling...what did I do wrong do you think?
Would love to get this right! Xx
    Hi Aimée,
    I'm sorry to hear that your agar agar didn't seem to have worked as well as it was supposed to. I find that by the time it's activated (simmered), agar agar always becomes like a gelatinous substance rather than a liquid at the point of adding to the cream and it's always worked for me. You would need to use way more water for it to stay liquid and I feel that it would weaken its strength. Is it possible that you left some of the mixture in the pot and that's why your cheesecake wasn't quite set enough? x Ania
Hi Ania,
Do you think these would freeze well? Have you tried?
Aims x
    Hi Aimée,
    No, I haven't tried freezing this cheesecake, I'm afraid. Ania
Hi! This recipe looks great...however I am not familiar with agar powder. Can I use Dr Oteker's Vege-gel gelatine instead? Thanks!
    Hi Ranjo,
    I'm sure you can but I have no idea how much (never used it myself) so you will need to experiment. Agar agar is a vegan equivalent to gelatine, it's derived from seaweed and it is commonly used in South East Asian countries to make set desserts. Ania
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