Holly Does Shauna(‘s recipe): Vegan “Cheese” Cake

As the yoga and meditation teacher on this site, there is one thing to me that is strikingly obvious: I am not the food expert. I love food, everything about it, but my time spent in the kitchen has not always been graceful. The first few years we were dating, my husband lovingly called me “the food arson” due to my talent for burning just about anything I made. (True story: I once left the oven on for an entire weekend while we were out of town.)

Although I have come a long way since then, I still get intimidated when trying new recipes. In the spirit of self challenge we have begun a new monthly series here on the site called “Holly does Shauna(‘s recipe),” where I bring my non-expert, real world, clumsy-in-the-kitchen approach to Shauna’s beautifully sophisticated recipes.

First up on the chopping block, Shauna’s Mostly Raw Wild Blueberry Vegan “Cheese” Cake. When I first saw Shauna’s photo (below) I was in awe of the recipe’s beauty. It seemed like only a professional could make something that looked that gorgeous and tasted as good as it looked. However, I decided to give it a go anyway!

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Here is Shauna’s recipe. In yellow I added my thoughts.

Mostly Raw Wild Blueberry Cashew Cheesecake

Crust

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 3 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil

Chocolate layer (optional)

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil

Filling

  • 3 cups cashew meal
  • 1/2 cup wild blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Wild Blueberry topping

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple crystals

First, prepare the crust by adding walnuts, gluten free oats (regular works too!), coconut flakes, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil to a food processor and pulse until combined.

(Holly) I didn’t have coconut oil so I used coconut butter which worked equally as well. I also used oat flour instead of oats and again, the crust turned out great!

Lightly oil springform pan or a 8 in cake pan lined with parchment paper (high enough so you can use it to lift cake from pan when you’re ready to serve). Spread crust mixture over the bottom of the pan evenly.

(H) My springform pan is still in storage back in NY so I used a traditional pie dish. It worked great but I found the parchment paper is key, it helped me to remove the cake from the pan without messing up the look of the cake. 

To create the chocolate layer, create a double boiler by placing a large bowl over a sauce pan with boiling water. Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to the bowl allowing the steam from the boiling water to melt the chips as you stir. You may want to hold the bowl with a towel because it will get hot. Once the mixture has melted, pour it over the crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Place the cake pan in the freezer to solidify the chocolate while you work on the filling.

(H) I didn’t think this would be enough chocolate when I was first melting it but it was more than enough, adding a deliciously thick layer in-between the crust and the filling. 

For the filling, add cashew meal, blueberries, coconut oil, almond milk, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to high powered blender and mix on high for about 2 minutes. Once mixture has been blended, take the cake pan from the freezer and pour over the chocolate layer. The mixture should pour pretty evenly, but you can always use a spatula or an offset to be sure. Freeze the cake for at least an hour-I froze mine overnight and it worked great.

(H) My mixture turned out quite thick. I added a touch of water. There was definitely no “pouring the filling onto the crust” but the spatula worked great and the filing was delicious. 

For the topping, add blueberries, lemon juice and maple crystals to a sauce pan and heat gently until it becomes syrupy. Pour over the cake before serving.

(H) I have no idea what maple crystals are so I just used maple syrup. I doubled the filling recipe and added some cinnamon. 

I could not believe how tasty this cake was! I had a few friends over who are total meat and cheese lovers and they raved about the cake. Plus, it looked so fancy I felt so proud of myself for trying this out and succeeding. Moral of the story: it looks fancy, but sooo isn’t. Below are the photos of my cake. 

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Happy cooking!

Holly (and Shauna!)