The other day I suddenly found myself with an intense craving for a chocolate and cherry dessert. I’ve been taking full advantage of cherry season—adding them to my breakfast muesli, snacking on a big bowl mid-afternoon, and blending them into my protein smoothies post-workout. But on this particular day, I wanted something more indulgent and decadent, and cheesecake sounded like just the thing.
It was far too hot and humid to turn on the oven and bake a proper cheesecake, so instead, I made a lighter (and much simpler) no-bake mini version.
As far as cheesecake goes, this vegan recipe is definitely a more wholesome option and it packs a nice protein punch to boot! The base is made using REBBL’s Dark Chocolate Protein Elixir, which adds 16 grams of plant-based protein yet tastes like the most amazing, grown-up chocolate milk to ever cross your lips. It’s perfect for making desserts that are decadent while still being nourishing.
Then, there are the super-herbs — maca, reishi, and ashwagandha. The maca in REBBL’s Dark Chocolate Protein supports energy levels and balanced hormones, the reishi helps with detoxification, and the ashwagandha—one of my most favorite super-herbs—supports endurance, cognitive function, and relaxation.
Along with the Dark Chocolate Protein, I like to use soaked cashews to make an extra creamy cheesecake filling, plus raw cacao powder (more chocolate!), frozen sweet cherries, and some pure maple syrup for natural sweetness. The end result is a 10 ingredient, no-bake, individually-portioned cheesecake that’s intensely chocolatey, subtly sweet, and higher in protein.
No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Protein Cheesecake
Serves: 18 mini cheesecakes
For the crusts:
12 graham crackers
⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil
For the cheesecake fillings:
1 3/4 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked for 2 hours, rinsed and drained
1 bottle (12 ounces) REBBL Dark Chocolate Protein
3/4 cup frozen cherries
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
coconut whipped cream, store-bought or homemade*
1/3 cup cacao nibs
18 fresh cherries
To make the crusts, add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted coconut oil and pulse a few more times to combine.
Line muffin tins with 18 cupcake liners. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of crust mixture to each. Use a small glass to tightly pack it down into an even, flat layer. Repeat for the other tins. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
Add all of the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender. Process for 1-3 minutes, or until the texture is very smooth. Pour the filling evenly over the crusts (there should be about ¼ inch of the cupcake liners showing at the top). Freeze until firm, approximately 2 hours.
For best and creamiest texture: Allow the cheesecakes to soften slightly (about 10-15 minutes) before serving. Top each with coconut whipped cream, a sprinkle of cacao nibs, and a fresh cherry.
*To make homemade coconut whipped cream, you’ll need:
1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
2 tablespoons organic powdered sugar
Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the top layer of solid coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. (side note: save the remaining coconut liquid for smoothies!) Mix the coconut cream and powdered sugar on low speed until combined, then crank it up to high speed for 1 more minute until light and fluffy.
Leftover coconut whipped cream can be stored in a container in the fridge for 5-7 days. The whipped cream will harden when cold, so mix it on high speed until it’s light and airy again before using.
Amanda Maguire is a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and creator of the plant-based recipe blog, Pickles & Honey. She is inspired by seasonal produce and loves simplifying favorite recipes.