Even though this vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake tastes indulgent, it won’t leave you feeling heavy like dairy-laden cheesecake can. A gingersnap cookie base is filled with a silky smooth, warmly spiced ‘cheese’cake, and is served here with cute little gingerbread people, fresh vegan caramel sauce and whipped coconut cream. Any guesses on what the secret ingredient which makes up most of the cheesecake filling is? Keep reading to find out, you might be surprised!
The secret ingredient is…millet! A cake that’s a sweet treat but secretly wholesome? Yes, please!
Millet is a grain which has a long history in human nutrition, going back more than 10,000 years and remains a staple in many diets around the world. It has a mild, sweet flavor and cooks quickly. It’s easily digested, high in fiber, and is a good source of protein as well as many vitamins and minerals. It’s also suitable for gluten-free diets. If you would like to make this cake completely gluten-free, make sure that the gingersnaps you use for the base are gluten-free.
The base couldn’t be easier to make – all you need are 2 ingredients. The filling is fairly hands-off, too. While the millet cooks for about 45 minutes, it needs checking only towards the end to make sure it isn’t burning. From there it’s a matter of combining the ingredients into a high-powered blended to do the work for you. This cheesecake gets its silky smoothness from being blended until the millet is completely broken down. This is easiest to do by slowly adding the millet into the blender, not all at once. Once the filling has been poured over the gingerbread crust, the cake is placed in the fridge until completely chilled.
We really enjoyed spooning some caramel over the top. The cake isn’t a heavily sweetened cake, so the caramel was a nice addition. Get festive by adding some gingerbread cookies to the top, if desired. If you want this cake to be more wholesome, skipping the toppings will leave you with a delicious cake that is really nutritious, refined sugar-free (except what might be in the cookies you use for the base) and low in fat.
I hope you love this cheesecake. Thanks for reading!
Vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 300 g vegan gingersnap cookies (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 5 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted (or vegan butter)
For the Filling:
- 1 cup millet
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
- ⅔ cup lemon juice
- ¾ cup dark maple syrup
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
For the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the cookies into a food processor and blend until finely ground. Rather than using a bowl and making more dishes, place the finely ground crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan. Drizzle in the coconut oil over the crumbs and then mix together until evenly combined. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the base of the pan. Bake until set, 12-15 minutes. Set aside on a cooling rack.
For the Filling:
- Place the millet in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water. Combine millet and the water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes. It will be a bit sticky but that's fine.
- Place the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or high-powered blender and process on high until smooth. Slowly add the cooked millet in batches, scraping down the sides. Continue to blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Depending on your machine, it could take 2-8 minutes.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture over the cooled crust in the spring form pan. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to set.
- Garnish with whipped coconut cream, salted vegan caramel and gingerbread cookies if desired. Keep refrigerated.