This Mint Chip Cheesecake is a healthier paleo and vegan cheesecake, made with a creamy cashew base. It has a nutty chocolate crust and a smooth and minty filling, with crunchy cacao nibs throughout and creamy dark chocolate ganache on top.
For the chocolate crust
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ½ cup almond flour
- 4 pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the cheesecake
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in cold for at least six hours or preferably overnight, see notes
- ½ cup canned coconut milk, shaken
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled, use refined coconut oil if you want no coconut flavor
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon mint extract
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- Optional: natural green food coloring
For the chocolate ganache
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, I used 72%
- ⅓ cup canned coconut milk
- Grease a 6” springform pan with coconut oil, or line an 6” cake pan with strips of parchment paper for easy removal, and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Add the pecans, almond flour, pitted dates, cacao powder, coconut oil and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small pecan bits remaining. Don’t over process, or it’ll turn into nut butter! Press the date dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In the same food processor or high-powered blender (no need to wash between – I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients EXCEPT for the cacao nibs and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk or lemon juice to get it to blend smoothly if your blender isn’t super high-powered.
- Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the level of maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter, or add more peppermint if you want it mintier. Add a few drops of natural green food coloring now, if desired.
- Add the cacao nibs and pulse to blend into the filling, making sure not to blend the cacao nibs in entirely.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Place in the freezer.
- Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours or until completely firm before adding the chocolate ganache.
- To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan until just simmering, and pour over the chocolate. You can also warm the coconut milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Make sure the milk is covering all the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, and then spread over the cheesecake.
- Serve immediately, or place in the freezer until ready to serve. When ready to serve, let thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the cheesecake with the still-hot (dried) knife.
- Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the freezer.
You can also cover the cashews in very hot/boiling water and let them sit for about an hour if you want to speed up the process – it won’t be quite as creamy, but it will do the trick!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American