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mini vanilla cheesecakes with a swirl of cream and strawberry santa

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The perfect holiday cheesecake recipe. No-Bake Mini Santa Cheesecakes with a buttery chocolate biscuit base, coconut flavoured cheesecake filling, topped off with fresh whipped cream and a strawberry Santa.


Units Scale

Ingredients for the base

  • 100g of plain digestive biscuits (you can use gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 50g of dairy-free butter / margarine

Ingredients for the filling

  • 125g of cashew nuts (see step 1)
  • 250g of vegan cream cheese
  • 75g of icing sugar
  • 50g of coconut cream
  • 20g of coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract / seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Ingredients for the decoration

  • 100ml of good quality dairy-free whipping cream
  • Fresh strawberries
  • 20g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • Icing sugar (to dust)


Method (base)

  1. Add the dairy-free butter / margarine into a small saucepan, place on the hob and heat over low until fully melted. Remove from the heat and add into a medium sized, heat-proof mixing bowl.
  2. Add the biscuits and cocoa powder into a blender / food processor and blend until fine. Pour the spiced biscuit crumbs into the melted butter and stir together using a wooden spoon or spatula. It should resemble wet sand, and when you press it between your fingers, should hold its shape. Press approximately 1 & 1/2 tablespoon of mixture into each cookie cup tin, making sure to compact it in using clean hands. The more compact it is, the less likely it will crumble.
  3. Place into the freezer whilst you make the filling.

Method (cheesecake filling)

  1. The cashew nuts will need to be soaked overnight in water. See notes (at the bottom of the recipe card) for more details.
  2. Drain the cashew nuts from the water and place them into a food processor/blender along with the dairy-free cream cheese, icing sugar, coconut cream, coconut flakes and vanilla. Whizz up on high speed for around 5 minutes until smooth. Add some more coconut cream if needed. I use a ‘Kitchenaid Powerplus blender’. It’s best to use a high-speed blender if possible as the mixture is quite thick, and you want it as smooth as possible. You might need to stop the mixture a few times and scrape down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated and smooth.
  3. Equally pour the mixture into each tin, making sure to tap the cheesecakes onto the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
  4. Place into the fridge overnight to set.
  5. Once set, remove from the fridge, and push out the cheesecake (as the base is loose bottomed). To make it easier, place the tin into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to help firm up the cheesecakes, then slide a knife around the edges of the cheesecakes to help loosen them from the tin. Making the cheesecakes firmer will help push them out the tin and won’t damage them.

Method (decoration)

  1. In a stand mixer, whip up some dairy-free cream until thick. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle. Pipe a swirl of cream on top of each cheesecake.
  2. Cut the green leaves off the strawberry, then cut the strawberry in half sideways (as seen in the video here). Place the bottom half of the strawberry on top of the cheesecake, in the cream, pipe a small swirl of cream on top of the strawberry, and place the top of the strawberry on top. 
  3. Decorate the top of the strawberry hat with a blob of cream to resemble Santas hat. 
  4. Fill a small saucepan 1/4 full with water and place on the hob over medium heat. Add the dairy-free chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over the pan, creating a bain-marie. Allow the chocolate melt, stirring with a heat proof spatula. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer into a piping bag. Snip off the tip and pipe two dots for Santas eyes.
  5. Dust the cheesecakes with some icing sugar then serve. 


To store: Store in the fridge. Best eaten within 2-3 days of making.

Cashew nuts: The cashew nuts need to be soaked overnight in water. Just make sure the water is covering the nuts! This makes them softer, which creates a grain-free and smooth cheesecake filling. 

Cream cheese: To be honest, any dairy-free cream cheese will work perfectly in this recipe. My favourites to use are: ‘Violife Cream Original’, Sainsbury’s own Free From Cream Cheese’. Any soft, and creamy cream cheese is great!

Coconut cream:  Chill a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, turn it upside down and open. Pour out the liquid and use the thick, white cream.

  • Prep Time: Overnight
  • Category: cheesecakes
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American