These Mini Vegan S’mores Cheesecakes are made with a graham cracker crust, cashew-based middle and topped with chocolate ganache and a marshmallow.
The other day I woke up and decided I was going to buy a mini kitchen torch. Well, that’s not entirely true. You see, I first learned of this beauty when I started working with Jessica, but I sort of wrote it off as an unnecessary tool. But guess what? I was wrong! They are necessary, and they’re especially necessary when making anything with marshmallows, aka S’MORES desserts!
Previously I had tried roasting the marshmallows with a candle lighter and even over a candle—yes I’m serious—both of which sort of worked but weren’t great. The desperation was real so I ran out to the store and bought the damn torch. Sometimes there are short cuts and other times you just have to suck it up and spend the money.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my kitchen torch story and also why the marshmallows look so perfect! And now onto these vegan S’MORES cheesecakes…
I decided I wanted something a bit healthier and not made with pounds of sugar (though you know I love sugar), so I opted to use soaked cashews as the base, which I love using because they’re so versatile. However, I ended up using graham crackers for the crust because I genuinely wanted these to taste like healthy s’mores, and therefore in my mind, graham crackers were necessary. I bought mine from Whole Foods, but I believe most graham crackers are vegan.
Now along with the graham crackers, you have two options. 1) use 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup dairy free butter (what I did) or 2) simply use 1/2 cup maple syrup. There’s two options because they both work, but I feel like a true “graham cracker crust” uses butter with the graham crackers, but if you don’t have any on hand or simply wish to not use butter, I completely understand. Maple syrup is magical and works just fine!
Once you’ve got your crust and your base, you’ll freeze the cheesecakes for approximately three hours or until they’ve hardened. Before serving, you’ll pour some chocolate ganache over top of them, add the marshmallows and BOOM, vegan s’mores cheesecake perfection!
With or without a kitchen torch (guys, they really are unnecessary unless you’re a food professional IMO), you can absolutely enjoy these vegan s’mores cheesecakes.
- 8 graham crackers
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup dairy free butter, melted*
- 2 cups soaked cashews
- 3 tbsp cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp chocolate ganache
- 1 cup dairy free chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Vegan marshmallows**
- For the crust: add ingredients to a food processor and pulse until everything is combined. Grease three 4" cake pans (preferably springform pans, to remove cheesecake more easily) and distribute crust evenly amongst pans, using a spatula or your fingers to press crust down.
- Next, make the filling by adding all ingredients EXCEPT the ganache to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. This should take a minute or two--you want the mixture to be thick, so you may need to stop the blender, scrape down the sides, and then blend again. If it still won't blend, add more milk 1 tbsp at a time.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Next, make the ganache. Chop up the chocolate and pour it into a large bowl; set aside.
- Heat milk over stove top on medium heat. As soon as bubbles start to form on the milk (be very careful not to boil the milk!), pour milk over chopped chocolate, and then add the vanilla extract. Wait 5 minutes, allowing time for the chocolate to melt, and then use a spatula to stir milk and chocolate together to form the ganache.
- The ganache should be thick, but if for some reason it's not, wait five minutes or so and it will thicken up.
- Add 2 tbsp ganache to the cashew mixture and stir it in by hand, then pour the cashew mixture into the cake pans, making sure to evenly distribute them, and dropping the pans on the counter top a few times to even them all out.
- Place cake pans in the freezer for approximately 3 hours, or until cheesecakes have hardened. Remove them from the freezer and then remove the springform pan. Run a knife under hot water, dry it off, and then use it to remove the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour ganache over each cheesecake before serving, top them with marshmallows and enjoy!
**Trader Joe's marshmallows are vegan, and I was also able to find mini vegan marshmallows at Whole Foods