Paleo Red Velvet Cheesecake is a creamy dessert with an exquisite deep red color and rich chocolate flavor. Since it’s vegan, paleo and gluten free it will not only delight your senses, it will feel good in your body too!
Red Velvet desserts have exploded in popularity in the last few years. You can find Red Velvet cupcakes, pancakes, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream and lattes.
Velvet cakes have been made since the Victorian era. Traditionally it was a soft and velvety crumb cake made with cacao, buttermilk and vinegar which gave it a slight red color. Usually frosted with a French style butter or cream cheese frosting.
When foods were rationed during World War II bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color and texture of their cakes. Later the cake was made with red food coloring.
It hard to know how it evolved, but it’s well known in the United States from New York City’s famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which officially named it the Waldorf-Astoria cake.
Red Velvet Cake became even more popular when the movie Steel Magnolia included a red velvet groom’s cake made in the shape of an armadillo. Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan has served it since its opening in 1996.
I decided to make the ‘cheesecake’ version.
This is not really a cheesecake. It’s a vegan version but trust me the creamy, awesomeness and velvety texture make it an even better version. I prefer it.
The creaminess of this “cheesecake” is derived from a combination of puréed soaked cashews, coconut oil, and roasted beets. The addition of raw cacao gives it a deep, rich, chocolaty flavor. So delicious!
Yes, I said beets, but don’t get scared, you can’t even taste them. You do get lots of nutrients and liver support from the beets.
The sweetness comes from the beets and a little maple syrup.
There are a number of steps to make this recipe. It takes about 35 minutes of prep time but needs to chill for at least 2 hours.
I recommend roasting the beets the day before making the cheesecake. It’s a simple process (recipe below) I usually pop them into the oven along with some Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Sweet Potatoes or other roasted dish.
The cashews need to be soaked overnight in room temperature water, but if you’re short on time you can soak them for 2 hours in boiling water.
I adapted this recipe from Pretty Pies and after a number of recipe testing experiments I finally came up with the version I’m proud to share with you. The first few were okay but this final recipe is out of this world!
The Paleo Red Velvet Cheesecake needs 2-3 hours in the freezer to set. If you leave it in the freezer longer let it sit out on the counter for 10-15 minutes before eating to let it soften a bit.
To finish it off grate some dark chocolate onto a plate using the medium holes of a box grater. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings on top of the cheesecake.
When you’re ready to eat, pop it out of the springform pan and serve. If it seems like the sides are sticking, run a knife around the edges of the pan first.
This delicious Paleo Red Velvet Cheesecake with an almond chocolate crust and creamy, chocolaty, red velvet filling is rich and satisfying.
It’s perfect for a dinner party, special occasion or just when you want to treat yourself to a dreamy dessert. I like to cut the cake into slices and freeze. I can take out just one or two for an amazing dessert anytime.
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This is a creamy dessert with an exquisite deep red color and rich chocolate flavor. It also happens to be a healthy dessert, vegan and gluten free. Perfect for dinner parties, holidays or any time you want a delicious treat. No cooking required.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted*
- 2 tablespoon organic maple syrup
- Dash of Himalayan pink sea salt
Red Velvet ‘Cheesecake’ Filling
- 2 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked
- 1 1/4 cups roasted beets,** peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- 3/4 cup raw cacao
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
- 2 tablespoons grated dark chocolate (optional) for garnish
To make the crust:
- Line the bottom of a 7” springform pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides.
- Sift the almond flour and cacao together in a small bowl.
- Add coconut oil, maple syrup and salt. Mix to moisten. Add a splash of water if it’s too dry.
- Press into the bottom of the springform pan. I like to push the crust down with an empty measuring cup to flatten the bottom evenly.
- Chill while you make the filling.
To make the filling:
- Soak cashews in a bowl overnight in room temperature filtered water or boiling water for 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse and shake dry.
- Process cashews in a food processor for 3-5 minutes until you get a smooth nut butter texture. Scrape down the sides a few times as it processes.
- Add roasted beets and vinegar, process until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
- Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Tightly cover pan with a plastic wrap and foil.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours until solid.
- Remove the sides of the spring form pan.
- Grate the chocolate onto a plate using a box grater.
- Sprinkle grated chocolate evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
- Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, cut and serve.
- Store remaining cake in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to a month. Be sure it is tightly covered.
**How to roast beets:
- I recommend making the beets the day before. I put them into the oven when I’m making roasted cauliflower or other roasted dishes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Brush a baking pan with olive oil.
- Trim leaves and upper stems of the beets, leaving about 2 inches of the stems intact at the top of each beet. Do not trim the tails of the beets.
- Rinse beets and scrub clean, leave the skin on.
- Place the beets in a single layer in the bottom of baking dish. Cover with a lid or foil.
- Roast the beets in the oven for 45 minutes to 2 hours flipping every 30 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Roasting time will depend on the size of your beets; small young beets are more tender and take less time to roast.
- Uncover the beets and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes until you can easily handle them. Cut off the beet stems and tails.
- If possible peel the skin from the beets while they are still warm. Use gloves or baggies so your fingers don’t get stained.
- Cut into chunks.
Melt the coconut oil before measuring.
There is no cooking required. The cooking time refers to the amount of time needed in the freezer to let it set.
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
Keywords: paleo dessert, vegan