Raw fig cheesecake

Raw fig cheesecake

I feel compelled to write this, not because I care (about fat) that much, but because I feel like people are being misled. Lied to, in a sense. And although it appears to be unintentional, I think you deserve the right to know.

There’s this idea floating around the blogosphere that raw desserts are healthy. That you can eat them in large amounts and Hey! It’s alright, it’ll never go straight to your ass because good fats are healthy! I’m sorry friends, but this could not be further from the truth. Yes, good fats are better than bad fats, but that doesn’t make good fats healthy, in any sense. It just means good fats are better for you than bad fats.

Raw desserts are nutrient dense. Are they healthy in that respect? Sure. When you consider the amount of fat? Absolutely not. As far as your weight is concerned, fat is fat is fat. Obviously bad fats differ from good fats, but just because certain fats are deemed “good” doesn’t mean they can be eaten in excess. Just so we’re clear, raw desserts are not healthy, they’re just better for you than their baked counterparts (and even that is arguable). And they, like normal desserts, are meant to be consumed in moderation.

If you so desire, you can read all about good fats and bad fats here. This concludes my public service announcement for the day.

Raw fig cheesecake
Raw fig cheesecake
Raw fig cheesecake

Notes: This can be made in a larger spring form pan (or tart pan), if needed. You don’t have to add the beet juice; I only did because I wanted the cheesecake to be a pretty shade of pink. Blueberry juice would also be nice. If you don’t want to add any juice, add additional nut milk. Or water. If you can’t find dried figs for the crust, you can substitute 12-14 medjool dates. Same goes for the filling, but use 6-8 medjool dates. If you’re not using a high powered blender, it would probably be best to soak the calimyrna figs for upwards of 30 minutes. You may also need to add more liquid to the cashew mixture, to get it to blend properly.


1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw almonds
20 dried mission figs
8-10 dried calimyrna figs
6 tbsp raw nut milk (or water)
2 tbsp red beet juice
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup chopped raw nuts
4-6 fresh black figs

Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water; let soak overnight, or for at least 4 hours (the longer you soak them, the better – especially if you don’t have a high powered blender). Line the bottom of a round 6″ spring form pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the walnuts, pecans and almonds into a coarse meal. Add the dried mission figs and pulse until combined. Press mixture into the prepared pan then cover with plastic and freeze until ready to use.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the dried calimyrna figs, nut milk, beet juice, lemon juice and vanilla bean; blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If you have a Vitamix, you’ll want to use the tamper. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you’ll likely have to give the mixture a good stir every minute or so. Once blended, pour the cashew mixture over the crust and freeze overnight, or until solid.
When ready to serve, allow the tart to thaw for 15 minutes, then top with chopped nuts and fresh figs.

Yield: 12-16 servings


42 thoughts on “Raw fig cheesecake

  1. I love you! Or more accurately, since I don't know you and am not a creepy stalker, I love this post!You covered all of my peeves on this issue in your PSA, so I'm going to just say thank you. Also, since my fig tree is fruiting like mad right now, I'm going to make this cheesecake (and not eat the entire thing myself).

  2. I always try to explain this to everyone at work. I also hate when people ask me for sugar free desserts but then say they want it dripping in agave. It's still a sugar!

  3. Such a pretty cake! Love figs, yum! You are right about healthy fats, everything in moderation!! It's funny because raw desserts are very calorie dense but I find them rich enough that you don't need to eat a ton of it. Anyway, lovely cake!!

  4. hey gorgeous come by seattle tomorrow. Talking to the cake here ;)I dont think i can eat too much at a time anyway and i need some fat back on my skinny self! so please send me 2 helpings for my bday tomorrow!

  5. Hurrah! Well said. It drives me bonkers as well that people think anything raw / vegan / paleo / whole grain is automatically a health food. Yes, it's a good alternative, but it's still dessert, we still need to moderate! This cake is gorgeous, as are those photos. Thanks for the recipe, and the wise words with it πŸ™‚

  6. Love the cake, love your words on raw desserts. There are too many tags out there associated automatically with 'healthy' when they often are far removed from being so. Cakes in moderation get the big thumbs up from me whether they are raw, gluten free or Paleo.

  7. This looks absolutely divine! I really wish I had my food processor so I could make this! Sure, moderation should always be considered but raw, vegan, and seasonal?! This is something I think everyone should try this autumn!

  8. For my part, it's not the healthy fat that's the bad guy in these raw cakes and dessert. It's the large quantities of medjool dates and syrup and other dried fruits, which instantly goes to my hips and makes me crave even more sweet.But a fig cake? Can't resist that.

  9. ugh yes, such a common belief that "healthy" is directly related to weight loss. so not so.more importantly, THAT LOOKS AMAZING!! like, seriously, gorgeous. well done.xo

  10. Thank you ! I just discovered raw cakes and kept wondering how healthy-living-people can promote cakes which crust and top and often the filling consisits mostly of nuts=fat. Not that I don't like nuts. πŸ˜‰

  11. This looks beautiful. I definitely plan on making it soon. However, my friend is allergic to cashews… is there an alternative nut that you would suggest i.e. more of the walnuts or more pecans etc.

  12. Unfortunately there aren't any nuts that get as creamy as cashews.. but! You could soak blanched almonds for 8 hours (24 would be best) and use them in place of the cashews. Good luck!

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