Oh, the decadence… chocolate swirl banana cheesecake, entirely vegan!
The first vegan pie I ever made was on “Pi day” of last year (3.14.15). It was a no-bake key lime pie recipe by Minimalist Baker – which my dad loved. It reminded him of eating key lime pie as a child (my mom, on the other hand, was not a fan of the sweet-sour combination).
That was when I found out two vegan cooking “secrets” – that cashews and coconut milk can be used in place of dairy and produce a rich, creamy texture when blended together. Now I always stock up on both – especially when raw cashews are on sale (they can be pricey, otherwise).
Naturally, I was anxious to try my hand with other creamy vegan pie flavors. I think I made at least 3 more within a month, one of which was a raw vegan banana cream pie (another fantastic Minimalist Baker recipe). It was lightly sweetened, banana-flavored, creamy like a cheesecake, and not at all sour – even my mom enjoyed it (and she’s usually not a big fan of desserts).
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Well, now that it’s springtime again, I felt it was time for another vegan banana cheesecake. But this time, I wanted to add a special twist – chocolate. What better pairing than bananas and chocolate? (Okay, a lot of things go well with chocolate, hush…) My husband really likes his pies with a crispy crust, but without the usual graham crackers on hand, we opted for a different crispy ingredient – cereal flakes!
We used Kashi Organic Promise Sprouted Grains cereal (whew, what a mouthful), because they are crispy, not too sweet, and the flavor is neutral enough not to overpower the other ingredients. Also, because we had some in our cabinet already. Hey, at least we’re resourceful, right?
I also discovered with my first vegan pie that dried plums (aka prunes) make a suitable substitute for dates in the pie crust. Like dates, dried plums are sweet, sticky, and packed with fiber (but you already knew that). Plus, they’re readily available in most stores.
I was worried that my chocolate swirl idea would fail, that it would just look like a nasty, mushy monster of a mess on my banana cheesecake. But, by using a wooden skewer to carefully “draw” with the chocolate topping, it resulted in a lovely marble-like pattern. Even better, with each forkful, you get the fruity lightness from the banana layer along with the deep richness of the chocolate.
Yay! I love it when taking risks pays off.
This vegan chocolate swirl banana cheesecake would be perfect for a birthday, anniversary, or… just because 🙂
- 1 cup Kashi Sprouted Grains cereal, or other flakey cereal
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup dried plums (prunes)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1/3 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 10+ minutes, drained
- 1/4 cup Banana Cream Filling (above)
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips, melted
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- Optional: Sliced bananas and cocoa powder, for garnish
- To make the crust, pulse the cereal, walnuts, 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and salt in a food processor or high-powered blender into fine crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl. Pulse the dried plums until it forms a sticky ball; add to the bowl with the cereal crumbs. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands to form a dough. Press into a the bottom of a parchment-lined pie tin or cake pan (or use a springform pan). Put in freezer to set while you make the filling.
- Blend together the coconut oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, lemon juice, banana, coconut cream, vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp. salt until smooth. Add the cashews and blend, careful not to overheat the blender (take short breaks if needed). Set aside 1/4 cup of the banana cream filling; pour the rest into the cake pan over the crust.
- Stir together the melted chocolate chips, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup with the 1/4 cup of filling that was set aside. Use a small spoon to dollop the chocolate mixture onto the surface of the cake (I like to start around the edge and work my way towards the center). Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to create a swirly marbled effect by dipping the skewer into a chocolate dollop and dragging it outwards, repeating in different directions with each dollop on the cake until you're satisfied with how it looks.
- Place in freezer to set for 2-3 hours (can be left longer). Remove from freezer and let soften for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with sliced bananas and a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired.
Inspired by Minimalist Baker's Raw Vegan Banana Cream Pie .
Nutrition information below for 1 slice (1/8 of pie):