Caramel Apple Swirl Cheesecake

Last Fall my Raw Caramel Apple Cheesecake was a big hit. Not just with my loved ones but with a lot of you! Many of you made it and posted pictures on facebook which I shared throughout various posts on my blog. I loved seeing your photos.

This time I made the cake with a few changes. I made a new crust recipe, and swirled the caramel into the filling instead of mixing it with the apples as a topping. I also added some candied pecans on the the top edge. I will share the new changes at the end of this post but first, here's my original recipe from last year...

 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake (Version #1)
Raw - Vegan - Gluten Free
Crust
I used 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon in my crust, as I wanted it to be a soft background flavor. Use more if you want a more defined flavor. You could do without the dried apples, but they really do create a unique crust that goes so well with the whole cheesecake.
2/3 cup almonds
1/4 cup pitted dates
3 tablespoons finely chopped, packed dried apples
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1/2-1 teaspoon water
Grind the almonds in a food processor. Add the dates and process together into a dough. Pulse in the apples, cinnamon, and enough water to create a dough that will hold together when pressed. Press most of the mixture into a 6" spring form pan OR two small (4") cheesecake pans (I had a bit extra for an "apple nut ball" - chef's treat 😉 OR press into a bunch of mini silicone muffin cups.
Filling
The filling is great by itself but if you want a cinnamon swirl, simply remove 3 tablespoons of the blended filling and add 1/2-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon to it. After pouring the filling over the crusts, spoon small blobs of the cinnamon mixture over the filling. Use a chopstick to push the mixture down into the cake and then swirl it around.
2 cups peeled, diced apples
3/4 cup cashews
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt

Blend the first 5 ingredients until completely smooth. Add the butter and oil and salt. Blend again to incorporate. Pour over the crusts. Chill in the fridge for 12 hours, or in the freezer for 5-6 hours and in the fridge for 1-2 hours before removing the ring.

Caramel Apple Topping
1 large apple, peeled and diced small
1 tablespoon finely chopped dried apple
Caramel sauce recipe (below)

Toss the apples with enough caramel to suit your liking! Extra caramel can be used to drizzle over other things, or eaten with sliced apples. It won't last long 😉

Caramel Sauce
This is the easiest caramel sauce ever and super delish. If you have any of my raw dessert ebooks, you know that I love caramel featuring dates but this easy recipe can be stirred together in a bowl.
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons lucuma, sifted
3 tablespoons raw almond butter*
1/2 - 1 teaspoon water, as needed
Add the maple and almond butter to a small bowl. Sift the lucuma over top. Whisk in. Add the water as needed.
*Dastony organic stone ground almond butter is my favorite. It's silky smooth and beyond delicious. Other kinds are thicker so perhaps use less (experiment) and thin with water as needed for a thick but fluid caramel sauce.
Caramel Apple Swirl Cheesecake (version #2)
As I said above, here are the changes I made for the new look. This crust recipe is for an 8" or  9" spring form pan. It's important to process the crust ingredients together for long enough to grind it all down and the water helps bring it all together at the end.
Dried Apple Crust
3/4 cup almonds
2/3 cup finely chopped, packed dried apples
1/3 cup  soaked and dehydrated buckwheat* OR sub sunflower seeds
1/2 cup  raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 teaspoons water
Grind the almonds down to flour in a food processor. Add the apples, buckwheat, raisins and cinnamon. Process until everything is broken down into little bits. Add the water at the end and process until the mixture forms a dough. Add a touch more if needed although I did not need it. It should hold together when pressed.
*Soak buckwheat for 3-6 hours, rinse extremely well until water runs clear. Dehydrate for about 12-15 hours at 115F or until crunchy. Make a big batch to use for cereal, ice cream toppings, etc.
Cheesecake Filling and Caramel Sauce
4 cups peeled, diced apples
2 cups cashews
1/3 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
2-3 drops of stevia
Pinch of salt
Blend the apples, cashews, nectar, lemon, vanilla, and pinch of salt until completely smooth. Add the butter and oil. Blend again to incorporate. Pour 1/2 of the cheesecake filling over the crust. Pour 1/2 the caramel in blobs on top and swirl it in with a chopstick. Pour the remaining cheesecake filling on top. Pour blobs of caramel on the top and swirl it in. Chill the cake in the freezer for 8-12 hours and then transfer to the counter top for 30 minutes, remove the spring form ring and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Slice.
NOTE: To make slicing easier, place the cake back in the freezer for several hours after removing the ring - slice in a semi frozen state and then transfer to the fridge.
Caramel Sauce 
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons raw almond butter*
2 tablespoons lucuma, sifted
1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon water, as needed
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Add the water as needed for a thick but fluid consistency.
Assembly
Pour about 1/3 of the cheesecake filling over the crust. Pour a few blobs of caramel on top and swirl it in with a chopstick.
Pour the remaining cheescake filling on top. Pour blobs of caramel on the top and swirl it in. Chill the cake in the freezer for 8-12 hours and then in the fridge for at least 8 hours before slicing.
Easy Candied Pecans

Chop a few handfuls of pecans. Toss with some coconut nectar or maple syrup but it should be just a light coating. Just enough to cover them, there should be no excess liquid leftover. The nectar will be thicker than maple syrup (I used nectar). For another touch, add a dash of cinnamon!

And remember, you can make mini cheesecakes which are super cute especially if you're entertaining. You can see more pics in my original post.

Come find me on instagram HERE! I have much fun posting photos almost daily on there.

 

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