These decadent cheesecake stuffed strawberries are paleo, vegan, gluten free, and incredibly easy to make. They’re the perfect healthy dessert for summer parties!
Who doesn’t love the combination of strawberries, cheesecake, and graham crackers—especially if they’re presented as these cute no-bake strawberry cheesecake bites that happen to be free of dairy and refined sugar? These juicy strawberries are stuffed with a creamy, mildly tangy filling that’s a riff on my popular Matcha Cheesecake recipe. I promise that no one will guess that this dairy-free “cheesecake” is made with soaked cashews and coconut!
- Fresh strawberries: Pick large, ripe strawberries with no bruises or blemishes. The bigger the strawberry, the more cheesecake you can pipe inside!
- Raw cashews: The base of this dairy-free, vegan, and paleo cheesecake filling is made with soaked cashews. You can either soak the cashews in cold water for 2 to 4 hours or in boiling water for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Refined coconut oil: The refined coconut oil will help set up the cheesecake filling when you chill it. Plus, it doesn’t add a strong coconut flavor (like unrefined coconut oil tends to do).
- Full-fat canned coconut milk: Adds creaminess to the cheesecake filling without dairy! My favorite brands are Aroy-D, Whole365 Organic, and Native Forest. Make sure you shake well before using to ensure the coconut milk is uniform.
- Fresh lemon juice: A splash of lemon juice in the filling adds the subtle tanginess familiar to cheesecake lovers.
- Maple syrup: Instead of using powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar to sweeten the filling, I use maple syrup to keep this dessert paleo and vegan.
- Vanilla extract
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt: All desserts need a pinch of salt to balance out the flavors!
- Paleo cookie crumbs (optional): I sprinkle crushed grain-free cookies on top of the cheesecake stuffed strawberries to mimic the crushed graham crackers in traditional cheesecake crusts. Some of my favorite crunchy Paleo cookie brands that make treats with a flavor profile similar to graham crackers are Siete Family Foods, Simple Mills (Toasted Pecan is my fave), and Hu Kitchen. To be clear: these brands make crunchy cookies that remind me of graham crackers, but they’re not necessarily paleo graham crackers!
How to make vegan and paleo cheesecake stuffed strawberries
Make the “cheesecake” filling
Place the cashews in a measuring cup or bowl and pour in 2 cups of cool water. Soak the cashews for 2 to 4 hours at room temperature. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly soak the cashews in boiling water for about 20 minutes.)
Take out a powerful blender (a Vitamix, Blendtec, or Ninja is needed to produce a silky smooth texture). Add the drained cashews, melted coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the blender.
Blitz the filling ingredients on high speed until very smooth.
Place a pastry bag in a pint-sized jar to keep it upright. Pour the batter into the bag, seal the top, and chill in the refrigerator until stiff (about 3 hours and up to a day).
Hollow out the strawberries
When the cheesecake filling is ready, use a small paring knife to hollow out each strawberry.
Fill the strawberries
Pipe the paleo cheesecake filling into the hollowed out strawberries. If the filling starts getting too soft, place the bag in the fridge or freezer to firm it up again.
Top with paleo cookie crumbs
If you want to add crushed ”graham crackers” to these strawberry cheesecake bites, grab a couple of your favorite store-bought crunchy paleo cookies and smash them up. I like to use my mortar and pestle to do it, but you can also place them in a plastic bag and crush them with something heavy.
Sprinkle the paleo cookie crumbs on top of the cheesecake stuffed strawberries right before serving. (Yes, mini chocolate chips would also be a delicious topping!)
I bet you can’t eat just one of this delicious dessert!
Frequently asked questions
Why is my filling so runny?
In order to get a thick cheesecake texture for the filling, you must chill it until stiff before you pipe it into the strawberries. The coconut oil in the cheesecake batter solidifies when chilled, making the filling stiff and able to holds its shape when piped. Pro tip: store the cheesecake filled strawberries in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
What if I don’t have a piping bag?
You can use a quart-sized zip-top plastic bag in place of a piping bag—simply snip the corner when you are ready to start piping the filling.
Can I use another non-dairy milk in place of coconut milk?
I haven’t tried it myself, but I bet you can substitute almond, cashew, macadamia, or oat milk in place of the coconut milk. If you do try a different non-dairy milk, please comment below so others can benefit from your experimentation.
Can you make them ahead?
Yes! There are several steps you can do ahead of time. First, you can soak the cashews up to 4 days ahead—just drain them and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to make the filling. Next, you can blend up the filling up to a day ahead and store it in the fridge in a piping bag or ziptop bag. Finally, once you fill the strawberries, you can store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a day. When you’re ready to serve them, take them out of the fridge and top with crushed cookie crumbs right before you eat them.
Can you make these low carb or keto?
Yes, you can substitute the maple syrup with 3 tablespoons of liquid allulose to make a keto and low carb version. I haven’t tried other alternative sweeteners but if you have any luck with them, please leave them in the comments!
Can you use other fruit?
Sure! You can halve and pit peaches or nectarines and pipe the cheesecake filling in the center. If you don’t want to bother hollowing out fruit and filling them, you can make individual cheesecake parfaits by alternating layers of the cheesecake mixture with your favorite seasonal fruit, like blueberries, cherries, diced mango, etc.
Other strawberry paleo desserts
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries (Paleo, Vegan)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup refined coconut oil melted
- 2½ tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk
- 2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2½ tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 pound strawberries
- 2 crunchy paleo cookies optional
- Place the cashews in a measuring cup or bowl and pour in 2 cups of cool water. Soak the cashews for 2 to 4 hours at room temperature. (If you’re in a hurry, you can soak the cashews in 2 cups of boiling water for about 20 minutes.) Drain the cashews and set aside.
- Take out a powerful blender (a Vitamix, Blendtec, or Ninja is needed to produce a silky smooth texture). Add the drained cashews, melted coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt to the blender.
- Blitz the filling ingredients on high speed until very smooth.
- Place a pastry bag or a zip-top quart-sized plastic bag in a pint-sized jar to keep it upright. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the bag, seal the top, and chill in the refrigerator until stiff (about 3 hours and up to a day).
- When the cheesecake filling is ready, use a small paring knife to hollow out each strawberry.
- Pipe the paleo cheesecake filling into the hollowed out strawberries. If the filling starts getting too soft, place the bag in the fridge or freezer to solidify again before filling the rest of the strawberries.
- If you want to add crushed ”graham crackers” to these strawberry cheesecake bites, grab a couple of your favorite store-bought crunchy paleo cookies and smash them up in a mortar and pestle or in a plastic bag. Sprinkle the paleo cookie crumbs on top of the cheesecake stuffed strawberries right before serving.