Raw Lemon-Lime Cheesecake with Fresh Mango Sauce (vegan and gluten-free) – Easter Menu and Tips, Part One

This post is “part 1” of an Easter post. I was going to give you savory and sweet recipes all in one post – plus Easter Egg Hunt ideas, but it was shaping up to be far too long.  So, today we talk about dessert recipes for Easter, as well as ideas for your vegan Easter Egg Hunt! Before the weekend, I will bring you another post with some savory dishes that I think are perfect for Easter and welcoming Spring!

Mention “dessert” and I think of chocolate. Wait, ice cream. Yes, definitely ice cream. Because chocolate is my afternoon treat. 😉 Who says we can’t enjoy both? As much as I love chocolate, I often prefer a lighter dessert or evening treat, especially now that the weather is warming up and the days are brighter. With Easter this weekend, I thought I’d share a dessert that is just perfect for a special occasion – not to mention sunnier days (rejoicing here on the “wet” coast)!


This is my Raw Lemon-Lime Cheesecake with Fresh Mango Sauce from LTEV. While many raw cheesecakes use coconut oil, this one doesn’t. My version uses coconut butter, which is similar to nut butter – it is the whole coconut meat pureed into butter. It makes the magic in this recipe (and in many dessert recipes, imho).  I discovered Artisana Coconut Butter about 5-6 years ago, and have loved it ever since. Slowly it has become more available in stores (I used to order it online), and slightly more affordable.  It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny (er, should I now say nickel?) for a homemade, delicious, healthy dessert!

Raw Lemon-Lime Cheesecake with Coconut Nut Crust and Fresh Mango Sauce gluten-free, raw, oil-free link to RECIpage to print/share

Raw cheesecakes trump any tofu or soy cream cheese version (at least for me)! I wanted to come up with my own signature raw cheesecake. This one combines the tang and flavor of both lemon and lime juice, and has a tropical twist with coconut in the crust and a fresh mango sauce for serving. The recipe makes a fairly large batch of mango sauce. You can halve the batch or save the extra to top other foods, such as yogurt or waffles. You can also try the Fresh Strawberry Sauce as a switch from the mango puree. Regardless of the sauce you choose, this dessert is heavenly.


1 cup raw almonds (soaked preferably, this is about ¾ cup raw, unsoaked almonds, see note)

1 cup pecans (soaking not necessary)

¾ cup pitted medjool dates

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp sea salt


3 1/4 cups soaked raw cashews (soak first, then measure – this is about 2 ½ cups unsoaked)

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp sea salt

½ cup + 1 tbsp raw agave nectar (little generous; can substitute maple syrup but the cheesecake will be darker in color)

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

1/2 cup coconut butter, packed (I use Artisana)

Mango Sauce: (see note)

1 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup raw agave nectar (or pure maple syrup)

½ tsp orange zest

Pinch sea salt

Wipe the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan to lightly oil (can use coconut butter or oil). Prepare the crust: Place the almonds and pecans in a food processor. Pulse until very crumbly, then add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture will hold together when pressed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan. To prepare the filling, place all the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender (see note). Puree until very, very smooth and lightened in color. Pour the mixture over the crust and tip the pan back and forth to distribute evenly. Cover the pan with foil and pop into the freezer to set (you can freeze overnight, if you like, but freeze at least 3 to 4 hours so it can become firmer). Serves 6-8.

To prepare the mango sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth; refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve.  To serve, remove the cake from the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften slightly before slicing. Serve with the sauce.

If This Apron Could Talk: It’s helpful to make the crust a day ahead if you have the time; it spreads out the preparation work and makes for easier cleanup!

If you don’t want cheesecake, what other desserts would be great for Easter?

Banana Butter Pie – p.253 Let Them Eat Vegan. I don’t have a photo of this recipe, and don’t have it posted. But it is AMAZING! It doesn’t have butter in it, rather NUT butter! So, if anyone wants to take a pretty pic of this pie, I’ll post it asap! (Deal?!) 😉

Fresh Orange Cake with Fluffy Macadamia FrostingFrosting recipe is here, both recipes from LTEV.

Gluten-Free Apple-of-my-Eye Pie – Recipe also from Let Them Eat Vegan.  Even if you don’t need a gf crust, MAKE THIS PIE!

Raw Raspberry Pudding – light, easy, bright and fresh – and can be made very last-minute.

Snifferdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches – I had to sneak in ice cream somewhere! Recipe for Snifferdoodles also from Let Them Eat Vegan.

Hello Vegan Bars – Ditto, from LTEV – these are decadent and moreish!!

Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse Pie – Forget dessert, I’d have this for breakfast! 😉 Another LTEV dessert (just realizing how many desserts I have in that book)!

Now, let’s share ideas for Easter morning!

What do you do with your kiddos? What vegan Easter treats do you buy/hide?  I do a couple of things. I have a bunch of plastic eggs and I fill those with inexpensive, small surprises – stickers, vegan gummies, foil-wrapped dark chocolate eggs, erasers, key chain, etc. I hide those along with some extra foil-wrapped dark chocolate eggs around the house (some years it’s been nice enough outside to hide in the garden, but often it’s wet). Other years, I give them each a small stuffy (they can never have enough stuffies, geez!) and do less ‘little’ treats, hiding mostly the gummies and chocolate eggs.




School can be tricky, however. Several years they dyed eggs in their classes. One year, our daughter’s class needed SIX eggs. I was stumped initially, realizing that plastic eggs wouldn’t work for dyeing -styrofoam eggs might have worked but I couldn’t find them. Then, I thought about it and realized that many craft stores carry wooden items for painting. I managed to pick up six wooden eggs, plus a few more. They did not dye as well as I thought they might, but they were still pretty and the girls had fun.  And, many years later we still have the eggs!

So, let’s share our experiences as vegan parents. What are your Easter traditions? What vegan treats do you buy and hide? And, do you have any other alternatives to wooden eggs for class projects? Also, please share any favorite Easter dessert recipes!


  1. Dawn Piner says

    What an awesome recipe! I’ve bookmarked your site & just wanted to say thank you for sharing on Google+!

  2. says

    I made this today–it is a-maz-ing!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I used a little Meyer lemon juice in the mango topping. So satisfying. ♥

  3. Allison says

    I made this yesterday, it was outstanding!! I brought it to my family’s Easter party and it went over really well. It’s just as creamy as a non-vegan cheesecake. I’ll be making this again for sure- good flavors for summertime, too!

    • Dreena says

      Oh great!! Yes, I think it’s definitely a dessert that appeals widely, and definitely a great summer recipe (or breakfast). 😉 Thanks Allison!

    • Rebecca says

      I was going to recommend eggnots! They are a great solution — and even come in little six-pack egg cartons so they look authentic. They hold the dye really well.

  4. Eve L. says

    Oooh, that raw raspberry pudding — looks fantastic! I’ll buy the ingredients today and be ready to make it at any moment this week.

    • Dreena says

      thanks for the link, Rebecca! I heard of them a few years ago, but haven’t tried them. Slipped my mind when posting, so thanks for adding that for everyone. :)

  5. Edel Sanders says

    Wonderful ideas, thank you so much! My husband will love the cheesecake – fabulous!! All of the egg ideas are great too, including the papier machê one from Georgina!!! Happy Easter! :-)

    • Dreena says

      Oh fabulous, Edel! It’s a really filling, satisfying cake, so hope you both really enjoy it. Happy Easter to you as well!!

  6. Georgina Collins says

    Dreena, I must make this lemon cheesecake. Lemon is my hubby’s favourite ingredient in desserts and this one is so healthy, too! My kids are grown up now, but one fun tradition that we used to have was that we really didn’t have an egg hunt, but on the morning of Easter, before we went to church, they knew the Easter bunny had hidden treats in their sock drawer. That way we didn’t overdo it! As for alternatives for eggs, have you tried papier machê? They would require earlier preparation. When they were dry, you could paint them with tempera paints and more. I found this page in the “Not Martha” blog: http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/papiermacheeastereggs/

    • Dreena says

      Georgina, your sock drawer idea is very smart! We used to get a LOT of chocolate as kids, far too much. That’s a nice tip and I’ve never heard it before. Hope you try the cheesecake, it’s worth the effort of the few steps! :)

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