Superfood+Vegan Unicorn Cheesecake Bites

Am I five years old again? Perhaps. But you have to admit that these Unicorn Cheesecake Bites are darn cute and so much fun.

They also remind me of my grandma, who taught me to bake and shared with me her love of baking. She always made cheesecake when I came to visit (and many kinds of Italian cookies, and also coffee cake, and muffins too, and sometimes chocolate cake). I loved baking with grandma because she let me sit on the kitchen counter and lick all the whisks and spoons. So these cheesecake bites are made in honor of my grandma, because baking should be fun and should make us happy!

The best thing about these cheesecake bites is that they nourish the body as well as making you feel like a kid again. Instead of being dense and heavy like traditional cheesecake, these cute bites are filled with plant-based nutrients and protein.

The crust is just almonds, dates, and dark chocolate; essentially a protein bar. The filling is just cashews, coconut milk, crystallized ginger, and vanilla, cramming these squares full of even more protein and delicious, nutty, healthy fats.

In addition, they're naturally colored with "superfood" powders. (I don't really buy the idea of a "superfood", but I do strive to nourish my body with a wide range of plant-based nutrients, so bring on the matcha, turmeric, spirulina, etc).

Most importantly of course, these are seriously delicious! They're creamy and luscious, while still being light. The ginger really makes them pop and is so unique.

And really, aren't these just the coolest? You can cut them into little squares or triangles. You can garnish them with coconut, a drizzle of chocolate, or maybe a unicorn mane and horn. Have them for dessert or even a snack because they're probably better for you than most prepackaged protein bars. They're adorable, versatile, and so much fun.

If you have kids or know kids who like to bake, these would be a blast, especially mixing the colors. But to be completely honest, I had a blast with them all by myself! Food should be fun, right? So mix up some bright colors, play with your food, and have a unicorn tea party.

(P.S. Note in the background my grandma's antique tea set- how beautiful and nostalgic are those??)

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for another reinvention of a favorite dessert? Check out these Flourless Coffee Macadamia Blondies- they're blondies like you've never experienced!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
For the Crust
  • 1 c dates. Make sure they're pitted. Double check!
  • 0.5 c almonds. I prefer to used roasted and salted almonds because they have so much flavor, but raw would work fine. If you don't use salted almonds, add a bit of salt.
  • 0.25 c chocolate. I like dark chocolate chips since they complement the sweetness of the filling nicely. Use dairy-free if that's important to you.
For the Filling
  • 2.5 c soaked, raw cashews. Soaking them overnight is critical for getting a smooth, silky filling.
  • 0.75 c full-fat coconut milk. The kind in the can, not the coconut milk beverage in the carton. Use full-fat, otherwise the filling won't be thick and rich.
  • Crystallized ginger. I buy it in bulk at my local Co-Op and like using 20 dice-sized cubes for this recipe. If you have crystallized ginger medallions instead, which are bigger, use maybe 12-15. I haven't tried this with fresh ginger; I think it would work fine, but you'll want to add some additional sweetener.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Crushed, freeze-dried blueberries (start with 1 tsp). This is for the blue layer. Blue spirulina would work well if you can find it, but you'll want to use a lot less.
  • Matcha green tea (start with 1 tsp). This is for the green layer. Green spirulina could work too, but it will yield a darker green, and you'll want to use a lot less.
  • Turmeric root powder (start with 0.25 tsp). This is for the yellow layer. It has a strong flavor, so go easy at first, and add only what you need. 
  • Hibiscus powder (start with 0.5 tsp). This is for the pink layer. Crushed, freeze-dried raspberries would work too, or beetroot powder.
  • Flaked coconut for garnishing, optional. I prefer unsweetened. Or you could melt and drizzle some chocolate. Or use edible glitter. Go crazy!
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours) 

  1. The day before, start soaking your cashews in a bowl or large measuring cup filled with water. Don't skimp on this step, it's critical for getting a smooth filling.
  2. After 12-24 hours of soaking, pour them into a colander and let them drain fully.
  3. To make the crust: combine the almonds and dates in a food processor, and process until the mixture just starts to make a sticky ball. For more detail on this, check out my Homemade Lara Bars post, it's the same idea. Add the chocolate and process just until it's broken down into small pieces; if you process the chocolate too long, it will melt.
  4. Line a bread pan with several layers of plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap goes all the way into the corners and up the sides. Leave enough sticking out the sides so you'll be able to pull the whole cheesecake out after you're done.
  5. Spoon the crust mixture into the pan and press it down firmly. You want to achieve an even layer that will stick together well, so press it hard. Then, let your crust sit in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before trying to spread filling over the top.
  6. To make the filling: put the soaked (and drained) cashews, coconut milk, ginger, and vanilla into a food processor. Process until you have a smooth, creamy filling, scraping down the sides every minute or two; it will likely take about ten minutes total.
  7. Divide the filling evenly into four bowls. An even division at this stage will yield consistent layers in the cheesecake.
  8. To one of the bowls of filling, add blueberry powder and mix. Keep adding until you achieve a bold blue color, and make sure the filling is well-mixed.
  9. Remove the bread pan from the freezer and place dollops of the blue filling across the surface. Spread it gently into a thin, even layer. Be delicate so as not to disturb the crust below. The more even you can make this layer, the more uniform your layers will look in the finished product.
  10. Freeze for ~15 minutes so that the layer sets enough to not be disturbed when you add the next layer.
  11. Repeat steps 8-10, but with a green filling made from matcha green tea.
  12. Repeat steps 8-10, but with a yellow filling made from turmeric. Turmeric can have a strong flavor, so go easy with it.
  13. Repeat steps 8-9, but with a pink filling made from hibiscus powder.
  14. After you've added the last layer, cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it set in the freezer for an hour. You want it to set long enough to keep its shape well, but not so long that it becomes difficult to cut.
  15. When you're ready to cut, use the plastic wrap edges to pull the whole cheesecake out of the bread pan. Place it on a cutting board, and cut into your desired small shapes (squares? rectangles? triangles?) and sizes (one bite? two bites?). I like doing one cut lengthwise and 5 cuts widthwise to yield 12 squares.
  16. Garnish as desired. Shaved coconut, more crystallized ginger, and/or a chocolate drizzle would all be nice options.
  17. When you're done, store your cheesecake bites in the freezer since they'll keep their shape best when frozen. Before serving, let them thaw at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to yield the perfect cold, creamy texture.


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