This cheesecake was inspired by Baked by Rachel’s White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cheesecake. You’ll notice mine doesn’t contain “white chocolate” in the title. That’s because I made my version of this cheesecake not only gluten-free but also dairy-free. In the holiday rush, I neglected to order any dairy-free white chocolate. So here it is, Peppermint Bark Cheesecake.
First you’ll need to make some peppermint bark. I melted 8 oz. of dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life) and spread it out on a sheet of parchment paper. Before it set, I sprinkled the top with 4 or 5 crushed candy canes. Once it has set, crumble it up into small pieces.
And now, on to the cheesecake…
Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
1 package chocolate K-Toos or other gluten-free Oreo-style cookie
8 peppermint candies or 4 candy canes
2 T. Earth Balance, melted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Set an 8″ Springform pan out.
In food processor, pulverize the peppermint candies. It is important to do this first. If you do not, large pieces of the candies will become hard, crunchy spots in your crust. Next, add all of the cookies into the bowl with the candies and process until all of the cookies are crunched into fine crumbs. Add in the melted Earth Balance and pulse a couple of times just to incorporate.
Pat the crust mixture into the 8″ Springform pan, covering the bottom and about an inch up the sides. Place in pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
1 3/4 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquified
1/4 cup water
1 t. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 t. sea salt
1 cup peppermint bark pieces, broken into small pieces
1/4 cup MimiCreme Healthy Top, whips to 1/2 cup (or equivalent non-dairy whipped topping)
4 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 1/2 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Chocolate shavings, additional broken candy cane pieces or peppermint bark for topping
Filling: Soak cashews overnight in water. Drain.
Add cashews, agave nectar, liquified coconut oil, water, vanilla bean paste, lemon juice and sea salt to bowl of food processor. Process until very smooth, at least 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl. By hand, gently fold in peppermint bark pieces. Do no overstir. Pour on top of cooled crust and put into freezer.
Next, prepare the mousse topping. In a medium mixing bowl, whip MimiCreme Healthy Top using a hand mixer. Whip until it doubles in size. Then add in Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, sugar and vanilla, mixing until well incorporated.
Remove cheesecake from freezer. Gently spread mousse topping on top of filling. Return to freezer until 2 hours before serving.
When you remove it from the freezer for serving, sprinkle the top with broken candy cane pieces, leftover peppermint bark or chocolate shavings. It is important to add the toppings now, not when you first assemble the cheesecake. The color from the candy canes will run atop the mousse filling if you add them before freezing.
Allow the cheesecake to thaw a bit, slice to serve.
I served our cheesecake atop adorable saucers made of melted peppermint candies and put a cute peppermint bark heart on top of the cake. You can read more about those fun projects here, in my holiday post about Pinterest baking finds. Enjoy!