If you have my cookbook, Eat Dairy Free, then you know that I’m into making “healthier” desserts. Sure, a straight up cupcake is in order for special occasions. But since Tony and I both have a daily sweet tooth, I like to whip up decadent desserts that fulfill and don’t leave us feeling flat. These dairy-free Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits fit the bill. They’re creamy and indulgent, but also on the nutritious side.
To be fair, the rich mousse doesn’t taste just like cheesecake, but it does have a delicious cheesecake flavor vibe. And I think these vegan and gluten-free Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits double as a wonderful, make ahead Valentine’s Day treat!
This recipe came about when I was experimenting with Ripple Half & Half. It’s the first substitute I’ve found for light cream that is naturally top allergen free and also coconut free. I’ve relied heavily on coconut milk and light coconut milk over the years, but sometimes, they do taste too much like coconut! Ripple Half & Half has that rich and creamy, but pourable consistency without dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, tree nuts, or coconut.
Ripple Half & Half works wonderfully in baked recipes that can use a little body – from quick breads to cupcakes. But more recently I’ve had fun testing it in creamier applications, like pudding and mousse. These Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits have a rich cheesecake-like mousse that also works as a sweet, tangy topping. It’s bolder in flavor than my typical dairy-free cheesecake filing recipe, so I always pair it with fresh fruit or I use it as a sweet spread on toast or dairy-free graham crackers.
This post for Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits is sponsored by Ripple Foods. But the recipe, photos, comments, and opinions are honest and my own.
Special Diet Notes: Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. The recipe also includes a coconut-free option.
- 1½ cups raw cashews
- ½ cup dairy-free half & half alternative, unsweetened creamer, or lite coconut milk (I use Ripple Vanilla)
- ½ cup honey or agave nectar (for strictly vegan)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (can sub sustainable palm oil or cocoa butter for coconut free)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries, diced
- Place the cashews in a spice grinder, food processor, or high power blender and process until powdered and beginning to clump, about 1 minute.
- Transfer the cashews to a blender (if they aren't already in one), and add the half & half alternative, honey, coconut oil, and salt. Blend until very smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla and blend until combined.
- Pour the mixture into one bowl, or divide between single serve dishes, and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
- Top with, or layer with (it can be piped), diced strawberries to serve.
- Store leftover mousse in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze to enjoy later.