Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

NZ’s animal rights group SAFE asked me to contribute a wee something for their Christmas Dessert Contest “Sweet As” so here’s my entry: Cranberry Cheesecake Bites. Find out about the Sweet As comp here and enter!

These are really easy to make and perfect to take to a shared Christmas as a sweet vegan option.

It helps if you have a good blender and mini muffin tray but you could make bigger ones or even one large cheesecake (I haven’t tested it but I imagine you’d need to double this recipe for a full sized cheesecake).

Inspired by Minimalist Baker’s raw cheesecake bites.

Cranberry Cheesecake Bites 2

Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

makes 12 mini muffin-sized bites

10 dates
1/2 c roasted hazelnuts (or raw almonds)
1 c soaked cashews
2T maple syrup
1 t lemon juice
3 T coconut milk
couple of drops of vanilla extract
pinch salt
1/3 C candied cranberries (you can use the sweetened kind that are easy to find in NZ supermarkets or use frozen and add a little maple syrup to sweeten)
juice of 1 orange
1/2 t arrowroot
4 T water

Blend dates and hazelnuts or almonds. You’ll get a smoother consistency if you blend each separately and then combine. Divide across a mini muffin tray, putting roughly 1 teaspoon in each and pressing down to form a base.
Freeze for at least 30 mins.

Add cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt to the blender/bullet/food processor. Blend until smooth. Divide the creamy mixture across the mini muffin, filling each muffin section more or less to the top. Give the tray a wee shake and smack it down on the bench a few times to flatten and get rid of air bubbles.

Put the tray back into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Combine cranberries, orange juice, arrowroot and water in a small pan. Heat until reduced to a thick pink sauce and there is no water left.
Spoon over the cheesecakes and return to the freezer.

Freeze 3 hours before serving and serve immediately or within 20 minutes. They’re best eaten while frozen or cold.

*You can make these a couple of days in advance and store in an airtight container in the freezer until serving.

*They will come out of the tray easily if you grease it with some coconut oil and gently pry each one out with a thin knife.

Happy holidays! x


Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

Mushroom and Cranberry Stuffed Seitan Christmas Roast


Serves 4-8 (depending on greed)

I don’t own any measuring cups due to some weird anti-exactness rebellion, but in an attempt to add order to my recipes I have included measurements in the form of spoons. Feel free to ignore/adjust quantities. This dish is Vegan and most certainly not glutenfree.

Seitan dough:

Dry –

7 Tablespoons gluten flour

1 Tablespoon white or wholemeal flour

2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon Smoked paprika

2 teaspoons Onion powder

1 teaspoon Garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Wet –

4 Tablespoons smashed borlotti beans – With liquid! (pinto beans are also good)

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

200ml vegetarian chicken stock

2 Tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari

2 teaspoons tomato paste



1/2 brown onion (finely chopped)

8 brown button mushrooms (crimini) (finely chopped)

3-4 dried sage leaves

1/2 teaspoon Dried mixed herbs (such as herbs provencal)

1 Tablespoon vegan margarine

1 Tablespoon white or wholemeal flour

1-200ml Porcini or shiitake stock

1 Tablespoon dried cranberries

8 Tablespoons cooked (short or medium grain) brown rice

2 Tablespoons chopped cashew pieces


soy sauce

maple syrup

vegetarian chicken stock

salt and pepper


Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Smash the beans with 1-2 tablespoons of cooking or can liquid and combine with olive oil, chicken stock, soy sauce and tomato paste.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together to form a dough – adjust with extra flour or water as needed. Knead the dough for 2-5 minutes (or as long as you can be bothered – it’s still good without kneading) and set aside while you prepare the stuffing.

In a wide pan, cook the chopped onion for a few moments, then add chopped mushrooms, a little salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until soft. Add dried mixed herbs and crumble in your sage leaves, stir. Add margarine and then flour, stir to create a roux. Slowly add your mushroom stock, stirring to avoid lumps. Add cranberries and cashews and cook for 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens and cranberries soften. You want the consistency of a thick gravy – add liquid or cook off some liquid to adjust. Take off the heat and stir your cooked brown rice into the sauce. You should end up with a thick, even slightly gluggy stuffing mixture. If there is too much liquid put it back on the heat for a few moments.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Roll out the seitan dough on a large sheet of tin foil. As much as you can, try to create an oblong sheet of dough about 1 inch thick. It won’t be exact, gluten dough is tricky to work with but even if it looks super rustic at this point, it will look better when cooked! Spread the stuffing across the dough and carefully roll the dough around the stuffing to make a log, pinching the ends if stuffing tries to escape. Use a little water to seal the log and wrap the whole thing tightly in the tin foil – ideally like a candy wrapper with twisted ends. Put into a roasting dish and cook for 50-60 minutes, turning 90 degrees every 15 mins.

Mix the glaze ingredients together, taste and adjust until you like it. Maple syrup is best but sugar or strong fruit juice would work. Set aside.

After about an hour, take the roast out of the oven, remove tinfoil and pour glaze over the roast, coating all sides and leaving the roast sitting in a little liquid. You can score and/or decorate with cloves or orange slices or rosemary at this point if you want.

Return the roast to the oven uncovered for 10 minutes, then remove and rest somewhere warm for at least 10 minutes before carving into slices – serve with a good vegan gravy and an excellent Pinot Noir.

Merry Christmas!


Mushroom and Cranberry Stuffed Seitan Christmas Roast