Marbled Matcha-Lemon Raw Vegan Cheesecake

[You’ll flip over this elegant, visually impressive Marbled Matcha-Lemon Raw Vegan Cheesecake! It’s smooth, creamy, and suitable for vegan, sugar-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free, yeast-free, low glycemic and anti-candida diets.]

Gluten-free, candida diet marbled matcha cheesecake recipe with My Matcha Life

There’s a phrase in French, “coup de foudre.” The literal translation is “thunderbolt,” but colloquially, people use it to mean “love at first sight” (which can sort of feel like you were hit with a thunderbolt). I tend to use it to mean “love at first taste” for foods that I love deeply, madly and truly, sometimes before I even try them. Matcha tea is definitely one of my culinary “coups de foudre.”

A few years ago when matcha was all the rage on food blogs, I vowed to sample some for myself. Based on the gorgeous, grassy green hue and slightly earthy smell alone, I was instantly in love. And while I played with the glorious green powder, trying it in everything from smoothies, to truffles, to tiramisu, to cookies, mostly, I just drank it for my morning tea. One peek at my instagram or Facebook feeds and you’ll see that the emerald beverage is a cherished staple in my life.

When I first found out about My Matcha Life, a new company dedicated to sharing matcha of the utmost quality and educating consumers about all the amazing benefits matcha has to offer (their slogan is, “It’s more than a tea, it’s a lifestyle”), I was ecstatic.

I learned about the company from my dear friend Heather Nicholds, who sang its praises on her site. I practically begged Calli O’Brien, the company’s founder, to let me try it! Calli graciously spent time chatting with me on the phone about why matcha tea is so special as compared to your typical tea. And within the fairly narrow field of matcha teas, My Matcha Life stands out as a winner there, too. I was delighted when Calli agreed to work with me on a post to introduce my favorite beverage to RH readers.

So read on!

Gluten-free, candida diet, marbled matcha-lemon vegan raw cheesecake recipe

[YES. This cheesecake is not only sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free and dairy-free–it’s suitable for ALL stages of an anti-candida diet!]

When it comes to health benefits, matcha beats all other teas. Matcha is the undisputed king of teas when it comes to nutrient density, antioxidants, and other health boosting effects. Because matcha powder is made by grinding the entire tea leaf and then whisking it into water (versus steeping the leaves, which means many of the best nutrients head straight into the compost bin along with the discarded tea leaves), you consume the whole leaf in your cup of matcha and acquire all the health benefits of a whole food. This also means one cup of matcha provides the same health benefits as ten cups of regular tea.

A few of the amazing benefits include lowered blood pressure and cholesterol; stabilized blood sugar levels (great for those of us on the ACD); stronger immune function; blood detoxification (due to the chlorophyll it contains); anti-aging effects (it contains the highest source of catechins, the “anti-aging” antioxidants, of any food); and a boost in metabolism, which can help with weight management. There’s even been some research that suggests the catechins in green tea might be useful in the battle against candida (woot woot!).

But matcha provides more than physical health benefits. Back in 1211 (!), the Japanese Monk Esai wrote that matcha is “nature’s ultimate mental and medical remedy.” In fact, since I’m perpetually on a mission to de-stress, I found this characteristic to be immensely appealing (perhaps you, too?). Unlike other caffeinated beverages, matcha contains the highest natural source of the antioxidant L-theanine, which calms the mind while simultaneously providing a boost to mental clarity. Turns out those monks use matcha while meditating to increase focus and energy for their intensive concentration. It also helps to lower stress levels (no wonder I love it!).

Bowl, whisk and stand from My Matcha Life

[Here’s the stunning bowl, whisk and whisk stand you can get to prepare your matcha like they do in traditional Japanese matcha ceremonies!]

Over time, formal ceremonies arose around how to prepare and drink the beverage, and a traditional matcha is made in a wide, low bowl, blended with a bamboo whisk for maximum aeration (you can watch Calli prepare it that way in this video). My own preparation method is decidedly more 21st century, but the ultimate enjoyment of the tea is no less emphatic.

My Matcha Life tea in mug

[My typical morning mug-o’-matcha. Want to know my super quick, non-traditional, no-bamboo-or-bowl-required 21st Century prep method? Stay tuned for my Periscope (@rickiheller) on the topic, coming up next week!]

Why I adore matcha After drinking this beverage pretty much daily for the past 7 years or so, I can say unequivocally that it’s the healthiest addiction I can imagine. In addition to the smooth, bright and slightly umami flavor, I love matcha tea for its myriad health benefits.  As a Type A personality, I appreciate the soothing, calming effect it has on me, and I definitely concentrate better when I have my cuppa–and miss it when I don’t (as when traveling or brunching with friends).

I’ve also had occasion to try more than a dozen different brands over the years, and My Matcha Life’s Tea Lover’s (the premium ceremonial tea that I tried) is hands down the best I’ve ever had. With a certain richness and a bright, crisp taste, it’s also perfectly smooth and incredibly satisfying.  Just glancing at the tea, you’ll note the superior quality, from its bright, grassy green rather than the dull olive color I’ve seen too many times when sampling matcha. Just as with other plant foods, the brighter and cleaner the color, the better the quality of the produce, and the more antioxidants it likely contains.

On a practical note, I even loved the packaging they use! Because matcha powder is so fine and light, it’s easy to lose precious tea when scooping out of a bag (since most tinned matcha has a sealed bag inside the tin). Invariably, the powder clings to the bag or floats onto the countertop and is wasted. With the Tea Lover’s tin, you can transfer the residual matcha in the near-empty can directly to your mug by pouring water into the tin itself (as I did right after I snapped this photo last month). No wasting the prized matcha powder!

But isn’t it incredibly expensive? This question actually arose on my Facebook page one morning after I posted my usual breakfast-with-matcha image. As reader Diane discovered (see the comments to the photo), matcha works out to MUCH less than a Starbucks (or even Tim Horton’s or Dunkin Donuts) coffee–at just less than $1.00 per mug for the Tea Lover’s (the organic premium, or “ceremonial,” matcha that I’ve been sipping), and even less for the Barista’s (delicious traditional quality, great for mixing with milks or in lattes, only about 41 cents per serving). If you’re interested in cooking applications (like the cheesecake below), then the Foodies would be a good choice, too (at 24 cents per gram).

gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free matcha cheesecake recipe

[Perfect for a showstopping dessert at the holidays–and everyone can enjoy it!]

And now I want you to experience matcha, too! 

Okay, I’ve waxed poetic about matcha long enough–now I’d love for you to give it a try so you can experience the same love that I do for this incredible healing beverage–I hope you love it as much as I do!

If you’re still wary about drinking matcha “straight” to begin with, start by adding it to smoothies or other drinks. Or, with the holidays coming up, this rich, decadent marbled matcha-lemon raw vegan cheesecake will make a stunning first impression. This cake was a huge hit when I served it to a couple of friends a few weeks ago, and both were total matcha newbies.

And whether or not your take advantage of the great discount, please show My Matcha Life some social media love! Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, twitter and Pinterest to see gorgeous, enticing photos and learn about all the ways matcha can improve your health. Matcha lovers unite! 😀

vegan, grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free matcha cheesecake reicpe

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[Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission on the sale.]



  1. Wow that colour is so impressive – I have some matcha I bought ages ago that was always green and murky coloured and never impressed me much – this makes me think I really need to get a better brand! And your cheesecake looks absolutely delicious and gorgeous

    • Aw, thanks, Johanna!! And yes, I’ve seen that murky green, too–those brands don’t taste great, either. This one is by far the best I’ve ever tasted. Smooth and totally addictive! I’m actually sipping on a cup right now. 😀

  2. I love Love LOVE Matcha – I am already looking around this site, I love that they have different matchas (foodie sounds great to me, less sweet!). and this cheesecake – just beautiful!

  3. I’m a great big matcha fan! What a great idea putting it in this healthy cheesecake. Yum!

  4. Your cheesecake is almost too beautiful to eat! Thank you for sharing this!

  5. This cake is stunning! Love the colors. I have yet to try matcha, but I haven’t wanted to for quite awhile now. Need to get some!

  6. Gorgeous!!! That green color is stunning. You rock that marble. Loved reading about Matcha’s benefits. Thank you, Ricki! Buying some today.


  7. Do you soak the cashews before adding them? Thank you!

  8. Prettiest dessert EVER, Ricki! Matcha is so wonderful.

  9. This is the most creative recipe I’ve seen in ages – and how did you create such a perfect looking swirl?! Will definitely be getting some matcha soon!

    • Alisa I too am seriously impressed by that professional swirl. This is gorgeous Ricki. And I’m fascinated by the soak-free method! Love the use of coconut butter, I will be trying that next time I make a cheesecake!

      • Thanks, Maggie!! I wanted a cake that firmed up when refrigerated and didn’t have to be frozen. So, I blended the dry cashews to allow more absorption of the liquid while they chilled. . . which also meant the mixture would be firmer. 🙂

    • Aw, thanks, Alisa!! Seriously, the swirl is easy (see the 2 methods mentioned below!). 😉 If you don’t already love matcha, you WILL. 😀

  10. This is such a beautiful dessert Ricki! And super creative too! Love it 🙂

  11. What a beautiful cheesecake! I just love using matcha in desserts like this, the color it lends is unmatched 😀 Matcha + lemon is a great flavor combo too!

  12. I would love to make this but, I am allergic to cashews and coconut. I might be able to substitute almonds or macadamia nuts for the cashews. What do you think? Also, any ideas what to replace for the coconut?
    Your cheesecake looks so beautiful, by the way!

    • Hi Jeanene, I think macadamias would be a better idea than almonds. For the coconut, you could try oats in the crust, but there is no substitute for coconut butter, unfortunately. Nothing works quite the same way. Sorry! But I bet there are loads of other matcha cheesecakes you could try. . . or just add matcha to your favorite existing recipe. 🙂

  13. 2-1/2 cups ( g) raw natural cashews (dry–do NOT soak first)

  14. This cake looks absolutely amazing, Ricki! 🙂 What a great combo!

  15. I made one last night, finished half of it with my family right after lunch. Fantastic taste!!!

  16. Jody Christian says

    Hi Ricki!
    Love your website!! I’m a long-time reader of yours, although this is my first time commenting. I couldn’t resist asking you this question – the cheesecake looks so amazing and I’d love to be able to make it. I’m curious, what do you think about including cashews in an anti-candida diet? I noticed that you’ve listed this recipe as suitable for all stages of the ACD, but most of the diets I’ve come across don’t permit cashews (I think because they contain/encourage mold?) What do you think? I’ve been on an anti-candida diet for about a year now, and I would love to be able to eat cashews again. Please let me know if you have time. And thanks a million for your amazing recipes and informational posts on the diet – all of it has helped me so much!!

    • Thank you, Jody! 😀 I actually address this question directly in my book, Living Candida-Free . In a nutshell, yes, my diet does include cashews as they are lower in molds than many other nuts you see in most anti-candida diets. There are also several other anti-candida diets that do allow cashews as well. It really just depends on whose diet you follow! For me, they posed no problems. But if you react to them (ie if your symptoms get worse after eating them), by all means avoid them. Macadamia nuts are a good sub in most cases. 🙂

  17. Wee! This is so exciting because I LOVE matcha and use it every single day. I use the DO matcha brand and am literally hooked. I have never tried making it into a dessert, only smoothies, lattes and oatmeal until now. I have to try this, thank you Ricki!!

    • Yay for another matcha lover! 😀 I think you’ll love this, Heather–give it a try and let me know! And you’ve given me an idea with oatmeal. I must try that!

  18. What a gorgeous looking dessert! I absolutely love cashew-based cheesecakes. I’ve never tried matcha, but I’ve really been wanting to. This recipe has me convinced to go out and try matcha!

    • Oh, you must try matcha! It’s my absolute favorite hot beverage. 🙂 And thanks so much for the kind words on the cake (I love cashew-based cheesecakes the most, too). 🙂

  19. Hello! This diet was driving me crazy.. Im new in all this and changing my diet was a drama for me. Thank you very much for for help, people like you makes this much easier! Regards from Spain!

  20. THIS CHEESECAKE IS AMAZING! I never leave reviews but I needed to tell the world. It was my first time trying to bake anything this complicated and the experience was fun and seamless. I used Kerygold grass-fed butter instead of coconut butter and it worked really well.

    • I did want to ask – Is there a reason we can’t use the food processor for the filling? I was curious as to why it was a blender instead! Thanks 🙂

    • So glad you liked it, Mor! I would have thought the texture would be different with butter (maybe it was!), but glad it turned out well in any case! 🙂


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