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Sunflower Cheese Wheel

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table buffet of fresh fruits and vegan Sunflower Cheese Wheel
 raw / vegan / gluten-free / nut-free


I absolutely adore making agar cheeses.  The fact that you can use just about any mold that your imagination can come up with is downright liberating in the kitchen.  You can use bowls ( shallow, deep, or somewhere in-between ), Tupperware containers, candy molds, bakers molds; you name it.


When I made this cheese, I wanted to create a cheese wheel for a gathering we were having.  I thought it would make an excellent cheese and cracker presentation.   I have a circular pan with a removable bottom, which I enjoy using, so I opted for that.


As I was digging out my pan, I happen to spy my container with stencils in it, and that got me to thinking… it would be awesome to leave some sort of impression on the cheese, turning it into a conversation piece.   I just so happened to have picked up a gear stencil at a craft store sometime back… perfect!  You can see the photos below of how turned out.


To head you all off, because I know you will ask for the recipe for the crackers in the photo… these are store-bought, gluten-free crackers.  The BBQ that we were hosting was sprung on me a bit too late, and I didn’t have time to make any raw ones.


yields: 1 (8″)  wheel

Cheese base:

Agar gel:


Cheese base:

  1. After soaking the sunflower seeds, drain and rinse them before adding them to the blender.
  2. In a high-speed blender, combine the sunflower seeds, 1 cup water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso, salt, and spices until it is smooth and creamy… free of any gritty feeling.  Depending on the machine, this can take 1-3 minutes.

Agar gel:

  1. Once the cheese mixture is ready, it is time to make the agar gel.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a light boil, add the agar.
    • Stir continuously until the agar had dissolved, this can take several minutes.  Keep whisking!
    • If it gels up in the pan, return to heat and melt it down again.
  3. Start the blender and get a vortex going with the mixture.  Drizzle in the agar gel and blend until combined.  You will need to stay focused and move fairly quickly.  Agar will start to set up as it cools.
  4. Pour into mold and then place in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.  Eat sliced or shred!
  5. Note ~  I don’t use anything to prepare my molds to help them release once it has set.  It is good about just popping out.
  6. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

placing a stencil in the pan when making vegan Sunflower Cheese Wheel


removing the stencil placing a stencil making vegan Sunflower Cheese Wheel


viewing the stencil print on the vegan Sunflower Cheese Wheel

44 thoughts on “Sunflower Cheese Wheel

  1. Emily says:

    Hello, I LOVE your recipes and messages! Question: for those of us who have problems with ‘yeast’ will the nutritional yeast in this recipe increase/cause more candida? You may have already addressed this issue in another post, but I have missed it… thanks so much! Emily

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Emily… Thank you for the sweet words this morning. What a joy to wake up to them. :)

      You present a great question… I didn’t want you to just take my word for it, so I am presenting some links here to the manufacture stating that it is safe for those with candida. “the type of yeast in RED STAR® Nutritional Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a completely different species than the type that causes yeast infections, Candida albicans. RED STAR® Nutritional Yeast does not and cannot cause yeast infections.” (source)

      Have a wonderful day, amie sue

      • kate says:

        The one bummer about nutritional yeast is that there are synthetic vitamins added (fortified). You can find the unfortified, usually in a tall can, but it has a very different flavor. I have stopped using it, as I just wonder how this stuff is made. no telling what all they do to it. And it certainly is not raw. just some info.

      • Carol says:

        Please can you tell me if there is an alternative to nutritional yeast. I am actually allergic to yeasts and moulds and cannot tolerate it. Thanks.

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Carol,

          The nutritional yeast is used for several reasons; flavor (cheesiness) and nutrition. But I understand there are people who can’t partake of it. But not to worry, thee are a couple of things that we can do. Start by omitting the nutritional yeast, then try one of the following:

          The use of probiotics:
          Probiotics will add that cheesy “tang” once cultured and it will increase the health benefits.
          1. After soaking and draining the sunflower seeds, place them in the blender with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp probiotics. Blend until smooth.
          2. Place the mixture in a strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth, fold over the edges and place a weight on top. The weight should only be heaviness so it starts to gently press the liqiuid from the mix, the blended sunflower seeds shouldn’t ooze through.
          3. Leave to culture on the counter for at least 24 but no longer than 48 hours. The longer it sits, the more tang it will get.
          4. Once culturing is add the remainder ingredients and continue with the recipe as written.


          Raw apple cider vinegar:
          1. Replace the yeast with 1-2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar.


          Increase chickpea miso:
          1. Increase from 2 tsp chickpea miso to 1 Tbsp

          I hope this helps! amie sue

      • Cyndi says:

        see this link for probiotic combo called detox and proalive set

        The best products I ever found and candida is no more


  2. Marilyn says:

    What is chickpea miso? Love the idea of the stencil. Thought about using my cheesecake pan which has a sort of ‘nobby’ surface on the bottom.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Marilyn,

      Great thinking! That’s the beauty with making these cheeses… just go through your pantry or cabinets and look at your pans/ bowls in a whole new light. :)

      Here is a link that I had done about what miso is. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  3. Ami says:

    I love your recipes. Spent the weekend doing three different cereals :). As I live in Sweden it is sometimes difficult to find the same things so I experiment a little (or a lot sometimes). But for this recipe I can’t think of what to use instead of chick pea miso. I have never heard of it and have no idea what it tastes like. Feel that ordinary miso will make the color mud-like. Do you have any suggestions.
    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful cooking!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Ami,

      I understand that it is a challenge from time to time in finding certain ingredients. We all face that no matter where we live… but you are doing great on learning to adapt to what you can get a hold of. That will strengthen your knowledge of how ingredients work and your own creativity….

      The chickpea miso is a bit sweet and salty. You can just omit it from the recipe since you can’t find it. If you can get miso and you can use a lighter colored one. I just use the chickpea version because I don’t eat soy.

      Blessings and have a wonderful day, amie sue

      • uta says:


        just wanted to say in europe the light (sweet miso) is called “shiro miso”. You can also get chickpea miso if you search for macrobiotic online shops in your country. Sometimes there may be local variants; in germany you can get lupine miso, for instance, which is also mild.

        • amie-sue says:

          Thank you Uta, I appreciate that you shared that for fellow readers in Europe. :) Blessings and happy holidays. amie sue

  4. Maxine says:

    Hi Amie:)

    What a beautiful looking cheese! Love the mold idea! Great to have a seed recipe option for those allergic to nuts. Many people don’t seem to tolerate Nutritional yeast lately, myself included, makes me feel bloated and seems difficult to digest. Do you think Lecithin would work in this?
    Thanks again for always sharing your awesomeness Amie! Blessings.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Maxine,

      We all respond to foods so differently. Years ago, it seemed like the taste of the food was the largest issue at hand, now it is food intolerances. So sad, so sad. Lecithin doesn’t react anything like agar in recipes. Well, I should say that agar can be used in a small amount to help thicken a recipe and not set up… but in this recipe and other cheese recipes where it is used, it plays a completely different role. It gives the cheese structure. Lecithin won’t give it that, it is an emulsifier.

      Sweet dreams! amie sue

  5. Constance says:

    wow Sue looks great cant wait to try this one out
    question for you-where do you find the chalkboard picks you are using to label your items with
    clever girl you are

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Constance, so wonderful to hear from you. :)

      I got those little signs at Michael’s Craft Store. I had them tucked away for quite some time so I was excited to use them for this gathering. Have a great evening, amie sue

  6. michelle says:

    Hi , Amy sue , I’m from France and love so much your recipes , and the way you share. them ..
    never took time to tell you before :-)
    I have a question , too , about the cheese : what do you think about using psyllium husk ( powder ) instead of the agar agar ?
    just wondering , in case of someone don’t want to heat something ..
    thanks for all the great job you are doing , XOXO from Paris ,

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Michelle,

      Psyllium won’t preform anything like agar. Psyllium thickens, agar sets up like a really firm jello. Well, it depends on how much agar is used in a recipe.

      If you don’t wish to use agar, there are plenty of other recipes on my site that don’t use agar.

      So wonderful to hear from you in Paris! I love how the Internet can bring us all together. :) Blessings, amie sue

  7. Lyn :] says:

    Amie Sue,
    Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!!! What a pretty presentation of food!!! Bob must love entertaining, as you do such a wonderful job of making everything taste as wonderful as it looks!!! :] Lyn

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Lyn :) We both love sharing our time with friends and family… it just warms our hearts. Sure wish you all lived closer. :) amie sue

  8. BYRON says:


  9. Constance says:

    wow on this cheese-made this yesterday and the flavor is off the charts incredible thankyou so much for this one
    however LOL
    mine did not set up like a cheese wheel its more of a spreadable cheese then a hard cheese (it came out just a little firmer then the mascarpone does
    so my question is should I increase the amount of agar in this and maybe cut down on the water just a tad?
    I am putting together a cheese and cracker platter from your recipes for the gals out at my post op clinic where I am going for my eye followups now
    I have them all but 1 out there brousing your sight and making equipment lists LOL
    let me know on this first chance you get lots to get made and into the dehydrator before monday
    thanks again amy your the best

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Constance,

      If you followed the instructions completely through and used the same ingredients, it should have turned out. It might be possible that you didn’t cook the agar long enough to thoroughly dissolve. You have to be careful with agar, if you use too much you can end up with a rubbery block. :) It could have been that your soaked sunflower seeds had too much water left in them. Though I didn’t have to, you could try patting them dry. I hope some of these suggestions help. Enjoy your time with the ladies. Blessings! amie sue

  10. Joan says:

    Hi Amie Sue…
    I made this cheese yesterday….it is very soft (like hummus) but has a wonderful flavor. Thank you!!!

  11. Constance says:

    thanks for the speedy response I am going to try another batch of this tomoro if nothing else I can make it a spreadable in a pinch LOL
    I cook my agar for 5 minutes and seems like its liquid for sure but then I still cant see very well yet so who knows LOL
    you may be right about the water left in the seeds though that I will pay closer attention to on this next one
    thanks again always a pleasure

  12. suzi says:

    Amie Sue, I just made this recipe and see it mush be eaten in five days… any luck freezing this?

    • amie-sue says:

      You know Suzi, I have tried freezing these types of cheeses and I don’t care for how it thaws. The cheese might last a little long, just have to keep an eye on it. Have a great day! amie sue

  13. Constance says:

    ROTF-well here’s the scoop I just had someone else take a look at this recipe for me LOL
    the agar is agar agar POWDER-I am using flakes LOL
    just wanted to clear that up for all the other readers
    this was definately my mistake on this one – this next batch should come out perfect and again the flavor of this cheese is just awesome
    thanks amy

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh shew… Constance. I was starting to worry that I had written down something wrong. hehe I know how those things happen. Smart to get a second pair of eyes on it. :) When using flakes you need almost double the amount. I am glad that you are enjoying the flavor. Have a blessed day and thanks for letting me know Constance. amie sue

  14. Kathy says:

    Oh my Amie-sue…I can not get over your gorgeous buffet! I bet your guests were floored! I love the elegance and quite beauty you brought to your ‘Cheese Wheel” by using the clocks works stencil. You are amazingly talented. What a breathing taking magnificent display of fine edibles! All I can say is… BRAVO!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Kathy. It is just a pleasure to hear from you. :) We thoroughly enjoyed the spread before us and devoured it. hehe So that is always a good sign. I am anxious to play around with more “cheese” and stencils. Possibilities are endless. I hope that your day is going well. My mom and dad are here visiting for a few days so off I go! Blessings, amie sue

  15. Constance says:

    made it again with the right amount of agar and its perfect-gorgeous-and yummy

  16. SAtyakaam says:

    Thank you for the great recipe. Have not made this in years and lost mu recipe. Looking forward to the yum!

  17. B says:

    Hi, this recipe looks so good! Easier and less crumbly looking than another one I found.
    Can you use mustard instead of mustard powder?
    And also, can you leave out the chickpea miso? If not, are there any easy substitutions?
    Thank you

  18. aliyah says:

    Hi again Amie Sue,
    Well The husbands birthday is Monday and I have decided to surprise him with a romantic picnic dinner in the park complete with picnic basket, checkered table cloth, and raw recipes from your sight(sundried tomatoe corn wrap with refried beans and taco meat,salad with dressing(not sure which one yet)key lime parfait,summer spritzer water and cheese and crackers.My question is about the cheese. I have agar flakes I don’t have time to order the powder, do I double the amount I know you stated it earlier but I want everything to be perfect so I want to make sure.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh that sounds lovely Aliyah. You husband is in for a real treat. :) Many blessings in your celebration.

      You can use agar flakes and yes it takes more.

      Ratio List:

      1 Tbsp Agar flakes = 1/2 tsp Agar powder
      2 Tbsp Agar flakes = 1 tsp powder
      3 Tbsp Agar flakes = 1 and 1/2 tsp powder
      4 Tbsp Agar flakes = 2 tsp powder
      5 Tbsp Agar flakes = 2 and 1/2 tsp powder

      I hope this helps! amie sue

  19. Sylvie says:

    This vegan cheese is DELICIOUS! thanks for sharing your recipes.

  20. Helen Higgs says:

    My cheeses seem a little to jelly like and not as creamy is my agar powder maybe to strong

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