Baked vegan cheesecake with a creamy filling and juicy berries. The recipe includes options for gluten free, refined sugar free and coconut free!
I used to specialise in raw desserts in my cake business but definitely prefer baked vegan cheesecakes! They are creamier, richer and less likely to taste like coconut.
I've been on a mission for a few years to perfect an easy baked vegan cheesecake recipe and I've finally nailed it.
Table of contents
This cheesecake has NO cream cheese
Compared to other baked vegan cheesecake recipes, my recipe uses NO vegan cream cheese. Vegan cream cheese can be difficult to find, expensive and more often than not, it doesn't have the most wholesome ingredients!
This baked cheesecake has the creaminess of a regular cheesecake and, with the right flavourings, is simply delicious!
Making the crust
First, you will need to make the crust which is an easy simple mix of :
Flours/flour of your choice. To make this gluten free, I used a gluten free flour blend and almond meal. If you don't need a gluten free cheesecake, just use plain flour.
Refined coconut oil or vegan butter to allow the flour to stick together.
Coconut sugar for a little sweeteness.
The easiest way to make the crust is to add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined.
Then transfer the mixture directly into your cake tin and press it against the bottom and sides to form a crust. Parbake the crust in your preheated oven for just 15 minutes.
Making the the cheesecake filling
To mimic the creamy and melt-in-your filling of classic cheesecakes, I used the following ingredients:
Cashews to provide the fat and mouth feel similar to conventional cheesecakes. But don't worry - you can barely taste them.
Silken tofu to provide a smooth creaminess that you simply can't get from the highest powered blender. I love using silken tofu in desserts, and I love it even more when people can't taste soy in it, such as in my decadent chocolate mousse tart
Plant-based yoghurt such as coconut, almond or soy. I didn't put yoghurt in my first vegan baked cheesecake recipe. However, my friend Audrey at Unconventional Baker used coconut yoghurt in her baked vegan cheesecake recipe so I gave her recipe ago and was super pleased with the results! So I went back to my original recipe and made a few tweaks.
Plant-based milk because you need some liquids in there somewhere!
Corn flour/starch (not pictured and optional) to thicken the cheesecake filling.
To minimise the cheesecake from tasting like a nutty soy fest, I added a load of natural flavourings such as:
Maple syrup because the fruity sweetness is needed to make the cheesecake taste good. I've tried other sweeteners but maple syrup's flavour profile really stands out the most.
Vanilla extract (or vanilla bean powder) because they always remind me of dessert, ice cream and cake!
Lemon juice to provide some acidity to balance out the creaminess of the other ingredients
Salt, an overlooked but essential ingredient to provide depth to the cheesecake!
To make the filling, just add all ingredients to a blender and blend. No fuss and easy! You can find the exact baking instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to serve the cheesecake
The cheesecake is best served with fruit such as raspberries or passion fruit as their tartness cuts through the richness of the cheesecake! I also love how the seeds in the raspberries contrasts with the smooth creaminess of the cake.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Berries
- 2 cups (260g) raw cashews*
- 1 cup (250g) firm silken tofu, also known as 'traditional tofu'**
- ½ cup (180g) any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, to taste
- ½ cup (90g) dairy free yoghurt, such as coconut, soy or almond
- ¼ cup (60g) dairy free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut
- 1 tbsp (7g) corn starch / corn flour, optional but creates a smoother cheesecake
- 2 tsp lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar***
- 2 tsp vanilla extract, or vanilla bean powder
- Pinch of any good-quality salt
- 1 ½ cups (225g) frozen or fresh blueberries and raspberries
- ¼ cup (100g) any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, optional and to taste
- 1 tbsp (7g) corn starch / corn flour
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the bottom and sides of a spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin. I used a tall 20 cm (8-inch) cake tin.
To make the crust:
- In a large bowl or food processor, mix all the crust ingredients until well combined. It should stick together when pinched between two fingers. If the mixture is still a bit dry, add a dash of water and mix until the ingredients come together. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the lined cake tin so it's about 8 mm thick.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until slightly golden and it's dry to the touch. Set aside.
To make the filling:
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until there are no lumps. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness and sourness, if needed. Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust.
- Tap the cheesecake firmly on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Baking the cheesecake:
- Bake the cheesecake for 45-50 minutes, just before the filling sets. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the cheesecake with a metal tray. The cheesecake is ready when the filling is no longer liquid and the filling still 'jiggles' in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door ajar for at least 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Let it come to room temperature, cover it and set it aside in the fridge overnight to chill.
The next day, prepare the berry topping:
- Add all or most of the berries and rest of the ingredients to a small saucepan and mix until combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat and mix for 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
- Remove the cheesecake from its tin. Spoon and spread the berry topping on top and top with additional berries if desired. Cut and serve!
- The cheesecake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This post was originally published in July 2019 but updated in October 2020.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.