Baked vegan cheesecake with a creamy tart filling and juicy berries. This recipe can be made gluten-free, refined sugar-free and coconut free!
Table of contents
Why you'll love this cheesecake
Compared to other vegan cheesecake recipes, this 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 flavorings, is simply delicious! Plus, baked cheesecakes are creamier, richer and less likely to taste like coconut than no-bake cheesecakes.
If you prefer a cheesecake WITH cream cheese, see my vegan strawberry cheesecake, vegan pumpkin cheesecake or vegan mango cheesecake recipe.
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 sweetness.
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. Par-bake the crust in your preheated oven for just 15 minutes.
Making the the cheesecake filling
For a creamy and melt-in-your filling, 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 yogurt such as coconut, almond or soy. I didn't put yogurt in my first vegan baked cheesecake recipe. However, my friend Audrey at Unconventional Baker used coconut yogurt 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 minimize the cheesecake from tasting like a nutty soy fest, I added a load of natural flavorings 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 flavor complements the cheesecake the best!
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 passionfruit 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.
In addition to the fruit, you can also top the cake with coconut whipped cream!
Customizing this baked vegan cheesecake
I've tried adding strawberry puree to the filling and unfortunately, it makes the cheesecake a strange brown color. I haven't tested this with other fruits.
Yes! The cheesecake consistency will be the same.
No! This cheesecake bakes very well without a clumsy water bath.
Check out my other vegan cheesecake recipes
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Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Berries
Crust (note 1 for alternatives)
- 1 ½ cups (240g) all-purpose plain flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (50g) almond flour / blanched almond meal, or substitute with more flour
- ¼ cup (40g) granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
- ¾ cup (180g) vegan butter, or solid refined coconut oil
- 2 cups (260g) raw cashews, (note 2)
- 1 cup (250g) firm silken tofu, also known as 'traditional tofu' (note 3)
- ½ cup (170g) maple syrup, rice malt syrup or any light-coloured sweetener, to taste
- ½ cup (90g) dairy-free yogurt
- ¼ cup (60g) dairy-free milk
- 1 tablespoon (20g) lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar, to taste (note 4)
- 1 tablespoon (7g) corn starch / corn flour, optional but creates a smoother cheesecake
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or vanilla bean powder, to taste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups (225g) frozen or fresh blueberries and raspberries
- 3 tablespoons (64g) any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, optional and to taste
- 1 tablespoon (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 8 inch (20 cm) 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 ⅓ inch (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 test the mixture and adjust the level of sweetener, lemon juice and vanilla as desired. 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 the cake pan and chill in the fridge overnight.
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.
- For a graham cracker crust, combine 300g graham cracker crumbs, 40g sugar and 90g of melted vegan butter in a mixing bowl. Press it firmly against the bottom and sides of your cake tin and bake for 10 minutes. If the crust collapses a little from baking, simply press the crust again while it's warm.
- If you have a high-powered blender, you don't need to soak the cashews beforehand. If you don't have a high-powered blender, soak the cashews overnight and drain them before blending!
- Traditional tofu is halfway between extra silken tofu and extra firm tofu. It often comes in a tub and wobbles a little when you shake it. When you blend it, it will completely break down into a creamy mixture as opposed to firm tofu which will stay in small chunks.
- Do not omit the lemon, vanilla and salt as these make the filling taste like a cheesecake.
This post was originally published in July 2019 and updated in October 2020.
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Love your recipes for my dairy allergy child. They are so good. My child is also allergic to cashews so For this cheesecake can I substitute almonds for the cashews? Will it change the cheesecake a lot? I know the texture is very different but almonds and hazelnuts are the only nuts she can have. 🙁
Hi Lubna, I'm so happy that you've enjoyed my recipes so far! With this cheesecake, I think almonds will still work and the cheesecake will set (the final texture might just be a little different). I've made other cheesecakes with almonds and I soaked the almonds for a little longer as they're firmer than cashews. Also, if you use almonds with no skin, the filling will be smoother! I hope that helps!
Just made it. Nailed it from first try, taste heavenly. Thank you so much for the recipe. One suggestion for you guys , you don't need to apply oil in the baking dish before you put the crust. It has sooo much butter in it. I tried without baking paper/hate the edges it creates /and I was afraid to add additional oil. It turned out perfect, nothing was stuck, came out without any issue.
Can this be frozen? I made this for my son’s birthday - he said it was his best ever birthday cake! We all enjoyed it, however it is very rich and can only manage small portions (we’re such lightweights!)
Hi Heather! So glad you all enjoyed this cheesecake :). I honestly haven't tried freezing it so I'm not 100% sure. However, based on other similar recipes, I think it should be fine!
Yum! Tried this one and I love it! Definitely recommended. Perfect combination for my hemp coffee.
That's wonderful! Thanks so much for your feedback Joy!
Wow! I've been vegan for 8 years and tried many vegan cheesecakes. THIS one is incredible! The taste and texture is restaurant-quality. I used ¼ cup date sugar and ¼ cup cane sugar instead of maple syrup, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Soooo good! Printing this and adding it to the recipe book right now. Thanks so much 🙂
Aw thanks so much for your feedback and what a compliment! I'm so happy you enjoyed the cheesecake and that date and cane sugar worked too 🙂
Lee O'Connell says
First, let me say, I'm an experienced baker. I organized all of my ingredients, in order, and confirmed I had the correct amounts before starting... so the crust. I followed the directions , put everything in my food processor, and ended up with a liquid mess. I kept adding flour, trying to firm it up. After adding another cup of flour, I tried to bake it. It was disgusting, tasted like flour and the consistency was all wrong.
I threw it out and made a standard Graham cracker crust.
The filling though! Unbaked it was delicious! I didn't quite trust that the cornstarch would be enough to firm it up, (after the crust fiasco) so I added some unflavored gelatin. Its in the oven now, and I expect it to be fabulous. I will make the fruit topping as well.
I have to wonder about that crust. I went back and double checked- I followed it exactly, so I don't know why it didn't work... I would love some input on this...
So 5 stars for the filling and 1 for the crust...
Hi Lee, thanks for your feedback! That's so interesting about your crust - I haven't heard of readers having that issue with this crust before so I'm curious too! Can I ask if you weighed your ingredients or used cups? And, did you use all-purpose flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend? Some brands of gluten-free blends are less absorbent so may need less liquid. Also, if your butter or oil was too soft rather than solid, it would have made the crust too wet. However, I'm glad you liked the flavour of the cheesecake filling!
For the first time I made a vegan baked cheesecake. I have made vegan cheesecakes befor,but in the fridge or freezer. This recipe is easy to follow and the result is really delicious. I will certainly use this recipe more times. Thanks for sharing Anthea!
Wilma from @justnutsandplants
Aw I'm so happy you enjoyed this cheesecake, especially as your first time! Your cheesecake on Instagram was beautiful! Thanks so much for your lovely comment Wilma x