This vegan baked cheesecake is creamy and rich and uses NO dairy-free cream cheese! It is easy to make and you even don't need a water bath. Also, the cheesecake can easily be made gluten-free, refined sugar-free and coconut free.
Why you'll love this cheesecake
ACCESSIBLE INGREDIENTS: This vegan baked cheesecake uses no vegan cream cheese, which can be temperamental and difficult to find. Instead, I used more common ingredients that are found in many countries.
TASTE/TEXTURE: Creamy, sweet, tart and indulgent vegan dessert.
DIFFICULTY: Easy to make, with the help of a blender! You DON'T need to bake the cheesecake in a water bath or deal with a tray of hot water.
Ingredients you'll need
Flour, vegan butter and sugar for a crunchy cookie-style crust. Almond flour makes the crust richer and 'buttery'. The crust will work with gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Cashew nuts add richness to the filling whereas silken tofu makes it creamy and not too heavy. You don't need coconut cream for this baked vegan cheesecake!
Thick dairy-free yogurt adds a tartness to the filling that is typical of cheesecakes. I recommend using a thick yogurt, whether it's oat yogurt, soy yogurt or coconut yogurt!
Cornstarch (or corn flour in UK/Australia) makes the filling a little more smooth.
Maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and salt provide depth of flavor. Don't skimp on these ingredients otherwise, your cheesecake won't have much taste!
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Tips for making the crust
The crust is easy to make as you just need to mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, food processor or stand mixer. The final mixture should be a cookie dough consistency.
Then transfer the crust mixture to your springform pan and press it against the bottom and sides. You may want to use a spoon or spatula to smooth the surface! Finally, we're par-baking the crust to make sure it's crunchy and not soggy for the final cheesecake.
Tips for making the cheesecake filling
The cheesecake filling is easy to make as you just add all the ingredients to a blender and blend. The filling mixture should be runny and similar in consistency to a thin pouring custard. Unfortunately, I don't recommend using a food processor as it will not blend the cashews well enough.
Finally, taste test the cheesecake mixture and add more sweetener, vanilla, lemon juice or salt to taste. Feel free to add some fresh lemon zest if you'd like a more zesty acidic flavor that's typical of cheesecakes.
This baked vegan cheesecake is best served with slightly acidic fruit such as raspberries or passionfruit (fresh or a compote) as it helps cut through the rich filling!
Some other delicious toppings for your vegan cheesecake are:
- dairy-free whipped cream (such as coconut whipped cream)
- chocolate ganache
- vegan caramel sauce
- pecan caramel topping, from my pumpkin cheesecake recipe
Customizing this vegan baked cheesecake
Whole or chopped fruit, such as blueberries or stewed apples would complement this cheesecake well!
I don't recommend adding strawberry puree to the filling as it makes the cheesecake an unpleasant brown color.
Yes! I have tried this and the cheesecake filling still has a similar consistency to the original. When the sugar comes in contact with the liquid ingredients in the filling, it liquifies and behaves similarly to maple syrup or other liquid sweeteners.
More vegan cheesecake recipes
Vegan Baked Cheesecake (no vegan cream cheese)
Crust (note 1 for alternatives)
- 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, or any light-colored sweetener, or ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar, to taste
- ⅓ cup (80g) dairy-free yogurt
- ¼ cup (60g) dairy-free milk
- 1 tablespoon (20g) lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar, or to taste (note 4)
- 1 tablespoon (7g) cornstarch / corn flour, optional but creates a smoother cheesecake
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 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) cornstarch / corn flour
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the bottom and sides of a springform or loose-bottom cake pan with parchment paper. I used a tall 8-inch (20 cm) cake pan.
To make the crust:
- In a large bowl or food processor, mix all the crust ingredients until well combined. It should stick together if you pinch it between two fingers. If the mixture is a little dry, add a dash of water and mix until it comes together. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of your cake pan 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 of the cheesecake filling ingredients to a blender and blend until there are no lumps. Taste test the mixture and adjust the level of sweetener, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt, if 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 or until just before the filling sets. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil. The cheesecake is ready when the filling is no longer liquid but the filling still 'jiggles' in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the oven door ajar for at least 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Let it come to room temperature, cover the cake tin and chill it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, prepare the berry topping:
- Add the berries and the topping ingredients to a small saucepan. If you're using fresh berries, reserve a handful for later. Mix the saucepan ingredients until combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat and mix for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
- Remove the cheesecake from the cake pan. Top the cheesecake with the berry compote and reserved fresh berries. Cut and serve!
- Store the cheesecake in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- For a graham cracker crust, blitz 300g graham crackers in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Add 40g sugar and 90g melted vegan butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press the mixture against the bottom and sides of your cake pan and bake for 10 minutes. If the crust collapses during baking, press it back 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 compared to firm tofu which will stay in small chunks.
- Do not omit the lemon, vanilla and salt as they help this recipe taste like a regular cheesecake.
This post was originally published in July 2019 and updated a few times to provide an improved recipe and helpful process images.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.