This vegan cheesecake is so rich, so creamy, you'd never guess it was dairy-free! Made with a vegan graham cracker crust and decadent cashew filling, this scrumptious dessert will blow your mind!
Not to brag or anything, but I kind of consider myself a vegan cheesecake pro. I've made so many of them over the years!
There are lots of varieties of dairy-free cheesecakes, and lots of ways to make them. And after repeated trials I've managed to figure out which ingredients and methods work best. I went and put everything I learned into this one.
Basically what I'm saying is that I've created the ultimate vegan cheesecake recipe. Try it and I'm sure you'll agree![feast_advanced_jump_to]
Why This Recipe Works
The base. There are a few different ingredients you can use to make the cheese component of a non-dairy cheesecake, but I'm telling you, cashews work best. Cashew cheesecake base is super rich and creamy — richer than one made of, say tofu. It's also more consistent than one made with store-bought vegan cream cheese, which will give you varying results depending on what brand you use. Cashews are the way to go!
No-bake. Baked cheesecakes can be good, if made right, but in no-bake is generally better if you ask me! No bake vegan cheesecake is richer and creamier than baked, because the oven can really dry out blended cashews. As an added bonus, it's easier. Yay!
Flavor. Getting the flavor right is crucial! This recipe has just the right mix of sweet, tart and salty flavors, all of which are crucial to creating a cheesy flavor.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Graham crackers. Be careful, as most graham crackers contain honey. Check out this helpful guide to buying vegan graham crackers. I used Nabisco original graham crackers.
- Vegan butter. This is usually sold near the regular butter at the supermarket. Look for brands like Miyoko's or Earth Balance.
- Organic sugar.
- Raw cashews. They absolutely need to be raw. Roasted cashews will result in your cheesecake tasting overly nutty.
- Vegan yogurt. Use any variety that's unsweetened and unflavored. I used Silk plain almondmilk yogurt.
- Maple syrup. Feel free to substitute with another liquid sweetener, such as agave.
- Coconut oil. No substitutions here, and this ingredient can't be omitted, as it's necessary for your vegan cheesecake to set. Unrefined coconut oil has a mild coconut flavor, so use refined if you think this will bother your (I personally don't mind it).
- Non-dairy milk. Use just about any unsweetened and unflavored variety, such as soy milk, almond milk, or cashew milk. The only milk I don't recommend using here is canned coconut milk, which can make your cheesecake overly dense and heavy.
- Lemon juice.
- Vanilla extract.
How It's Made
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
- Crush the graham crackers into crumbs. You can do this by blending them in a food processor, or use my quick-and-dirty method of placing them in a sturdy bag and crushing them with a rolling pin until they turn to fine crumbs.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar, then press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a springform pan. I like to make this recipe with a 7-inch pan, because it gives me a nice deep cheesecake, but you can use a pan up to 9-inches in diameter if you'd like.
- Pop the crust into the oven and bake it until it begins to brown.
- Make the cashew cheesecake batter while your crust bakes. Place soaked raw cashews into a food processor or blender, along with the yogurt, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.
- Blend everything until smooth. Feel free to taste-test the mixture and make adjustments at this point.
- Tip: If you're using a non high-powered blending device, start by blending just the cashews and yogurt to a paste, then add the remaining ingredients. This will help you to get a smoother batter.
- Pour the batter into your baked crust, then cover it and chill your dairy-free cheesecake until it's fully set.
- Remove the cheesecake from the pan, cut it into individual slices, and enjoy!
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover vegan cheesecake will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 4 days.
This cheesecake is also freezer-friendly! I recommend wrapping it in plastic, then sealing it in a large freezer bag. It should keep for about 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
It can! The crust is the only part that contains gluten, thanks to the graham crackers. If you can find vegan gluten-free graham crackers, use them. Otherwise, try an alternative crust, like the nut crust I used for my raw cheesecake.
Try chocolate sauce, vegan caramel sauce, fresh berries (I love mine with raspberries!), and/or dairy-free whipped topping (I used almond milk Reddi Wip for the slices in the photos).
Maybe, but you'd be better off just following my vegan chocolate cheesecake recipe!
The best way is to use a high-powered blending device, like a Vitamix. If you don't have something high-powered, just be patient! It can take five minutes or more to get everything blended.
More Classic Vegan Desserts
- Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Custard Pie
- Vegan Doughnuts
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Brownies
- Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
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Classic Vegan Cheesecake
For the Crust
- 2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup vegan butter, melted
- ¼ cup organic granulated sugar
For the Cheesecake Filling
- 1 ¾ cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4 to 8 hours, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy yogurt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy milk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Stir the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan (7 to 9 inches in diameter).
- Place the pan into the oven and bake the crust until lightly browned at the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack when done.
- While the crust bakes and cools, place all ingredients* for the filling into a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the crust.
- Cover and place the entire cheesecake into the refrigerator and chill until the filling has set, which should take about 4 hours.
- Carefully release the cheesecake from the pan. Slice and serve.