This vegan Baked Cashew Cheesecake is deliciously decadent. Both the creamy cashew filling and almond oat crust are easy to make in a blender before being baked to perfection. Gluten free and no tofu or vegan cream cheese needed!
You may already know that I have a thing for vegan cheesecake. It’s the best dessert that’s lighter than its dairy-rich predecessor and way easier to make, too! Dairy free cheesecake can be made in endless ways as well, with nuts or no nuts, vegan cream cheese or no vegan cream cheese, and so on.
This vegan Baked Cashew Cheesecake has everything you love about classic cheesecake. The creamy cashew filling is rich and decadent while the gluten free almond oat crust delivers a nutty crunch to every bite. Best of all, this is an easy vegan dessert that comes together in a blender!
Baked cheesecake vs. no-bake cheesecake
Both baked and no-bake vegan cheesecakes are delicious and rich desserts that are hard to pass up! However, baking it in the oven is just how good, old-fashioned cheesecake is made.
To make baked vegan cheesecake, a crust is par-baked before a filling is poured over the top. The assembled cake is baked once more in the oven, then left to chill and set in the fridge before serving. The result is an ultra-smooth, airy, and moist cake!
No-bake cheesecake is a little simpler to make but not as fluffy or dense. Like my Layered Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake, the crust is first pressed into the pan before a filling is added on top. The cake is left to set in the fridge before it’s firm and ready to slice.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Raw almonds – These are pulsed into crumbs to make the crust. I haven’t tried making this recipe with any other kind of nut but macadamia nuts, walnuts, or more cashews may work as substitutes.
- Rolled oats – Remember to buy certified gluten free rolled oats to keep this dairy free cheesecake gluten free. And while rolled oats are best, quick oats should work well as a substitute.
- Maple syrup – You need real maple syrup for both the crust and the filling.
- Coconut oil – I haven’t tried it, but melted vegan butter might work instead of coconut oil.
- Raw cashews – Soaked raw cashews transform into a beautifully luscious cream when blended. Here, they’re the base of the dairy free cheesecake filling. Blended cashew cream also firms up as it cools, leaving you with a filling that sets perfectly in the fridge.
- Coconut cream – Either buy canned coconut cream or use the thick white part in a can of full-fat coconut milk. If you have an aversion to coconut, plain dairy free yogurt can be used instead.
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens up the rich filling.
- Vanilla extract
How to make baked cashew vegan cheesecake
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
Start by soaking the raw cashews in boiling water. Let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes while you make the crust.
Blend the almonds, oats, and salt together until the mixture is crumbly. Pour in the maple syrup and coconut oil, then pulse until a dough forms. You’ll know the crust is ready when it feels crumbly, but not dry between your fingers.
Dump the crumbly almond crust into your prepared springform pan. Press it evenly into the base and slightly up the sides, then bake until it’s lightly golden.
Meanwhile, make the cashew filling. Add the soaked and drained cashews, coconut cream, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a blender.
Blend until you have a smooth cream.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the baked and cooled crust. Bake until the top of the cake starts to turn golden.
Note: The middle of the cheesecake will still be a bit jiggly when it comes out of the oven. Don’t panic! It will firm up as it cools.
Place the baked cashew cheesecake in the refrigerator to cool after standing at room temperature for 30 minutes. The cake needs at least 6 hours to chill and set.
Serve the next day with the toppings of your choice and enjoy!
Vegan cheesecake toppings
Decorate the cooled baked cheesecake or individual slices with any of these delicious toppings:
- Vegan salted caramel
- The strawberry sauce from this strawberry cheesecake recipe
- Chocolate ganache
- Fresh fruit and vegan whipped cream
- Mint leaves and lemon zest
Tips for success
- To test if the almond oat crust is ready, pinch some between your fingers. It should hold together but still feel a bit crumbly.
- If the crust is too dry, pulse in a little more maple syrup or coconut oil until it comes together.
- Once it’s out of the oven, let the cheesecake sit and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then you can transfer it to the fridge to fully set for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight for the best results.
- Run a large, sharp knife under hot water for the cleanest cheesecake slices. Wipe it dry after each slice, then repeat.
- The nuts are what make this dairy free baked cheesecake so special. If you’d rather avoid the nuts, try making my Vegan Cheesecake instead.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! However, not all rolled oats are naturally gluten free. Make sure to check the packaging to ensure that the oats are certified gluten free first.
Yes, you can bake the crust and the cheesecake in a regular 9-inch pie plate or round cake pan instead.
The cheesecake and slices should last for about 4 to 5 days when kept covered in the fridge.
I haven’t tried it, but the cake should freeze well. Make sure to wrap the cake or slices in a layer of plastic, then aluminum foil before freezing.
Want more vegan cheesecake recipes?
Baked Cashew Cheesecake
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Soak your cashews – Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Prepare pan and oven – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap a 9 inch springform pan with 1-2 layers of aluminum foil, covering the bottom and the sides. Cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan, and spray lightly with oil.
- Meanwhile, make the crust – Add the almonds, oats and salt to a high powered blender (or food processor) and pulse/blend until it looks like crumbs. Stop the blender and add the maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Pulse a few more times until a dough forms. It should be moist enough that it doesn't feel dry and crumbly between your fingers. If needed, add a little more maple syrup or coconut oil until it comes together. Transfer to the prepared pan and press evenly into the base and up the sides a bit. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Make the cheesecake filling – Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Add to a high powered blender, along with the coconut cream or dairy free yogurt, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
- Bake the cheesecake – Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan with the crust and bake for 50 minutes until the top of the cake starts to get golden brown. It will still be jiggly somewhat, but will firm up as it cools.
- Chill before serving – Let the cheesecake cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.