Learn how to make the best vegan cheesecake ever! No, really! This cheesecake is light, creamy and smooth with no dairy or nuts. Plus, it’s easy to make and you don’t need a high powered blender!

texture of a bite taken out of vegan cheesecake

With over 150 5-star ratings, this has become one of my most popular recipes. Since creating this recipe, I have also made a Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake and Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake that I think you’ll love!

Meet the vegan cheesecake of your dreams. Seriously, I was blown away by how delicious this turned out! No one would guess this cheesecake is vegan. It’s smooth, rich and creamy but also light in texture.

It took me SEVERAL attempts to get this recipe exactly like I wanted, and I finally achieved success! It reminds me of New York style cheesecake, and no one ever guesses it’s vegan.

What makes this vegan cheesecake the best?

  • The texture and flavor is incredible – Truly. This is the cheesecake that tastes like the original, but better. Often when I buy a slice of cheesecake, it’s disappointing, but not this one!
  • Nut free – A win if you have nut allergies! Many recipes call for nuts, but this vegan cheesecake is nut free.
  • Easy to make – Putting this cheesecake together could not be easier. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill before you can dig in!
  • No high powered blender needed – That’s right, unlike cashew based cheesecake recipes, you only need an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer). No fancy blender needed.
slice of cheesecake, pink background, on serving spatula

What’s in vegan cheesecake?

  • Graham crackers – For the crust. To keep it vegan, use honey free graham crackers. You can also use Oreo cookies.
  • Melted vegan butter or coconut oil – Also for the crust.
  • Sugar – For the crust and the cheesecake filling.
  • Vegan Cream Cheese – This is the key ingredient! I ONLY recommend using Tofutti cream cheese, as it provides consistent results. Other brands may work, but definitely not Violife or Trader Joe’s. Luckily Tofutti brand tends to be the least expensive and easiest to find.
  • Coconut Cream– For the cheesecake filling. You need canned coconut cream, or you can use canned full fat coconut milk and only use the thick white part (you will need a few cans to get enough cream).
  • Cornstarch – This helps thicken the cheesecake and makes it set up properly. Do not omit. Arrowroot or tapioca starch might work, but I haven’t tried it.
  • Vanilla Extract – For flavor.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh is best, this adds to the tangy flavor.

How to make vegan cheesecake

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by wrapping the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Make the crust with vegan graham crackers, melted butter or coconut oil and sugar. Simply mix them together in a bowl.

golden crumbs with a spoon in a glass bowl on white background

Press the crust mixture into the pan, firmly and evenly, coming up the sides just a little. Most graham crackers have honey, but Nabisco graham crackers do not. If you can’t find those, you can use vegan gingersnap cookies, Oreos or another similar vegan cookie/biscuit.

graham cracker crust in a springform pan not yet cooked

Make the cheesecake filling. First, beat the vegan cream cheese until smooth. Then, add the rest of the filling ingredients (coconut cream, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and lemon juice), and beat until very smooth.

white cream in a red kitchen aid mixer with a whisk attachment

Pour the smooth filling over the crust and spread it evenly.

white vegan cheesecake filling being poured into the crust in a pan wrapped in foil

Yes, I know it’s a LOT of vegan cream cheese, but this makes a large cheesecake! You will have 12 good sized slices. It’s perfect for holiday get togethers or birthday parties. If you’d like, you can cut the cheesecake filling ingredients in half, and bake it in a regular 9 inch pie pan instead.

Bake for 50 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit in the oven without opening the door for another 10 minutes. It will look jiggly and undercooked in the middle, but don’t worry. It will firm up perfectly after cooling.

Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. It will be soft if you try to serve it too soon. The texture is the most firm and perfect after about 24 hours, so plan ahead if you can.

whole cheesecake with raspberries, slice being removed

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to slice cheesecake?

Run a large, sharp knife under hot water, wipe dry with a clean towel, and then slice. Repeat with each slice for very clean cut pieces of cheesecake.

Is cheesecake vegan?

No, cheesecake is not usually vegan because it’s made with dairy and often eggs. My recipe is 100% vegan and dairy free, of course!

Can I make it without vegan cream cheese?

This recipe cannot be made without vegan cream cheese, and homemade versions do not usually work. I do have a version without cream cheese here: Baked Cashew Cheesecake.

Can I make a smaller version without a springform pan?

You can, yes! Simply cut all the ingredients in half, use a 9 inch pie pan and bake for 40 minutes instead of 50.

Can you freeze vegan cheesecake?

Yes, it can be frozen. Let it chill for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator before wrapping well and moving to the freezer. Or simply freeze slices to easy grab and go desserts.

How long will it keep in the refrigerator?

It will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

close up of piece of cheesecake with whipped cream

Gluten free vegan cheesecake

Substitute gluten free graham crackers or Oreos to make the cheesecake both gluten free and vegan.

Optional cheesecake toppings

Serve plain, with fresh berries or one of these:

close up of a bite taken out of cheesecake

More vegan cheesecake recipes

square image of vegan cheesecake, bite taken out of it showing texture
4.88 stars (184 ratings)

The Best Vegan Cheesecake

Learn how to make the best vegan cheesecake ever! No, really! This cheesecake is light, creamy and smooth with no dairy or nuts. Plus, it’s easy to make and you don’t need a high powered blender!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Chilling time: 4 hours
Total: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients 
 

For the crust

For the filling

  • 32 ounces (4 8-ounce packages) Tofutti vegan cream cheese See notes, do NOT use Trader Joe's!
  • (1) 13.5 ounce can coconut cream
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 2 small lemons

Optional fresh strawberry sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 small lemon

Instructions 

  • 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.

For the crust

  • In a medium bowl, add the cookie crumbs, melted vegan butter and sugar. Stir well to combine, then press down into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press down firmly and evenly, going up the sides a little. Set aside.

For the filling

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat the vegan cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Now add the rest of the filling ingredients and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Once it’s completely smooth, pour into prepared pan over the crust and spread evenly.

To bake

  • Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Do not open the oven door during this time. Turn off the heat, and let it sit in the oven for 10 more minutes. The cheesecake will be slightly jiggly, and not look very done in the middle. That is correct, it will firm up when it cools.
  • Remove from the oven, and let it cool for about 15 minutes at room temperature before moving to the refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before slicing and serving. When ready to serve, slice and serve with any optional toppings.

Optional fresh strawberry sauce

  • In a food processor, add 1 1/4 cups of the sliced strawberries (reserving 1/4 cup), sugar and lemon zest. Process until smooth. Toss with the sliced strawberries in a small bowl and chill for at least an hour before serving.
  • Storing: Leftover cheesecake will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen.

Video

Notes

  1. Graham Crackers – Most graham crackers have honey, but Nabisco brand is vegan if you can find it or order it online. If not, you can also use vegan gingersnap cookies, Oreos or another similar cookie. Just simply add them to a blender/food processor and then measure 1 1/2 cups crumbs.
  2. Cream Cheese – I prefer Tofutti brand vegan cream cheese here, it’s the only brand I’ve had consistent results with. Trader Joe’s brand no longer works either, as they changed the formula. I would not recommend Daiya brand as it doesn’t turn out well for some reason. Violife also does NOT work here, so don’t try it! Some people have reported success with Kite Hill brand.
  3. If you can not find canned coconut cream, you can use 1 can of full fat coconut milk, just don’t use the light coconut milk. Plant based yogurt also works pretty well for a coconut free option.
  4. If you don’t have a springform pan, or want a smaller cheesecake, you can cut the cheesecake filling ingredients in half and use a regular 9-inch pie pan instead. It will still need about 40 minutes to bake.
  5. Additional toppings/flavors: Vegan Caramel Sauce, Vegan Chocolate Ganache or Vegan Whipped Cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Sodium: 364mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*This recipe was originally posted October 2018 and has been republished with new photos and simplified recipe process. I’m always working on improving my recipes and website. Thank you!

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Comments

  1. This is so good!! I used a 9” glass pie dish with half the filling recipe and baked for 40 min as recommended. I added 1.5 tsp sugar to the crust and it was sweet enough. Used Kite Hill cream cheese and the filling texture was perfect. Served with a blueberry sauce topping. Amazing.

    1. Hi Siera. Your cheesecake sounds delicious! Thanks for your wonderful review and feedback!

  2. I used the Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese and I think I just wasted $45 worth of ingredients. I’m super bummed. It was a lot to clean up and I wish I read most of the comments saying it came out soupy it’s what happened to mines 🤢

    1. Sorry, that’s why I say several times “do not use Trader Joe’s brand”! I’m not sure where else I could say this so people won’t use that brand. I put a note in the ingredients list itself. It just turns watery when warm.

    1. Yes! They overflowed a bit and were a bit overcooked since they probably need less time. They were still tasty but with some adjustments they could be great!

  3. Just to let you know, the chocolatey chip teddy grahams that you mentioned as an alternative to graham crackers for the crust is NOT vegan. Those contain confectioners glaze which is another name for shellac (a secretion from lac insects).

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I removed that option from the post. Even though I’ve been vegan for nearly 15 years now, I did not know that confectioners glaze was not vegan. I know now! Thanks again.

  4. the philadelphia cream cheese did not work for me! it turned out very soupy, and i am so sad i couldn’t find the tofutti cream cheese at the 5 grocery stores i went to 🙁

    1. Ah bummer I thought a few people reported success with that brand recently. The vegan cream cheeses vary so much and Tofutti is the one most available where I live.

      1. Tofutti Cream Cheese started being hard to find, stores started carrying other brands. I find the Oatly brand to taste the best, so I will try it with this recipe!

        1. I also just tested it with Miyoko’s and it works super well. The flavor by itself isn’t my favorite, but in the cheesecake I really liked it. Let me know how Oatly turns out!

    1. Philly cream cheese does NOT work either. It’s soupy and I’m super bummed to waste food.

  5. When I took the cheesecake out it was very soupy, is it supposed to be that way? I followed the directions to a tee

    1. What kind of vegan cream cheese did you use? It should not be soupy, but it is still jiggly when you take it out of the oven. It firms up as it chills. But some brands of dairy free cream cheese basically melt into oil, like Violife for example.

  6. Hey Nora!
    Thanks for this recipe! My co- workers and friends who aren’t vegan have given good reviews for it. I substituted tapioca starch for cornstarch since I’m allergic to corn (severe itching). Said this in case the off chance of someone having a corn allergy.

    1. Hi, am I supposed to just use the cream part of the coconut cream or the entire can (liquid and cream)? Every recipe using coconut cream or milk always has something different about which part to use so I wasn’t quite sure.

      1. For this recipe, you use the whole can of coconut cream (liquid and cream). Hope that helps. I try to always specify how much to use, and if you are only to use the cream.

        1. Great, thanks for clarifying! I used Kite Hill cream cheese and it came out great. The strawberry sauce was super good too.

  7. Dear Nora,

    Thank you so much for such great recipes.

    I would like to try using plat based yogurt. How much should be enough to substitute coconut cream?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. You are so welcome! I have used 1 cup of plant based yogurt instead of the coconut cream with good results. The cheesecake is not quite as firm, but it’s pretty close. Enjoy!

  8. This recipe is awesome!! I used Vegan Philadelphia Cream Cheese & everyone loved it! One question, have you ever tried making it with agave instead of sugar?

    1. I’m so happy everyone loved the cheesecake! I have not tried it with agave, but it might work. The cheesecake will likely be softer set and not as firm though.

  9. I made this recipe to take for Easter dinner with family. It was a huge success! The texture and taste were spot on! Thank you!

  10. I want to make this with raspberries instead of strawberries. How do you suggest I prepare raspberries instead?

  11. The recipe has us wrap the spring form pan in tin foil but doesn’t mention a water bath. Is this cooked in a water bath?

    1. Hi Susan. No, a water bath isn’t necessary (but you can still try it if you want)! Enjoy.

    1. I haven’t tried it myself, sorry! I wish I could answer this. Maybe someone else has tried it and can comment.

      1. Hey there!I believe Kite Hill cream cheese is almond based. The texture is softer but I’ve done both this one and the Tofutti and they both still taste great.

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