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!
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 a couple of failed attempts to finally succeed with this recipe. I tried a recipe using cashews, and it ended up so dense and thick, and almost gummy in texture. Nope, not what I was going for.
I decided it would be kind of fun to make this recipe without nuts at all, so if you have a nut allergy, rejoice! This one’s for you. I also like that you don’t need a high powered blender to make the filling. A simple hand mixer will do (or stand mixer).
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
How to make vegan cheesecake
- Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by wrapping the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Make the crust with vegan graham crackers, coconut oil and sugar. Simply mix them together in a bowl.
- 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. Chocolatey Chip Teddy Grahams also work. If you can’t find those, you can use vegan gingersnap cookies, oreos or another similar vegan cookie/biscuit.
- Make the cheesecake filling. First, beat the vegan cream cheese until smooth. I used Tofutti brand which I think works the best. Trader Joe’s brand works well, too. Then, add the rest of the filling ingredients (coconut cream, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and lemon juice), and beat until very smooth.
- Pour the smooth filling over the crust and spread it evenly.
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 a long time
Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. It will be soft if you try to serve it too soon. Even after 4 hours, you will have more of a soft-set cheesecake. The texture is much better if you can leave it overnight.
How to slice cheesecake
After cooling, take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator. Carefully run a knife around the edges, then slowly release the spring.
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.
Optional cheesecake toppings
Serve plain, with fresh berries or one of these:
- Vegan Caramel Sauce
- Vegan Chocolate Ganache
- Strawberry Sauce (recipe included below)
- Vegan Whipped Cream
If you want more vegan cheesecake recipes, make sure to check out No-Bake Layered Raspberry Cheesecake or the holiday favorite Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake.
The Best Vegan Cheesecake
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs*
- 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil *or vegan butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the filling
- 32 ounces (4 8-ounce packages) vegan cream cheese *I used Tofutti brand, see notes
- (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
- 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 coconut oil 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I prefer Tofutti brand vegan cream cheese here, but Trader Joe's works well, too. 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!
- 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.
- 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 40-50 minutes to bake.
- Additional toppings/flavors: Vegan Caramel Sauce, Vegan Chocolate Ganache or Vegan Whipped Cream.
*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!
If i’m looking for a recipe I always check to see if you have done it first! every recipe of yours that I make turns out perfect! I did this over a year ago with trader joe’s cream cheese and it came out great! Today I made it with Kite hill cream cheese and it came out even better! Highly recommend this recipe to anybody and I would definitely use the kite hill texture came out perfect and it didn’t sink at all!
Hi Kaylee. Thanks for your kind words and love for my recipes! Makes my day! I appreciate your wonderful feedback and review! Happy cooking to you!
Hello. Can i use tofutti sour cream?
Oh Kaylee I’m so relieved to hear Kite Hill worked well. I bought a bunch at Whole Foods when it was on sale a while ago when my family was on a bagel kick. That fizzled out and I was stuck with several of their family size tubs past their date. I just popped mine in the oven with my fingers crossed, now a sigh of relief after I read your comment. I’ve made this with Tofutti and can’t wait to try this version.
I love all of your recipes!! I really want to try this with the new Philadelphia plant based cream cheese!! Looks awesome!
Thank you, Nici! Let me know how it works out with the cream cheese! Happy baking!
Made this with the tofutti cream cheese, but swapped graham crackers for mi-del gluten free ginger snaps and used mikoyos butter instead of coconut oil. OMG so good. I brought it to work and all of my non-vegan coworkers absolutely loved it! I also made a quick blueberry compote to spoon on top which took it to another level, but it was perfect without it. Thank you for this recipe!!!
How fabulous to read that the cheesecake was a hit with your coworkers! Thank you for your personal ideas and terrific feedback!
So, I’ve made this recipe before using the ingredients provided except I use Kite hill cream cheese… I get home and realized I don’t have the coconut cream… I have coconut milk…can I substitute using milk??? Or evaporate coconut milk?? I’m not trying to go back to the store and I’ve already started 😕
Hi there. You can use 1 can (13.5 ounces) of full fat coconut milk OR coconut cream, either works. I hope you enjoy the cheesecake!
Unfortunately had made the whole thing and cooked it before reading that Violife doesn’t work:( A shame because the uncooked mixture looked and tasted great!
I made this with Kite Hill plain cream cheese yesterday and it was soooo good. Thank you for your recipes!
You are welcome! Thank you for your great feedback and review!
This is amazing recipe that I’ve made for my husband’s birthday. Thank you Nora! yive made al your dessert recipes and everyone’s given you 5+ stars! Unfortunately my husband has to do away with tofu products. Can you make a recommendation to replace Tofutti? I’ve looked at your notes. Would Miyoko’s plain cashew cream cheese be a good substitute here?
You’re so welcome, Linda! Another commenter made this with Miyoko’s and had great results. It’s definitely worth trying!
Thank you so much Nora! I saw Sara’s comment and will definitely be able to make my husbands favorite now. Also, the last time I made it, my two adult sons took the leftover cake to their friends (all non vegans). They devoured it and didn’t know it was vegan. They said it was the best cheesecake they ever had. :). Thanks again!
You are welcome! How terrific that everyone loved the cheesecake! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback!
I just baked this, and it’s so jiggly!! I’m worried it’s not baked enough. If I just let it cool and refrigerate overnight, do you think it will somewhat set or should I do a “2nd bake” please help!!
HI Katie. It’s usually a bit jiggly until it chills for several hours after baking. Hope that helps, and that you enjoy the cheesecake!
The first time I made this it came out, good the second and third time I made it it did not stiffen up. I used the same ingredients all three times and a refrigerated it overnight all three times. I didn’t have coconut cream so I used coconut milk from the can all three times, I’m not sure what went wrong but I had to throw out the second one and the third one.
Amazing recipe once again, thank you so much! I had a bit of a panic when I saw you didn’t recommend violife cream cheese as it’s the only one available where I live. It went very runny in the oven so I left it in a bit longer and chilled it overnight – perfect!
Hi Rebecca. That’s so fantastic the cheesecake turned out perfect for you! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review!
I used Miyokos cream cheese and it turned out sooooo good! I also went the easy route and bought a 9 inch pre-made graham cracker crust, and halved the recipe to fit in there. Worked perfectly
It’s so great you loved the cheesecake! Thank you for your terrific feedback and review!
Thank you Sarah. Nora referred me to your comment about Miyokos brand. You saved the day!
This was extremely delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
You’re so welcome, Denise! Thank you for the wonderful review!
Yet another Nora Cooks masterpiece. I did not have high hopes for any cheesecake recipe because I have not had good experiences with non-dairy cream cheese type spreads. Because of that, I made only 1/2 the recipe in an 8×8 square pan pretty confident I would be throwing it away. SO. WRONG. I should have known that coming from Nora it was pretty much guaranteed to be fantastic. I made this for my family and was asked ‘why are you eating cream cheese?’. No one could tell it was vegan and everyone loved it. I used Kite Hill non-dairy spread and topped it with a chocolate and peppermint drizzle. Thank you, Nora!
You are welcome, Heather! I’m really happy the cheesecake exceeded your expectations, and that you loved it! Your topping sounds beautiful and delicious! Thank you for your fabulous feedback and review! I appreciate you using my recipes! Happy cooking!
Hi Nora! Do you think the flavor of this cheesecake would still work well if I subbed an oreo crust instead of graham cracker? I was thinking about just using your different oreo cheesecake recipe for a birthday, but my family prefers the more traditional style cheesecake texture (this cake seems to have that velvety texture as opposed to the fluffier oreo cheesecake).
Hi! I think an oreo crust would work! Enjoy!
This really is a wonderful recipe! I reduced the amount of tofu cream cheese and subbed in soft organic tofu (you use what you have on hand!) and it was amazing. Will be making again today. Thank you for a great dessert!
You are welcome! I’m so glad the cheesecake turned out wonderful for your! Thanks for your terrific feedback!
I made this with kite hill cream cheese and it turned out well. My dad said if I didn’t tell him it was vegan he wouldn’t have known! Thanks for a great recipe!
You are welcome, Lauren! I’m glad that the cheesecake was loved! Thank you for sharing your terrific feedback and review!
I read the directions wrong and LINED the pan with aluminum instead of WRAPPING it, it came out out very jiggly not slightly jiggly, did I totally ruin it?
That’s okay, I don’t think you ruined it. It’s usually a bit jiggly until it chills for several hours after baking. Hope that helps and you enjoy the cheesecake!
Thank you! I hope you’re right. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
I just made it and did the same thing. I lined it with foil… completely misunderstood that part. It didn’t even occur to me that she was saying wrap the outside of the pan. Hopefully it still sets and I can get the foil off tomorrow!
Can this be made without crust?
I’ve never tried it, but it might work.
Hello Nora, Please inform that I made your cheese for Thanksgiving, and I got all thumbs up from families and friends.
I would like to make another one, can I use (organic tofu) silken.
I’m so happy to hear everyone enjoyed the cheesecake! I haven’t tried using tofu in this recipe so I’m not sure. It probably won’t turn out the same at all, I’d look for a tofu based vegan cheesecake recipe instead. Thanks!
There was a comment on the original post about adjusting bake time to make minis in a cupcake pan, is there any chance you may remember that bake time?
Hi Rachel. Though I have not tested this, muffin size will need about 20-25 minutes.
I’m surprised it came out as good as it did but for me personally the cream of coconut kills it for me. I see where this recipe is going it does have a cheese cake flavor and texture . While making it I didn’t have high hopes so I’m pretty surprised because I had to keep going back for another taste and the cheese cakiness is there for sure but the coconut (I hate coconut was hoping it be milder flavor ) it’s not super overpowering but it’s just not right for me that I’d prob make it again . Maybe if I could sub the coconut cream in this recipe it might me better for me . I also had a bit of trouble with the coconut cream . I purchased the Goya brand when I opened the can there was like thick coconut oil looking substance on top and a thick coconut watery substance underneath the can wasn’t all cream, I didn’t know if I was suppose to use the watery part but measuring the oz there wasn’t enough thick cream in the can . The direction said a full can so I assumed I needed to use whatever was in the can . Therefore I was a little confused there . Additionally watching the YouTube video my coconut cream looked different. The video showed a thinner white milky syrup consistency substance whereas my coconut cream looked like more of a coconut oil consistency not sure if the Goya brand isn’t the right thing . it was definitely the cream of coconut and not coconut milk so not sure if this could be an issue with the brand of coconut cream I used . At the end of the day this recipe isn’t bad I totally see where it is going it does have a cheesecake vibe but the coconut cream I think kills it for me although it’s subtle it’s a bit more over powering than I’d like and the texture of the coconut cream cane over in the cake . I appreciate trying this recipe if you’re partial to coconut I say give it a try you might like it . Maybe a cashew cream sub might work here instead of coconut cream I’m not sure but I’d love to give it another try if there is a sub . I think it’s worth making and trying it for yourself because I did keep going back trying to figure it out. the cheesecakiness is there for sure. I also don’t care for toppings on my cheesecake so adding topping might pull this all together if you’re into that . Overall I think many might enjoy this just may need some tweaking for my liking .
I thank you for hard work in creating this recipe even if I might not be for me .
Obviously I’m not Nora but I just wanted to reply and let you know that cream of coconut and coconut cream are two different products. It seems like you might’ve used the wrong one.
If you look at the comments for Nora’s pumpkin pie(the regular pie, not cheesecake one) recipe, you’ll get some really great advice. Personally, I recommend chilling the can overnight in the fridge so that there is less liquid and more of the thick cream.
Anyways, using cream of coconut is definitely what gave you the intense coconut flavor, I believe it’s usually used in cocktails like Pina coladas.
Just wanted to share some knowledge cause I also messed this up when I made my first vegan pie 😅
Help I followed the recipe perfectly and used Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese and it immediately boiled over and exploded in my oven and turned into like jelly? I’m so sad what went wrong?
Gianna, I had the exact same problem. I used the TJs vegan cream cheese too. It never really set. I was super disappointed