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!
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.
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.
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. 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 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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!
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.
You can, yes! Simply cut all the ingredients in half, use a 9 inch pie pan and bake for 40 minutes instead of 50.
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.
It will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
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:
- Vegan Caramel Sauce
- Vegan Lemon Curd
- Vegan Salted Caramel
- Vegan Chocolate Ganache
- Strawberry Sauce (recipe included below)
- Vegan Whipped Cream
More vegan cheesecake recipes
- Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake
- Vegan Oreo Cheesecake
- No Bake Mini Cheesecakes
- No Bake Layered Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake
- Oreo Mug Cheesecake
The Best Vegan Cheesecake
For the crust
For the filling
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!