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 not raw, it’s not healthy and it doesn’t have a date-nut crust (not that I have a problem with that). This is the real deal right here.
It took me a couple of failed attempts to finally succeed with this recipe. Well, my husband says my failures are still good, but they are garbage compared to this cheesecake! 😉 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 with this vegan cheesecake, you don’t need a high powered blender to make the filling. A simple hand mixer will do, though I used my stand mixer.
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I do have a couple other cheesecake recipes on my website. If you want a raw version, try this No Bake Raspberry Layered Cheesecake, it’s very tasty. Or this Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake, a holiday favorite.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BEST VEGAN CHEESECAKE?
Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by wrapping the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom, and spray with oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the crust with vegan graham crackers, coconut oil and sugar. Simply mix them together, and press into the pan. *Most graham crackers have honey, but Nabisco graham crackers do not. If you can’t find those, you can use vegan gingersnap cookies or another similar vegan cookie.
Now make the filling. First, beat the vegan cream cheese until smooth. I used Trader Joe’s brand which I love, but you can use another brand as long as it’s unflavored of course.
Then, add the rest of the filling ingredients (coconut cream, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and lemon juice), and beat until very smooth.
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.
Pour the smooth filling over the crust and spread it evenly.
Below in the photo you can see how the foil should look around and under the pan.
Before putting it in the oven, place the cheesecake on a large pan, and add warm water about halfway up. This is your water bath and will prevent cracking. I know, I know, this really freaked me out about making cheesecakes, but it’s easy! Trust me.
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 wonderfully after cooling.
Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. I would recommend you plan ahead and make this a day in advance for parties or events. It will cut down on a lot of stress! This vegan cheesecake is easy to make but it does cook for a long time and has to cool for a very long time. It will be worth it.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SLICE CHEESECAKE?
After cooling overnight or at least 4 hours, 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.
Serve with optional fresh strawberry sauce, vegan caramel sauce, coconut whip cream or just plain as is. Enjoy!
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 (see photos for reference). 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 firm and evenly. 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 the cheesecake onto a large pan, filled about halfway with warm water. This is your water bath, and will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
- 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.
- 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 fresh strawberry sauce, if desired.
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 or another similar cookie. Just simply add them to a blender/food processor and then measure 1 1/2 cups crumbs.
- You can use melted vegan butter in place of coconut oil if desired, for the crust.
- 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, it should work in a regular pie pan, if it's big enough (9-10 inch). But it's much more fun in a springform pan!