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).
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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
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 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!