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. Hi! I was wondering about how tall 1/2 recipe is (and the whole recipe). I’m wanting to make it so it’s no taller than an inch (preferably less) because I plan on cutting it out and layering it with pumpkin mousse.
    Any thoughts in how to adjust cooking time? Can’t wait to make it! I have a bunch of non- vegan cheesecake lovers and I have high hopes for this recipe pleasing them.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jenilynn. The whole recipe as written is quite tall, maybe 4 inches high? I’ve never measured exactly. 1/2 recipe would be shorter, but not 1 inch, probably more like 2 inches or so. I’m not sure how cutting it out and layering it would work though. I’ve never tried anything like that. You might have to do some experimenting and see what works!

  2. Thank you for this! A version of this is in my oven right now. The filling is the same, but I’m using the autumn special edition pumpkin pie cream cheese from kite hill. Also, I can’t consume the baking powder in most store bought cookies, so instead I candied some walnuts with vegan butter as the crust. Hoping it turns out alright with the variations. 👍🥰

  3. I made this several times before, both in a springform and also in mini muffin tins. They’ve worked both times. This time I made it exactly how the recipe said with tofutti cream cheese and everything melted and is completely liquid. I baked for 20 min, let rest for 5. Any help?

    1. I’m a little confused because you only baked it for 20 minutes? You are supposed to bake it for 50, followed by 10 more minutes in the oven without opening the door. So that might be the problem.

  4. This cheesecake recipe is amazing. I made it for my friend’s birthday party and wished I had leftovers to eat 🤣 I think I’ll make it again as the smaller version soon! Thank you Nora!

  5. Hi Nora! I just love your recipes, and I’m excited to try this one. This may be a stupid question, but should I use the entire can of coconut cream, or just the solid portion? Also, should I chill the can in the refrigerator overnight before using it? A lot of recipes that I’ve followed are specific about only using the solid portion of the coconut cream and about chilling the can overnight prior to use. Thanks so much for clarifying, I appreciate it!

    1. Hi Elaine. There are no stupid questions here! When making the filling, it’s best to use only the thick white creamy part rather than the thin liquid. Chilling the can in the fridge overnight will help solidify as much of the liquid as possible. Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Nora! Silly question, but if I’m using a store bought graham cracker crust will I still need to bake the cake?

  7. Hi 13oz can coconut cream is X1 but Amazon link 5.4 FL o which is 160ml

    I’m in the UK and how much it actually is , is confusing .
    My cream cans are tiny I’ve bought 160ml compared to coconut milk standard 500,ml .

    So is it one can or two if mine or the I w can I the Amazon pic. My friend is confused even though she’s made your recipe before and said it was the best ever !..

    1. Hi there! Sorry about the link, I have correctly linked the the one I most often can find in stores here, which is 13 ounces. You need 13 ounces or 403 mls. You could probably use two cans and have it be okay, or two and a half if you can. Hope that helps clarify!

  8. Hi Nora. I’ve never seen Tofutti cream cheese here in UK. Would you know if I can sub Philadelphia Plant Base Cream Cheese? We have Violife, which I know you say not to use, or just supermarket brands which I am unsure about.

    1. Hi Louise. I have never had good results making this cake with Violife. I have not used Philadelphia plant based cream cheese, so personally cannot say how it will work. I have received comments from those who have used Philadelphia cream cheese, and they said the cheesecake turned out great! I hope the information helps! Let me know how it turns out for you!

  9. Hi Nora! I have made this cheesecake several times and it is always a hit with family, friends and others who have tasted it from them. Now I am getting orders! I have to make 4, could you please tell me, is it ok to bake all 4 at the same time? Would the baking time be affected? Should I put 2 on top and 2 on the bottom rack, or should they all be ok on the top? These are 9 inch pans. Please help!

    1. I’ve never made more than one at a time, so I’m not entirely sure. I’d prefer baking two at a time, on the same rack in the center of the oven, but spaced apart a bit (one a bit toward the front, one a bit toward the back). I think if you put some on a bottom or top rack, they will cook funny and maybe even burn on top. I’d also add 5 minutes to the bake time. Hope that helps and I’m glad the cheesecake it always a hit!

      1. Thank you so much for your super fast response. I will take your suggestions, and let you know how they turned out.

  10. My daughter has been asking me to make vegan cheesecake for a couple years now. I’ve been avoiding it because I thought there’s no way it would work. Nora has so many great recipes, but this has been the most impressive one I’ve made so far. I served the cheesecake to my vegan daughter and 5 other non-vegans. Everyone loved it!

  11. Loved this recipe and my friends could hardly believe it was vegan!
    I’ve got a question for the next time I’m planning on baking it… is it possible to make them as mini cheesecakes in a muffin tin? If so how would I adjust the time/temp of baking?

    1. Hi Liv. It’s great that the cheesecake was a hit! Mini cheesecakes are going to take less time to cook and less time to chill. Though I have not tested this, muffin size will need about 20-25 minutes. The cheesecakes will look cooked, except for maybe the middle, but they won’t be totally firm until they chill. Hope that helps! Happy baking!

    1. Hi Amy. I have not tested these as mini individual servings. Muffin tin size will need about 20-25 minutes. The cheesecakes will look cooked, except for maybe the middle, but they won’t be totally firm until they chill. I hope this helps! Enjoy!

  12. Yes, vegan mom and teenage carnivore daughter approved. 😃.
    I think I added a tad too much lemon (our preference) but it still turned out great. There was a long period of tune where I didn’t think it was working because the top went really funny but after chilling and slicing it was the perfect texture and tang. Used Strawberry sauce from one of your other recipes and it was extraordinary. Thank you!

  13. Great recipe! I always use Kite Hill cream cheese and it always comes out great! I also use xylitol instead of regular sugar and make a pecan crust. Delicious. This is my go to recipe. I’ll be trying more variations going forward.

    1. Your cheesecake sounds delicious! I’m thrilled it’s your go to! I sure appreciate your wonderful review and feedback!

  14. Made this for my partner’s birthday. It came out delicious. Used Kite Hill cream cheese and followed instructions for using a pie pan (rather than springform.) Used lemon curd on top. It was great and the whole group (vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores) enjoyed it! Will definitely make again.

    1. Happy birthday to your partner! I’m glad the cheesecake was a hit! Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback!

  15. So far I am very unhappy with this recipe. It looks oily on the top. I think the above picture is very dishonest. I think I will have to come in to work tomorrow and make another cake.

    1. What brand of vegan cream cheese did you use? I can assure you, I have made this at least 20 times and it always looks like the pictures and so have many others that have tagged me on Instagram/Facebook and Pinterest. But following the recipe exactly is important. I always have luck with Tofutti. If it’s oily on top, that tells me you likely used a brand of cream cheese that does not work, which is why I noted several brands that unfortunately, don’t work.

      1. The oil on top makes me wonder if a coconut oil based cream cheese, such as Violife, was being used? For those overseas who cannot find the same brands as the US, I might suggest avoiding coconut oil-based cream cheese as a rule of thumb since the heat would make them melt into liquid oil. Feel free to use it on your bagels though!

  16. Hi Nora! I’ve been made aware that most white sugar is in fact not vegan due to the bones used in processing. Is this true and if so, what sugars should be used instead.

    Thanks

    1. As long as you use organic, it will be vegan friendly and not processed using animal bones. I believe this applies mostly to the U.S. but I’m not entirely sure. So I just buy organic sugar to be safe. Hope that helps!

  17. This cheesecake is a HUGE hit at parties for vegan people AND everyone else!! I prefer it over regular cheesecake. I used Biscoff cookies for the crust and it was amazing!! I also make my topping with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Love it!!!

    1. I love the sound of a medley of berries on the cheesecake! Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback!

  18. I have not tried the recipe but I want too. The plant based cream cheese is the only substitute I have to make, my daughter does not like the normal cream cheese texture but loves the texture when plant based cream cheese is used. She wants pistachio cheesecake for her birthday, the recipe calls for 3 bricks cream cheese, 2 tbs. pistachio pudding mix normally i would use 3 eggs. If I leave out the eggs how many grams of cornstarch would I need when using 24 oz. of plant based cream cheese?

    1. Hi there! Without testing this other recipe myself I really can’t say how to adjust for it. It’s not always as simple as replacing a certain amount of cornstarch for eggs, this particular vegan cheesecake recipe took my many trials before I finally found the winning combination.

  19. Hello, In Finland we don’t have Tofutti and I like to ask that If I use some other brand is it better to be soy based or oat based?

    1. Hi there! Soy or oat based should be fine, but if one of the main ingredients is coconut oil, I’ve found it often doesn’t work. If the cream cheese melts as soon as it’s warm, it won’t work well in cheesecake. Hope that helps!

  20. Hi. Quick question about the sugar – I can’t have white sugar, would coconut sugar work? I know it will make the color darker…but hoping it would still be an okay substitute…

      1. Made the recipe & followed to a T. My cheese cake is VERY runny. I put it back in the oven for 30 minutes & leave with no heat – 10 min. I am thinking that coconut cream had a bunch of water in the can. I will strain that out next time & just use the creamy part. I tasted the batter. Tastes good. I hope this works!

        1. Hopefully it firms up nicely for you. It is always jiggly out of the oven, but should firm up a ton while it chills. It could be you got a watery can of coconut cream. Did you use Tofutti brand of cream cheese?

          1. My cheesecake was very jiggly. I posted recently. I put it back in the oven for 20 minutes extra. Turned out BEAUTIFUL! Even my mom (non-vegan) loved it! My friend whom I made it for was licking the parchment paper I used! LoL! Thank you Nora! yummy

  21. Would tapioca flour work in place of cornstarch? I wasn’t able to find cornstarch anywhere! I’m making this as a birthday cake for my husband

    1. I think it will work okay, but I actually haven’t tested it to know for sure. I’ve been having trouble finding cornstarch lately too! If you try it, let me know how it goes.

  22. Will this work with Tofutti whipped cream cheese? I’m thinking of making a margarita cheesecake for Cinco de Mayo. Substitute lime juice and tequila for the lemon juice. Will that work?

    Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried it so I’m just not sure, I think it’s likely though. That sounds really good! I usually use normal Tofutti cream cheese, and I think the whipped is similar ingredients so it should work.

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