This baked vegan cheesecake is made without cashews, nuts, and without tofu, but you’d never tell- It’s so rich, thick, and creamy! No fancy kitchen mixers needed.
It’s no secret that I love cheesecake. Although up until now, they’ve been of the no bake variety. We’ve had the classic no bake cheesecake and the chocolate version, but now? We have, what I consider, the BEST Vegan Cheesecake.
No seriously, I dare you to find a better baked cheesecake out there, especially one with such a simple ingredient list! Unlike many vegan desserts, this cheesecake is made with no dairy, no nuts, and definitely no tofu.
It’s thick, creamy, and rich, without being heavy at all. This vegan cheesecake recipe was actually inspired by the Cheesecake Factory’s New York Style cheesecake, which has the most delicious flavor (and also was the only vegan option available there!).
Not only is this cheesecake vegan, but it can easily be made gluten free and sugar free.
I made my non-vegan friends try it out, and no one could tell- it tastes like the real deal!
How to make a vegan cheesecake
- Dairy free cream cheese– Use a good quality vegan cream cheese, preferably one with minimal or no added water in it. This will ensure the cheesecake remains creamy once it has been baked. You want your cream cheese to be softened.
- Sugar– Either white sugar or unrefined white sugar is best. You can try to keep it sugar-free, by using erythritol or monk fruit sweetener.
- Corn starch– Allows the cheesecake to remain intact, and holds it all together. You can also use arrowroot starch.
- Dairy Free milk– I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can also use oat milk, coconut milk, etc.
- Lemon Juice– Reacts with the cream cheese and sugar to give the cheesecake a slight tang. You won’t taste the lemon at all.
- Vanilla Extract– Always add it to my baking!
- Pie Crust– Use your favorite homemade or store-bought 8-inch pie crust. I made a simple vegan graham cracker crust, but any will work.
Start by preparing your pie crust, or using a store bought crust. Next, prepare your cheesecake filling mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese with sugar until smooth and creamy. Now, add the milk, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Continue beating on low, until combined, before turning it up and beating on high, until smooth and creamy. Be sure to regularly scrape down the sides. Transfer the cheesecake filling into the pie crust and spread out the top, using a rubber spatula. Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool in the cake pan completely. Once cool, place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
How to make a vegan graham cracker pie crust
As mentioned before, any pie crust will work. As I want the cheesecake to be the center of attention, I used the simple graham cracker crust.
To make– 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup vegan butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
In a large mixing bowl, add your ingredients and mix well, until combined. Transfer to an 8-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while you prepare the cheesecake mixture.
- If you use a store bought crust, be sure it is vegan friendly and made without eggs. Also be sure it has no nuts, to keep it nut free.
- You must regularly scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl when blending the cheesecake mixture. Sometimes, the cornstarch can stick to the sides, which will cause the filling to be less stable. Remember, the cornstarch is what thickens the cheesecake.
- If possible, refrigerate your cheesecake overnight. This gives it the best firm texture, especially when it comes to slicing the cheesecake.
- To slice the cheesecake, use a slightly wet and extra sharp knife.
- While perfect on its own, feel free to dress up the cheesecake with fresh berries, whipped cream, or even serve it with some ice cream.
- For a gluten free cheesecake, swap out the cornstarch or tapioca starch or arrowroot starch.
- For a sugar free cheesecake, replace the sugar with a sugar free alternative, like erythritol.
Storing and Freezing Tips
- To store: Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator, either in a sealable container or covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerated cheesecake will keep well for up to 7 days.
- To freeze: Freeze individual slices of cheesecake in a freezer friendly container. They will freeze well for up to 6 months.
More Vegan Desserts to make
Vegan Cheesecake (No tofu or nuts!)
- Prepare your pie crust in an 8-inch pan, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your softened cream cheese with sugar and beat on low, until smooth and creamy. While still on low, add in the cornstarch, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Continue beating on low until combined. Once combined, turn up to high and continue beating, until smooth.
- Transfer your cheesecake into the prepared pie crust. Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.