Sometimes, simple really is best, and of the simplest dessert, who doesn’t love an easy no-bake vegan cheesecake? This classic vegan cheesecake will soon become a staple of your Sunday night baking. It requires less than 10 ingredients, zero actual baking, and can be adapted to include any of your favorite flavors. Try citrus or sour flavors on top of your cheesecakes to counter some of the sweetness, or caramel, chocolate, or cookie butter spread (a.k.a. Biscoff spread) are also great options.
To make this recipe as accessible as possible to every home baker, there are no store-bought vegan cheeses included, as they vary across the globe and can also be very expensive. Instead, the main ingredients for this recipe are cashews and coconut cream. Cashews, once softened and blitzed, are exceptionally creamy and provide a fantastic base for a cheesecake.
If you’re not familiar with coconut cream, it is found inside a can of coconut milk after being chilled in the fridge overnight. When left to chill, the water and fat of the coconut milk separate and you can scoop up the thick white part from the top of the can. Some stores also sell coconut cream as a product by itself but make sure not to use “creamed coconut” or “cream of coconut” – we are looking for the diluted cream pressed out of the flesh of a coconut and not the creamed flesh itself.
Finally, we recommend using refined coconut oil for this recipe as it is odorless and will not add any unwanted coconut flavor to the recipe. If you love the flavor of coconut, feel free to use any regular coconut oil.
Easy Vegan Cheesecake
- 2 cups (200g) vegan graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons (80g) vegan butter (or coconut oil), melted
- 2 ½ cups (360g) raw cashews
- ⅓ cup refined coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup coconut cream (from 1 or 2 chilled cans of coconut milk)
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon) and zest
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup cranberry jam, passionfruit curd, or cookie butter (a.k.a. Biscoff spread)
Place the biscuits in a food processor and pulse until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter and process further until well combined.
Press the crust in the base of a springform cake pan until completely flat. To make it easier to remove later, feel free to line the cake pan with parchment before this step. Place the cake tin into the freezer to set the crust while working on the filling.
Place two cups of water in a saucepan on the hob and bring to a rolling boil. Add the cashews to the water and boil them for 20 minutes until completely soft.
Remove the cashews from the water and dry them off using a paper towel.
Add the cashews to a food processor with all the other filling ingredients and pulse until completely smooth.
Take the chilled crust out of the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling on top of it. Spread the filling carefully so as not to disrupt the base.
Chill for at least three hours, or ideally overnight, and then serve with your favorite toppings.
Food processor and 8” springform cake pan