Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

This gluten-free, vegan cashew cheesecake recipe is perfect for special occasions. This cheesecake is creamy and sweet with a subtle hint of tanginess – just like traditional cheesecake has.

Many vegan cheesecake recipes need to be kept in the freezer and tend to melt if they’re left at room temperature. This cheesecake is baked, so it can be left at room temperature without melting (but you should still store any leftovers in the fridge to keep it fresh).

Main ingredients and substitutions

This recipe calls for cashews that have been soaked and then blended into the batter. Be sure to use unsalted cashews – either raw or roasted will work. To soak the cashews, place them in a pot and cover with boiling water. Cover the pot and let the cashews soak for an hour. Then drain and rinse them.

A slice of vegan cheesecake with three cherries on top.

The soaked cashews add creaminess to this vegan cheesecake and are the perfect replacement for cream cheese when combined with a bit of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. The combination of those ingredients is what really makes this plant-based cheesecake taste like the real thing.

I decided to make this cheesecake chocolate flavored by adding some unsweetened cocoa powder, but you can omit the cocoa powder if you prefer a vanilla version instead.

This recipe calls for oat flour in the crust. You can purchase store bought oat flour or make some in a food processor by processing rolled oats for about two minutes. Or you can substitute gluten-free all purpose flour in the crust if you prefer.

I included some coconut flour in the filling which adds body and structure to the cheesecake. I haven’t tested other flours in the filling and I don’t recommend substituting that ingredient since coconut flour is much more absorbent than most other flours.

How to make it

This cheesecake is pretty easy to make, but if you’re short on time and want an even easier recipe, you can omit the crust altogether and make a crust-less version. If you want to go the crust-less route, simply line the springform baking pan with parchment paper, then make the filling and pour it straight into the pan. This cheesecake is delicious with or without the crust.

To make this vegan cheesecake, start by soaking your cashews. While the cashews are soaking, you can get started on the crust. Preheat the oven, then add the oat flour, pecans, and a pinch of salt to your food processor (or high powered blender) and process until it looks like sand.

Next you’ll add the melted coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the food processor and process a bit more to combine. Add that mixture to a 9 inch springform pan and use your fingers to press it into an even layer of crust on the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan a bit too.

Cheesecake crust in a baking pan.

If you don’t have a springform pan you can use a regular 9 inch baking pan, but I prefer the springform because it looks prettier for presentation, especially if you decorate the cheesecake with some fresh fruit on top.

Next you’ll bake the crust for 10 minutes then allow it to cool while you move on to preparing the filling.

Making the filling for this cheesecake is easy – once the cashews are done soaking and have been drained and rinsed, add all the filling ingredients except for the coconut flour to the food processor (or high powered blender) and process until it’s creamy and smooth. This should take about 2 minutes. Then you’ll add the coconut flour and process again to combine it. Then pour the filling on top of the crust and spread it into an even layer.

Cheesecake batter in a spring form pan.

Next you’ll bake the cheesecake, then allow it to cool at room temperature. Once it’s cooled off, chill it some more in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Decorate this cheesecake with fresh fruit such as cherries, strawberries, or raspberries if desired.

A slice of cheesecake on a white plate.


Store this cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for up to six months.

More gluten-free vegan dessert recipes

Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

This vegan cashew cheesecake is gluten free and refined sugar free. It's easy to make and perfect for special occasions.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 10
Calories 338kcal


  • Food processor or high powered blender.
  • 9 inch springform baking pan (or regular 9 inch baking pan)


For The Crust:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt

For The Filling:

  • 2 cups cashews (soaked, drained, and rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest


Soaking The Cashews:

  • Start by soaking the cashews. To soak the cashews, cover them with boiling water and allow them to soak in a covered pot or bowl for at least 1 hour, then drain and rinse them. While they’re soaking you can prepare the crust.

For The Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the oat flour, pecans, and a pinch of salt to a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until a sand-like texture is achieved.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and the melted coconut oil to the food processor or blender and blend briefly to incorporate it.
  • Transfer that mixture to a 9 inch springform baking pan and press it evenly to cover the bottom of the pan and a little bit up the sides.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

For The Filling:

  • Add the cashews, 1/2 cup maple syrup, water, cocoa powder, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a food processor or high powered blender.
  • Blend until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.
  • Add the coconut flour and blend again to incorporate it.

Assembling And Baking The Cheesecake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pour the filling on top of the crust, smooth into an even layer with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for 40 minutes.
  • Let cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Run a butter knife around the perimeter of the cheesecake to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan before releasing the springform and serving.


  • Decorate the cheesecake with fresh fruit before serving, if desired.
  • Store this cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for up to six months.
  • For a crust-less version of this cheesecake, omit the crust and line the baking pan with parchment paper instead.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg
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2 thoughts on “Vegan Cashew Cheesecake”

  1. I haven’t tried any substitutes so I’m not sure, sorry! Coconut flour is more absorbent than most other flours so it can be a bit tricky to substitute. You could try oat flour, regular all purpose flour, or whole wheat flour and increase the amount to 1/2 cup. If you give any of those a try please let us know how it turned out!

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