Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

A slice of cheesecake with three cherries on top.

This vegan cashew cheesecake is chocolatey and sweet with a subtle tanginess – just like traditional cheesecake has. This dairy free version is a delicious plant-based, gluten free dessert for special occasions.

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).

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 crustless version. If you want to go the crustless 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.

Main Ingredients In This Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

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.

The soaked cashews add creaminess to this 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 vegan cashew cheesecake taste like the real thing.

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

This vegan cheesecake 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 This Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

To make this vegan chocolate 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 vegan chocolate 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 vegan cashew cheesecake with fresh fruit such as cherries, strawberries, or raspberries if desired.

More Gluten Free Vegan Dessert Recipes

For another plant-based dessert for special occasions, try these chocolate filled strawberries. They’re refined sugar free and easy to make.

Or for a more casual dessert, try these vegan gluten free peanut butter cookies. They’re simple enough to make with kids and have the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

A slice of cheesecake with three cherries on top.
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5 from 1 vote

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
Keyword gluten free, plant based, refined sugar free, vegan
Prep Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 10
Calories 338kcal

Equipment

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.
  • Makes 10 slices of vegan cashew cheesecake.

Notes

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

Nutrition

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