Delicious, rich and creamy vegan baked cheesecake that requires no store-bought vegan cream cheese. It’s gluten-free and healthier than conventional baked cheesecake with a super creamy filling and lovely almond crust.
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Have I made the BEST cheesecake recipe that is delicious, rich, creamy, flavourful and doesn’t require vegan cream cheese? I surely have! Might I introduce to you this lovely vegan baked cheesecake. Not only this vegan cheesecake is delicious, it’s also gluten-free and a lot healthier than conventional cheesecake.
To be perfectly honest with you, cheesecake wasn’t my kind of cake to eat even before going vegan myself. Actually, I never really understood why cheese should be eaten sweet in a form of cake. This is probably because I never liked the taste of cheese as a kid, I even avoided eating it in school!
As I got to the age that I was allowed to drink alcohol which is 20 in Japan, I started going to fancy places for a drink with my girlfriends and we would order a cheese platter to pair with a glass of wine. And that’s probably when I started liking the taste of cheese for the first time including cheesecakes.
And cheese flavour became one of my favourites in cakes and other baked goods! So it’s only natural that I create a vegan version of delicious baked cheesecake without cream cheese, or even vegan cream cheese! Yes, you don’t have to go around to every supermarket nearby to only get disappointed about not finding any vegan cream cheese like I did. Yay.
I think that using store-bought vegan cream cheese is the fastest way to recreate the texture and taste of conventional baked cheesecake but it’s not easy to find one in your local supermarket, just yet. My local supermarkets don’t have any vegan cream cheese and even if I can find it online they are still quite expensive compared to other vegan products.
So I had to make a delicious, creamy, rich and healthy vegan baked cheesecake that you can make with simple ingredients that are accessible to most of us. And I did after so many recipe testing until I was happy with the taste and texture.
How to make this baked cheesecake recipe
To make this recipe, there are 4 main ingredients for the cheese filling and also 3 main ingredients for the crust.
For the cheese fillig
Good old cashew nuts. They are very versatile in many vegan baking recipes including this cheesecake recipe. I actually started experimenting making this recipe without cashew nuts, but I ended up using them because it was the only ingredients that could recreate the nice and firm texture that conventional baked cheesecake has.
Cashew nuts are slightly difficult to blend completely smooth compare to other nuts in the food processor or blender. So to make this process easier, soak your cashew nuts in water overnight or in boiling hot water for 30-60 mins or boil them for 15-30 mins in a sauce pan. This step softens the cashew nuts and makes it a lot easier to blend completely smooth.
Yogurt is key to a subtle tanginess in this cheesecake recipe. I used soy yogurt to make this recipe as the thickest and creamiest yogurt I can find in my local supermarket is soy yogurt and it does a wonderful job in this recipe.
You can also use almond yogurt, coconut yogurt, or any other yogurt of your choice if preferred or if you are avoiding soy. Make sure that the yogurt you are using is plain and has no extra flavouring like blueberry, chocolate etc. and that it’s creamy in consistency.
Coconut milk is used in this recipe to give creaminess and add healthy fat to the cheese filling. You need to chill a canned coconut milk in your fridge to separate the fat and water parts to get only the solid fat part to use in this recipe.
To get the fat part, chill a canned coconut mil overnight in the fridge, carefully open the top with an opener and scoop out the solid part on top. Be careful not to scoop coconut water underneath it! You can preserve the water for later to make your smoothie as well.
Maple syrup is my favourite sweetener to sweeten anything! I pour it on my pancakes, porridge, toasts, and use in many of my recipes. There are many types of maple syrup out there but in this vegan baked cheese recipe, I used maple syrup that is light in colour to recreate creamy colour that cheesecake has and avoid darkening the cheese filling.
For the crust
Almond flour is the base of the crust for this baked cheesecake recipe. I used almond flour from Bob’s Red Mill, it’s a nice and fine flour I use in many baking and no bake sweets recipes. It’s also gluten-free so it’s a good flour to use for gluten-free baking too!
Other gluten-free flours you can use in this recipe are 1:1 gluten-free and coconut flour. They are both gluten-free and relatively easy to find in supermarkets and online. You can also use regular all-purpose flour or wholemeal flour(both are not gluten-free) to make it more wholesome.
I mixed some ground almond in the crust on top of almond flour to give the crust more flavour and texture. Ground almond is processed in a food processor until they are crumbly but not quite floury, it still has crunchy texture and has more flavour and fragrant of almond than almond flour. Think about it this way, almond flour is the base to make firm crust and ground almond is to add extra crisp, texture and flavour.
To make ground almond, simply process some almonds in your food processor until they are very fine but not floury. You might need to scrape down the side of your food processor a couple of times. Be careful not to over process almonds as they will turn into almond butter if processed long enough. Keep an eye on for the whole time while they are being processed, it should only take about 2-3 mins!
I used a little amount of coconut oil to make the crust. Coconut oil works very well in this recipe and nowadays it’s becoming more and more common and easier to find in supermarkets or online. I chose coconut oil to use in this recipe because it’s less processed than vegan butter but you can also use melted vegan butter too if you prefer!
Tips and tricks
The process of making the filling and the crust is super easy, all you need to do is blend all the ingredients in a food processor, blender or mix in a bowl. That’s it! Here is a little more tips for you to make this recipe easier and better.
Poke little holes before baking the crust
You need to pre-bake the crust for 10 mins, and at this step, the crust can puff up while being baked in the oven and this is something we want to avoid. To prevent the crust from puffing up and make it nice and firm, poke little holes with a fork, then bake them in the oven. These holes release air trapped in the crust and prevents puffing up.
Blend cashew nuts first then add other ingredients
When I need smooth batter using cashew nuts in it, I always blend cashew nuts first until super smooth and creamy then add other softer ingredients. I have a high speed blender but this makes sure and prevents cashew nuts end up lumpy and not incorporate well with other softer/liquid ingredients.
If you are using a powerful blender such as Ninja or Vitamix, you can throw all the ingredients together and they would all be blended smoothly. But if your blender isn’t quite powerful like my old food processor then blending cashew nuts first until completely smooth will solve the problem of the filling being lumpy.
Set in the fridge before serving
When this vegan baked cheesecake is right out of the oven, the centre of the filling should still be a little jiggly and soft. So in this recipe, the good old toothpick check doesn’t quite work. But don’t worry! We are resting it in the fridge after baking for the activated agar powder and tapioca flour to firm up the cheesecake filling. At this stage, it will become wonderfully creamy.
Toppings for this vegan baked cheesecake
I topped the cheesecake with some fresh strawberries and berry compote, which make this recipe extra delicious and colourful! To make the berry compote, simmer a handful of frozen berries with a table spoon or two of maple syrup until it’s thickened a little. So easy and delicious!
Other toppings you can use would be vegan caramel sauce, fresh figs, blueberries, etc. Fresh berries and caramel are always good with cheesecake!
Q and A
Can I make this vegan baked cheesecake nut-free?
I haven’t tested this recipe nut-free just yet. I made it without cashew nuts and regular flour when I was developing this recipe, however, while it was delicious it was not the result I was looking to get. But I’m working on nut-free vegan cheesecake at the moment so stay tuned for this!
While you wait for the recipe on my blog, you can join The Chestnut Bakery mailing crew to never miss a delicious recipe and get a free ebook The Little Guide to Perfect Porridge!
Can I use all purpose flour for the base of the crust?
Yes, you can! It’s no problem to use all-purpose flour instead of almond flour if you prefer. Use the same amount of all-purpose flour and mix it with other ingredients.
If you want to make it completely almond-free, omit the ground almond too, you don’t need to use any substitute. Using all-purpose flour instead of almond flour and ground almond makes the crust more plain with less flavour and texture.
Can I use vegan butter instead of coconut oil for the crust?
Yes you can. Use melted vegan butter instead of coconut oil if you prefer, it will make as delicious crust as coconut oil does.
Can I use corn flour instead of tapioca flour?
Yes, you can opt for corn flour or arrowroot flour instead of tapioca flour if you don’t have any tapioca flour in your cupboard or can’t find it in the supermarket, it works just as well!
How to store this baked cheesecake
You can store this vegan baked cheesecake in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days in the fridge. For a longer storage time you can store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
When freezing, put them in an airtight container to keep its freshness too and also slice it in advance before freezing so that you don’t need to struggle to slice rock hard frozen cheesecake with a knife!
You will LOVE this vegan baked cheesecake because it’s:
– rich and creamy
– easy to make
– super delicious
– a great party gift
– a lovely gift for any occasion
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like this vegan baked cheesecake! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!Print
Useful kitchen tools for this recipe
I used an 18cm round cake tin for this recipe. This cake tin set has 3 cake tins including the size I used.
And their colour and pattern! Absolutely pretty.
I use KitchenAid food processor. It’s very affordable and does a wonderful job of blending.
It can be used to blend hard things like nuts, so it’s great to blend cashew nuts in this recipe!
It also makes great nut butters too, I use this all the time.