Vegan Baked Cheesecake – Gluten-free and delicious

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 super creamy filling and lovely almond crust. 

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vegan cheese cake

Have I made the BEST vegan baked cheesecake 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.

vegan cheese cake

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 vegan baked cheesecake

To make this vegan baked cheesecake, there are 4 main ingredients for the cheese filling and also 3 main ingredients for the crust.

For the cheese fillig

Cashew nuts

Good old cashew nuts. They are very versatile in many vegan baking recipes including this vegan baked cheesecake. 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.

Plant yogurt

Yogurt is key to a subtle tanginess in this vegan baked cheesecake. 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

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

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

Almond flour is the base of the crust for this vegan baked cheesecake. I used this 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 rice flour 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.

Ground almond

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!

Coconut oil

I used 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 vegan baked cheesecake recipe because it’s less processed than vegan butter but you can also use melted vegan butter too if you prefer!

vegan cheese cake

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 vegan baked cheesecake 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 from 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 tooth pick check doesn’t quite work. But don’t worry! We are resting the vegan baked cheesecake 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 this vegan baked cheesecake with some fresh strawberries and berry compote, which make this vegan baked cheesecake 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!

vegan cheese cake

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!

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Can I use all purpose flour for the base of this vegan baked cheesecake?

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 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 of this vegan baked cheesecake?

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 vegan 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 the vegan baked cheesecake in advance before freezing so that you don’t need to struggle slicing rock hard frozen cheesecake with a knife!

You will LOVE this vegan baked cheesecake because it’s:

– rich and creamy
– easy to make
– vegan
– super delicious
– a great party gift
– a lovely gift for any occasion

Want more recipes like this?

Try my other delicious cake/dessert recipes you might enjoy!

Visit cakes, cupcakes and muffins page and recipe page for more delicious recipes!

vegan cheese cake

Vegan Baked Cheesecake

What you need:

For the crust

For the filling

  • 1 cup (150g) cashew nuts, soaked overnight or in hot water for at least 30 mins
  • 1 cup (250g) coconut milk, only the solid part on top of a canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (120g) soy yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (215ml) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (25g) tapioca flour
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp agar powder

For the berry compote

  • A handful (about 1 cup) frozen mixed berries
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Tools:

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C(356°F)
  2. First, let’s make the crust! In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients with a large wooden spoon until it becomes a firm crust dough.
  3. Line the bottom of an 18cm round cake tine with a parchment paper, put the crust mixture in, and press it down to the bottom firmly with your fingers or a clean, flat bottom of a drinking glass.
  4. Poke some holes using a fork to prevent it from puffing up.
  5. Pre-bake the crust in the oven for 10 mins.
  6. Now onto the filling! Blend all the ingredients in a big food processor or a hight speed blender until completely smooth. If your food processor or blender is not very strong, I recommend you to blend your cashew nuts first until very smooth then add the remaining ingredients to prevent the mixture from becoming lumpy.
  7. Take the crust out of the oven, and pour the filling mixture over the crust. Bake further for 40 mins at the same temperature.
  8. Once it’s baked, the cheesecake filling should still be a little jiggly and soft. Let it cool down to room temperature then rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the cheesecake to firm up before serving.
  9. While the cheesecake is in the fridge, let’s make the berry compote! Simply put all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring consistently with a large wooden spoon until it slightly thickens.
  10. Pour the berry compote, fresh strawberries or any other choice of your topping, slice, and enjoy!

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!

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vegan baked cheese cake

Vegan Baked Cheesecake


  • Author: Maiko
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Delicious, rich and creamy vegan baked cheesecake that requires no store-bought vegan cream cheese. It’s healthier than conventional baked cheesecake with creamy filling and lovely almond crust. 


Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

For the filling

  • 1 cup (150g) cashew nuts, soaked overnight or in hot water for at least 30 mins
  • 1 cup (250g) coconut milk, only the solid part on top of a canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (120g) soy yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (215ml) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (25g) tapioca flour
  • 12 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp agar powder

For the berry compote

  • A handful (about 1 cup) frozen mixed berries
  • 12 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C(356°F)
  2. First, let’s make the crust! In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients with a large wooden spoon until it becomes a firm crust dough.
  3. Line the bottom of an 18cm round cake tine with a parchment paper, put the crust mixture in, and press it down to the bottom firmly with your fingers or a clean, flat bottom of a drinking glass.
  4. Poke some holes using a fork to prevent it from puffing up.
  5. Pre-bake the crust in the oven for 10 mins.
  6. Now onto the filling! Blend all the ingredients in a big food processor or a hight speed blender until completely smooth. If your food processor or blender is not very strong, I recommend you to blend your cashew nuts first until very smooth then add the remaining ingredients to prevent the mixture from becoming lumpy.
  7. Take the crust out of the oven, and pour the filling mixture over the crust. Bake further for 40 mins at the same temperature.
  8. Once it’s baked, the cheesecake filling should still be a little jiggly and soft. Let it cool down to room temperature then rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the cheesecake to firm up before serving.
  9. While the cheesecake is in the fridge, let’s make the berry compote! Simply put all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring consistently with a large wooden spoon until it slightly thickens.
  10. Pour the berry compote, fresh strawberries or any other choice of your topping, slice, and enjoy!

Notes

Blend cashew nuts first until smooth if your filling mixture becomes lumpy when blended all together.

You can use rice flour or coconut flour as a gluten-free flour alternative, or all purpose flour or wholemeal flour too.

Poke some holes in the crust before baking to prevent from puffin up.

Set in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up the cheesecake filling.

  • Category: Cake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan, vegan cheesecake, cheesecake, baked cheesecake, vegan baked cheesecake, cake

Useful kitchen tools for this recipe

Cake tin

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.

Food processor

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.

Ninja blender

Alternatively, Ninja blender is great to blend nuts too! I use my high speed blender when blending large amount of ingredients.

Ninja blender is quite reasonably priced but very good to blend hard ingredients and makes really nice thick smoothies too.

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2 Comments

  1. 1 April 2021 / 1:52 pm

    That Cheesecake sounds amazing. A perfect thing to serve over Easter I’m thinking. Thank you.

    • Maiko
      Author
      2 April 2021 / 5:09 am

      Thank you Julia! It’s perfect to bake for Easter, I’m sure you will love it!

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