Perfect no-bake vegan cheesecake

Perfect no-bake vegan cheesecake

no bake vegan cheesecake slice out

Another weekend, another dessert 🙂 I don’t know why but whenever I plan my weekend recipe I more often than not seem to land on a dessert! It’s probably because my mom used to bake at the weekends and therefore I have come to associate weekends with sweet treats, although I hardly need an excuse…

This weekend’s treat is a no-bake vegan cheesecake topped with a mountain of fresh, seasonal berries with a subtle hint of white chocolate and ginger. I’m really excited to be able to share this recipe with you – it’s so deliciously decadent and creamy yet really simple to make – it requires no cooking or baking skills at all.

I have seen a lot of vegan cheesecake recipes using vegan cream cheese and while I’m sure the results can be delicious, that’s not something I am terribly keen on myself. Firstly, because I like to know what’s in my food and those vegan cream cheese products tend to be rather processed. Secondly, because what’s on offer here, in the UK, is likely to differ from what is available in other countries and that makes the recipe a little harder to reliably reproduce. There is much less risk of that happening when you use wholefood ingredients like I did in this recipe: silken tofu, cashews and cacao butter.

The base is a standard crushed biscuit base made vegan. I used ginger snaps and bound them together with some melted coconut oil, but any dry vegan biscuits and vegan butter will work just as well. If you would rather have a wholefood crust, this kind of base will be just as delicious.

The filling is what it’s all about. I made it by honing just the right portions of silken tofu, creamy cashews and cacao butter, which yields a surprisingly creamy and indulgent result. Cacao butter, which you can order online or get in a health store, is key in firming this cheesecake up but it also gives it a gorgeous white chocolate flavour that works so well against tangy berries and spicy ginger.

I’m pretty sure you could use plant butter, coconut oil or white vegan chocolate instead but in the two last cases the amount of the ingredient will need to be increased or else the cheesecake will fail to set. I do encourage you to get your hands on cacao butter though if you can, not only is it invaluable at making delicious vegan desserts (like this summer sponge or my white chocolate ganache tarts), you can make your own chocolate with it too.

The filling is so simple to make yet so divine and utterly irresistible. When I was testing this recipe Duncan and I were like ‘we will be good and just have a little taste and bin the rest’ (cos being a recipe developer can wreck your good eating habits). No chance – once the sweet creamy mixture hits your palate there is no going back. We ended up fighting for leftovers 🙂 I hope you’ll make it and enjoy it just as much.

no bake vegan cheesecake ingredients

no bake vegan cheesecake crust process

no bake vegan cheesecake filling process

no bake vegan cheesecake whole

no bake vegan cheesecake

no bake vegan cheesecake cutting

no bake vegan cheesecake cross section

no bake vegan cheesecake slice

makes
20 cm / 8"
PREP
20 min
COOKING
5 min
makes
20 cm / 8"
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
5 min
INGREDIENTS

CHEESECAKE BASE

  • 63 g / 5 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
  • 250 g / 8¾ oz vegan ginger biscuits (GF if needed)

CHEESECAKE MIXTURE

TOPPING

  • fresh berries (I used raspberries and strawberries)
METHOD
  1. Prep: line the bottom of your springform tin with a circle of baking paper and cut out a long rectangle to line the sides of the tin with. Affix the long strip of paper to the sides of your springform tin.

CHEESECAKE BASE

  1. Melt the coconut oil / vegan butter.
  2. Grind your biscuits in a food processor until you get a delicate crumb.
  3. Add the melted oil / butter and process until the mixture resembles wet sand. You should not need any more moisture but if you do, add a small amount of plant milk.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the lined tin and press it into the base really well, creating a compact biscuit base. I used the bottom of a glass to ensure the base is smooth, even and well bound. Place in the fridge while you make the cheesecake mixture.

CHEESECAKE MIXTURE

  1. Melt the cacao butter gently (do not let it overheat), over a water bath. Allow it to cool down a little while making the rest of the mixture.
  2. Put (drained) silken tofu, maple syrup, drained cashews, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract (if using) in a blender. Process until silky smooth. If, like me, you don’t have a very powerful blender, you may need to split the mixture into two batches to be able to get the cashews blended super smooth and creamy.
  3. Finally add melted (cooled, not hot) cacao butter and blend until well combined with the rest of the mixture.
  4. Season with ginger to taste (if using) blending more to incorporate the ginger well into the mixture.
  5. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the set base and place the tin in the fridge (for at least 4 hrs) to set.
  6. Once set (the top will be firm to the touch), top with fresh fruit. Keep refrigerated.

NOTES
*CACAO BUTTER: I have noticed and a reader has brought it to my attention too that not all cacao / cocoa butter is created the same. The one I usually buy (and which I used to create this recipe) is rock solid and completely opaque in colour, but I ran out at some point and bought another brand, which was still hard but a little softer to cut through and slightly translucent (not completely opaque) and it produced a softer set cheesecake. It’s very frustrating when that is the case so please inspect your cacao butter and if yours isn’t 100% opaque and rock solid, use 15 g more / 0.5 oz more to achieve a firmer cheesecake.

*MAPLE SYRUP: You could use other liquid sweetener (like agave syrup) or icing sugar to sweeten and plant milk (135 ml / ½ cup + 1 tbsp) to get the right consistency.

*CASHEWS: Soak them overnight or in boiling water for a minimum of 45 minutes.

*GINGER: Instead of freshly grated ginger, I also like using 5-6 stem ginger balls (about 100 g / 3½ oz) instead. You could also use stem ginger syrup (instead of maple syrup) to sweeten but if doing so make sure you taste the mixture before adding ginger balls or else the ginger flavour may end up too strong.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
296
15%
sugars
15 g
17%
fats
20 g
29%
saturates
10 g
50%
proteins
4 g
9%
carbs
27 g
10%
*per per slice (based on 16 servings)
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5.0
4 reviews, 22 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Wilma:
I just love this recipe. It is easy and the cheesecake is so creamy. I have made it several times with different cookies and different toppings. They were all so delicious! Thank you for sharing.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Wilma! I am delighted that you've enjoyed this recipe so much and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave this review! Ania
Rachel:
Hello I really want to try this but am in Italy and haven’t found silken tofu as yet just normal natural? Will it work with the natural or should I curb my impatience and wait till I am back in the UKwhere I know I can find silken! Hope you are well and thanks for your wonderful offerings x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Rachel,
    I haven't tried using cotton tofu as it's not typically used for desserts. I am pretty confident that if you press the water out if it first, it should work fine but I don't want to say definitely as I haven't used it in this context. How about making half (or even one quarter) of the recipe as a test first? Ania
Mimi:
What is a ginger biscuit? What brand would I buy in the US? Thx
    Ania
    Ania:
    I simply used Tesco's own brand ginger nuts (or ginger snaps I think they are called in the US). McVities makes them too, see the image here. Any vegan biscuit, preferably flavoured with ginger, will work well. Hope this helps! Ania
Zoe O:
I love the simplicity of this cheesecake and the creaminess is out of this world, no one could tell it was vegan and it was all gone too soon, no leftovers at all. thank you for another great recipe! Zoe
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Zoe. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this cheesecake so much and found it easy to make. Thank you for this review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Jill Moore:
How many people is this intended to serve - nutritional info is per serving.
Thanks.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jill,
    I assumed 16 portions as it's rather rich. I will add a note, thanks for letting me know. x Ania
Els:
The consistency was a bit disappointing: it looked like cheesecake but 'felt' like tiramisu. I followed your recipe to the letter and let the cake rest for 24h instead of 4h. So that can't be it. I can't help but think: shouldn't I put some agar agar next time? Or arrowroot?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Els,
    I'm so sorry that it wasn't quite what you expected. When you say it felt like 'tiramisu', do you mean that it wasn't quite dense enough? I found it quite rich and dense myself (and therefore I did not find the need to use any setting agent, cocoa butter is used for that reason) but I did find that cocoa butter can be different depending where you get it. I once used a different brand as my regular supply ran out and the cheesecake set, but it was more like soft serve cheesecake ;) so I reckon that this is perhaps where the issue lies. The one I usually use is very hard and opaque and the one I had to buy in an emergency, although also solid, was not quite opaque enough, it was a little translucent and a bit softer to cut too. I will add a note under the recipe. x Ania
      Els:
      Thanks a lot for the explanation, Ania.
      But I don't think it was the cocoa butter. Mine is really hard and opaque too, I think. Could it have been the tofu, I wonder. I let it drain really well though.
      Or maybe it's just not my taste? When it comes to no-bake cheesecake I'm used to (and really like) the consistency you get with gelatine. I guess that is not what I should expect when using cocoa butter?
      BUT! Serendipitously I found a solution. Last weekend I froze half of the cake because it was too much. Yesterday I took out a piece and left it at room temperature for one hour before eating it. The consistency was perfect for me that way! :)
        Ania
        Ania:
        Oh, I think I know what it was...when you say 'I let it drain really well', what kind of tofu did you use? Silken tofu (which comes in a tetra pak and has custard-like consistency and no pores/micro holes at all) does not really need draining, it is used as is. That's probably what happened...Glad you found a way rescue it!! x
Kate:
I made this using coconut oil instead of cocoa butter and it worked fine. I just used the same quantities by weight and it worked out great. Thanks for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Kate, I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! And many thanks for letting me and my readers know that coconut oil worked just as well. x Ania
Krystyna:
Is it possible to substitute cacao butter with something else? (not sure if I’ll be able to find it easily)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Krystyna,
    I have not tested this recipe without using cacao butter so while coconut oil or vegan white chocolate would work too, I am not sure as to the quantities exactly. Probably about 100 g vegan white chocolate will work just as well but you may need to reduce added sweetness in that case. In the case of coconut oil, you'll probably need closer to 150 g as it's not as solid as cacao butter. Hope this helps! Ania
Becky:
Thanks for the explanation. I made this yesterday and it was SO GOOD!! The ginger biscuits worked so well with the filling and made it a very interesting cake. Everyone that tried it thought it was delicious!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much Becky! I'm delighted to hear that you and your taste testers enjoyed it! x Ania
Becky:
This sounds delicious! I don’t see white chocolate amongst the list of ingredients as mentioned in the comment above. Is this an error?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Becky,
    No, there it is no mistake. Raw cacao butter, which is one of the key ingredients in making chocolate, imparts white chocolate flavour. Ania
Anthony Relle:
What a fantastic texture this comes out as, looks absolutely amazing with the raspberry and strawberry topping! The hint of ginger is such a tasty pairing with the white chocolate.
Enjoyed this one immensely. Now to negotiate over the remaining portions :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Anthony - so glad you and Hannah enjoyed it! And thank you for helping us eat it! x Ania
Ramya:
Will be making this soon i never had dairy free cheesecale before this is perfect for me as i dont like dairy cheesecake perfect for my home snacks while i work on the computer and phone will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
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