This ultra creamy and rich vegan cheesecake tastes JUST like classic New York baked cheesecake, and it only needs 7 ingredients (NO tofu, no cashews though!). It’s so easy to make entirely in a food processor, and my simple steps will ensure you get the creamiest and perfectly tangy vegan cheesecake ever!

slice of vegan caramel cheesecake

The only vegan cheesecake recipe you need:

Truly. This amazing baked vegan cheesecake tastes just like a slice of classic lush cheesecake: super rich, ultra creamy, decadent, and just sweet with the perfect tang. It’s not as dense as New York cheesecake, but just as rich and decadent as your classic cheesecake.

And you don’t need to soak any cashews beforehand nor prep any tofu. This vegan cheesecake is made entirely without cashews, tofu, nor coconut cream, and the result is ultra velvety, creamy, and lush.

In fact, this vegan cheesecake recipe is the base cheesecake recipe for all of my vegan cheesecakes (including my no bake vegan cheesecake bars!). It’s that good!

Like my vegan chocolate cheesecake and vegan pecan pie cheesecake, this is a classic dessert that you can serve to all eaters, and they’ll just LOVE it.

sliced vegan cheesecake on a plate

That’s right. No soaking cashews, no using coconut cream nor coconut milk (if you don’t want to!), and no tofu. If you want a crowd pleasing vegan dessert that’s fit for all eaters, then this baked vegan cheesecake is it. 

I love this recipe so much, it’s been the base for some of my more popular cheesecake recipes, including my cannoli cheesecake, tiramisu cheesecake, and carrot cake cheesecake!

Top your cheesecake slice with fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, blueberry ja, even vegan caramel sauce and homemade vegan whipped cream for the ultimate slice of cheesecake, vegan or not!

Ingredients & substitutions:

  • Vegan cream cheese: Many vegan cream cheese do use nuts, I am aware of this. That’s why I made my 3-ingredient homemade vegan cream cheese that’s NUT FREE. For store bought, I personally love Miyoko’s Creamery’s vegan cream cheese and it works wonderfully in this recipe. However, for my nut-free readers, I have tried this cheesecake with Violife and it is a DREAM! Violife cream cheese is potato and coconut based. 
  • Dairy free yogurt: You can use your favorite here (mine is Forager Project); whether it’s oat milk yogurt, cashew milk, coconut yogurt, soy milk yogurt, or almond. Using dairy free yogurt also helps us to replace the silken tofu found in other vegan cheesecake recipes, and lemon juice. 
  • Dairy free milk: You don’t need to use a heavy vegan milk here. Store bought unsweetened almond milk or even homemade oat milk will work great. If you can do cashews, you can also use cashew cream.
  • Sugar: I used organic granulated sugar here. Be sure that your sugar is truly vegan. I always personally use Florida Crystals Sugar for that reason. They’re also minimally processed!
  • Arrowroot starch: You can substitute cornstarch here if you’d prefer.
  • Vanilla extract: Sub in vanilla powder if you’d prefer!
  • Graham cracker crust: This homemade crust uses oat flour, a teaspoon cinnamon, sugar, and vegan butter to achieve a deliciously buttery vegan gluten free graham cracker crust! You could also sub in melted coconut oil for the vegan butter if you’d prefer!
vegan cheesecake ingredients laid out on marble slab

Equipment you’ll need for this vegan cheesecake

We’re keeping this baked vegan cheesecake really simple, down to the equipment needed.

Before beginning, make sure that you have:

  • 8″ or 9″ springform pan
  • 2 Deep baking sheet
  • Large food processor, a stand mixer, large bowl with a hand mixer

Overview: How to make a baked vegan cheesecake (EASILY!)

Now, traditionally, you’ll use a water bath for baked cheesecake. I’ve experimented with both a water bath and no water bath, and the verdict is in: use the water bath. If you want a super fluffy and soft cheesecake that tastes just like the classic, then you’ll need to use a water bath.

A water bath is really quite simple, and we go over how to make one.

Watch how to make a vegan cheesecake:

Please note that the recipe in the video is slightly different than the one below. This is because the recipe below is the most up to date rather than in the video. However, the method is still the same!

Step 1: The gluten free vegan cheesecake crust

I could eat this crust by itself, it’s so good! Plus it’s so easy and really quick to make:

  1. Whisk: In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients for the crust.
  2. Add in the vegan butter and water: Mix in the wet ingredients until you achieve a sticky dough. You can add more water as needed by the tablespoon.
  3. Press: Press the dough into the parchment paper-lined springform pan.
  4. Bake: Bake the cheesecake crust.

Remove from the oven and set aside so we can prepare the creamy vegan cheesecake filling!

Step 2: The vegan cheesecake filling

Again, I could eat this filling with a spoon, and it’s just as simple as the crust. No need to soak any cashews or anything. The only thing you need to make sure you’ve done is allow both the cream cheese and sour cream to come to room temperature so that they’re easy to cream.

  1. Mix: You can add everything to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Or you can use a hand mixer and a bowl or a stand mixer and whisk attachment!
  2. Pour: Next, pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust.
  3. Create the water bath:Pour boiling water into your baking sheet with walls. Then immediately move onto the next step.
  4. Bake: Place your vegan cheesecake onto the middle rack, and carefully place the boiling water bath onto the bottom rack. Close your oven quickly to prevent anymore heat from escaping.
  5. Cool in the oven: Once baked, allow your vegan cheesecake to cool in the oven to 10 minutes. Then remove the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  6. Setting time: Place your room temperature vegan cheesecake into the fridge to set for 4-6 hours, or until not wobbly anymore.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

You can check out Handle The Heat’s Water Bath tecnique article for the classic way to make a water bath. However, my quick method has been proven to be successful just the same!

Do I need a water bath for my cheesecake?

Yes, you do need to use a water bath for a baked vegan cheesecake, especially if you want the texture of a classic cheesecake. The reason being is that cheesecakes love moisture, and a water bath helps to create a really moist environment in the oven, which typically runs dry.

If you were to not use a water bath, your cheesecake would come out super dry, like a block of cheese. Not fun, nor pleasant to eat. 

However, my water bath trick is really easy for beginner bakers, and will still ensure that you achieve a super moist vegan cheesecake. 

sliced vegan cheesecake

Recipe tips & tricks

While I want to emphasize that this vegan cheesecake is extraordinarily easy, that doesn’t mean we can get sloppy with technique. Here are a few tips to make sure that your vegan New York cheesecake comes out perfect every time:

  • Allow the cream cheese and dairy free yogurt to come to room temperatureYou will have a really hard time creaming together the ingredients if you don’t do this! Give the ingredients a few hours to soften. You should be able to indent a fingerprint into the cream cheese easily.
  • Give your cheesecake time to cool at room temperature first. This will ensure that everything cools evenly. It’s also good to not put something piping hot into the fridge!
  • Let your cheesecake sit in the oven after baking: just for an hour. This will help everything solidify!
  • How to slice your cheesecake: once your cheesecake is ready to be sliced, you can run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to release the cheesecake from the spring form pan. Then carefully undo the buckle and place your cheesecake onto a serving platter!
  • Top with fresh fruit, jam, or amareno cherries: this is my all time favorite way to serve cheesecake, especially because it’s such a rich and decadent dessert, you need something slightly lighter to balance the flavors, textures, and density. I recommend the Amareno Fabri cherries!
slice of vegan cheesecake on plate

Classic cheesecake topping ideas:

slice of bitten vegan cheesecake with caramel

You are just going to LOVE this baked vegan cheesecake as much as I do! This vegan vanilla cheesecake is: 

  • So easy to make
  • One of the best vegan desserts, hands down
  • Perfectly soft and tangy, like a classic cheesecake
  • Creamy, yet light and refreshing
  • Perfect for graduations, birthday parties, summer holidays, and more!
  • An absolute crowd pleaser, whether you’re vegan (and gluten free!) or not!

If you try it, make sure to leave a comment and a review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find this recipe!

As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy cheesecake baking!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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plate of vegan cheesecake

The Easiest Vegan Cheesecake – No Tofu, No Cashews!

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Chill Time: 240
  • Cook Time: 65
  • Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This ultra creamy and rich vegan cheesecake tastes JUST like classic New York baked cheesecake, and it only needs 7 ingredients (NO tofu, no cashews though!). It’s so easy to make entirely in a food processor, and my simple steps will ensure you get the creamiest and perfectly tangy vegan cheesecake ever!


Ingredients

Scale

Vegan Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 package (250 g) vegan graham crackers or Lotus Biscoff Cookies
  • 1/3 cup (87 g) melted vegan butter

Vegan Cheesecake Filling:

  • 4 8-ounce containers (32 ounces) vegan cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 1 cup (240 g) dairy free yogurt or dairy free sour cream, room temperature 
  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan heavy cream*
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated sugar
  • 8 tbsp (80 g) cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 34 cups boiling water, for water bath
  • 1 batch vegan caramel, for topping

Instructions

  1. Prep: Line an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the edges of the pan with a bit of cooking or coconut oil as well, and line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400F. 
  2. Make the crust: Add the graham crackers or cookies to a food processor, and pulse until you reach a fine crumb. Then add in the melted vegan butter, and pulse again until you get a wet crumb. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of your cheesecake pan, working up the sides of the pan as well. Place the pan into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes to par-bake. While the crust is baking, make the filling.
  3. Make the cheesecake filling: In a large food processor, stand mixer with whisk attachment, or large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and dairy free yogurt until smooth. Add in the sugar, dairy free milk, vanilla, and cornstarch. Cream together again until smooth. Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan, and smooth the top. Place the cheesecake pan onto a baking sheet (SEPARATE from the baking sheet used for the water bath- this cheesecake baking sheet just helps to transport the cheesecake to and from the oven).
  4. Reduce the heat of the oven: Reduce the heat to 350F.
  5. Create the water bath: Be ready to move to the next step immediately after finishing this step. Make sure that you boil the 3-4 cups water prior to pouring the water into the pan. Pour the boiling water into the pan.
  6. Bake the cheesecake: Carefully place the water bath baking sheet into the oven on the low rack. Then place the cheesecake baking sheet onto the middle rack and quickly close the oven to bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the the top of the cheesecake lightly golden. The center is set but still wiggly. Turn off the oven, and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for 1 hour with the door slightly cracked. The water should also be completely dissolved. Please see the video tutorial. The cheesecake should still be wiggly. This is completely fine and should be that way. This cheesecake will not seem cooked at all when you first turn off the oven. 
  7. Chill the cheesecake: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then cover and place the cheesecake into the fridge to chill for 4 hours, or overnight.
  8. Serve and enjoy! When ready to serve, top with fresh berries, cherries, or jam, and enjoy! Store any leftover cheesecake in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

Arrowroot Starch: make sure that your arrowroot starch (also called powder) is stored properly and is still active. Improperly stored or expired arrowroot will not work. You can also swap in an equal amount of cornstarch.

Vegan heavy cream: If you can do cashews, you can use cashew cream

Water bath: Using a water bath is extremely important for a moist cheesecake! Please see blog post for all tips.

Gluten free: Swap in gluten free vegan graham crackers or gluten free homemade biscoff cookies!

Please read the above blog post for all tips & tricks on how to make this baked vegan cheesecake, as well as watch the quick YouTube tutorial! Thank you!

Keywords: vegan cheesecake, baked vegan cheesecake, new york style baked cheesecake, vegan new york baked cheesecake, vegan vanilla cheesecake