The dream combination of chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake in one! This ultra decadent and creamy vegan cookie dough cheesecake is packed with cookie dough balls in a silky smooth tangy sweet filling and baked on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust. Naturally dairy free, NO eggs, and easily gluten free too! The ultimate cookie lover’s dessert!

vegan cookie dough cheesecake on a platter

If you’re a cookie dough lover and a cheesecake lover, then you need to try the absolute best vegan cheesecake I’ve ever made.

A few weeks ago, I was obsessed with my vegan Oreo cheesecake– which is absolutely jaw dropping. But this cookie dough cheesecake is yet again on another level.

It takes my base vegan vanilla cheesecake (an absolute dream- you’d never know it’s dairy free and made without eggs) and is stuffed to the brim with cookie dough balls based on my best vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe. All baked on a giant chocolate chip cookie crust, and topped with homemade vegan ganache.

slice of vegan cookie dough cheesecake

And more cookie dough.

And to top that, this cookie dough cheesecake is not only ultra rich and creamy and down right DECADENT, but it’s also naturally dairy free, no eggs, and easily gluten free (aka it’s vegan and gluten free!).

I mean, you literally couldn’t come up with a better dessert situation.

I gave some to my photographer friend this past weekend, who is not vegan, and she was speechless. Her boyfriend even devoured most of it (he was hogging lol). Let’s make this!

close up of vegan cookie dough cheesecake

Ingredients you need + Substitutions:

  • Vegan cream cheese: This can really vary from brand to brand. For this recipe specifically, I really like either Tofutti or Kite Hill. Violife can be good as well for a nut free and soy free option. Miyoko’s is hit or miss- sometimes my vegan cream cheese from them curdles in making a cheesecake. But I did use it to make an awesome pecan pie cheesecake for Thanksgiving this past year. So just be aware!
  • Dairy free yogurt: This is like our vegan sour cream and vegan egg substitute all in one. I like Forager Project here, but Kite Hill is also good!
  • Cornstarch: you can also use arrowroot starch here! This is another vegan egg substitute which is super affordable and really easy. It acts just like eggs!
  • Vegan heavy cream: this can be coconut cream or a store bought vegan heavy cream, like by Plant Crock or Silk.
  • Sugar: Make sure that it’s vegan- I always use Florida Crystals for that!
  • Vanilla extract: For flavor!
  • Cookie dough: We’re basing the crust and the cookie dough off of my classic vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s so easy and so wonderfully delicious! The key here is omitting the baking powder and baking soda so that the cookies don’t puff up in the cheesecake. We’re also using heat-treated flour to make sure that the flour is edible.
vegan cookie dough balls

Here, we’ll go over how to make this vegan cookie dough cheesecake from start to finish!

Before we begin, heat treat the flour:

Because this is a cookie dough cheesecake, we want to top our cheesecakes with edible cookie dough! To do so, we’ll need to heat treat the flour.

sliced vegan cookie dough cheesecake

We’re going to heat treat the entire batch of flour cookie dough balls. This is because we’ll split half the batch for topping the cheesecake and the other half for using inside our vegan cookie dough cheesecake. That way, you don’t have to make a bunch of different batches of cookie dough!

Making and Assembling the Cheesecake:

The importance of a water bath and cheesecake:

If you’ve ever made a cheesecake before, then you know that cheesecakes love moisture. When baking, however, the heat evaporates the moisture. So to add that back in, and to not only prevent our cookie dough cheesecakes from cracking, but to also ensure that the cheesecake remains creamy and silky smooth, we use a water bath.

A water bath is simply boiling water in the oven to provide extra moisture. I talk about it a lot in my classic vegan cheesecake post.

However, many people place their springform pans into the water bath. I actually recommend keeping them separate (a lot more beginner friendly, AND you don’t run the risk of soaking your cheesecake in water!).

To make a water bath:

  1. You’ll place one rack in the oven in the middle, and another rack on the bottom.
  2. Next, you’ll place a baking sheet onto the bottom rack of the preheated oven, and fill it with boiling water.
  3. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack, and close the oven door to bake!

Frequently Asked Questions:

I’m not vegan- do I need to make this cheesecake dairy free?

I personally have not tried this recipe with regular dairy cream cheese and yogurt so I can’t speak to the results.

Do I need to heat treat the flour?

Yes, you do! This is because raw flour can have some nasty bacteria on it. Heat treating the flour (baking it at 350F for 5 minutes) will help remove the bacteria so that you can eat your edible cookie dough!

Do I need to heat treat gluten free flour?

Yes, it’s still recommended to heat treat gluten free flour.

Absolutely! Simply swap in the chocolate filling from my vegan chocolate cheesecake, and you’re set!

slice of vegan cookie dough cheesecake

Storage:

Once baked, you can store any leftover slices wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months!

slice of vegan cookie dough cheesecake

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

cookie dough cheesecake pinterest image

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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sliced vegan cookie dough cheesecake on a platter

Ultra Creamy Vegan Cookie Dough Cheesecake (Gluten Free Option)

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 65
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The dream combination of chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake in one! This ultra decadent and creamy vegan cookie dough cheesecake is packed with cookie dough balls in a silky smooth tangy sweet filling and baked on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust. Naturally dairy free, NO eggs, and easily gluten free too! The ultimate cookie lover’s dessert!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust:

  • 1 cup with 1 tbsp removed (115 g) all purpose flour* or gluten free 1:1 baking flour or oat flour mixed with 1 tbsp arrowroot starch, sifted and spoon & leveled
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (43 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk, room temperature, as needed
  • 1/2 cup (85 g) vegan chocolate chips*

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Filling:

  • 1 batch vegan chocolate chip cookies, using heat treated flour, made without baking powder and baking soda and left as a cookie dough
  • 24 ounces (720 g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces (228 g) vegan dairy free yogurt (such as Forager Project), room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic sugar
  • 7 tbsp (70 g) arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 batch vegan ganache, for topping

Instructions

  1. Prep: Line a 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.  Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Heat-treat the flour for the cookie dough balls: Under the instructions for making the cookie dough cheesecake filling, for the cookie dough balls, take the flour amount and spread it onto a baking sheet. Bake the flour for 5 minutes to heat-treat the flour. Remove from the oven and set aside. This will specifically be just for the cookie dough balls in the cheesecake filling and not the cookie crust.  
  3. Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour and sea salt, and fold to combine just before the flour is fully incorporated into the dough. Then add in the chocolate chips and fold the chocolate chips into the dough. Press the dough into the springform pan, and place the springform pan into the oven with a baking sheet underneath it to prevent any drips. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the crust turns lightly golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350F. Keep the oven on. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  4. Make the cookie dough balls: Follow the instructions for the vegan chocolate chip cookies, making sure to omit the baking powder and baking soda and leaving the cookie dough as a cookie dough. Then scoop the cookie dough into 1 tbsp sized dough balls. Reserve 1/3 of the cookie dough for the topping at the end of the cheesecake. The remaining 2/3 of the dough will be used for baking inside the cheesecake. 
  5. 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 arrowroot. Cream together again until smooth.
  6. Assemble the cookie dough cheesecake: Pour half of the cheesecake filling into the springform pan, and smooth the top. Sprinkle half of the reserved cookie dough balls for the cheesecake on top of the filling. Spoon the remaining filling on top, and sprinkle with the remaining cookie dough balls, gently pressing them down into the top of the cheesecake.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake the cheesecake: Carefully place the baking sheet into the oven on the low rack. Then place the cheesecake onto the middle rack and quickly close the oven to bake for 60-65 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 10 minutes. The water should also be completely dissolved.  The cheesecake should still be very 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. 
  9. Chill the cheesecake: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then place the cheesecake into the fridge to chill for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  10. Serve and enjoy! When ready to serve, top with homemade vegan ganache and the remaining cookie dough balls! 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.

Water bath: using a water bath is extremely necessary for this vegan cheesecake recipe. Water baths are the key to a super fluffy and soft cheesecake that doesn’t dry out or crack in the oven.

Gluten free: Swap in gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure to make this cookie dough cheesecake gluten free as well.

Keywords: cookie dough cheesecake, vegan cookie dough cheesecake

vegan cookie dough cheesecake