This vegan cheesecake is the best ever! It’s rich and creamy and topped with a salted caramel fudge sauce. So much like the ‘real thing’ you will hardly believe it.
I am so excited to share this recipe for vegan cheesecake with you. It is so good, sensational really.
Topped with a salted caramel fudge sauce and some sprinkled sea salt it is the perfect contrast of salty and sweet with creamy and smooth.
So, this vegan cheesecake is definitely not my first go when it comes to making vegan cheesecakes. From the first time I made a vegan cheesecake (in around 2009) I fell totally in love, because honestly it’s better than the ‘real thing’.
The only caveat? It’s a little pricey. The ingredients, while quite simple, can get a little expensive.
So it’s probably not what you’re going to make every other week but it’s rich as heck so that’s another reason you’re probably not going to make it every other week.
Of course if you love a good cheesecake then also check out our delicious baked cheesecake recipe!
How To Make No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Spray an 8-inch round springform pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add macadamia nuts, pitted dates and dessicated coconut to a food processor and process into a sticky dough.
- Place into the prepared springform pan and press down firmly into a pie crust. Place into the freezer to set while you work on the filling.
- Add soaked cashew nuts to a blender jug along with water, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla and blend until very smooth.
- Pour this out over the top of the crust in the springform pan and smooth down with the back of a spoon. Place into the freezer to set (around 4-6 hours).
- When the cheesecake has set completely, remove it from the springform pan and place onto a cake stand while you prepare your salted caramel topping.
- For the topping, mix together melted coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt.
- Spread it out over the top of your cheesecake, add a few sprinkles of sea salt over the top and a few macadamia nuts to decorate and you have the perfect cheesecake.
- Let the cheesecake thaw on the countertop for around 30 minutes or so before serving.
The Caramel Fudge Topping
I was at first going to make a vegan dulce de leche for the topping, but at the last minute, had a change of heart.
I was thinking, why cook a topping when you’ve got this whole no-bake thing going on, why go and stand over a hot stove just for the sauce?
So I decided on a salted caramel fudge topping made from melted coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt and it turned out to be the perfect topping.
Soak your cashews. It’s important to soak your cashews for this recipe. Ideally, soak them overnight. Place them in a bowl, pour over water, cover and leave them to soak overnight. Then drain and rinse before using.
The reason it’s important to soak them first is that you use a ton of cashews for this cheesecake filling, once all your filling ingredients are in the blender jug your blender will be almost ⅔rds or even ¾ of the way full. It would be very tough for a blender to handle that much volume unless it’s an easy blend. So make it as easy as possible with soaked cashews.
If you happen to forget to soak them, then all is not lost. Place the cashews in a bowl, pour over boiling hot water from the kettle and leave them to soak for at least an hour for this recipe. Soaking in hot water reduces the time needed. But any less than an hour will not be adequate because of the volume of cashews that you need to blend.
Be patient. The hands on time for this recipe is actually really short, a bit of processing, a bit of blending, a bit of stirring, really it’s too easy! The time consuming part is waiting for it to set, which takes quite a few hours in the freezer, and you need it to set completely before you remove it from the spring form pan. So you need a bit of patience with this pie, but otherwise it’s really easy and fun.
Vegan Cheesecake Q&A
Walnuts work extremely well for the crust too. Walnuts or macadamias are my usual favorites for a nut/date crust, but nut/date crusts are actually really flexible and forgiving, you can try other nuts or a combination of nuts and it will usually work well.
Yes you can! I like it because it creates delicious flavor and texture but I have definitely made pie crusts without coconut, you can simply leave it out or add more nuts to compensate.
Coconut butter is really the key ingredient in this caramel sauce. And just to be clear it’s nothing like any other nut butter and it’s also nothing like vegan butter. So you can’t switch it for either of those. If you can’t get coconut butter, you could switch the topping to something else completely, or you could make your own coconut butter from dessicated coconut (also known as finely shredded coconut or sweetened coconut flakes).
Storing and Freezing
Keep your cheesecake stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator and serve it cold straight from the fridge. It must set in the freezer but thereafter can be stored in the coldest part of your fridge for around 5-7 days.
You can also store it in the freezer, in which case you will need to let it thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you store it in the freezer then it will of course last much longer than if it is stored in the fridge.
More Delicious No-Bake Vegan Desserts
- Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Vegan Chocolate Tart
- Vegan Banoffee Pie
- Vegan Peanut Butter Pie
- Vegan Chocolate Pie
- Vegan Key Lime Pie
For the Crust:
- 1 cup Macadamia Nuts (150g)
- ½ cup Pitted Medjool Dates (88g) Packed*
- 1 cup Dessicated Coconut (80g) Finely Shredded Coconut*
For the Cheesecake Filling:
For the Salted Caramel Fudge Sauce:
- Sea Salt
- Macadamia Nuts
- Spray an 8 inch round springform pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add the macadamia nuts, pitted dates and dried dessicated coconut to the food processor and process until it starts to form into a sticky dough. It will start off crumbly, keep going until it starts to clump together in sticky clumps. Transfer to the springform pan and smooth it down into a pie crust. Use the back of a spoon to press it down into a neat flat layer. Place into the freezer to set.
- Take your soaked and rinsed cashew nuts and place them into the blender jug. Add the water, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract and then blend everything together until very smooth. Stop and give your blender a break as needed as this is a lot of volume to blend up. Pour this over the macadamia crust and smooth down with the back of a spoon. Return to the freezer to set completely - about 4-6 hours.
- When the cheesecake has completely set, remove it from the springform pan and put it onto a cake stand to do your topping.
- Add the melted coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt into a bowl and stir it together into a caramel sauce. Spread this out over the top of the cheesecake, working quickly, as the sauce thickens and sets quite fast when in contact with the cold cheesecake.
- Decorate the cheesecake with sprinkles of sea salt and some macadamia nuts.
- Allow the cheesecake to thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Once the cheesecake is thawed, keep it stored in the refrigerator or freezer*.
- Walnuts work great as an alternative to macadamias for the crust.
- Half a cup of medjool dates (packed) is approximately 10 pitted medjool dates.
- Dessicated coconut is also called finely shredded coconut or finely shredded coconut flakes. It’s dried coconut that is shredded very finely.
- If you forget to soak the cashews overnight, then you can take a shortcut. Place the cashews into a bowl and pour over boiling hot water from the kettle. Leave them to soak for 1 hour. Soaking in hot water reduces the time needed for soaking. It is still more ideal to soak them overnight for this recipe though.
- The topping must be made with coconut butter and not coconut oil. If you can't easily find coconut butter you can also make your own. It's super easy and fun to make.
- Prep time does not include time spent setting in the freezer.
- If you know when you're going to be serving this cheesecake, you can keep it in the freezer until you need to serve it and then let it thaw at room temperature and serve. From then on, if stored in the refrigerator, the texture can become a little softer, so you might prefer to let it firm up in the freezer again before serving.
- This recipe was first published in March 2018.