Cheesecake Recipes

Vegan Baked Cheesecake

at a glance
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time: 18 hours
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 Servings

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Creamy, velvety, indulgent cheesecake made with 100% vegan ingredients in a more budget friendly method?! It can be done!

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Brittany Angell is true baking royalty, and she has sublimely outdone herself with this vegan cheesecake recipe! The cost of vegan cream cheese is often triple the price of regular cream cheese, so as you can imagine, that cost adds up quickly when making a full-size cheesecake. So Brittany set on a mission to make an indulgent cheesecake using less cream cheese without compromising on flavor. Her secret? She introduced tofu to the mix, and you cannot taste the tofu whatsoever! I will be the first to say I was a little skeptical, but let me tell y’all, Brittany really delivered (once again) with this recipe! 

Ingredients for the Best Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Here’s what you’ll need to make the most indulgently, light, and creamy vegan cheesecake:

Vegan cheesecake ingredients in prep bowls on a marble surface.

For the Crust

  • Graham Crackers – for the base of the crust, you’ll need 1 ½ cups of vegan graham crackers pulsed into crumbs.  
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar give just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Vegan Butter – 5 tablespoons of melted vegan butter holds the crust together. 
  • Salt – a pinch of salt is all you need to really enhance the richness in the crust.

For the Filling

  • Tofu – to make the creamy filling, you’ll start with a 1 pound package of Silken or soft tofu (make sure that most of the liquid has been pressed out). 
  • Cream Cheese – next, you’ll add three 8-ounce Tofutti plain vegan cream cheese (or Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese). 
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract adds a subtle, classic flavor to the base.
  • Salt – a ½ teaspoon of salt plays as a flavor enhancer. 
  • Sugar – 1 ¼ cups of organic cane sugar sweeten the filling. 
  • Heavy Cream – 2 ½ tablespoons of Silk dairy-free heavy cream helps with giving a classic cheesecake flavor (you can also substitute the heavy cream for Contreau or Grand Marnier Liquors).
  • Baking Powder – a ½ teaspoon of double acting baking powder gives the creamy filling a lightness and fluffiness. 
  • Flour – 6 tablespoons of all purpose flour help give the filling structure. 
  • Lemon Juice – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice add a really bright pop of freshness and really enhance the tang of the cream cheese. 
  • Orange Zest – the zest of one orange is completely optional, but highly recommended to round out the citrus notes and really makes the flavor shine! 
Slice of cheesecake topped with blueberries on a white plate with blue rim with whole cheesecake and bowl of blueberries.

Ingredient Modifications

There are a couple of ways that you can modify ingredients in this vegan cheesecake, but I don’t recommend changing too much because afterall, baking is a science! Here are some ways you can modify:

  • Make it gluten free – use King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour instead of all purpose flour and gluten free graham crackers for the crust. 
  • Sub the heavy cream – in lieu of the Silks dairy free heavy cream, you can also use a coconut cream if you prefer not to use a liquor (like the Contreau or Grand Marnier). 

It is important to note that all brands of vegan cream cheese are not created equally. Brittany only recommends using Tofutti cream cheese or Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese. Violife is great on bagels, but does not bake the same, and the flavor of Daiya could potentially ruin the cheesecake. For these reasons, I do not recommend making any substitutions for the cream cheese. 

How to Make Vegan Cheesecake

Here’s how this decadent vegan cheesecake comes together:

  1. Prep and preheat – to start, you’ll get your pan and oven ready for the cake! Preheat the oven to 350℉. Trace the inside base of a 9-inch springform pan on parchment paper and cut it out. Place the parchment circle inside the pan and wrap the bottom of the pan with several layers of tinfoil to prevent spills. To finish the prep, spray the entire interior of the pan with oil (this will ensure that the cheesecake releases seamlessly after the cooling process). 
  2. Make the crust – to make the crust, put the graham crackers and sugar into your food processor and pulse until you have a fine crumb. Then, stir in the melted butter by hand until it’s evenly mixed. Pour the crust into the bottom of the prepared 9-inch pan and press it down evenly across the bottom of the pan. Set the crust aside while you make your filling.
  3. Make the filling – you’re going to use the food processor again, so you’ll want to rinse out the container and wipe it down. To start the filling, first you’ll drain and press the liquid out of the tofu using paper towels. Then, add the tofu and all the other cheesecake filling ingredients to the food processor. Process 60 seconds or until the filling is completely smooth. Pour the filling into the springform pan over the crust.
  4. Bake – Place the cheesecake on the center rack and bake for 50 minutes. Be sure not to open the over at all during this baking process. 
  5. Start the cooling process – after the cheesecake is finished cooking, turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. This allows the cheesecake to slowly cool. 
  6. Cool at room temperature – remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave it at room temperature to slowly cool for an additional 1-2 hours before wrapping it up. This slow cooling process prevents the cake from cracking.  
  7. Finish cooling in the fridge – wrap the cheesecake in the pan with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for 16-24 hours before serving (or up to 3 days). 
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Food processor work bowl with ground graham crackers.
Graham cracker crust pressed into bottom of spring form pan.
Cheesecake being spread with a spatula in a springform pan.
Ground graham crackers and melted butter in a glass mixing bowl.
Cheesecake ingredients in a food processor work bowl.
Cheesecake in spring form pan before baking.
Ground graham crackers mixed with vegan butter in a glass bowl with a spoon.
Creamed cheesecake ingredients being scooped onto graham cracker crust in springform pan.
Baked, vegan cheesecake.

Optional Cheesecake Toppings

Cheesecake is so classic and deliciously paired with so many different toppings! Here are some ideas:

  • Fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries are the perfect fresh fruit to top a cheesecake.
  • Melted dark chocolate – I’ve never met a dessert drizzled in melted dark chocolate that I didn’t love! 
  • Vegan caramel – make a vegan caramel with coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt to spread overtop–yum!

To store your baked vegan cheesecake, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil so that the cool air of the refrigerator doesn’t dry out the top of the cheesecake. The cheesecake needs a solid 16-24 hours in the fridge to fully chill and set, but beyond that, it can be stored this way for up to 3 days. 

This recipe is definitely freezer friendly as long as it is wrapped extremely well to prevent freezer burn. The cheesecake can be frozen whole or in slices and is good in the freezer for up to one month. To thaw your cheesecake, remove it from the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge for 2 days prior to serving.

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Best Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

By: Brittany Angell
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 30 mins
Chill Time: 18 hrs
Cook Time: 50 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
This vegan cheesecake is creamy, velvety, and incredibly indulgent!

Ingredients  

Graham Cracker Crust

  • ½ cup vegan graham crackers pulsed
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter melted
  • 1 pinch salt

Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 pound Silken or soft tofu
  • 24 ounce Tofutti plain vegan cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 ½ tabelspoons Silk dairy-free heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 orange

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Trace the inside base of a 9-inch springform pan on parchment paper and cut it out. Place the parchment circle inside the pan and wrap the bottom of the pan with several layers of tinfoil to prevent spills. To finish the prep, spray the entire interior of the pan with oil.
  • To make the crust, put the graham crackers and sugar into your food processor and pulse until you have a fine crumb. Then, stir in the melted butter by hand until it’s evenly mixed. Pour the crust into the bottom of the prepared 9-inch pan and press it down evenly across the bottom of the pan. Set the crust aside while you make your filling.
  • Rinse out the food processor and wipe it down. To start the filling, drain and press the liquid out of the tofu using paper towels. Then, add the tofu and all the other cheesecake filling ingredients to the food processor. Process 60 seconds or until the filling is completely smooth. Pour the filling into the springform pan over the crust.
  • Place the cheesecake on the center rack and bake for 50 minutes. Be sure not to open the over at all during this baking process.
  • After the cheesecake is finished cooking, turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave it at room temperature to slowly cool for an additional 1-2 hours before wrapping it up. This slow cooling process prevents the cake from cracking.
  • Wrap the cheesecake in the pan with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for 16-24 hours before serving (or up to 3 days).
  • Serve and enjoy!
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