Growing up, my Mom would bake a lot and sometimes sell her cakes at local country fairs and markets. One recipe that proved extremely popular with her regulars was her baked German-style cheesecake. It was fluffy and airy, with a slightly tangy flavor accompanied by a vanilla aroma. It was somewhat like an American (New York style) cheesecake but not as dense.

Because I love a challenge (and a good cheesecake!), I thought it would only be fair to create a vegan version of this cake for you all to enjoy! So my mom was kind enough to pass on her recipe, and I've been busy working on it over the holidays in order to make it perfect for you to try. Trust me, this baked vegan cheesecake, it's a keeper!

If you prefer no-bake cheesecake why not try these no-bake vegan strawberry cheesecake bars as well.

vegan new york cheesecakePin

Ingredient notes

When mom sent me her baked cheesecake recipe, I wasn't very surprised to see that the ingredients were extremely heavy on eggs and dairy. So I was then posed with the challenge of finding plant-based substitutes for each element of the cake. Some ingredients such as the butter were easily swapped out with its vegan alternative, vegan butter. However, some of the ingredients proved to be a little more tricky to replace.

Replacing cream cheese/quark

My mom's traditional German cheesecake uses cream cheese or "quark" as it's known in Germany. I remember her recipe being fluffy with an ever so slightly tangy flavor. In order to recreate this flavor, we're going to use a combination of plant-based ingredients to mimic the flavor and texture of the cream cheese/quark.

  • The main ingredient you'll need for the cheesecake filling is vegan yogurt. I recommend using a Greek-style yogurt if you can get your hands on it and if you can get one that's vanilla flavored, even better! Failing that you can also use regular soy yogurt or coconut yogurt with the addition of a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract. The cultured, tangy flavor of the yogurt works perfectly to create that authentic cheesecake flavor.
  • We're using cashews, which are soaked in hot water to soften them and make them even more creamy when blended up with the other ingredients. Cashews have a subtle "cheesy" flavor which makes them popular for making vegan cheesecakes, raw and baked!
  • Lastly, you'll want to add lemon juice and lemon zest to help to elevate the flavors of this cheesecake to the next level!

Replacing eggs

So you may think it's easy to replace the eggs used in traditional cheesecake by directly swapping them out for a vegan substitute? Well, unfortunately with baking it's not that simple, and this was perhaps the trickiest part of veganizing the recipe. The eggs in the original recipe do a number of things: egg yolks add richness while the whites are used to aerate the cake and make it fluffy. Eggs have leavening properties which help the cake to rise.

But after a few recipes tests I was able to find the perfect combination of ingredients, so here's what we'll use in order to create the perfect texture in this vegan cake!

  • The cashews that we're using in this recipe don't just give a cheesy flavor to the cake, they also add creaminess and richness. They give this cake the richness that would have come from egg yolks in the non-vegan version. For leavening, we'll use a combination of baking powder and apple cider vinegar. The combination of acids in the baking powder and apple cider vinegar cause air bubbles to form in the cake batter, helping the cake to rise and become fluffy - magic!
  • My mom's original recipe also called for whipped egg whites to be folded into the batter. So for this cruelty-free version, we're using aquafaba, which is whipped up until fluffy and then carefully folded into the batter to give it a dreamy texture and make sure that it doesn't become too dense.
tray of ingredients for making vegan baked cheesecake.Pin
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Let's make a baked cheesecake, vegan! (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Make and pre-bake the cheesecake base

Start by making the dough for the cheesecake base, which is essentially a shortcrust pastry. Simply add your ingredients to your food processor (the plain flour, vegan butter, brown sugar, soy milk, and vanilla), and blend for a minute or so until the ingredients come together.

shortbread dough for cheesecake in a food processor.Pin

Next line the base and sides of a cake tin with parchment paper. Press the dough into the base and all the way up the sides of the tin, smoothing it out with a flat bottomed glass or cup measure. Prick the base of the crust a few times using a fork and pre-bake to avoid a soggy cheesecake crust.

Make the cheesecake filling

Firstly blend all the ingredients apart from the aquafaba and baking powder in your high-speed blender ingredients. Whisk the baking powder into the blended  In a separate bowl, whisk the aquafaba until fluffy with soft peaks.

Very gently fold the whipped aquafaba through the blended cheesecake mixture and pour it into the tin for baking.

Storage instructions

To store place your chilled cheesecake in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Baked vegan cheesecake-9Pin
baked vegan cheesecake with cherriesPin

More vegan cheesecakes

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Baked Vegan Cheesecake

4.90 from 37 votes
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12
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Description

This creamy baked vegan cheesecake is light and satiating all at once with a fluffy filling and buttery crust. Perfect served with tangy and sweet homemade cherry compote.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 300 g (2.4 cups) flour
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) vegan butter, room temperature, cut into small chunks
  • 70 g ( cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tbsp) soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 200 g (1.5 cups) cashews, *soaked, see notes
  • 600 g (21.1 oz) vegan vanilla greek soy yogurt , or vegan plain soy yogurt with 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 118 ml (0.5 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon (¼ tsp) salt
  • 40 g (5 tbsp) cornstarch
  • 80 g ( cup) aquafaba, *see notes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

Cherry Compote

  • 550 g (4 cups) frozen cherries, or frozen berries of choice
  • 60 g (60 g) caster sugar, or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (1 tsp ) lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon (½ tbsp) cornstarch

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 170°C/340°F (fan oven) or 190°C/375°F conventional oven.
  • To make the crust, line the bottom and sides of a 9.5" springform cake tin with some parchment paper. Add the plain flour, vegan butter, brown sugar, soy milk, and vanilla extract to your food processor and blitz for a minute or so until it forms a dough.
  • Press the dough into the base and about 2 inches up the sides of the cake tin. Bake the crust for 15-18 minutes until it begins to brown slightly.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Add the soaked cashews, yogurt, maple syrup, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, salt, and cornstarch to your blender and blitz for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the baking powder.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, using a hand-held electric whisk beat the aquafaba for 5 minutes until stiff and foamy.
  • Use a spatula to carefully fold the aquafaba into the cheesecake batter, in ⅓ increments. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top of the cake beings to brown very slightly. The cake should be slightly firm but still jiggly. Remove the cake from the oven, but allow it to sit in the cake tin for at least an hour.
  • Once at room temperature, remove the cheesecake from the tin and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight works well).
  • To prepare the cherry compote, add the frozen cherries, sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan and cook for 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat.
  • Once the cherries have released their juices, strain them into a bowl. Add the cornflour to the bowl with the cherry juice and whisk well. Return the cherry juice/cornflour mixture to medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes whilst continuously whisking. Once the mixture thickens slightly, pour it over the cooked cherries, stir and allow the compote to come to room temperature for about an hour.
  • Serve the cheesecake topped with cherry compote.

Storage

  • To store the cheesecake, cover and refrigerate. Consume within 3 days.

Notes

  • Soaked cashews: Place the cashews in a bowl and soak them in boiling water. Allow them to sit for 30 mins to an hour.
  • Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 389IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 2mg
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27 Comments

  1. This cheesecake is sooooo good! I can’t thank you enough for sharing. I’m going to make it again today but was wondering if you think I can use Almond flour for the crust?

    1. Hi Jane,

      I'm so happy you love it! I would tend not to use almond flour in the crust as it might not hold up as well. You could probably use an all-purpose GF blend though, if needed.

  2. Hi Chrisitna,
    Since it's strawberry season, do you think I could use the same method for the compote but swapping frozen cherries with fresh strawberries? Thank you!

      1. I'm making it this weekend 🙂 as I'm compiling the shopping list another question came to mind: since originally it's 550 gr frozen berries, should I alter the amount as I'm using fresh strawberries? Thanks again!

      2. Hi Denise,

        So sorry I'm just picking up on your query now! I would use the same weight amount for fresh berries.

  3. 5 stars
    Hey Christina,

    Im very happy and reassured with this very important info I needed in priority!

    My oven is recent and I have many programs (mode functions...).

    Regarding your instructions I copy here:

    Preheat your oven to 170°C/340°F (fan oven) or 190°C/375°F conventional oven.

    I have both fan and conventional..and I see fan oven (with the blower) bake quickly than conventional which is less "agressive" on crust or on top of the cake..

    Fan oven make "golden brown" quickly and crust is well "crunchy" with this function (almost if we put cake just under mid range..)

    I didnt think there were 20° difference between the 2 oven modes..

    So for baked Cheesecakes, Crusts, baked Brownies..you always put "fan oven" and mid range in any situation?

    Good tips for the Thermometer thanks!

    As usual you are amazing!

    😉

  4. 5 stars
    Hey Christina,

    You have many great baked recipes but Im a bit scared with oven cooking..

    🚨VERY IMPORTANT: BAKING (OVEN FUNCTION and RACK POSTION)

    For Crust, you bake it at 175 for 15min but what do you use as oven function?

    (I mean traditionnal "static" with only high and low resistances heaters? Without fan blower)

    Or with the fan blower added (oven ventilator)

    Same for all baked recipes like brownies or else?

    I have a recent oven and try to learn about it carefully because it heat quickly so I have to be careful and baked recipes scares me a little bit..

    What is the OVEN RACK POSITION you use?

    For Tarts, I know the 1st or 2nd rack from the bottom may be the best...?

    What do you think?

    Many thanks

    Henri 🙂

    1. Hi Henri,

      Good question. I always use a fan oven. And bake as close to the center of the oven as possible. If you're worried about your oven, I would suggest getting a little oven thermometer. I always use one to ensure the temperature is precise, and for some peace of mind!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe. It is super delicious. I couldn't find any greek yoghurt, I used vanilla almond yoghurt and it came out really good too. I will save this under my favorites<3 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Anna,

      I'm so happy to hear that, thank you for your lovely review! That yogurt sounds amazing 🙂

  6. Excellent instructions and great flavor!
    A Truly beautiful recipe... Thank you for your generosity in sharing it!

    Also... one question,
    have you tried freezing this cheesecake (or slices of it)?

    1. Hi,

      It's my absolute pleasure, thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, you can freeze it and defrost it in the fridge overnight before serving 🙂

    2. I would love to try your cashew vegan cheesecake but would prefer using a different crust recipe. I saw one with dates, almonds, Non dairy milk, oil, etc & a no bake. Wondering your opinion on that? Your filling looks amazing. 😊

      1. Hi Deena,

        I haven't tried baking a crust with nuts and dates so I'm not sure how it will hold up. You can certainly switch out the base for a more wholesome one though, such as the one in my Lemon cheesecake for a no-bake cheesecake.

  7. Hi, thanks for your great recipes.
    I really like to try this, but I wanted to substitute cashews with something else.
    Do you think I can use sunflower seeds instead?

    1. Hi Razieh,

      I haven't tried this recipe with sunflower seeds so I can't say for certain how that would result. Although they usually work quite well in no-bake cheesecakes so I imagine it would be good!

  8. 5 stars
    Without a doubt the best vegan baked cheesecake I have ever tasted. And since I baked it myself, this mean it is also the clearest most simple recipe! A real professional look as well, which I never manage! Thanks for this and looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. Hi Erna!

      I'm so so happy to hear that you loved the recipe so much - I really appreciate this amazing feedback!

      Christina x

  9. 5 stars
    If you LOVE cheesecake and if you are curious what vegan cheesecake taste like, then look no further because Christina @addictedtodates, has veganised her mom's famous German baked cheesecake recipe for us to enjoy. What I love about this cheesecake? It's baked not raw (I'm allergic to raw), perfect texture, firm, light and creamy, super tasty and you cannot stop with only one piece. My search for the BEST Baked Vegan Cheesecake is finally over. 👌 Thank you Christina for sharing your recipe!! 😍⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    1. Thank you so much for the amazing feedback Nora! I'm so thrilled that you love the recipe 🙂 xx