This vegan cheesecake recipe combines the flavors of apple pie and caramel in one delicious easy to make dessert. I have refined this recipe a lot over the last few years and am finally happy to say that it is (in my biased opinion) the best caramel apple cheesecake recipe!

It's loosely based on my vegan pecan pie cheesecake and vegan banoffee cheesecake recipes, with a creamy filling, no-bake crust, and homemade vegan caramel sauce.

This caramel apple cheesecake is:

  • Delicious, creamy, and smooth
  • Full of apple pie flavor with the creamy tanginess of cheesecake
  • Completely eggless and dairy-free
  • No-bake and easy to make
  • Easily adapted as gluten-free
  • A guaranteed hit with vegans and non-vegans alike
vegan cheesecake with caramel and apples on top.Pin

Ingredients overview

  • Vegan cookies: The easy crust for this apple caramel cheesecake requires store-bought vegan cookies such as gingernuts, Biscoff, digestive biscuits, or graham crackers. You can also add some optional sea salt.
  • Pecans: Together with the vegan cookies, pecans form the crust of this recipe. 
  • Vegan butter: This binds the base of the cheesecake together as well as giving it a delicious buttery flavor.
  • Ground cinnamon: This adds spice and flavor to the gingernut biscuit base of the cheesecake. 
  • Vegan cream cheese: I usually use violife, as this is readily available here in Ireland. But you can use any vegan-friendly cream cheese that’s available to you.
  • Cashews: These are a common ingredient for vegan cheesecake recipes, and that's because they offer that distinct tangy flavor and creamy consistency found in traditional cheesecakes. Cashews also help to give structure to the filling which is usually found in eggs, they act as a thickening agent when blended with the other ingredients.
  • Apple puree: Or unsweetened apple sauce, is what creates a delicious fresh apple flavor for the cheesecake filling. 
  • Pure maple syrup: This is what sweetens the filling, you can add less maple syrup if preferred as there is already some sweetness from the apple puree and coconut sugar. 
  • Vanilla extract: No cheesecake recipe is complete without this.
  • Coconut oil: As it solidifies when chilled, coconut oil helps to set your vegan cheesecake.
  • Coconut sugar: A touch of coconut sugar adds a slightly caramelized flavor to the apple cheesecake filling. 
  • Apples: I personally prefer red or pink apples for this recipe. The best ones are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, and Braeburn.
  • You'll also need sweetened condensed coconut milk, brown sugar, vegan butter, and sea salt to make the caramel topping. 
tray of ingredients to make vegan apple caramel cheesecake.Pin

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

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

First up is the cookie crust for your no-bake caramel apple cheesecake. This part is so easy, you'll simply blitz the dry ingredients (cookies, salt, and cinnamon) in a food processor until finely ground. Then add in the vegan butter and blend until the mixture sticks together to form a dough consistency.

Next press the dough into the base of a lined cake tin. You can use a flat bottomed glass or cup measure to flatten it down so it's nice and even. 

Step 2: Apple cheesecake filling

For the vegan cheesecake filling, you'll need to soak the cashews to soften them. I go into more detail about the reasons for this in this guide to vegan cheesecakes. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.

Transfer the mixture to the cake tin and tap the tin on the counter to knock out any air bubbles. Place in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.

pouring cheesecake filling into a lined cake tin.Pin

Step 3: Vegan caramel sauce

The caramel sauce for this cheesecake is based on the caramel sauce in my vegan banoffee cheesecake recipe. 

Simply add all of the caramel ingredients to a saucepan (sweetened condensed coconut milk, brown sugar, vegan butter, and sea salt) and simmer on medium heat whilst stirring. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and stop stirring. Continue to simmer until the caramel sauce reaches 105°C (221°F).

caramel in a saucepan.Pin

Step 4: Sauteed apple topping

While the caramel is cooling to room temperature, prepare the apple topping for the cheesecake. Melt together the sugar and vegan butter and gently cook the apple slices for a few minutes. You want the apples to be slightly softened but not mushy.

Step 5: Assembling the cheesecake 

Pour the caramel sauce on top of the cake, you can reserve some to serve alongside your cheesecake. Arrange the sauteed apple slices on top of the caramel and top with chopped pecans. 

pouring caramel over a vegan cheesecake.Pin

Substitutions

  • Apple puree: If you don't have access to apple puree or sauce, you can make your own homemade unsweetened apple sauce
  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk: You can also use vegan sweetened condensed oat milk.
  • Gluten-free option: Swap out the biscuits for gluten-free cookies or with more pecan nuts.
  • Vegan cream cheese: This can be swapped out for coconut milk. Use full-fat canned coconut milk that’s been refrigerated overnight and use only the thick part from the top of the cans.
  • Refined sugar-free caramel: To make a slightly healthier vegan caramel sauce, simply blend the following ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth (5 pitted Medjool dates, ⅓ cup maple syrup, ⅓ cup cashew butter, and ½ tsp sea salt).

Storage instructions

This cake will store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you are planning on freezing the cake, do not add the toppings (caramel and sauteed apple) until ready to serve.

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze vegan caramel apple cheesecake?

Once the cheesecake is set, remove it from the cake till whilst still frozen. Then cover it with foil or place it in an airtight container and pop it back in the freezer where it will last for up to a couple of months. I do not recommend freezing the caramel or apple toppings, these can be made before serving.

slice of vegan cheesecake with caramel and apples on top.Pin

More vegan cheesecake recipes

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Vegan Caramel Apple Cheesecake

5 from 8 votes
PREP TIME: 45 mins
COOK TIME: 4 hrs
TOTAL TIME: 4 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12
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Description

Delicious vegan caramel apple cheesecake with layers of ginger cookie crust, creamy apple cheesecake, sticky homemade caramel, and sauteed apples. This vegan cheesecake recipe is perfect any time of year.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 140 g (14 ) ginger nut cookies , or other vegan cookies (digestive biscuits or graham crackers, Biscoff)
  • 50 g (½ cup) pecans
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) sea salt
  • 70 g (2.5 oz) vegan butter

Cheesecake filling

  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) cashews, soaked *see recipe notes
  • 300 g (10.58 oz) vegan cream cheese
  • 300 g (10.58 oz) apple puree, or unsweetened apple sauce
  • 60 g ( cup) pure maple syrup, add less if preferred
  • 25 g (2 tablespoons) coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 70 g (2.5 oz) coconut oil, solid

Caramel sauce

  • 200 g (7 oz) sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 100 g (0.45 cups) soft brown sugar
  • 80 g (2.82 oz) vegan butter
  • ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) sea salt

Apple topping

  • 2 apples, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, or Fuji
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) vegan butter
  • 30 g (2.5 tablespoons) soft brown sugar
  • 20 g (2 tablespoons) pecans, optional

Instructions

Crust

  • Add the cookies, pecans, cinnamon, and salt to a food processor and blitz for a minute or so until it reaches a fine crumb consistency.
  • Add the butter and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a soft dough consistency. Line the base of a 7.5 or 8" cake tin (with a removable base) with some parchment paper. Press the mixture into the base of the pan, using a spatula or flat bottomed glass to smooth it out. Set aside in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Cheesecake filling

  • Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz for several minutes until smooth and creamy with no lumps. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and place back in the freezer to set for a minimum of 4 hours (or overnight if preferred).
  • Once set, remove the cheesecake from the cake tin whilst still frozen. If needed use a warm damp cloth to wipe around the sides of the tin to help loosen the cake.

Caramel sauce

  • Meanwhile to make the caramel add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and simmer on medium heat whilst stirring. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and stop stirring. Continue simmering until it reaches 105°C (221°F). Remove from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to remove temperature.

Apple topping

  • Cut the apples into slices of about ½ centimeter in thickness.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a skillet and melt over low heat. Add in the sliced apples and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, tossing them regularly. You want the apples to be soft but not mushy. Once cooked, carefully separate the apples from the cooking liquid and place them on a plate to cool.

Assembly

  • Remove the cake from the cake tin at least 1 hour before serving to allow time for it to defrost.
  • Pour the caramel on top of the cake, reserving about a quarter for serving. Arrange the sauteed apples on top of the caramel and top with chopped pecans.

Storage

  • This cake will store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you are planning on freezing the cake, do not add the toppings (caramel and sauteed apple) until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Soaked cashews: Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain. Alternatively, soak them in boiling water for 1 hour. 
  • Apple puree: If you don't have access to apple puree or sauce, you can make your own homemade unsweetened apple sauce
  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk: You can also use vegan sweetened condensed oat milk.
  • Gluten-free option: Swap out the biscuits for gluten-free cookies or with more pecan nuts.
  • Vegan cream cheese: This can be swapped out for coconut milk. Use full-fat canned coconut milk that’s been refrigerated overnight and use only the thick part from the top of the cans.
  • Refined sugar-free caramel: To make a slightly healthier vegan caramel sauce, simply blend the following ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth (5 pitted medjool dates, ⅓ cup maple syrup, ⅓ cup cashew butter, and ½ tsp sea salt).

 

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 257mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 632IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg
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