If you're looking for a cheesecake recipe that's not only vegan but completely nut-free then you've come to the right place. This no-bake salted caramel cheesecake is made using silken tofu as the main ingredient.
This high protein ingredient lends its silky smooth texture and setting properties to make a mean creamy consistency cheesecake. But don't worry, you can't taste the tofu in this cake at all! It makes a great option if you or someone you know has nut allergies, or if you're just looking for an alternative to cashew-based raw cakes.
- Roasted buckwheat: If you're using raw buckwheat groats, you will first need to toast them. Toss them in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes until brown. Buckwheat groats are a great option for the crust to keep this a nut-free cheesecake.
- Oat flakes: Oats work perfectly with the buckwheat to make a delicious base that even without baking, still has a bit of bite. Make sure you opt for gluten-free oats if you want to keep the cake gluten-free.
- Medjool dates: The perfect sweetener and binding agent for no-bake case bases.
- Ground cinnamon: Just a touch, the flavor is subtle, but you can omit the cinnamon if you don't have it to hand.
- Dark chocolate: Be sure to check that the chocolate you're using is vegan-friendly. Even some dark chocolates tend to sneak milk powder in there.
- Silken tofu: The star of the show. This high protein ingredient gives this cake its amazing creamy, silky texture.
- Maple syrup: As with most of my no-bake cheesecakes, I've sweetened this one with maple syrup.
- Lemon juice: A touch of lemon juice helps to balance out the flavors of the cake whilst adding a tangy "cheesecake" effect.
- Dairy-free white chocolate: This is available in the free-from section in most supermarkets and health food stores. I usually get mine in a local zero waste shop (so handy!). If you haven't yet found the one you like you can always try making your own vegan white chocolate!
- Vanilla extract: This adds another layer of flavor to the cake, you can swap it out for half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or the seeds from half a vanilla pod if you have one to hand.
- Sea salt: You can also use Maldon flakes or Himalayan pink salt depending on what you have to hand.
- Maca powder: This is an optional step but adds a lovely flavor and enhances the "salted caramel" effect.
How to make this recipe
Making the base for this cheesecake is as easy as blending all the ingredients together! Start by adding the dry ingredients to the food processor and blitzing. The goal is to get them to an almost flour-like consistency. If you add all of the ingredients together at this stage, you will have a more coarse, rustic end result - which works too if that's what you're going for!
Next, add in the wet ingredients and continue to blend until the mixture reaches a dough consistency. Press the crust into the base of a 7" cake tin with a removable base that's lined with some parchment paper and set aside.
To make the chocolate filling, you first need to melt the chocolate. The best way to do this is over a double boiler (au bain-marie) which consists of a bowl that sits on top of a saucepan with simmering water. The steam from the water will rise up and heat the bowl with the chocolate, gently melting it. Make sure you use a bowl that's large enough to cover the circumference of the saucepan, otherwise water can spit up and end up in your chocolate, causing it to split.
Once your chocolate has melted, add it to a high-speed blender or food processor along with all of the other ingredients for the chocolate cheesecake filling. Blend until smooth and creamy. This step will only take a minute or two as all of the ingredients are already soft and creamy, unlike cheesecakes that use cashews. Transfer the chocolate filling into the cake tin, smooth out the top with a spatula and gently tap on the counter to knock out any air bubbles. Place in the freezer while you make the caramel filling.
For the caramel filling, follow the same steps as for the chocolate filling. Melt the cacao butter and vegan white chocolate over a double boiler. Then add them to your high-speed blender or food processor along with the silken tofu, Medjool dates, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt, vanilla extract, and maca, and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture into the cake tin and again, use your spatula to flatten out the top. Place in the freezer to set for 2 hours, or in the fridge to set for a minimum of 6 hours.
Thirty minutes before your cake is set, prepare the caramel sauce. Add the condensed coconut milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce down to a simmer over medium-low heat. Allow the coconut milk to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add in the salt and whisk well. Allow the sauce to cool for 10-15 minutes.
You can simply pour the cooled caramel sauce on top of the cake, or you can opt to pipe it on. Transfer the cooled caramel sauce to a piping bag, snip the top to leave a very small tip with scissors, and create a lattice effect drizzle on top of the cake.
This is the part where you can get really creative. This cake is great with some (or all!) of the following as toppings.
- Vegan caramel sauce
- Maldon salt flakes
- Vegan-friendly (GF if required) pretzels
- Grated dark chocolate
- Grated dairy-free white chocolate
- Vegan-friendly crushed ice cream cones
- Vegan-friendly Toffee popcorn
This cake will store in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days. You can alternatively freeze in portions and defrost as needed
- Oat flakes: If you're gluten intolerant be sure to use GF oats. The oats can also be swapped for desiccated or shredded coconut.
- Roasted buckwheat: The buckwheat gives the base a nice bite, but you can also swap them out for more oat flakes if preferred!
- Vegan white chocolate and Cacao butter: You can interchange these two ingredients. For example, if cacao butter is not available to you just increase the quantity of white chocolate to compensate and vice versa.
- Vanilla extract: This can be swapped out for half of a seeded vanilla bean or half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- Caramel cheesecake layer: If you want to keep things even simpler, you can completely skip the caramel cheesecake layer and just make this a chocolate cheesecake with caramel sauce on top. If you want to keep the height of the cake I'd recommend doubling the chocolate layer ingredients.
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- Easy to make
- High in plant-based protein
- Plant-based and Vegan-friendly
- Can be adapted as gluten-free (double-check labels of individual products, use GF oats)
- Can be adapted as coconut-free (skip the caramel sauce)
- Free from animal-derived products
- Minimal ingredients
More vegan cheesecake recipes
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CARAMEL SAUCE - Omit for coconut free version
- 11.3 oz (320 g) sweetened condensed coconut milk
- ¼ tsp (1.25 g) sea salt
- Handful vegan friendly pretzels, crush ice-cream cones , maldon flakes and shaved white and dark chocolate
- Make the base by adding the roasted buckwheat, oats, salt and cinnamon to your food processor. Blitz the ingredients for a couple of minutes until they form a floury consistency.
- Add in the dates and water and continue to blitz the ingredients until the form a dough.
- Line a 7" cake tin with removable base with some parchment paper and press the dough into the base of the tin using a spatula. Set aside.
- To make the chocolate filling, place the chocolate in a bowl and melt over a double boiler.
- Add the melted chocolate, silken tofu, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt and vanilla extract to your high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to your cake tin and use a spatula to smooth out the top. Place in the freezer whilst you make the caramel filling.
- For the caramel filling, melt the cacao butter and vegan white chocolate over a double boiler.
- Add the melted cacao butter, melted vegan white chocolate, silken tofu, medjool dates, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt, vanilla extract and maca powder to your high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture into the cake tin and again, use your spatula to flatten out the top. Place in the freezer to set for 2 hours, or in the fridge to set for a minimum of 6 hours.
- Thirty minutes before your cake is set, prepare the caramel sauce. Add the condensed coconut milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce down to a simmer over a medium low heat. Allow the coconut milk to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add in the salt and whisk well. Allow the sauce to cool for 10-15 minutes
- Once set, carefully remove the cake from the cake tin. Transfer the sauce into a piping bag and pipe on top of the cake.
- Optional: Garnish with grated dark and white chocolate, maldon flakes, vegan-friendly pretzels and crushed ice-cream cones.
- This cake will store in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days. You can alternatively freeze in portions and defrost as needed
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