Say hello to my new favorite dessert! Every so often I create a recipe that I literally cannot keep my hands off - this vegan chocolate cheesecake was one of them. The creamy chocolate cheesecake filling is slightly tangy and melts in the mouth with a silky smooth texture. And the sweet cookie base has the perfect amount of crunch to compliment the filling.
Moreover, the recipe is made without cashews or other nuts, raw cashews, in particular, are often found in vegan cheesecake recipes. After sharing my vegan chocolate orange cheesecake recipe last year, a plain chocolate version was highly requested over on Instagram, so I of course happily obliged. You don't have to ask me twice when there's chocolate involved.
I don't like to use this phrase often, but this is likely going to be the best vegan chocolate cheesecake you'll try!
Here’s why this recipe works
- Ultra creamy consistency
- Rich and decadent dessert
- Easy to make
- Eggless and dairy-free
- Made for chocolate lovers!
- Perfect dessert for special occasions (birthdays, Christmas and holidays, Mother's Day, Valentine’s, etc)
Dark chocolate: As always, I recommend going for a good quality vegan dark chocolate with 70% minimum cocoa content.
Vegan cream cheese: For that classic flavor found in regular cheesecake recipes, this dairy-free cheesecake uses vegan cream cheese both for flavor and consistency. I usually use Violife which is nut-free and can be found in most supermarkets over here.
Silken tofu: This high protein ingredient gives this cake an amazingly smooth and creamy texture. Don’t worry you won’t be able to taste it at all!
Pure maple syrup: Since we're using dark chocolate, the chocolate cheesecake filling is sweetened with maple syrup which also helps with creating its smooth consistency.
Lemon juice: I know lemon and chocolate probably sound like an unlikely combination, but you won't taste the lemon here at all. It's added to give the vegan cheesecake filling that classic tangy flavor.
Vanilla extract: This adds another layer of flavor whilst also enhancing the sweetness.
Oat milk: You can use any plant-based milk of your choice here.
Coffee: As usual, I add a touch of coffee or espresso powder to most vegan chocolate cake recipes to help enhance the chocolate flavor. Again, you won't taste the coffee here, but you can choose to omit it if preferred.
Cocoa powder: I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder which gives this vegan cheesecake a rich chocolate flavor, but you could also use raw cacao powder. Just make sure you choose an unsweetened cocoa powder.
Vegan cookies: Such as oreos or bourbons.
Vegan butter: This recipe calls for vegan block butter, so not the spreadable kind that comes in a tub.
Sea salt: This is a must for all chocolate recipes, it enhances the flavor and sweetness.
If you're planning on making the chocolate ganache sauce you'll also need some full-fat canned coconut milk.
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)
Step 1: Cookie crust
The no-bake cookie crust for this vegan chocolate cheesecake comes together in just a few easy steps. First add the dry ingredients to a food processor (vegan cookies, and salt) and blitz until they form a crumb consistency.
Then add in the vegan butter (no need to melt the butter first) and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a dough consistency. Next, press the cookie crust into the base of a cake pan lined with parchment paper.
Step 2: Chocolate cheesecake filling
For the creamy filling first, melt the chocolate over a double-boiler (classically known as a bain-marie). Secondly, blend the remaining filling ingredients in a high-speed blender (in this case that's vegan cream cheese, silken tofu, maple syrup, lemon juice, coffee, oat milk, vanilla extract, and sea salt) until completely smooth and creamy.
Next, add in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder and blend again until smooth. The chocolate cheesecake mixture will become super thick and creamy.
Transfer the chocolate filling into the prepared pan and smooth out the top using a spatula or create a chocolate swirl.
To create a “swirl” effect on the top of the chocolate cheesecake, it's easiest to use a rotating cake stand. Place the cake on the turntable and use your spatula or spoon to make a swirl print on the surface of the cake whilst spinning the turntable.
Step 3: Toppings
For topping your vegan chocolate cheesecake I recommend using chocolate, chocolate, and yes, more chocolate! It's something you can't have enough of if you ask me and this cake is a great way to showcase all of its different textures.
Here are some of my favorite toppings:
- Chocolate curls or chocolate shavings
- Dark chocolate squares
- Melted chocolate ganache
- Grated vegan white chocolate
Place the no-bake chocolate cheesecake in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frequently asked questions
You can easily freeze this dairy-free chocolate cheesecake in an airtight container for up to a couple of months. Alternatively, can slice and wrap the cheesecake into single servings and freeze them individually. Just take the cheesecake out to defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving it.
Yes, this cheesecake is nut-free however, be sure to check the ingredients of separate ingredients, in particular the vegan cream cheese. I use violife, which is free from nuts.
Yes, simply swap the cookies in the crust for vegan, gluten-free cookies of your choice.
If you don’t have access to vegan cream cheese you can use coconut cream in its place. I would suggest taste-testing the cheesecake mixture as you may want to add a little more sweetener, lemon juice, and/or salt to adjust to your taste.
For best results, I like to use a food processor, although you can make the cookie crust without equipment. Throw the cookies in a ziplock bag and bash them into a crumb consistency using a rolling pin. If using the rolling pin method the butter will need to be melted first. Therefore, you’ll then need to stir the melted butter through the crushed cookies before pressing it into the bottom of the pan.
More vegan cheesecakes
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- 16 (160g) (16 (160g)) original oreos or oreo style cookies
- 50 g (1.75 oz) vegan block butter
- ¼ teaspoon (¼ teaspoon) sea salt
- 300 g (10.5 oz) vegan dark chocolate
- 350 g (12.3 oz) silken tofu
- 200 g (7 oz) vegan cream cheese
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) pure maple syrup, add 1-2 tbsp more according to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ( ) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
- 120 ml (½ cup) oat milk, or alternative plant-based milk
- pinch (pinch) sea salt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, optional
Chocolate curls, optional
- 75 g (2.65 oz) vegan dark chocolate
Chocolate ganache sauce, optional
- 75 g (2.65 oz) vegan dark chocolate
- 75 g (2.65 oz) chilled canned full-fat coconut milk, or coconut cream *see recipe notes
- Line the bottom and sides of a 7.5 or 8" cake tin (with removable base) with some parchment paper.
- Add the cookies and sea salt to your food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds until evenly finely ground. Add in the vegan butter and blend again until evenly combined and the mixture sticks together between your fingers. Press the cookie mixture into the base of the cake tin, and smooth it out with a ¼ cup measure or flat bottomed glass, making sure it is compact. Set aside in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Finely chop the chocolate and add it to a heat-resistant bowl. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan that is about ¼ ways filled with simmering water (bain-marie). Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula every so often to melt it evenly.
- Add the silken tofu, vegan cream cheese, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, coffee, oat milk, and salt to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa powder (if using) and blend again until smooth.
- Transfer the filling into the cake tin using a spatula to smooth it out. To get the swirl effect on top, place the cake tin on top of a turntable, and use your spatula to make a swirl print on the surface of the cake whilst spinning the turntable. Place in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours (or overnight if preferred). Once set, remove the cake from the tin.
- To make the chocolate curls, melt the chocolate and pour it into a small plastic container lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 20-30 minutes, then remove the block of chocolate from the container and use a potato peeler to create chocolate curls in long movements while applying pressure. I recommend wearing latex gloves for this step as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. If the chocolate gets too soft, return it to the freezer for 10 minutes and repeat.
- Finely chop the chocolate and set it aside in a heat-resistant bowl. Add the coconut milk to a saucepan and place it on medium heat until gently simmering. Pour the heated coconut milk over the chocolate and allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes uncovered, before stirring with a spatula until smooth. Pour over the chocolate cheesecake slices before serving.
- Place the no-bake chocolate cheesecake in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze, place it in an airtight container for up to a couple of months. You can also slice and wrap it into single servings and freeze them individually. Just take the cheesecake out to defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving it.
- Coconut milk: Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. The cream will separate to the top of the can once chilled. Use the thick cream from the top of the can for this recipe.
- This cheesecake is nut-free. However, be sure to check the ingredients of separate ingredients, in particular the vegan cream cheese. I use violife, which is free from nuts.
- To make it gluten-free simply swap the cookies in the crust for vegan, gluten-free cookies of your choice.
- Substitute vegan cream cheese for coconut cream. Taste-test the cheesecake mixture as you may want to add a little more sweetener, lemon juice, and/or salt to adjust to your taste.
- If you don't have a food processor, throw the cookies in a ziplock bag and bash them into a crumb consistency using a rolling pin. You’ll then need to melt the vegan butter and stir it through the crushed cookies before pressing it into the bottom of the pan.
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