Move over, Terry’s. My Vegan, No-Bake Chocolate Orange Cheesecake is the new sheriff in town! Made with fewer than 10 ingredients and exactly ZERO baking, this plant-based orange chocolate cheesecake is better (and better for you!) than store-bought.
Since posting my Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake I've gotten so many requests to do an alcohol-free version. This bright and juicy chocolate orange marvel is the result, and I have a feeling you’re going to love it.
📖 Recipe Overview
- If you're a true chocoholic, this cheesecake will satisfy your cravings in the best way possible. The intense chocolate flavor is front and center — one bite and you’ll be in dessert heaven.
- The addition of zesty orange gives this chocolatey dessert a bright and refreshing twist. It balances out the richness of the chocolate cream cheese filling, making it a well-rounded and sophisticated treat.
- It's free from animal products and, unlike many no-bake vegan cheesecake recipes, this tasty recipe is also nut-free.
- This recipe is a no-bake wonder, which means you don't have to worry about preheating your oven or monitoring baking times. It's easy to whip up and requires minimal effort, making it a great option for hot, busy, or lazy days.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
As promised, you only need a few easy-to-find ingredients to make this Better-Than-Terry’s chocolate orange cheesecake:
While most of the ingredients are pretty straightforward, here are a few notes to keep in mind:
- Orange - You’ll need both the juice and the zest to get the full symphony of citrusy goodness, so make sure to grab fresh oranges. I used naval orange, but any other variety like blood orange or Cara Cara will also work beautifully.
- Granulated Sugar - If you’re in the US, make sure to reach for organic cane sugar to ensure it’s vegan.
- Vegan Greek-Style Yogurt - If you only have regular plain vegan yogurt, you can strain it with a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer to make it thick and rich like Greek yogurt. You can also swap in soft silken tofu if you prefer!
- Vegan Cream Cheese - My homemade recipe is a snap to make, but you’re welcome to swap in your favorite store-bought version.
- Cacao Powder - Cacao and cocoa powder are both derived from the same plant, but they differ in their processing methods and nutritional composition. Feel free to use raw cacao (which has more antioxidants), or an equal amount of regular, Dutch-process, or black cocoa powder instead.
🥣 How To Make Chocolate Orange Cheesecake
This quick and easy orange and chocolate cheesecake comes together in just a few simple steps:
Prepare. Line the bottom and sides of a springform cake tin with parchment paper.
Step 1: Reduce the orange juice by cooking it over medium heat in a saucepan for 10-20 minutes.
Step 2: Add sugar to the reduced orange juice and continue cooking for another minute, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to room temp.
Step 3: Make the Oreo cookie crust by blitzing the ingredients in a food processor. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the prepared cake pan.
Step 4: Whip the vegan cream cheese and yogurt together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Step 5: Add cacao powder and orange zest to the cheesecake filling mixture, whipping until combined.
Step 6: Complete the cheesecake filling by mixing in the cooled orange reduction and melted chocolate in alternating turns.
Step 7: Add the filling on top of the crust. Create a swirl on top using a turntable and offset spatula. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours to set.
Step 8: Gently remove the chilled orange chocolate cheesecake from the springform tin and decorate with wedges of candied orange, strips of candied orange zest, and/or vegan dark chocolate shavings. Serve & enjoy!
🍊 Optional Variations
As much as I love this chocolate orange cheesecake recipe just the way it is written, there is plenty of room for you to make your own mark on it. Here are a few ideas:
- Gluten-Free - Use gluten-free Oreo-style biscuits for the crust. Alternatively, pipe the chocolate orange cheesecake filling into pretty glasses to serve as individual crustless cheesecakes.
- Chocolate Orange Mocha Cheesecake - Add a tablespoon of espresso powder to the filling for a mocha twist.
- Swap Your Toppers - You can pretty much decorate this cheesecake with anything your heart desires. Here are some of my favorites:
- Vegan mini easter eggs (you can even make your own by melting vegan chocolate into some molds like these ones)
- Dark chocolate shards
- Grated dark chocolate
- Fresh orange slices
- Sliced kumquats
- Dried blueberry or raspberry powder
- Candied orange slices
- Fresh berries
- Add some crunch to the crust by mixing in chopped nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts.
This little beauty keeps, well-covered in the fridge, for up to 4 days.
Sure! It should keep well in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Reduced orange juice is made by cooking fresh orange juice over low heat until it becomes thick and syrupy. This process concentrates the flavor of the juice and adds a natural sweetness resulting in a bright and fresh citrus flavor.
Adding extra sugar makes the orange reduction even more syrupy, which is perfect for adding moisture and sweetness to this recipe.
Orange extract, on the other hand, is a concentrated flavoring made by extracting the essential oils from the rind of an orange. It has a more intense and artificial flavor compared to reduced orange juice, and it may contain additional ingredients, such as alcohol or corn syrup.
So, while orange extract can be a convenient and easy way to add orange flavor to recipes, it may not provide the same depth of flavor and natural sweetness as reduced orange juice.
🍰 More Vegan Cheesecakes
- 360 ml (1 ½ cups) orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 300 g (1 ¾ cups) vegan dark chocolate
- 400 g (1 ¾ cups) vegan cream cheese, room temperture
- 300 g (1 ¼ cups) vegan Greek-style yogurt, or soft silken tofu
- 20 g (¼ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, freshly grated
- dark chocolate
- Orange slices
- Prepare: Line the bottom and sides of a 7" or 8" cake tin (with a removable base) with some parchment paper.
- Make orange reduction: Add the freshly squeezed orange juice to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer for about 10-20 minutes until the mixture has reduced to 120ml. Once reduced, add in the sugar, whisk, and cook for another minute until dissolved. Bring the orange reduction to room temperature.
- Make the crust: Add the cookies and 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 the back of a spoon, making sure it is compact. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Make the filling: Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler), stir until smooth, and set it aside for 15-20 minutes to cool. Add the cream cheese and yogurt to a large mixing bowl and whisk using an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.Whisk in the cocoa powder and orange zest until combined.
- Lastly, alternate between adding the melted chocolate and orange reduction in 3 increments each, whisking each time to incorporate them into the cream cheese mixture. (one part orange and whisk, one part chocolate whisk again, etc..)
- Set the cake: 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 4 hours (or overnight if preferred). Once set, remove the cake from the tin.
- Storage: Place it in an airtight container in the fridge and consume it within 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze any unused slices and defrost them as needed.
- Wash, dry, and zest the orange first, making sure to only remove the bright orange parts. (The white pith is quite bitter.) Next, give the orange a firm roll on the countertop to help extract the most juice before cutting it in half and using a reamer to juice it.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl as often as needed to ensure the ingredients are well-combined.
- When melting the chocolate, do it slowly and over low heat to prevent scorching. Use a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Use a hot knife to slice the cheesecake. Before slicing the cheesecake, dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe it clean. This will help you get clean slices without the filling sticking to the knife.
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*This recipe was originally published in March 2021. The recipe has since been improved and updated to minimize the ingredients used and simplify the instructions.