Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake

A tart raspberry layer, a creamy "cheesecake" layer, and a gluten-free walnut crust make this easy vegan cheesecake recipe tangy, rich & delicious.

Vegan Cheesecake

Happy early Valentine’s day… or Galentines Day… or whatever holiday you like to celebrate with heart-shaped treats and little paper cards. As I’ve written about many times before, Jack and I have this Chocolate Molten Cake Valentine’s tradition. This year I switched things up a bit and made this decadent yet mostly raw raspberry vegan cheesecake. How cute are those layers!?

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe Variations

I have two versions below – one version uses raw cashews for the white “cheesecake” layer and the other version uses vegan cream cheese. I wanted to offer these two options because one requires a fancy high powered blender to really cream the nuts out of those cashews, and the second option will work with any blender.

Both versions also taste different – if you’re used to eating “raw” desserts you will love the cashew version. It has a fresh taste that I really like. Jack preferred option 2, which tastes a little more authentically like cheesecake.

I top both variations with a fresh raspberry layer inspired by the raspberry chia jam I make all the time. This time, instead of jamming it, I blended the raspberries with chia seeds to create that bright pink topping.

 Vegan Cheesecake batter poured into pan

How to Make Vegan Cheesecake

A few notes about this recipe – it takes a little time for each layer to freeze before you add the next, so be sure to make this either the morning of, or the day before, you’re going to eat it. Other than the time it takes to freeze, this is a piece of cake to make:

  1. Start by making the gluten-free crust by pulsing together walnuts, dates, coconut oil, and salt in a food processor. Press the sticky mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined loaf pan, and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Blend together the ingredients for the creamy “cheesecake” layer. Then, pour them over the frozen crust, and slide the pan back into the freezer for another 2 hours.
  3. Finally, blend up the vibrant pink raspberry layer. Pour it over the frozen cheesecake and freeze overnight!
  4. Then, it’s time to eat! Let the vegan cheesecake thaw slightly before slicing and serving.

Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake

If you love this vegan cheesecake recipe…

Try more of my favorite vegan desserts:

Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake Slices

Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake

rate this recipe:
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs
Total Time: 6 hrs 30 mins
Serves 8 to 10
Note: This vegan cheesecake recipe requires each layer to be frozen before adding the next, so it's best to prep this at least one day before you would like to serve it.

Ingredients

Walnut Crust

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 soft Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Cheesecake Option 1: with cashews* (see note)

  • cup raw cashews, soak 4 hours, then drain
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Cheesecake option 2: with Daiya cream cheese

  • 1 (8 oz.) package plain vegan cream cheese
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Raspberry Layer

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries, mostly thawed
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Instructions

  • In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, dates, coconut oil and salt together until crumbly. Line an 8x4” loaf pan with parchment paper allowing 1 inch of overhang on each side. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Freeze for at least 15 minutes or as long as it takes to get the next layer ready.
  • In a high-powered blender, blend the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, lemon juice, zest, vanilla and salt until completely creamy (about 1 minute). Pour the filling over the crust and smooth until even. Freeze until this layer is completely firm, at least 2 hours. (Alternatively, use a regular blender and blend the ingredients from Cheesecake Option 2, above)
  • In the blender, combine the raspberries, lemon juice, maple syrup and chia seeds. Blend until smooth. Pour the raspberry mixture on top of the frozen cheesecake layer and smooth until even. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and let it thaw for at least 20 minutes. Using the sides of the parchment paper, carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice it into 8 to 10 slices. Let the individual slices thaw for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until fully thawed so that the middle layer is creamy and the raspberry layer is less icy. Re-freeze any remaining slices.

Notes

*A high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, is recommended for this option in order for the cashews to get really creamy.

 

51 comments

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dominique
    02.13.2017

    This looks amazing! Your creativity never disappoints. Will be making this for sure.
    Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      thanks Dominique!

    • Genevieve Doll
      02.22.2017

      Looking forward to making these for a dinner party this weekend!

  2. Sanja
    02.13.2017

    Can you recommend any crust substitutions for someone who doesn’t like walnuts?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.13.2017

      Do you like pecans? I think any soft nut would work here instead.

  3. Izzy | pinch of delight
    02.13.2017

    This looks AMAZING! x
    Izzy -https://pinchofdelight.wordpress.com

  4. Pia
    02.13.2017

    Holy Moly, or more like Holy Jeanine! These look INSANELY good and that raspberry layer just really makes them pop and stand out and dance and sing and whatnot. Just wow *insert heart-eyed emoji*

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      thanks Pia!

  5. Elize from eatcooklove.nl
    02.14.2017

    yumm!!! Look at the red colour! Looks delicious! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    VEGAN RASPBERRY LEMON CHIA “CHEESECAKE” wow.. thanks for the wonderful recipe really liked this.. such a delicious cheese cake.. loved it. i will try this out.. and good write-up, you had written in such a simple manner..

  7. Gail
    02.14.2017

    Love your recipes but wish you included nutritional information as I am trying to gain weight.

  8. Cheesecake is one of those things that always seems so daunting until you actually try it and see how simple it can be! Eager to try this awesome crust.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      This one is really simple – no baking required!

  9. Amalia
    02.14.2017

    I’m doing the cheesecake #2 option, as I’m really low on raw cashews. I hate the taste of Daiya, but in CA there’s an almond cream cheese called Kite Hill that I recommend to anyone. Sooo good.

    I do have some raw cashew butter from somewhere…do you think it would be an odd texture combination to mix the two cheesecake types together? I think I have about 6 oz of my Kite Hill left, but I don’t know if the cashew butter mixture will blend well with something that’s already whipped…🤔

    • Isa
      02.14.2017

      5 stars
      Thanks, this was soo delicious!
      I made it today with a few changes due to limitations in what my fridge had to offer. I substituted half of the walnuts with oats, instead of lemon juice i went for yuzu juice (my favourite citrus flavor) and instead of raspberies i used blueberries. It all got together so well. My boyfriend devoured it too (at first I did not tell him about the cashew base, he tends to be very biased when it comes to food -.-).

      Isa

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        02.14.2017

        I’m so glad you and your boyfriend loved it! I bet it was so good with yuzu!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.14.2017

      Hi Amalia – I think that would work – you might just want to taste and adjust the flavors/sweetness to your liking as you blend.

      • Amalia Sieber
        02.14.2017

        5 stars
        Yes! iIt is so good – loved being able to combine and control the flavor a little more. Layers 1 and 2 are in the freezer now, and I definitely licked my spatula a few times (I used to hate cheesecake, so this is really great!)

        I ended up making it a little tarter with extra lemon juice in layers 2 and 3, because I have a million lemons right now and I like extra tang. The only other change was the using combination of mostly almond cream cheese and a few tbsp of raw cashew butter.

        Can’t wait to cut it up in a few hours, since I’m loving all my un-frozen remnants right now!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          02.14.2017

          Yay, I’m so glad that worked!

  10. Heather from chefingaround.com
    02.14.2017

    I love how healthy this recipe is! It’s proof that you don’t have to sacrifice deliciousness to be healthy. I think I might try making this over the weekend so I have something to keep my sweet tooth at bay throughout the week!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      thanks Heather, let me know if you give it a go!

  11. I’m so excited to try this cake. I especially love the raspberry layer. The colour is so beautiful.

  12. Mona CC from corpuschristiloansonline.com
    02.15.2017

    Looks delicious. I’ll try to do it this weekend 😀

  13. Lee Ann from paperheartscissors.com
    02.15.2017

    5 stars
    I made this for my Husband and Son for Valentines yesterday and it is Delicious! Easy to do, I made the cashew version they wanted thirds!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      Yay! I’m so glad this was a hit 🙂

  14. yummy..three layers which is making me to try it out.. Going to enjoy it in this weekend.

  15. Caitlin
    03.04.2017

    Should I put the can of full fat coconut milk in fridge prior to making this, to split the water and cream?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.05.2017

      No, I just used it as-is this time! No need to separate the solids and liquids.

      • Caitlin
        03.05.2017

        Okay, thanks! I can’t wait to make this!

  16. Tania
    03.06.2017

    5 stars
    so, so good. I saw this post on like, a Tuesday and dreamt about it all week until I finally had time to make it Saturday. It was actually pretty easy – I just used regular cream cheese but otherwise followed it exactly. Big hit – my 18 month old loved it! — it didn’t last the day! Also, it looked beautiful too.

  17. Diana Maier
    03.12.2017

    5 stars
    Excellent! I will definitely make this again.

  18. Sasha
    04.03.2017

    This recipe was incredible! I saw the pictures and I HAD to try it. I’ve never made anything with cashews even though I have tried a lot of plant based cooking and baking. I have a soft spot for cheesecake but I hate dairy. THIS HIT THE SPOT. It tasted just like cheesecake and I felt good eating it. Had three pieces I couldn’t help myself. Everything about this is delicious. The crust is spot on, the center came out SO creamy and the top layer gave it the perfect tartness. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I love your blog you are honestly my inspiration. I’ve wanted to make a cooking YouTube/blog for so long but I just don’t have the guts to start. I just ordered your book and hope to cook everything from it. Thanks again! Looking forward to more

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.04.2017

      Hi Sasha, thank you!! I’m so glad you loved the cheesecake! Thank you for your sweet words 🙂

  19. Kacy from library.uonbi.ac.ke
    06.05.2017

    This just looks out of this world

  20. Aidan
    06.18.2017

    I am really excited to try this! Just wondering if the coconut oil in the crust should be room temp or melted?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    Aidan

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.20.2017

      Hi Aidan – mine was at room temp, but I’m pretty sure it would work either way.

      • Aidan
        06.28.2017

        5 stars
        Oh my god – finally had some spare time to make this and it is SO good. 🙂 I’m in heaven – the slight tartness of the raspberry chia layer is such a perfect complement to the cashew “cheesecake” layer.

        Love love love it! Thank you for more deliciousness. 🙂

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          06.29.2017

          funny – I was just thinking about this one as your comment came through :). So glad you liked it! Always appreciate your feedback!

  21. Belina
    08.16.2017

    Hi, can I use fresh raspberries? Is still work? Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.16.2017

      yes, fresh raspberries will work!

  22. Tomi
    11.17.2017

    Is it possible to use something other than the coconut milk and it still set up? I have a coconut allergy.

    This looks so amazing that I would like to try it out before the holidays.

    Thanks!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.17.2017

      Hi Tomi,

      Any nut milk should work (the cashews are the most important part of the filling) – it might be a tad more icy, but should be fine after it thaws a bit before slicing into it. Hope that helps!

  23. AC
    12.09.2017

    Hi! I was wondering if you think it is possible to make this without a food processor (I only have a blender and don’t want to buy another piece of equipment)? Thanks!

  24. Steph
    06.04.2018

    Regarding the coconut milk, do you use the thick part on top or do you mix the can up first? This looks amazing, looking to prepare it for Father’s Day.

  25. Jeanine Donofrio
    01.22.2019

    I’m sorry you didn’t love this one, maybe you would like blueberries better since they don’t have seeds.

  26. Jeanine Donofrio
    02.19.2019

    Hi Jenna, it’ll get softer if you let it sit at room temperature until it’s not icy anymore.

  27. Anonymous
    04.17.2019

    Can you please tell me the nutrition facts?

  28. Chris Strathdee
    06.02.2019

    Those look great. However, I have an allergy to tree nuts. Do you have a viable substitute for the walnuts and cashews?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      Hi Chris, I don’t have a sub for the nuts in this recipe since it’s primarily nuts.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.