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 30 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.

 

85 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Erin
    07.28.2021

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe, it is fantastic! I read the comments after I’d bought my ingredients, and I already had the Miyokos cream cheese. I wanted to make it work, so I made the following alteration: I used 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the 1/2 cup of coconut milk and otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The filling set perfectly. Thanks again!

  2. Lea
    07.05.2021

    Yum! I made this recipe exactly with the cashews in my vitamix. So delicious! Thank you!

  3. kari
    06.23.2021

    Can I make it in a regular pie pan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.24.2021

      no, it won’t be deep enough for the layers, so I recommend a loaf pan.

  4. Bernadette
    06.21.2021

    Hello! I am looking to make this four the 4th of July…but a quick question. Do I have to grind the chia seeds or soak them when I make up the raspberry topping?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.21.2021

      Hi Bernadette, no, just add them dry to the blender in step 3.

  5. Amy
    06.15.2021

    Hi Jeanine! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Can you offer any recommendations on how to stabilize/increase the firmness of the cheesecake layer?

    When I made it, I used Miyokos’s vegan cashew cream cheese. The consistency is pretty similar to normal cream cheese.

    Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly, including the setting times in the freezer, but when I took the cheesecake out to thaw before serving the cheesecake layer had the consistency of greek yogurt.

    Otherwise, the taste was great!

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.15.2021

      Hi Amy, I haven’t tried with Miyokos yogurt, that sounds strange for sure. How long did you let it thaw out of the freezer?

      • Amy
        06.15.2021

        I let it thaw out of the freezer for 20 min, per the recipe. By that point, the cheesecake layer getting a little runny, but the raspberry layer was still frozen/icy.

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          06.15.2021

          I think it’s probably the brand – they’re all made with different ingredients (unlike regular cream cheese brands that are all cream cheese). I could see how some might react differently when frozen and thawed.

  6. Saumya
    06.02.2021

    Hi, thanks for this amazing recipe. I am planning to make this for a friend but I’ll have to travel with this for a few hours as she lives far away from my place. Can this survive being out of the freezer/fridge for a few hours? I hope this doesn’t get too runny.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2021

      Hi Saumya, I think it’ll melt if it’s not kept in the freezer.

  7. Pascal
    05.08.2021

    OMG! I made the recipe with cashew today and it was delicious. I substituted coconut sugar for maple syrup because i was out and also didn’t make the raspberry glaze (was lazy). Delicious!!!! Thanks for the recipe

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.09.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  8. Orley
    04.27.2021

    I am going to make the cream cheese layer and I was wondering if you will be able to taste the lemon juice?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.27.2021

      You can, it’s what gives it a tangy cheesecake-like flavor.

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.