A tart raspberry layer, a creamy "cheesecake" layer, and a gluten-free walnut crust make this easy vegan cheesecake recipe tangy, rich & delicious.
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 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Finally, blend up the vibrant pink raspberry layer. Pour it over the frozen cheesecake and freeze overnight!
- Then, it’s time to eat! Let the vegan cheesecake thaw slightly before slicing and serving.
If you love this vegan cheesecake recipe…
Try more of my favorite vegan desserts:
- Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- No Bake Cookies
- 3-Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream
- Cinnamon Apple Crumble
- Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Easy Peach Cobbler
- Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3 soft Medjool dates, pitted
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- heaping ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Cheesecake Option 1: with cashews* (see note)
- 1½ 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
- 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries, mostly thawed
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 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.
I’ve just finished the cashew layer and I know this is going to be delicious… Should I use the liquid from the partially thawed raspberries, or drain them? Thanks!
You can add the liquid to the blender with the berries. Hope you love the cheesecake!
I made this exactly as instructed (cashew version) besides the lemon zest which I was too lazy to add in. This is a phenomenal recipe which even my particular 9 year old step-daughter loved. My husband and I are big on raw cheesecakes but we usually buy slices from a raw café. This was only my second or third attempt at home, but it was truly a winner. Visually striking too. Will make this again, no doubt about it.
Hi Karen, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!
Think the type of the vegan cream cheese I used, in combination with the coconut milk, lemon juice and some added blueberries just wasn’t right. I all curdled.
Absolutely adore this recipe! Any idea of the nutritional info?
Hi, We don’t calculate nutrition info for our recipes. The best way to get an estimate for this would be to use an online nutrition calculator such as MyFitnessPal. So glad you love the recipe!
Hi there, how long please can I keep this cheesecake at room temperature? Thanks!
Hi Bob, It’s best to store this recipe in the freezer, but we let it sit out for about 40 minutes at room temperature before serving. Hope this helps!
Hello! This recipe seems delicious. It would be very helpful for me to have the quantities of the ingredients in grams too! Whenever I do the conversions myself get very confused and I never know if the result is what it is meant to be!
Hi there! Will this cheesecake keep/set in the fridge, or does it need to be frozen? Thanks
Hi Mia, no it needs to be frozen.
Not sure what I did different but mine never set and stayed more of a creamy fruit dip consistency. Still delicious though and I will definitely make this again, but maybe as a dip with fresh fruit rather than pie filling.
I have just made this for a dinner party. I blended it really well but chia seeds are still crunchy. Was I suppose to soak chia seeds before adding ?
Hi Kellie, if they’re crunchy, let it sit for a little bit, they’ll soften. No, I don’t soak them ahead of time.
This was very delicious! I love the tartness of the raspberries with the hint of lemon in the cheesecake layer! I put a touch of cocoa powder In the crust
Jeanine, nephew has a nut allergy. Is there a substitution for the walnuts that I can use?
Hi Carolyn, you could make the graham cracker crust from this recipe instead: https://www.loveandlemons.com/fruit-tart/#wprm-recipe-container-59433
How long will it keep in the freezer?
Hi Sandy, a month or so, if wrapped up well.
Planning to make for friends for Christmas in July party. Will it keep if I make two to three days in advance?
Thank you 🙂
Hi Laura, it’ll keep as long as you want (or up to a month or so) in the freezer. I hope it’s a hit a the party!
Hi! do you separate the coconut milk for the cream cheese layer? I have full fat canned milk. Thanks!
Hi Alyssa, I would make sure the can is mixed together well (the solids and the watery part). It’s not necessary to separate the solids because either the cashews or the vegan cream cheese will thicken it. Hope that helps!
Made this three times now. Such an awesome recipe, thank you!
I’m so glad you loved it!
The recipe looks wonderful . Is there a variation for those allergic to coconut and tropical fruits? Thanks
Hi, I want to make this today or tomorrow and have a question about the dates. Are they fresh dates that you pit or are they dried?
Hi Pam, they’re dried medjool dates, they often have pits still in them.