This vegan, gluten-free maple cashew cheesecake is SO creamy and smooth, perfect for traditional cheesecake lovers!
There are so many ways now to make a vegan cheesecake, and I wanted to give it a try. I’m not a huge fan of store bought vegan cream cheese, and wanted to see if I could obtain a super creamy texture by using cashews. I’m so happy to say that this version is super creamy, and has a slight tang from the soy yogurt and lemon juice.
Super Creamy Texture
By soaking cashews overnight in water, they will soften and become much easier to blend. If you’re in a time crunch, try soaking in boiling water for 4-6 hours. Having a high speed blender or food processor will be really helpful to get a super smooth and creamy texture for a cheesecake without dairy.
I chose to use unsweetened soy yogurt and unsweetened soy milk to add to the creamy texture and tangy flavor, but you can sub for coconut yogurt, or your favorite non-dairy yogurt and milk.
Kind of No-Bake Cheesecake
The gluten-free crust is baked to make a stable base, but it’s soft and not crunchy. The filling is a no-bake cheesecake style, and is poured directly over the fully baked crust.
I used the Druid Grove brand of vegan gelatin. It works perfectly and doesn’t require boiling for activation. I like it because it creates a smoother gel compared to agar, it dissolves easily into the liquid, and thickens almost immediately. It helps to stabilize the final product for a super soft and creamy cheesecake. I blend it with a few teaspoons of brown sugar to help it evenly disperse in the liquid. You can find it on Amazon, or buy directly from a site like Modernist Pantry.
I used maple here for the sweetener because fall is here! I’m not ready for pumpkin yet, but maple, vanilla and cocoa make a warm and delicious combination perfect for september. If you don’t have maple syrup, agave will work fine here.
I reserved some of the filling, and added a teaspoon of purple carrot powder to make it purple. It creates a beautiful and natural way to add some color, and doesn’t have any additional flavor. If you wanted to use blueberries or strawberries to give additional flavor and color, just blend them with the reserved filling and add to the top of the plain filling.
Now that I have this plain base figured out, I’m so excited to create other flavors of vegan cheesecake! What’s your favorite flavor? Let me know in the comments!
I used a smaller ring size because I wanted a thick cheesecake. You can use a larger ring mold or springform pan for shorter sides.
Vegan Gelatin: I use the Modernist Pantry brand which is a blend of carrageenans. It works perfectly!
If you’re having trouble getting the cashew cream smooth, add 1-2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk to help with the blending. Avoid adding too much or else the cheesecake won’t set properly.
To make the purple swirls, reserve some of the cashew filling, and add a teaspoon of purple carrot powder. Add to the top of the cashew mixture, and make swirls using a chopstick or a knife before setting.
If you’re not using a springform pan, put the cheesecake in the freezer for 30 minutes to make sure it comes out clean. Take a lighter and heat the slides of the ring mold briefly, then place the bottom of the cheesecake on top of a cup and slide the mold down as the cheesecake sits on the cup.
For the Crust
75g almond flour
40g oat flour
20g cocoa powder
20g coconut oil, melted
30g maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons of water
For the Filling
150g raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
160 unsweetened soy milk
40g maple syrup
7g brown sugar
5g vegan gelatin
50g unsweetened soy yogurt
20g coconut oil, melted
30g lemon juice
3g vanilla extract
For the Crust
Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a foodprocessor, pulse almond flour, oat flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add coconut oil and maple syrup, and pulse a few more times untl the mixture begins to come together. Slowly add in 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed until the mixture is just wet enough to stick together.
Press the filling into the bottom of a 12cm/5in ring mold, placing some up the sides to form a barrier for the filling.
Bake for ten minutes until the crust is firm. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
For the Filling:
Drain and rinse soaked cashews, and add to a blender.
In a small dish, combine vegan gelatin and brown sugar, and mix together until evenly dispersed. Add soy milk and maple syrup to a separate bowl, and whisk in brown sugar/gelatin mixture evenly, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk until thickened.
Add the thickened soy mixture to the blender with the soy yogurt, coconut oil and lemon juice.
Blend everything together at high speed until smooth and creamy. This could take several minutes to obtain a completely smooth texture. Scrape down the sides as needed. Reserve part of the filling for coloring before pouring into the mold if desired.
Place the ring mold with the crust still inside on a small dish. Pour the filling on top of the crust, and place in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Master of Applied Gastronomy: Culinary Arts graduate with a passion for pastry. After years of working in food and nutrition PR and communications, I turned my passion for all things culinary into a career. Now, I create plant-based recipes (mostly desserts) and share the art and science of making delicious recipes without eggs, dairy or gelatin for the home cook and pro.
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