It’s here! It’s here!
Authentic, baked, vegan, gluten-free cheesecake! And it tastes like real, true cheesecake (no lie)!
I’m so happy I could dance (and I totally did).
If you’ve followed the blog for a while now, you know I have a thing for cheesecake:
I love all of these recipes, but they’re all raw and leave me partially unsatisfied when I’m craving a real, true baked cheesecake.
I once ran a half marathon and then went straight to Cheesecake Factory and ate a giant slice of their white chocolate macadamia nut cheesecake. So TRUST ME. I think I know what “real cheesecake” tastes like (and this is it!).
This recipe is not only delicious and insanely close to the ‘real thing,’ it’s also simple, requiring just a blender to make! Plus, there’s no water bath involved like a traditional cheesecake, simplifying the process even more.
In other words, this truly is an easy cheesecake that just also happens to be vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free.
Hello, thank you, I’m Dana, you’re welcome.
The base is an adaption of my new go-to almond-oat crust that ends up tasting very reminiscent of graham cracker crust!
And the filling is a mixture of cashews, coconut cream, and vegan cream cheese. I tested other varieties but found that this combination yields the absolute best texture and flavor.
I hope you all LOVE this cheesecake! It’s:
Slightly citrusy + tangy
& Like the real thing!
Make this cheesecake, because, well, you must! It would make a great one to have around for special events, like graduations, cookouts, bridal showers, baby showers…pretty much every occasion you can think of.
The best part is it’s baked, so it can sit out at room temperature for hours without melting like frozen, raw cheesecakes. Another win!
If you try this recipe, let us know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it – it’s super helpful for us and other readers – and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’ve LOVE to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Easy Baked Cheesecake (Vegan + GF)
- 1 cup raw cashews*
- 1 cup coconut cream*
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese* (Trader Joe's brand, or Toffuti)
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil (for extra creaminess)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats*
- 3/4 cup raw almonds*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (plus more to taste)
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a standard loaf pan (or 8x8 inch baking dish // adjust number/size of pan if altering batch size) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a high speed blender and mix on high until a fine meal is achieved.
- Remove lid and add melted coconut oil, starting with 4 Tbsp (60 g // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and adding more if it's too dry. Pulse/mix on low until a loose dough is formed, scraping down sides as needed. You should be able to squeeze the mixture between two fingers and form a dough instead of it crumbling. If too dry, add a bit more melted coconut oil.
- Transfer mixture to parchment-lined loaf pan and spread evenly to distribute. Then place parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object, like a drinking glass, to press down firmly until it’s evenly distributed and well packed. Let it come up the sides a little, otherwise it can be too thick on the bottom.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 375 F (190 C) and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F (162 C).
- Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to a high speed blender with coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, arrowroot starch, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, lemon zest for tartness, salt for flavor balance, and maple syrup for sweetness.
- Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears only slightly “jiggly” but not liquidy. When you shake it, it will have some give to it, but it shouldn't all look liquid - only the center should jiggle.
- Let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered). Once cooled, cover (waiting until cool will prevent condensation) and continue refrigerating for a total of 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.
- To serve, lift out of pan with parchment paper and cut into bars or triangles. (I carefully cut off the very end pieces because they weren't as creamy as the center pieces.)
- Enjoy as is or with coconut whipped cream and fresh berries. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, up to 3-4 days, though best within the first 2 days.
*My favorite coconut cream is Trader Joe's brand. I highly recommend coconut cream over full-fat coconut milk. But if you can't find coconut cream, buy a couple of cans of full-fat coconut milk and scoop off the top cream.
*I would not recommend trying to substitute the vegan cream cheese for anything else. It's essential to get that creamy, cheesy texture in this recipe.
*For all other substitution questions (including oats and almonds), see our Recipe FAQ.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Recipe loosely adapted from my Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars.