No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake

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Slice of Vegan Chai Cheesecake topped with coconut whipped cream and a caramel drizzle

This may be the vegan cheesecake of our dreams:

  • Date-walnut crust with a pinch of sea salt
  • Creamy cashew-coconut filling infused with black tea, chai spices, and fresh ginger
  • Naturally sweetened with maple syrup
  • Topped with Coconut Whip and Vegan Caramel Sauce for the ultimate dairy-free, gluten-free dessert.

Let us show you how it’s done!

Ingredients for making our Chai Vegan Cheesecake recipe

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients you likely have on hand right now!

It starts with a crust made of raw walnuts and fresh medjool dates and just a hint of sea salt.

Press into a spring-form pan (or small baking dish) and freeze.

Pressing the walnut date no-bake cheesecake crust into a parchment-lined pan

Next, soak your cashews and start infusing your tea. We went with black tea for an intense tea flavor, and also threw in some loose chai tea spices for more flavor. But either black tea or chai tea packets / loose leaf tea will work! Just add hot water, cover, and steep for 30 minutes or more.

Overhead image of hot water being poured over black tea and spices in a clear jar

Then squeeze out the excess tea, drain and rinse cashews, and it’s time to blend!

For spices, we used our Go-To Caffeine-Free Chai Spice Mix! But we also include individual spices in the notes if you’d rather add whole spices. Vanilla adds more flavor, while fresh-grated ginger adds a little kick of heat.

overhead image of vegan chai cheesecake ingredients in a square blender

Blend until creamy and smooth, taste and adjust flavor as needed, then pour into your prepared crust!

Pouring Vegan Cheesecake filling into a walnut-date crust

All that’s left to do is freeze!

We recommend freezing until firm, then transferring to the refrigerator the day of serving or setting out to thaw ~1 hour before serving for best texture.

You don’t want it to be as cold as ice cream, but you don’t want it to be as warm as, say, pudding or mousse. The in-between is just perfect.

Using a toothpick to add caramel swirl to Vegan Chai Cheesecake

We hope you LOVE this cheesecake! It’s:

Creamy
Rich
Dairy- and Gluten-free
Naturally sweetened
Perfectly spiced
& SO decadent and rich

This would make the perfect no-bake, impressive dessert for the holidays and beyond. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite cheesecakes I’ve ever made! And that’s saying a lot considering we’ve made (and sampled) a lot!

Top with coconut whipped cream and more vegan caramel for the ultimate fall dessert!

More Holiday Dessert Ideas

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Partially eaten slice of No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake made with black tea and chai spices

No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake

Incredibly creamy, rich vegan cheesecake with a 2-ingredient date-walnut crust and creamy cashew-coconut filling with black tea and chai spices. The perfect comforting, naturally-sweetened dessert for fall and beyond.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Slice of Vegan Chai Cheesecake next to a jar of caramel sauce and the remaining cheesecake
4.63 from 16 votes
Prep Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 12 (Slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 cup medjool dates (packed, pitted // pitted before measuring)
  • 1 ½ cups raw walnuts (or sub raw almonds or rolled oats)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional)

FILLING

  • 1 ¾ cups raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup boiling hot water
  • 3 black tea bags or chai tea bags (we opted for 2 black tea bags for strong tea flavor + 1 tsp loose-leaf chai tea)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or cream (the higher the fat content, the creamier the cheesecake // we used Aroy-D coconut milk)
  • 5 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more as needed to taste)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp chai spice mix (or see individual spices below* // plus more to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or melted refined coconut oil // adds more creaminess — if avoiding oil, omit)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

Instructions

  • Soak your cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes (or in cool water overnight or for at least 4-6 hours). Then rinse with cool water, drain well, and set aside.
  • While cashews are soaking, bring a pot of water to a boil, then measure out 2/3 cup or 158 ml (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Add tea bags or loose leaf tea to 2/3 cup boiling water, cover, and steep for at least 30 minutes. This should result in a very strong tea infusion. Add more tea if the color is not deep and the flavor is not intense. When removing tea bags, be sure to squeeze/press out all the excess tea.
  • While the tea and cashews are soaking, prepare a cheesecake pan (I prefer this 7-inch springform one, but round cake pans or loaf pans work as well) by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Prepare crust by adding dates to a food processor and blending until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  • To the food processor, add walnuts and salt (optional) and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms — it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing.
  • Add crust to pan and press with fingers to distribute. To pack it down, use a small glass wrapped in parchment paper. Really press it down, and ensure the crust comes up the sides. Set in freezer to firm up.
  • Add tea, soaked drained cashews, and all remaining filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until very creamy and smooth — about 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust sweetness/flavors as needed, adding more chai spice mix for spice/warmth, ginger for kick/zing, maple syrup for sweetness, or vanilla to taste.
  • Transfer the filling into the crust and tap to remove air bubbles. Optional: Drizzle on a small amount of Vegan Caramel and swirl with a chopstick or knife to make a fun pattern.
  • Transfer to freezer and freeze until firm — at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. The day of serving, you can transfer to the refrigerator. If serving from freezer, set out at room temperature for at least 1 hour to thaw for easy slicing.
  • Serve as is, or top with a generous amount of coconut whipped cream, drizzle of vegan caramel, and pinch of pumpkin pie spice (optional).
  • Store leftover cheesecake in the freezer up to 1 month (well covered/sealed for freshness). Once it has been frozen, it can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days. But that initial freeze is important for texture / firmness, so don’t skip.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*If you don’t have chai spice mix, sub 1 tsp ground cinnamon (cassia is best), 1 tsp ground ginger, heaping 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper (reduce by half for less spice), 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 healthy pinch ground clove (plus more to taste). (Measurements calculated as recipe is written / adjust as needed if altering serving size).
*Adapted from my Vegan Chai Ice Cream.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 slices Calories: 323 Carbohydrates: 30.8 g Protein: 6 g Fat: 21.6 g Saturated Fat: 5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 7.69 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 7 mg Potassium: 369 mg Fiber: 3.2 g Sugar: 21.5 g Vitamin A: 50 IU Vitamin C: 0.8 mg Calcium: 50 mg Iron: 2 mg

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  1. Sneha says

    Super easy thanksgiving dessert – wound up keeping it frozen and eating it almost like ice cream all through the holidays, which is totally acceptable, right?

    • Mina says

      Okay so I tried it with walnuts instead of cashews….. tastes delicious but it turned out to be more like an ice cream popsicle so I have to keep freezing it. Now I get why the recipe says cashews!
      Can’t wait to try it again!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we don’t think they would get creamy, unfortunately! But let us know if you give it a try!

  2. Karissa Provenza says

    Hello! Will this recipe work with a glass square baking dish? Or would it be better with muffin tins like a previous comment asked about?

    Stuck in this shelter in place and can’t purchase the proper spring form.

    Thank you so much.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karissa, we think a glass baking dish with parchment paper would work. Let us know if you try it!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, It might work, but we don’t think it would freeze well. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

      • Pearson Gallagher says

        First time making a vegan cheesecake and it was delicious. Was a hit among everyone in my family (none of us are vegan)! I used squeezable store bought ginger instead of fresh and it worked out just fine. Between the creaminess in texture and the delicious chai flavor, it made for a perfect indulgence for my birthday :) Only downside was I tried to do a caramel swirl design on top, but if ended up sinking into the cake.

  3. Mattie says

    I made this for a Valentine’s Day treat for my family. It was a hit. I have never had cheesecake due to a lifelong dairy allergy but my husband said the texture was very similar To standard cheesecake.
    How I differed from written recipe:
    – I didn’t read directions quite right and used chai tea instead of black tea as well as the chai spices. It wasn’t too chai forward in my opinion.
    – I used puréed fresh ginger instead of minced so texture would be creamier
    – For the can of coconut cream I exclusively used the solids (not the milk portion)
    – I used the almond-oat crust recipe from the plain/lemon cheesecake recipe on this site instead of the date-walnut one due to walnut allergy in my family
    Kid feedback: Toddler endorsed it was tasty but didn’t finish his entire serving.

  4. Quiara says

    I’ve made this no bake cheesecake twice, plain without the whipped cream or sauce, and I must say that it is super delicious. First time was a hassle because I realized I had a 9 1/2 inch spring form pan instead of a 7 inch like the recipe asks. But I made the adjustments, and it came out pretty good. With my second one, I used your chocolate syrup recipe instead of the caramel sauce (didn’t have the ingredients), and drizzled it over. I really liked that combination, and will do it again. Loved the dark chocolate and chai flavor together. Thank you for the super yummy recipe!

  5. Joanne says

    Just made this and I don’t know why but the viscosity of my caramel seemed to be the same as the cheesecake portion hence when I tried to ‘swirl’ it kinda sank to the bottom or got lost :/ am hoping it will still be fine… it’s sitting in my freezer now

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm! We wonder if maybe the coconut milk/cream used to make the caramel was extra thick? Let us know how it turned out!

  6. Ashlyn says

    I was really excited to make this recipe- I love chai! But I’m disappointed with how mine turned out. First, I didn’t have chai spice so I used the substituted spice blend you noted. The 1 tsp ginger I used for the spice mix in addition to the 2 tbsp fresh ginger in the filling made my cheesecake only taste like ginger! Thankfully I made your caramel sauce to mix in and had extra to drizzle on top, so it wasn’t a total loss. Second, my dates were super soft so after blending them with the walnuts and forming the crust it became really mushy. When I served it (after freezing and thawing) it was still mushy. Third, I had a hard time getting the texture right between freezing and thawing to serve. I froze it overnight and then put it in my fridge for the day, until evening when it was time to serve it. It was still frozen in the centre. Then I left it at room temperature for too long. I put it back in the fridge and the next day when I tried to eat it again I found it still too soft to stay in tact when cutting. I guess I needed to keep it in the freezer.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ashlyn! Sorry you had trouble here. Vegan cheesecakes are a little tricky texture-wise. I definitely recommend keeping them in the freezer any time they’re not being eaten. And I typically set them out at room temp 1-2 hours prior to serving. As for dates, yeah if your dates are too fresh it can make the crust a little soft. In that instance you can always compensate with a few more walnuts to dry things out. As for the flavor, perhaps depending on your preference, add in the fresh ginger last so you can modify it more easily! Hope that helps!

  7. Molly says

    I added my vegan caramel swirl but now that the cheesecake is frozen, it all blended. Maybe next time I’ll make it darker . I have about a cup of left over filling. Can i freeze it and use at another time?

    can’t wait to taste it :)

  8. Melissa says

    This was my first time making a vegan cheesecake, and I was so happy to find a cheesecake recipe without silkened tofu!
    I was a little worried that the cashews wouldn’t be creamy enough, but my high speed blender did the job perfectly. I used 3 organic chai tea bags, and added a bit more maple syrup & chai spice mix then made the coconut sugar caramel & swirled it in. I let it freeze for 6 hours, then let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes. End results: The chai taste was amazing, especially with the caramel swirl mixed in it, and it thickened up perfectly. We loved every bite of it! Thank you for another amazing recipe! :)

  9. April Jaco says

    I have been using your recipes for as long as you’ve been around and always love everything. BUT this is the first time I have ever felt totally compelled to take the time from busy mama life to write a review.
    I made this cheesecake for a vegan option at Thanksgiving. My three kiddos 2,3 &5 plus my nephew, almost 2, gobbled it up without a second glance at the many other options. The 5 yr old asked that I make again it for his 5 1/2 “birthday” (yesterday)
    We picked up a cold a few days back so I decreased the maple syrup to 3Tbs and since mama doesn’t feel great I used a premade graham cracker crust -still it was such a hit that the 3 year old wants this cheesecake for his birthday, replacing his previous wish of “junky worm and dirt (Oreo) cake”!
    I am so so pleased with this recipe and I know it will be a staple long into the future. Can’t wait to try flavor variations.
    Thank you Minimalist Baker for another wonderful, reliable recipe! ?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share, April! We are so glad to hear all your kiddos and nephew enjoyed it! xoxo

  10. Elsa says

    I made this with very high fat coconut cream and a vitamix and I turned out great! Soaked cashews overnight as well. Was very creamy, not gritty at all. Turned out pretty thick after freezing and even being in the fridge for a couple days really is holding its shape. Flavor is really good – but you definitely need to like the taste of chai tea. (I know that sounds obvious but for instance Id make it again but maybe not bring it to a large gathering where I didn’t know people’s preference but rather another flavor). It was AMAZING mixed with pumpkin pie – kinda of made me want to make a chai pumpkin version in the future. I think I may have overmixed the crust because it turned out a bit oily – so don’t go for too long or else dates will leak oil and then separate a bit from the cheesecake. Also caramel is a must!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooh that chai pumpkin idea sounds magical! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your experience, Elsa! xo

  11. Jamie D. says

    Thank you for another amazing, delicately sweetened dessert! And just in time for my birthday cake. It turned out perfectly. I noticed some readers had trouble with the cheesecake batter being too runny. I only used the cream part of my coconut milk and didn’t use any of the watery milk part and it was perfect. It blended like silk and had a beautiful chai flavour when I used 3 chai tea bags. I also omitted the oil since I didn’t have any and that probably made the batter a little thicker. Best eaten when just barely defrosted – almost a frozen dessert. Last year I made your raw carrot cheesecake for my birthday and it was also fabulous. Please keep up the November cakes!

  12. Kimberly says

    So I made this cheesecake the other day and was super excited about it. I was going to take it to a party this week but wanted to try it out first and am glad I did. The tastes were nice, however I had a few issues that some other reviewers did. I didn’t have enough crust to spread up the sides like I wished and the consistency of the filling was grainy. Once I froze it the consistency appeared to be great but it totally fell apart and was too soft. I absolutely love your baked cheesecake recipe – is there a way to add a little chai flavor into that one?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Kimberly – this is so interesting. Sorry for any frustration on your end. I’ll revisit the quantities and methods to ensure they’re all correct. As for the crust, it sounds like it just needed to be worked up the sides a bit more – it’s OK if it’s a bit thin. It’s not meant to be a super thick crust. AS for the texture, the only reason I can think it would be grainy is your blender. What kind of blender did you use? I find only high speed blenders to get the cashews completely creamy. Not sure why it would’ve fallen apart when serving. Was it completely frozen? Or had you let it thaw too much? Let me know – I’d love to help troubleshoot.

  13. Georgia says

    This was my first time making a vegan cheese cake so it didn’t go horribly but there were a few hiccups. First of all I didn’t use full fat milk which would explain why the filling wasn’t very thick, all I had to use was lite coconut milk and I tried to mainly use the cream on the top. Also I wished I had spread out the crust higher up on the edges because it didn’t resemble the thick image I was hoping for from the recipe. I also Incorporated two bags of chai and one bag of black tea that was more than enough for my chai flavor liking. Although I did really like the flavor of the crust and I wonder how it would do if I cooked it. I would like to try this recipe again though with some adjustments. ;)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Georgia! We have a feeling it might not firm up well if baked. But if you give it a try, let us know how it goes!

  14. Sams says

    last week i organized a party with my friends i wants to cook something different and i made pizza in lunch and , cheese cake and boths are delicious.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The tea does thin it a bit more than our other cheesecakes, but it adds such a nice flavor. We found it to keep the creamy texture after freezing. But it shouldn’t be staying liquid, especially when frozen. Did it set in the freezer?

  15. Michelle Stone says

    Hi, I haven’t made a vegan cheesecake before and reading the reviews I’m a bit worried about keeping structure if I take this cheesecake to my cousins as it will be out of the fridge for a while. How long can you keep it out of the fridge before it collapse? Is it a good sharing desert would be on a table until eaten or should I try something else – new to been vegan. Love all your recipes so far

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle. I’d say freeze as long as possible, then transfer to the fridge the morning of serving so it can gradually thaw. It should be OK for a few hours out of the freezer. Let us know how it goes!

  16. Milagros Pinon says

    Ok, so I made this over the weekend. On the positive, the crust was delicious, balanced sweetness and great texture. The filling had a couple of issues that I would love your feedback on: 1) even after a long blending time, the texture was grainy, never creamy. I did the overnight soaking and used coconut cream… 2) the color was grey-ish, not very appealing! 3) I froze on Sunday and ate today after thawing in fridge. After a few hours outside the fridge, the structure did collapse a bit and filling became soggy. So I would say it should be kept cold. I loved the chai flavor and overall cake, but presentation was not that great (certainly not as good as your version!)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Milagros, we’re glad you enjoyed the crust! 1) what kind of blender did you use? We wonder if it isn’t powerful enough. 2) hmm, there can be some color variation to cashews- perhaps that could cause it? We definitely recommend keeping this one in the fridge or freezer as it doesn’t do well left out for too long.

  17. Constance says

    A very special recipe! Made this yesterday and it’s absolutely delicious. I’ve made several of your vegan cheesecake recipes and this one is the new favorite. Thank you so much!

  18. Maria says

    This cheesecake is delicately spiced and just the right consistency. I used 3 bags of chai for my tea and it worked perfectly. The batter doesn’t have the sharp “cheesecake” taste, so i I added 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar.

  19. Christina says

    So pretty good! My first time making a vegan cheesecake and I think the consistency is great. I made sure to soak the cashews over night. The chai flavour isn’t my favourite, I think its missing something (and I added black tea + chai spice). I did not have any vegan caramel so that would have helped! Anyway I think I will make this again but sub in different flavours like mango or something.

  20. Laura says

    Hi there! Thank you so much for this recipe. The taste is awesome! I’m in love! I am just wondering if adding some agar-agar to this cake would work for a better/more constant consistency? 1-2 hours after taking out from the freezer it was nice, now after being in the fridge for almos the whole day it is kind of too smoth for my taste.

  21. Teresa Richards says

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it for Thanksgiving! I have someone coming who can only tolerate herbal teas. Any ideas on what a good herbal tea substitute would be for this recipe?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      A rooibos (herbal) chai might work! Though we find it doesn’t have quite as strong of a tea flavor. Let us know how it goes!

      • Briana Wetterskog says

        I used Harney & Son’s Rooibos Chai and was pretty pleased with the chai flavor (before I stuck it in the freezer), if you end up going the rooibos chai route!

  22. Lou says

    Hi Dana – I don’t have a high speed processor, just a Magimix – will the cashews still have a creamy smooth texture once blended? Should I perhaps boil them for 10 mins?
    Thanks

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ve not had good luck with getting cashews completely creamy without a high speed blender. But let us know if you give it a try!

  23. Katelyn Kaczorowski says

    Can you use toasted walnuts or almonds For crust? I have an allergy to raw but not cooked. (Oral allergy syndrome) Is what it’s called if curious how that is possible.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! Sometimes cooking walnuts makes the oils come out. But it should work fine! Let us know if you try it out!

  24. Katelyn says

    I follow every recipe you put out and have learned so much about cooking from you, Dana- thank you!! But this one when I blended the filling it turned out really watery and I’m not sure what I did wrong. Maybe my blender isn’t good enough? I’ve got a ninja pro and it’s usually pretty good at this kinda stuff but it’s no vitamix. Any recommendations on making it thicker? I’m actually just about to freeze it now, even though it’s fairly watery- hoping for the best!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I generally don’t love Ninjas. I’ve used them in the past and they seem to struggle to get things smooth. That may have been the issue. Otherwise, did you modify anything?

  25. mary beth says

    What size springform pan do you use? I keep re-reading but don’t see the size listed. Want to make it this weekend as a trial for Thanksgiving. Thank you!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mary Beth! We recommend a 7-inch for this one! But a 6-inch or 8-inch should work, too. A 9 inch would work as well, but it would be a much thinner / flatter cheesecake.

  26. Hannah says

    Hello! I have a bit of cacao butter in my fridge to use up. Would this be a good place to use it in lieu of the avocado oil? (if I melted it first)

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that. We’ve found macadamias don’t get quite as creamy as cashews. But if you try it let us know how it goes!

  27. Annelise Ryan says

    This sounds delicious, however, I am cooking it for someone who has a nut allergy. Do you have any suggestions on what could replace the cashews?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      My best guess would be a blend of vegan cream cheese, coconut cream, and/or soaked macadamia nuts / hemp seeds. Although we haven’t tried this and can’t guarantee the results!

  28. Christine Novak says

    I would love to try this recipe and others, but I can’t do coconut products. So many creamy items are made with coconut cream. Can you suggest another non-dairy substitute?

  29. Kungaa Joseph says

    Can you use chai tea unflavored instead of black tea with your wonderful chai spices (I made the caffeine free chai spice and am in love with it!)

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can! I just had the best results with black tea (as it’s concentrated) and adding the spices directly.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried any other versions. I’m wondering if your next best option would be a combination of coconut cream and store-bought vegan cream cheese?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sonal! We haven’t tested anything. My next best guess would be silken tofu. But I don’t think it would freeze well. My next best guess would be a blend of coconut cream and vegan cream cheese?