Dairy-free cheesecake will open your mind to a world of possibilities if you’re stuck using the same old ingredients. The silky smooth cheesecake filling, made without the typical cream cheese, will shock even the most discriminate eater. Top it with a rich, decadent chocolate ganache and it’s a home run for you!
If you are stuck in old habits and trying to eat more healthy yet feel restricted— make this now! That belief will soon change!
This will prove that new and different ingredients things CAN BE AMAZING!
can you make dairy-free cheesecake?
Absolutely! This recipe proves it and I’ll bet those who eat it will not even realize it’s dairy-free.
The base of this dairy-free cheesecake is cashews. If you can’t do nuts, don’t fear, I’ll be exploring other dairy-free cheesecake options over the upcoming months so make sure you stay in the loop by signing up for emails.
how to make no-bake, dairy-free cheesecake
This no-bake recipe is SO easy and doesn’t take long to prep however you do need to allow for chill time (2-4 hours at least).
The first thing to do is soften the cashews so they’ll be ready when you make the filling. Simply place the cashews in a bowl and pour hot or boiling water over them until they’re covered. Leave them in the water for at least 20 minutes.
make the cheesecake crust
To make the crust, add the walnuts, dates (pit if necessary), cinnamon and salt to a food processor and process until it forms a sticky dough.
Place the dough in an 8-inch spring form pan and place in the freezer.
You can use any nuts you like—macadamia and almonds work great.
To do this, use 1/4 cup of the no-carb sweetener and increase the amount of nuts by 1/4 cup. That should be enough to cover the bottom of the spring form pan. Taste and adjust salt and sweetener if necessary.
how to make the cheesecake filling
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it’s completely smooth.
You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your blender. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Add the filling to the crust and place it back in the freezer for 2-4 hours to set completely.
how to make the ganache
Once the filling has set (2-4 hours), you can start the ganache. Bring the cream (solid part) of the full-fat coconut milk to a simmer. I discard the water from the can. You can also microwave the milk until it’s hot.
Add the chocolate chips to a bowl. Once the milk is hot, pour it over the chips, wait a minute and then stir to combine. Make sure it’s smooth and all of the chips have melted.
Pour the ganache over the frozen cheesecake and place the pan in the fridge to harden.
how to serve dairy-free cheesecake
If you plan on eating this soon after adding the ganache, you may need to let the cheesecake thaw on the counter (for 15-30 minutes) before you cut into it.
You can serve this with fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.
storing dairy-free cheesecake
Once it has set initially in the freezer, store the cheesecake in the fridge. If at any time the filling seems soft, stick it back in the freezer for awhile to harden. Just remember to allow enough time for it to thaw before you slice into it.
other dairy-free desserts you will enjoy
- skillet cinnamon apples with orange cream sauce
- decadent apple crisp
- cinnamon crumb cake
- homemade peanut butter cups (keto)
Enjoy this silky smooth non-dairy cheesecake on a cinnamon, nut crust and topped with a rich, decadent chocolate ganache.
for the crust:
- 1 c walnut halves and pieces (can substitute with other nuts such as pecans, macadamias or almonds)
- 1/4 c (about 4) soft, pitted Medjool dates (*see notes for keto version)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
for the cheesecake filling:
- 3 cups raw cashews (soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes)
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup maple syrup (to make this keto, use Lakanto’s sugar-free maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
for the chocolate ganache
- can of full-fat coconut milk (think, creamy part only – discard watery part)
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (I used Lilys)
- Spray an 8 inch round springform pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Add cashews to a small bowl. Fill bowl with hot or boiling water (just enough to cover the cashews). Cover and let the cashews soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the nuts, pitted dates, cinnamon and salt to a food processor and process until it starts to form into a sticky dough. It will start off crumbly, keep going until it starts to clump together in sticky clumps. Transfer to the springform pan and smooth it down into a pie crust. Use the back of a spoon to press it down into a neat flat layer. Place into the freezer to set.
- After 30 minutes, drain the water from the cashews. Add cashews, 3/4 cup of water (new or what you used to soften cashews), maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla and salt to a high-power blender or food processor. I use a Ninja. Mix until the consistency is a smooth batter. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Pour this over the crust and smooth down with the back of a spoon. Return to the freezer to set completely – about 2-4 hours.
- Once the filling has hardened, make the ganache by placing the chocolate chips in a bowl. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer on the stove (or you can microwave it until warm), then pour milk over chocolate chips.
- Wait about a minute and then stir until the consistency is smooth. Pour over the cheesecake (still in springform pan) and place it in the fridge to set. If you are eating this soon after making it, and the cheesecake is still frozen, you may need to let it thaw on the counter for 15-30 minutes.
- Serve once the ganache has set (only takes minutes) and store the cheesecake in the fridge.
- *To make the crust keto, use a 1/4 cup of a zero carb sweetener like Swerve Brown. I would increase the amount of nuts by 1/4 cup too. Taste and adjust cinnamon & salt as necessary.
Keywords: dairy-free cheesecake, vegan cheese cake, cheesecake with cashews