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This vegan cheesecake recipe makes 12 frozen desserts that are nutty and sweet, with a satisfying cookie crunch that vegans and non-vegans alike will love!
Since going dairy-free, I’ve had a lot of success creating dairy-free versions of many of my favorite dessert recipes. This Vegan Chocolate Cake is a favorite, as are my Dairy-Free Cookies & Cream “Ice Cream” and my 3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups recipes.
However, there’s one dessert in particular that has eluded me: vegan cheesecake.
That is, until now.
Nutty Vegan Cheesecake
These frozen desserts are creamy, sweet, and nutty, with a crunchy cookie crust. You could make one large cheesecake, but since these are perfect for keeping in the freezer and then eating individual servings as needed, I decided to go the mini cheesecake route. Also: mini desserts are the best!
I call them mini vegan cheesecakes because cheesecake is the closest type of dessert these would be, but the key difference is that these are meant to stay in the freezer versus refrigerator. The consistency and texture is somewhere between a frozen custard pie and a cheesecake. See my recipe notes for options.
For the crust, I used Biscoff cookies but you can use any vegan graham cracker, or gingersnap or spice cookies as well. Any light (not dense) cookie with a sweet crunch and hint of spices will do. Pulse the cookies with some melted coconut oil in a food processor, and you have your crust!
For the filling, simply fast-soak some cashews and some hazelnuts (see recipe notes); you could use almonds instead of hazelnuts. I’m an Oregon girl, so I love hazelnuts!
Put the drained, soaked nuts into a blender, and blend them with almondmilk, agave nectar for some sweetness, vanilla, and lemon juice. I used Silk Almondmilk, which is honestly my go-to daily dairy-free milk of choice (there’s always a gallon in my fridge!). I especially love it during the holidays, when there are a LOT of potential cream/dairy substitutions that must be made! Not only is it the smart choice for those of us who are vegan or have dairy intolerances, but it has only 30 calories per serving, no cholesterol, and no saturated fat.
The mild nutty flavor of Silk Almondmilk makes it perfect for this nutty vegan cheesecake recipe! That said, you could also use cashewmilk or coconutmilk (both of which, I also buy regularly) in place of the almondmilk.
With the holidays coming up, I decided to top these with some crushed pecans. This adds to the already decadent nutty flavor.
Some other topping ideas:
- vegan chocolate frosting (get my recipe for it here in my Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe)
- chocolate drizzle
- toasted coconut
- a top layer of peanut butter
- toasted pumpkin seeds
- chocolate chips
What would YOU choose to top these nutty vegan cheesecakes with?
Nutty Vegan Cheesecake Recipe
- 24 vegan gingersnap or spice cookies or about 18 graham crackers
- 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 cup cashews fast-soaked and drained (see notes)
- 1 cup hazelnuts fast-soaked (see notes)
- 1 cup almondmilk
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- crushed pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place cupcake liners OR strips of parchment paper into each spot of a 12-serving muffin pan
To make the crust:
- In a food processor, blend the cookies and melted coconut oil until the texture resembles a crust.
- Scoop enough crust mixture to cover the bottom of each muffin pan spot and press down gently.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes, just enough to have the crust stick nicely together.
To make the filling
- In a blender, add the cashews, hazelnuts, almondmilk, agave nectar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Pulse until well blended into a creamy texture.
- Pour enough into each muffin spot over the cookie crumb to almost reach the top.
- Freeze for about 4-5 hours.
- Remove when ready to eat and top with chopped pecans or the topping of your choice.
Notes-Cook time includes freezing & setting time
-To fast-soak cashews and hazelnuts: place nuts in a large bowl and pour boiling water to cover. Soak for about 1 hour, then drain the water.
-Whatever you don't eat immediately, you can keep in the freezer for about 2 weeks in an airtight container.
-Want to make an even creamier filling? Sub half of the almondmilk for coconut cream.
Recipe inspired by Minimalist Baker and The Food Network
You can find Silk in the dairy aisle of your neighborhood grocery store or Walmart. If you’ve purchased Silk before, you may notice it has a beautiful new look, but rest assured, it still has the same silky smooth flavor! For more, be sure to check out these great Silk dairy-free recipes!