How to make no-bake cheesecake with layers of creamy cashew cheesecake, homemade raspberry jam, and rich chocolate. It's healthy, vegan, and mini too, so one slice is the perfect amount!
I find cheesecake to be pretty intimidating. It's something I've never attempted to make, so maybe my base is a little off, but it just seems hard.
Like the water baths? The hours of slow baking? The fear of cracking? It just feels like it's not worth it. Plus, substituting the eggs and cream cheese with vegan versions seems like a recipe for disaster.
But what about a decadent cheesecake that doesn't require any baking? A version that is creamy and delicious, but also dairy-free and vegan? A cheesecake that is actually easy to make? Now THAT is something I can get behind! This no-bake cheesecake is my kind of dessert.
What Is Vegan Cheesecake Made With?
While you could attempt a cheesecake filling with vegan cream cheese or tofu, I start with my fave creamy plant-based ingredient of all time: soaked cashews. This is the most commonly used base for vegan no-bake cheesecake.
You've probably seen me use soaked cashews as a cream substitute before (my kimchi vegan queso and my white quinoa chili are faves around here), and it works in dessert recipes like no-bake cheesecake too.
All you’ll need to do is soak raw cashews in water for a few hours. This softens them up and makes them easy to puree into a smooth no-bake cheesecake filling. Once they're soft, we blend them up with coconut oil (which helps with the final texture), a little water, some lime for a zing, vanilla for flavor, and maple syrup for sweetness.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the gluten-free nut crust:
- Medjool dates – These help hold the crust together, but they also add a caramel-like flavor.
For the no-bake cheesecake filling:
- Raw cashews – Let these soak in filtered water for at least 4 hours.
- Coconut oil
- Almond milk – Water works, too.
- Lime juice
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla powder – Or use vanilla extract.
- Raspberry chia jam – I used my homemade raspberry chia jam, but you could substitute store-bought jam if you’re in a time crunch. The raspberry chia jam adds a bit of tartness to balance the cheesecake, so I recommend buying a jam that’s not overly sweet.
- Chocolate chips – Be sure to use plant-based chocolate chips if you’re vegan!
How to Make Mini Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake
Ready for a creamy, dreamy no-bake cheesecake? Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Prepare. Line the bottom of a 4-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
Make the crust. In a food processor, combine the pecans, dates, and salt. Process for about a minute, or until a dough forms. Scoop the dough into the prepared pan and press it into the bottom to form a crust.
Make the filling. Place all of the filling ingredients except the jam and chocolate chips in the food processor. Blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth.
Assemble. Pour half of the vegan cheesecake over the crust and use a spoon or rubber spatula to smooth it out. Spread a layer of raspberry jam over the cheesecake, then the rest of the filling, and another layer of jam.
Chill. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight, or until the cake is solid.
Serve. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer 30 minutes before you plan on serving it. Just before serving, drizzle with melted chocolate, then slice with a sharp knife and serve.
Tips for Success
These hints and tips will help you make the perfect vegan no-bake cheesecake!
- No springform pan? No problem! You can make this mini cheesecake in a regular 4-inch pan. If you don’t have one of those either, you can use a loaf pan and make a rectangular cheesecake—it’s a little unconventional, but it will still taste good!
- Blend the filling well. To replicate the texture of traditional cheesecake, you really need to let your food processor run for a while until there are no lumps or bits of cashew left in the filling.
- Be patient. If you cut this into a no-bake cheesecake before it’s set, it will fall apart. Once it’s frozen through, you’ll get nice, clean slices.
Fresh raspberries are the perfect pairing with this no-bake cheesecake, but dark chocolate shavings or cacao nibs are a delicious finishing touch too. Or you can add a dollop of coconut whipped cream to each slice!
How to Store
You can store this Mini Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrap it well, then place it in a freezer bag or airtight storage container.
Once you’ve taken the cheesecake out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator, you’ll need to use it within about 4 days.
More Healthy No-Bake Desserts
No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake
for the crust:
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 3 Medjool dates
- dash of salt
for the filling:
- 1 cup cashews , soaked for 4+ hours
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil , melted
- 2 tablespoons almond milk (or water) , as needed
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (or extract)
- 1 batch raspberry chia jam*
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips , melted (optional)
- Line the bottom of a 4″ springform pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, combine the pecans, dates and a dash of the salt and process until a dough forms, about 1 minute. Press the dough into the bottom of the springform pan and set aside.
- Place the filling ingredients (minus the jam) in the food processor and blend until high until smooth.
- Scoop half the filling into on top of the crust and smooth over with the back of a spoon. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of the filling, then top with the rest of the filling, top again with some jam.
- Place the cake back in the freezer for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight, until the cake is hard. Remove from freezer 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, drizzle with melted chocolate then slice with a sharp knife and serve.