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In this Baked Vegan Cheesecake, a gluten-free and paleo graham cracker-style crust encases a sweet and creamy vanilla cheesecake filling. Coconut yogurt and cashews create the perfect texture to mimic a classic cheesecake.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

In this Baked Vegan Cheesecake, a gluten-free and paleo graham cracker-style crust encases a sweet and creamy vanilla cheesecake filling. Coconut yogurt and cashews create the perfect texture to mimic a classic cheesecake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Author Rachel

Ingredients

For the crust

For the filling

  • cup raw cashews soaked in water for 4 hours to soften, drain and rinse before using
  • ¾ cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup vegan coconut yogurt I like Culina Yogurt, but any that is thick and tangy will work!
  • cup (111g) pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from the juice of one large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean powder

For the strawberry topping (optional)

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries halved or quartered
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Instructions

For the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan with coconut oil and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the pecans, almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse slightly to break up the pecans. Stream in the melted coconut oil and then pulse again until the mixture is well moistened and sticks together when pressed between your fingertips. Scrape down the sides of the container or use the tamper as necessary. 

  3. Press the crust evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Let cool while you make the filling.

For the cheesecake filling

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 325º.

  2. In a high-powered blender or a food processor (I use my Vitamix), blend the soaked cashews, coconut cream, coconut yogurt, maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, arrowroot starch, vanilla extract, sea salt, and vanilla bean powder. Scrape down the sides of the container or use the tamper as necessary to get a super smooth consistency. It will take about 3 to 5 minutes of blending to get it super smooth and creamy.

  3. Taste the mixture and adjust to your tastes (add more maple syrup for sweetness, lemon juice for tanginess, or vanilla extract for more vanilla flavor). Pour the filling into the cooled crust and tap the pan hard on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

  4. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until mostly set. The cheesecake should jiggle slightly in the center when it's ready, but not be too wet and jiggly. Try not to disturb the cheesecake for the first 45 minutes.

  5. When the cheesecake is just shy of set, turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake inside. Leave the oven door open a few inches and let the cheesecake cool inside of the slightly ajar oven. Remove from the oven after about an hour.

  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill all the way through.

For the strawberries & to serve

  1. When you're about ready to serve, combine the strawberries and coconut sugar in a bowl. Let the strawberries macerate for about 10 minutes. Just before serving, top the cheesecake with the strawberries. It's also great served with coconut whipped cream or any other fruit that you prefer.

  2. Store the cheesecake tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.