Dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe – it’s no-bake and only takes 20 minutes of effort and 6 ingredients! It’s vegan too with no cashew nuts required.
Dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe, anyone? I promise – you’d never know that this was a dairy-free, vegan AND gluten-free cheesecake. Pay close attention to the FAQ section to find out which products I used to make this crazy feat possible!
For years, you guys have been asking me for a dairy-free cheesecake recipe… and I’ve finally done it! So why did it take me so long?
Well, I really, really didn’t want to go down the whole route of soaking cashew nuts, blending them etc… it just seemed like so much more effort than all my other cheesecakes.
Plus, I’ve never really had a cheesecake made that way that truly tastes like a ‘real’ cheesecake.
So after a lot of testing, I discovered that you make a dairy-free cheesecake incredibly easily just by using the dairy-free equivalent products from the supermarket. So yes, this is just as easy as making a ‘real’ cheesecake too!
Why make my dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe?
- Super easy to make and it’s no-bake – that means no flour required and no need to turn the oven on.
- You only need 6 simple, supermarket-friendly ingredients to make this.
- You’d NEVER know this was dairy-free by tasting it, so there’s no need to make a separate dessert just for yourself.
- It’s 100% vegan-friendly
- It only takes 20 minutes to make + chilling time in the fridge.
So what does my dairy-free vanilla cheesecake taste like? Well… like a real, no-bake vanilla cheesecake!
The biscuit base is buttery despite containing no butter, with tons of thick, whipped vanilla cheesecake filling on top.
Then, I simply piped a little whipped dairy-free cream on top. It’s super creamy, indulgent and more-ish – just like any cheesecake should be!
Trust me when I say this: anyone would enjoy this cheesecake, whether they’re dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free or not. Promise!
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe, keep scrolling until you see the recipe card for the measurements and method…
Dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe: Ingredients
- dairy-free digestive biscuits (linked in FAQ section)
- hard dairy free butter
- dairy free cream cheese (linked in FAQ section)
- dairy free double cream (linked in FAQ section)
- icing sugar
- vanilla extract
So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling!
But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time making this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!
Dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten free?
It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me! All you need to use are gluten-free and dairy-free ‘digestive biscuits which you can easily find down the free from aisle.
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make that that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products. Double check your sprinkles to make sure they’re gf too.
Is your vanilla cheesecake recipe dairy free? What magical ingredients did you use?
Yes, I know it may not look it, but it’s completely dairy-free! Here’s the products I used to make this recipe – I’d recommend sticking to them as much as possible:
- For the dairy-free cream cheese: Violife Cream Cheese (easily found in your supermarket’s free from chiller section)
- For the dairy-free double cream: Elmlea Plant Double Cream (has a ‘may contain’ warning for milk and easily found in supermarkets) or if you have a milk allergy, Flora Plant Professional Double Cream (no may contain warning for milk, but can only be bought online).
- For the dairy-free butter: Stork hard margarine.
- For the biscuit base: Gluten-free and dairy-free digestive biscuits like these
A few additional side notes too: aim for a dairy-free cream with at least 31% fat content. It must be high or it won’t set in the fridge.
The same goes for the cream cheese too – ensure the fat content is at least 23%. If you use the products I’ve recommended above you’ll be fine because that’s exactly what I’ve used to make this!
Can I make your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe vegan?
It is vegan, but trust me – it tastes just like a REAL cheesecake. You’d never know the difference! See the dairy-free advice above to see what products I recommend using.
Is your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe nut-free?
Yep, this is a nut-free recipe as far as ingredients go, BUT make sure you check the ingredients label on ALL the products you use just to be safe.
Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.
You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
I haven’t labelled this recipe as low FODMAP because it relies on using three different dairy-free products – the cream, cream cheese and dairy-free digestive biscuits.
None of these products will be low FODMAP, or low FODMAP certified, and ingredients will vary massively from product to product.
A lot of dairy-free products also use ingredients that are likely be high FODMAP in larger serving sizes.
So because of this, this recipe is not suitable for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
Can I make your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake in a food processor or standing mixer?
Of course you can! I actually use both in this recipe just to speed up things. I use my food processor to blitz the biscuit base (don’t over-do them, you want them to be nice and chunky!) and my standing mixer or an electric hand whisk to mix the cheesecake filling.
If you only have a food processor, you can happily use it to mix both separately (wash in between!). However, if you only have a standing mixer, you’ll have to bash the biscuits in a plastic bag using a rolling pin.
You can also use an electric hand whisk to whip up the filling too.
Can I make your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake without any kind of electric mixer/appliance at all?
You can, of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned wooden spoon or spatula will do for mixing. Then bash the biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
But you will need a lot of elbow grease to get the biscuits bashed and the filling mixed. Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent!
Remember, an under-mixed cheesecake filling won’t set! And you’re much more likely to under-mix than over-mix if you’re doing it by hand.
Do I need any special equipment to make your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe?
You won’t need anything in particular apart from a deep, loose bottom tin – here’s the one I use. It’s important to use a deep one as this is a tall cheesecake!
It’s 20cm (8 inch) in diameter, so remember if your tin is wider than mine, your cheesecake will end up looking a lot flatter!
A springform tin is fine too – here’s the one I sometimes use. I don’t use it all the time because it’s next to impossible to get the entire cheesecake off the base at once.
And ideally, I don’t want to be serving the cheesecake and slicing it on my springform base because it’ll get all scratched. So I much prefer to use a loose bottom tin.
But definitely don’t make this in a normal cake tin without a loose bottom/springform mechanism. You won’t be able to get the cheesecake out or cut it!
Do I need weighing scales to make your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake?
In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any my recipes without them.
A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.
I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.
Can I make your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake without sugar?
I can understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but this recipe is one where I wouldn’t recommend it.
The sugar in the cheesecake filling helps to balance out the rich cheese flavour. That makes it taste more like a dessert than an actual cake made of cheese if you know what I mean!
So yeah, remove the sugar at your own risk
Can I use other sugar apart from icing sugar in this recipe?
I’ve chosen to use icing sugar in this recipe because it’s nice and light, powdery and almost vanishes into the cheesecake filling. Other sugars just wouldn’t work the same.
By using other granulated sugars (like caster sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar etc), you’ll end up with an almost gritty-like texture in your cheesecake filling which is far from good!
That’s because this is a no-bake recipe. That means there’s no heat to break the sugar down and dissolve it, so it’ll just be all grainy in the filling.
So yeah, icing sugar is the only way to go!
How long can I keep your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake for?
Obviously keep this in the fridge at all times and it should last around 7 days – keep it in an airtight container, or covered with clingfilm.
Can I freeze my dairy-free vanilla cheesecake?
Yep! You can freeze it for up to 2-3 months without a problem – just make sure you put it in an airtight plastic container. It’s probably a good idea to slice it first so you can defrost a slice at a time.
If you want to defrost the entire cheesecake, leave it at room temperature to thaw for around 12 hours. A single slice will probably only take about 5 hours to thaw, so get it out ahead of time!
Can I bake my dairy-free vanilla cheesecake in the oven?
No, please don’t! This is a no-bake cheesecake, meaning that it’s made to be chilled in the fridge and that’s it.
I can guarantee that if you try and bake this in the oven, you’ll just end up with a big mess to clear up!
My cheesecake isn’t as tall as yours – how come?
That means you probably used a cake tin that’s bigger than mine (mine is 20cm/8 inches).
I mean, don’t go rushing out to buy a new one if you have one that’s 10 inches wide – but your cheesecake will be a lot flatter!
Do I need cashew nuts to make a dairy-free cheesecake?
No, you definitely don’t. Soaking cashew nuts in water, then blitzing them to use for the filling is the ‘done’ way to make a dairy-free or vegan cheesecake.
However, it involves more effort and in my opinion, the end result isn’t nearly as good. Instead, I use a high fat dairy-free cream cheese/plantbased dairy-free double cream as a like-for-like replacement.
Not only does this give it a similar taste, but also that lovely, creamy texture you’d get in ANY no-bake cheesecake. Trust me, try it my way and you’ll never want to drown a cashew nut again ?
Can I print your dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe?
Of course! Just hit the print button located on the recipe below (otherwise you might end up printing this entire post which would probably make your printer go into early retirement)
Dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe: Method
Oh and here’s a printable version of my dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️
Dairy-free Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe - No-bake (vegan)
Dairy-free vanilla cheesecake - no-bake and SUPER EASY to make. It tastes like a 'real' cheesecake! You'd never know it was vegan AND gluten-free too - no cashew nuts required.
SERVINGS: 12 -15 slices
PREP TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
4.62 from 77 votes
For the base:
- 250 g gluten free digestive biscuits ensure also dairy free of course!
- 120 g dairy free butter melted (a baking block like Stork would be fine here)
For the filling:
- 600 g dairy free cream cheese I use Violife Original dairy-free cream cheese - the fat level is 23% so anything around that or higher is ideal - linked in FAQ section
- 250 ml dairy free double cream the Flora Plant double cream and the Elmlea Plant double cream* both work great here - aim for a cream with at least 31% fat content - linked in FAQ section
- 130 g icing sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- For the topping:
- 100 ml dairy free double cream linked in FAQ section
Firstly, make your base. Crush your biscuits - either place them in a sandwich bag and hit them with a rolling pin or you can place them in a food processor and blitz, but don't over blitz them into a fine dust!
Melt your butter - I do this in the microwave on a medium power (600W) for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. But if it melts before this time, stop - it's done!
Pour your melted butter into your crushed biscuits and mix together in a bowl.
Press your biscuit mixture into the tin you are going to be making your cheesecake in. Press it down nice and firmly. I use a 20cm loose bottom tin (linked above and below).
Place it in the fridge to chill whilst you make your cheesecake top. (I leave mine in the fridge for at least 30 minutes)
To make your filling, mix together your dairy free cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract. I use my electric hand mixer to do this on a low/medium setting for only about 20 seconds. You could use a stand mixer too.
Add in the double cream and keep mixing until it firms up a little. (I mixed on a medium setting for just under 2 minutes for this - try not to over mix though... don't let it split - it's better to stop early than let it split!) It should end up being a nice, slightly thicker mixture you can spoon - NOT just a pourable consistency.
Spread your mixture on top of the biscuit base and place in the fridge to chill overnight. Remember, if the mixture isn't thick enough it won't set in the fridge however long it's in there!
Just before serving, whip up your dairy free double cream and tbsp of icing sugar. I do this with an electric hand whisk until lovely and thick. Place your cream into a piping bag with a star nozzle attached.
Once set, carefully remove from the tin and decorate by piping your whipped cream around the edges. Serve up and enjoy! Keep refrigerated!
*The Elmlea Plant has a may contain for milk so it's not suitable for those with a milk allergy. That's why I tried it also with the Flora Plant which has no may contain.
In terms of dairy free cream cheese - I use the Violife Original and would highly recommend using it too - I get mine in Tesco.
Serving: 1g | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 228mg | Sugar: 17g
Thanks for reading all about my dairy-free vanilla cheesecake recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turns out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me onInstagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!
What can I use instead of Philadelphia cream cheese for cheesecake? ›
- Homemade Cream Cheese.
- Cottage Cheese.
- Greek Yogurt.
- Mascarpone Cheese.
- Almonds or Cashewnuts Cream Cheese.
- Agar Agar. If your recipe calls for gelatin, substituting it with agar agar powder is probably the easiest, most common way! ...
- Kudzu. Kudzu is a wonderful gelatin substitute and is also flavorless. ...
- Pectin. ...
- Vegan Jel. ...
- Instant Clear Gel. ...
- Guar Gum. ...
- Xanthan Gum. ...
With this no-bake cheesecake recipe it's as simple to make cheesecake as it is to enjoy it. An easy press-in graham-cracker crust is filled with a rich cream cheese-and-condensed milk filling (flavored with vanilla and lemon), then the whole thing hangs out in the fridge until set—no cooking necessary.Why is my No-bake cheesecake gooey? ›
Your no-bake cheesecake is gooey or not firm because you might not have allowed it to set long enough. You need to either place the no-bake cheesecake in the freezer to set for 4 hours or in the fridge to set for 6 hours or more. This should fix your problem and firm up your cheesecake.Is there a vegan cream cheese? ›
Vegan Cream Cheese Brands
Daiya: Cream Cheese Style Spread (Plain, Chive & Onion, Strawberry, Garden Vegetable) Go Veggie: Cream Cheese Alterative(Plain, Chive & Garlic, Strawberry) Follow Your Heart: Dairy-Free Cream Cheese. Kite Hill: Dairy-Free Cream Cheese (Plain, Chive, Everything, and Garden Veggie)
- Sour Cream. Sour cream replicates cream cheese's taste but isn't quite as caloric, making it a good choice for a lower-calorie substitute. ...
- Greek Yogurt. ...
- Neufchatel. ...
- Mascarpone. ...
- Silken Tofu. ...
- Cottage Cheese. ...
- Hummus. ...
Since it's made from algae, agar agar is an excellent gelatin substitute (it's our favorite for making vegan jello). It's used to gel, emulsify, and thicken foods. Agar is usually available as flakes or powder, but you can find it in bar or sheet form too. Agar is firmer than gelatin.Will my cheesecake set without gelatin? ›
Our answer. Some no-bake cheesecakes are set with gelatine to give them a mousse-like texture. Other no-bake cheesecakes are a mixture of cream cheese or cream cheese and whipped cream. This second type should set firmly in the fridge without any gelatine being added.Will a runny No-Bake cheesecake set? ›
After the chill time, if your cheesecake still isn't firm enough, you can freeze it to help it set up. Be careful not to freeze it too long unwrapped though; it can cause the texture to become gritty.Is Mascarpone a cream cheese? ›
Mascarpone, also known as Italian cream cheese, is a rich, spreadable cow's milk cheese with an especially high percentage of butterfat. Mascarpone is made by adding a tartaric acid or citric acid like lemon juice to full-fat heavy cream.
How do you thicken cheesecake batter without gelatin? ›
For baked cheesecakes, acids such as lemon and orange juice as well as some alcohol are the best way to go about doing things. Not only do they provide a hint of flavor, but they can also keep your cheesecake as firm and thick as you can possibly have it.How long does homemade No-bake cheesecake last? ›
How Long Does No-Bake Cheesecake Last. This cheesecake is the perfect dessert to make ahead of time because it stores so well. You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.How can I thicken my no-bake cheesecake mix? ›
In most cases, the best way that you can fix your recipe for a no-bake cheesecake (assuming that the recipe you are following is not faulty), is adding gelatin to the cheesecake. Gelatin is a natural thickener and it is used in many recipes to help thicken sauces, custards, and other foods.Should a toothpick come out clean for cheesecake? ›
Stick most of it into the cheesecake and wait for a few seconds before pulling it out. If it feels wet and dripping liquid, it's undercooked, but a too dry one can indicate an overcooked one.
Undercooked cheesecake is not safe to eat if the eggs haven't been cooked properly. Even if you left your cheesecake in the fridge overnight to set, if you've not baked the cheesecake for the full amount of time and the eggs are still raw, then it's definitely not safe to eat.Which cheese is good for cheesecake? ›
Cream cheese is a soft cheese that is mostly used in traditional American style cheesecakes. The cheese lends the dessert a rich mouthfeel and creamy texture. Fun fact: Cream cheese was developed in the 1800s in the USA. It had many variants then, being made by local dairy farmers.Can I substitute heavy cream for cream cheese in cheesecake? ›
Neufchatel cheese, goat cheese, crème fraiche, coconut milk, plain yogurt, strained yogurt, heavy cream, whipped cream, heavy whipping cream, and evaporated milk can all be used as a cream cheese replacement depending on the cheesecake recipe or other recipe.Which cream cheese is best for cheesecake? ›
What is the best cream cheese brand for a cheese cake? Philadelphia Cream Cheese. There is no substitute. The others (store brands) might look the same but they don't maintain the same texture in the cooking process and really don't survive freezing.Can I substitute heavy cream for cream cheese? ›
Cream cheese will work as a one-to-one substitute for heavy cream. Keep in mind that cream cheese may alter the taste and texture of the final product, so make sure to use it in suitable recipes in which the flavors will work together, such as in creamy soups or cheesy sauces.