Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

This luscious vegan chocolate cheesecake is rich, creamy, and topped with a silky coconut milk ganache. The perfect sweet treat for any occasion!

I’m of the mindset that anything that you can reasonably add chocolate to, should have chocolate added to it. It’ll usually be better that way.

So I really can’t tell you why it’s taken me this long to post a classic vegan chocolate cheesecake recipe on this site. Let’s just be thankful together that it’s here now!

Vegan Cheesecake Essentials

Wooden Surface Set with Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake and Two Slices on Plates with Raspberries

There are many a-ways to make a vegan cheesecake, and I think I’ve explored all of them at this point! But I’ve discovered a few things that I think are key!

  • Cashews! Raw cashews are my go-to main ingredient for making vegan cheesecake. Actually, they work great for all kinds of vegan cheeses and dairy products in general, like vegan cream cheese, mozzarella, or basic cashew cream.
  • Creamy add-ins. Blended cashews on their own can be a little heavy, which is why I like to add something else to balance them out. Ideally you want to use something creamy with a neutral flavor. Silken tofu works, like I used in this vegan mango cheesecake recipe. For my vegan chocolate cheesecake I used non-dairy yogurt.
  • No bake. Vegan cheesecakes are easy to make in both baked and unbaked varieties, but in general I find that no-bake cheesecakes are easier to make, and they turn out richer and creamier.

What You’ll Need

Single Slice of Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake with Coffee Cup and Rest of the Cake in the Background
  • Graham crackers. Check the ingredients list to ensure they’re vegan. Many varieties contain honey!
  • Cocoa powder.
  • Vegan butter. Try brands like Miyoko’s or Earth Balance.
  • Organic sugar.
  • Raw cashews. Make sure they’re raw! Roasted cashews will mess with the flavor.
  • Vegan yogurt. Anything unsweetened and unflavored will work. I used Silk plain almondmilk yogurt.
  • Maple syrup.
  • Non-dairy milk. Again, go for something unsweetened and unflavored. Aside from that, just about any variety will work!
  • Coconut oil. Use refined coconut oil if you want to avoid coconut flavor in your cheesecake.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Salt.
  • Vegan chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life Brand.
  • Full-fat coconut milk. Make sure it’s the kind from a can.

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. If you’d like to skip to the complete recipe, just scroll down!

The Crust

Collage Showing Steps for Making a Vegan Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust: Mix Ingredients and Press into Pan

Our cheesecake will have a chocolate graham cracker crust. To make this, you’ll need to crush up some graham crackers. My quick and dirty method is to place them in a zippy bag and roll them with a rolling pin.

Place your graham cracker crumbs into a bowl with some cocoa powder, melted vegan butter and sugar, then mix everything up!

Now press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Be sure to press a little bit of the mixture up the sides of the pan. I’m using a 7-inch pan here, but you could go as big as 9-inches. Now pop it into the oven and bake the crust until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Take it out and place it on a cooling rack.

The Cheesecake Batter

Collage Showing Four Stages of Blending Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Batter in a Food Processor Bowl

Make your batter while the crust cools. You’ll need to plan ahead by soaking some raw cashews to soften them up.

Drain your cashews and place them into a food processor bowl with some non-dairy milk. Blend the mixture to a smooth paste. Now add some vegan yogurt, maple syrup, cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend again until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the batter into your crust and pop the cheesecake into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.

The Ganache

Collage Showing Final Steps for Making a Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake: Mix Ganache and Spread Over Cheesecake

Make the ganache while your cheesecake chills. Mix up some melted vegan chocolate chips and full fat coconut milk.

Check on your cheesecake — if the top layer feels set you can add the ganache. Pour it on top and smooth it out with a spoon.

Pop the cheesecake into the fridge (or back in the freezer to speed things up) and let it chill until completely set.

Slice and devour!

Close Up of a Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake with Whipped Topping

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Tips & FAQ

  • Plan ahead and get started a day in advance. Between the chill time and the soaking time for the cashews, this one takes a bit of time!
  • Most graham crackers contain honey. Nabisco original flavor seems to be the easiest to find brand that doesn’t.
  • Can I substitute another type of oil for coconut? Or can I leave it out? I’m afraid not. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it’s the main ingredient that will cause your cheesecake to set.
  • Can I use roasted cashews? No, they need to be raw. Roasting brings out the nutty flavor in cashews, so your cheesecake would taste less like cheesecake and more like cashew butter.
  • Did you forget to soak your cashews? Try boiling them for 15 minutes instead. They won’t blend up quite as creamy, but they’ll work in a pinch. And for next time, keep a stash of soaked cashews in the freezer. Just freeze them right in the soaking water.
  • Shelf life & storage. This cheesecake will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for 4 months.

Like this recipe? If so, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter. And please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you make it!

Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Topped with Vegan Whipped Cream, with a Second Slice and The Rest of the Cheesecake in the Background

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Vegan Chocolate Cheescake

This luscious vegan chocolate cheesecake is rich, creamy, and topped with a silky coconut milk ganache. The perfect sweet treat for any occasion!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy-free cheesecake, dairy-free dessert, vegan cheesecake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Soak Time + Chill Time 16 hours
Total Time 16 hours 40 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 498kcal
Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 full graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 2/3 cup melted vegan butter

For the Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 to 8 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup unflavored non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 cup unflavored or vanilla vegan yogurt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the Ganache

Instructions

Make the Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Stir the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar, and butter together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan (7 to 9 inches in diameter), pressing a bit up the sides.
  • Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until it just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  • Place the pan on a cooling rack to cool.

To Make the Batter

  • Place the cashews and milk into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Blend to a smooth paste. If the mixture seems like it needs a bit more moisture to get perfectly smooth, try adding a bit of your non-dairy yogurt.
  • Add the rest of the batter ingredients to the bowl and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the crust and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Place the cheesecake into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Make the Ganache

  • Stir the melted chips and coconut milk together in a medium bowl. Mix until fully blended.

Finish the Cheesecake

  • Take the cheesecake out of the freezer and test the top with a finger — it should feel like it’s beginning to set. If not, chill it longer.
  • Pour the ganache over the cheesecake and smooth out the top with a spoon.
  • Place the cheesecake into the fridge and chill until fully set, 4 to 8 hours. For faster setting, freeze it for about 2 hours — just don’t forget to take it out when it’s done.
  • Slice and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (1/10 of cheesecake) | Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5.5g | Fat: 35.2g | Saturated Fat: 19.4g | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 4.7g | Sugar: 25.5g | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 3mg

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