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Vegan Caramel Cheesecake

This Vegan Caramel Cheesecake is a showstopper! It’s a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan cheesecake recipe drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce.

The middle cheesecake layer is made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it’s unbelievably creamy and decadent.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

If you’ve been following this website for a while, you know that I love vegan cheesecake recipes. They’re creamy, smooth, decadent and perfect for those who are gluten-free and dairy-free. Bonus, they’re also paleo-friendly.

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So think of this as a delicious, healthy dessert that’s perfect for everyone. Because even if you’re not vegan and have no dietary restrictions, I think you’re gonna love it!

Oh, did I mention the salted caramel sauce? Yep, this version of my vegan cheesecake is drizzled in the most amazing salted caramel sauce. A sauce that you’ll want to drink like it’s liquid gold. No exaggeration.

Watch this video of my Vegan Cheesecake Recipe:

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Now, this isn’t my first rodeo with vegan cheesecakes. I’ve also made this Raw Mixed Berry and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Raw Coconut Macadamia and Mango Cheesecake and Raw White Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake (hint: this is also great for the holidays). These are perennial reader favorites.

So I didn’t alter too much with this version. Just a little tweak here and there. But let’s be honest, it’s the salted caramel drizzles that really steal the show.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

How to Make This Vegan Cheesecake

It’s quite easy to make this vegan cheesecake recipe, but you do need to plan ahead by soaking your raw cashews overnight. I’d also recommend making your salted caramel sauce the day before, then storing in the refrigerator (and I like to store in these cute tulip jars). By prepping the sauce ahead of time, it’ll make your life easier in the kitchen.

The cheesecake recipe is really three components, the crust, the middle layer and the sauce. With your sauce done and out of the way, all that’s left is the crust and creamy center.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

To make the crust, add the almonds, shredded coconut, Medjool dates and coconut oil to a food processor. Process it for a minute or so, until you have a crumbly texture that resembles coarse sand. Then, line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper and transfer the crust mixture to the pan and press it down with your fingers until it’s flattened.

Next, make your cheesecake filling by adding the water, maple syrup or honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, scraped vanilla beans and drained cashews to a high-powered blender. I love my Vitamix, but any high-powered blender should work. Blend it on high for 2-3 minutes or until super creamy.

Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust, give the pan a shake to eliminate any air bubbles and pop it in the freezer for at least 5 hours.

When you’re ready to serve (and eat!) this cheesecake, remove it from the freezer about 20-30 minutes beforehand to let it thaw. Pour your salted caramel sauce on top and use a spatula to smooth the top, pushing little bits of the caramel sauce over the edge to create those drizzles.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

And there you have it! A wow-worthy Vegan Caramel Cheesecake that is sure to impress and satisfy the bellies of your guests.

For more vegan dessert recipes, make sure to check out my Salted Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream, Chocolate Avocado Pudding, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Spice Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies.

Enjoy!

This gluten-free Vegan Caramel Cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. The vegan cheesecake is simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it's super creamy and decadent.

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Vegan Caramel Cheesecake

This gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan cheesecake recipe is drizzled with the most amazing salted caramel sauce. It’s a vegan cheesecake simply made from cashews that have soaked overnight and it’s unbelievably creamy and decadent.

Ingredients

Crust

Cheesecake

  • 4 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, liquified
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 vanilla beans, scraped

Topping

Directions

  1. Make the caramel sauce either the night before or a few hours before the cheesecake, so that it has time to cool.
  2. Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and process until it’s the texture of coarse sand.
  4. Pour the crust mixture into the springform pan and use your fingers to flatten it. You can also use parchment paper to help flatten if your fingers get sticky.
  5. To make the cheesecake filling, add all ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend on high for two to three minutes or until creamy.
  6. Pour the cheesecake onto the crust and gently tap to flatten and remove any air bubbles. Freeze the cheesecake for at least 5 hours before serving.
  7. When you’re ready to eat the cheesecake, take it out of the freezer at least 30 minutes before serving to thaw. Drizzle the salted caramel sauce on top and use an offset spatula to completely cover the top and push a little bit over the edges. You’ll only need about 1/2 to 3/4 of the salted caramel sauce, so save the rest for a future indulgence.

Lisa's Tips

Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan while it’s still frozen to prevent the sides from sticking to the pan. I also recommend pouring the caramel sauce while it’s still frozen, as the cheesecake will be firm while spreading the sauce. Then, thaw the drizzled cheesecake on a cake stand.

Once the cheesecake is thawed, it’s best to keep refrigerated until serving. The cake will stay firm in a cool room, but remember that coconut oil liquifies at 76 degrees. So if it’s hot where you’re serving this, the cheesecake could definitely go soft faster. As an example, I removed this cake from the freezer at Thanksgiving and had it on a serving table for 2 hours no problem. But each person’s home may be different.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 1 cheesecake, Serving Size: 1 slice (16 slices in cheesecake)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 523
  • Total Fat: 36.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.3g
  • Sodium: 18.9mg
  • Carbohydrates: 45.5g
  • Fiber: 5.8g
  • Sugar: 33.7g
  • Protein: 8g
All images and text ©Lisa Bryan for Downshiftology

Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see!

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124 comments on “Vegan Caramel Cheesecake”

  1. IS it OK to use sweetened coconut or only unsweetened recommended?
    Thanks!
    Making for THANKSGIVING!!

  2. This is an amazing recipe! I loved making mine and I’ve found the caramel flavour is better a few days after when you originally make it. This weekend I am going to trial using the recipe but convert it to a chocolate orange cheesecake in the hope it will be ‘jaffa’ like :)

  3. Hi LisaHow many days will this cheese cake last in the freezer? And then how many days will it last after being thawed?

    Rating: 5
  4. This looks amazing. My friend can’t eat coconut oil, is there something I could use instead? Thanks!

  5. Hey Lisa! Amazing recipe. Thank you! Just a quick question. Just finished making it but not serving for two more days. Fridge or freezer prior to serving?Amazing job! Thank you!!!

    Rating: 5
  6. Shameful that you only show positive comments most of which are from people who have not and will not actually try the recipe…

    • I don’t only show positive comments. But because I receive hundreds of comments a day and I prioritize responding to each person myself (and I’m only a team of one), it can take me a few days to get through all comments. Hundreds of people have made this recipe and loved it (you can scroll through the comments below) and many have even posted photos of their creations on Instagram (you can search the hashtag #downshiftology). Again, I’m sorry you did not like this recipe. I hope you have a lovely day.

  7. It just doesn’t taste good… I thought it would because it looks good but the base was crumbly, dry and tasteless, the cashew cream tastes like cashews and the caramel sauce tastes like coconut not sugar. I followed the recipe and do not look forward to cleaning the mess it took to make.

    Rating: 1
    • I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe. Given that the middle layer is made from cashews, it of course does impart a slight cashew flavor, though most would say it’s just a mild, creamy flavor. This is typical of all vegan cheesecakes made from cashews. You could always increase the amount of vanilla extract if you’d like.

  8. UGHHHH wow. so good. Definitely my favorite dessert ever. I’ve never made cheesecake before, it was a blast and the end results were well worth the many steps!

    Rating: 5
  9. Hi there.  I would like to try this recipe but was wondering if I could put it in a 6” or 7” springform pan instead a 9” pan just in case my family doesn’t like it. I’m sure I’ll love it but family is very fussy.  Would cutting the recipe in half be enough for a 6” or 7” pan?  Also, are raw cashews hard to find and are they expensive?  Thanks for your answer. 😀

  10. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. I enjoyed making it and being able to try out my new Vitamix was fun too! My favorite is the Carmel sauce. I need to make another batch of that just for dipping my apples in! 

    Rating: 5
  11. I made this cheesecake for my birthday today. Very good idea! Thank you very much for recipe, Lisa!!!

    Rating: 5
  12. I made this for my mom’s birthday celebration because there were people attending who had gluten and/or dairy allergies and it was amazing! I would definitely recommend this and will be making it again. 

    Rating: 5
  13. Hi, what are you soaking the cashews in please?  I presume you’re doing this to make them softer? And not because they are a different type that need soaking before use? I’m looking forward to trying it, I have to miss dessert most of the time, be nice to have one with all my favourite things in!! Thanks

    Rating: 5
  14. Hi, I am going to be making this for my mum for mother’s day, but can you use desiccated coconut instead of shredded coconut. And also, if I make this the day before mother’s day can I leave this in the freezer overnight or can it only be in the freezer for 5 hours? Thank you !!

  15. It was the first time I tried a vegan cheesecake and now I’m in love with the recipe and I also have made some variants from it, thank you so much! Love your blog!

    Rating: 4
  16. Hi! I love your recipes – recently made your Paleo Chocolate Cake and Paleo Carrot Cake for a friend whose baby has a gluten/dairy allergy, and they love it!

    I’m thinking of trying out this recipe but wanted to find out whether it’s possible to use another variety of dates besides Medjool dates? Thank you!

  17. Hi could I substitute the lemon juice with orange juice as that’s all I have in and am planning on making this tmoz thanks

  18. I just made it yesterday and everyone love it!!!!! I will do it again and again.. thanks so much for sharing!!!!

    Rating: 5
  19. Hi! I thank you a million for this beautiful recipe! It was fairly easy to find the ingredients.I enjoyed the anticipation of tasting the mixtures along the steps, I really did enjoy every bit of making it; except for soaking the cashews ;) I had nothing to do with that, it was the night! The cheesecake turned out to look just like the photos provided with the recipe.. and the taste is sooooo good beyond my expectations! HEAVENLY! I loved it! Guilt-free indulgence :)

    Rating: 5
  20. Hi! This cheesecake looks amazing I can’t wait to try it! I have a question, is it possible to use cookies in the crust instead of what you used? Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  21. This cheesecake looks insanely good! Definitely a must have for entertaining. 🙂

  22. Can you use vanilla extract or vanilla powder in place of the beans and if so how much?

  23. Awesome cheesecake 😀 made it and even the non vegans raved over it. I think I poured a little too much sauce over it but it was delicious 😁

  24. Whoops- just found your great video of the process-,ignore my parchment question! Thanks for this recipe 

  25. When you say line a springform with parchment, do you just mean to cover the bottom, then assemble the springform and leave edges sticking out all around the bottom, or do you put a big piece over the top once the springform is put together and then push it down into the bottom, with edges sticking out around the top, or cutting two pieces of parchment to line the bottom (with a circle) and sides (with a strip) perfectly? Thanks

  26. Made this cheesecake…it was awesome!!! Wish I could send you a picture :)

    Rating: 5
  27. Hi Lisa,

    I’ve never made a cake or a pie in my life, but I recently turned to a plant-based diet and I wanted to make something special for my friends as a desert for new years eve. Your video popped up on my facebook-timeline and I was immediately inspired. Your instructions are really easy to follow and your video is also very helpful for if I have any doubts about how and why and when. I finished making the cake in about 1,5 hours this morning and I put it in the freezer.

    Tomorrow morning I will have to bring it over to my friends place where it will probably stay in the refrigerator for over 12 hours until I can serve it. Is that okay? Or does it have to be stored in a freezer?
    Also, is there any particular reason why your instruction says to use a glass container for the caramel sauce?
    (I had to store it in a sealed tupperware container, since I did’n have a glass container big enough for the amount of caramel sause.)

    Thank you for sharing. I’m really excited.

    • Hi Mark – so happy (and honored) that you decided to make my cheesecake for your first ever cake! And thanks so much for your kind words on the recipe and video. I do try to make things as easy as possible. :) You can definitely store the cheesecake in the fridge (or freezer) at your friend’s place. If you store in the fridge I’d just recommend putting it on a serving plate first, as the sides can sometimes stick to the springform pan if it’s thawed before you remove it from the pan. As for the tupperware container, that’s totally fine. I just don’t use tupperware/plastic containers in my house so have a habit of saying glass container. I’m excited for you as well! Do let me know how it all turns out and if you happen to post a pic on Instagram, make sure to hashtag it #downshiftology so I can see!

  28. What a wonderful and delicious cheesecake. I also made it for Christmas and all, not only my vegan family, loved it.

    • That’s so wonderful to hear! I love how everyone loves this cheesecake whether you’re dairy-free, vegan or not. The sign of a winning recipe! ;) x

  29. I made this for Christmas with the salted caramel sauce. It was gorgeous through personally it could have done with half the topping as it was so deep and rich, so next time I’ll just half the ingredients. As for the salted caramel sauce; I could have drank that from a glass. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing  this recipe 💕

    Rating: 5
    • Yay! So happy you loved the cheesecake Donna! And yes, the salted caramel sauce is definitely rich. I add about 3/4 of the sauce, then save the rest to enjoy on fruit or other things. ;) x

  30. Hello, sorry I do not understand English exactly how much is the measure of cashews, before you put them in soak? I await your answer thank you.

  31. If this is a ridiculous question, forgive me. But where did you get that pot you used to make the caramel sauce? It’s lovely! What brand is it?

  32. Can you use sweetened shredded coconut?

  33. How do you recommend storing the cheesecake? It won’t be eaten in one night at my house. Should I keep it in the freezer, even with the caramel on it?

    • Yes, you can freeze it with the caramel on top. That’s actually what I did after making the one you see in this post. I placed it in the freezer uncovered for about an hour to firm it up (and so the wrapping wouldn’t stick to the caramel). Then wrapped it in plastic wrap to seal it and then aluminum foil. But that’s because I stored it for 2 weeks. If you’re just planning to store it for a couple days, you could just put the extra slices in a sealed storage container. It re-thaws perfectly. :)

  34. How far ahead of time can this be made? 

    • Because it’s a frozen dessert, you could make it days (even weeks) ahead of time. I’d just wait until serving before adding the caramel topping. :)

  35. Could you substitute macadamia nuts for the cashews or perhaps a combo of mac and brazil nuts?  I’m staying away from cashews right now since they fall under the legume category.  I’m craving a vegan cheesecake and this one sounds amazing.

    • That’s a great question and over on Facebook several subscribers indicated that they’d try the same thing – a combo of macadamia and brazil nuts – as they had problems with cashews. I haven’t personally tried it, but it seems like it may work. I say go for it! Let me know how it turns out! :)

  36. Hi.  I made this recipe today and my sister loved it.  It’s  good. For some reason loved the crust above all else.  😊

    Rating: 5
  37. Really! very delicious vegan caramel cake, as I tasted it just now. Thanks for posting this special cakes here. Nice,

  38. I made it and it’s the best cake ever 😋

    Rating: 5
  39. Can i use coconut oil without taste? It’s not that I don’t like it, but that is the only one I have right now, 

    • Yes, you can use coconut oil. :)

      • Yes, but can I use taste neutral coconut oil? Or is the coconut oil supposed to give the cake a taste of coconut? :-) (or is it just to contribute to a stiffer consistency/texture) 

      • Not sure what you mean by neutral taste coconut oil? There are usually two types – refined and unrefined (at least in the US). The refined will have less of a coconut flavor as it’s more processed. Is that what you mean? As long as it still solidifies when it gets cold, I’m sure it will work fine. You don’t need it for the coconut flavor, the cheesecake is actually more of a vanilla flavor. Hope that helps! :)

  40. This is seriously the most beautiful cheesecake!! I can’t believe it’s vegan!! Definitely bookmarking it for later :)

  41. A gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan cheesecake.. that’s incredible! I think I would really enjoy the cashew layer, as well, since this is my favourite nut. Beautiful photos and I really enjoy that you have a video walk-through, as well.

  42. I could stare at that perfect slice forever, also I heart your cake stand!

    Rating: 5
  43. Oh my goodness, this looks DELICIOUS! Who knew a vegan cheesecake could look exactly like the real thing? I love this idea!

    Rating: 5
  44. This looks divine!!! YUM!

  45. I hate lemon in my cheesecakes…what can I use to replace the lemon juice…another acid like cider vinegar, or will any liquid like almond milk work?

  46. I hate lemon in my cheesecakes…what can use to replace the lemon juice…another acid like cider vinegar or will any liquid like almond milk work?

  47. What can I substitute for dates my daughter can’t tolerate dates

  48. I don’t have a springform pan :c Could I use a different type of pan? Also could the chesse cake part be done in a food processor? Thanks for the help!

    • I’d definitely recommend a springform pan as it will be difficult to get out of another type of pan. My only other thought is if you did it in a loaf/square pan and lined it fully with parchment paper so you could lift it out. But it’s quite heavy so that may not work. And yes, you could use a food processor (assuming you have one big enough) but it just won’t be as smooth as a high-powered blender. Good luck!

  49. After it’s been frozen can you just leave it in the fridge…….or do you have to keep lift overs frozen?

  50. I cooked my caramel too long as it is no longer runny.

  51. If you don’t have vanilla beans, can I use vanilla extract? And if so how much?

  52. This cheesecake looks fabulous! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  53. This cheesecake looks so incredibly delicious! I love making vegan desserts to see how they stand up to the classic recipe! This definitely stands up and I can not wait to make it!

  54. I love that this beautiful cheesecake is vegan!

  55. I’ve never purposely searched out vegan cheesecakes — because I like regular cheesecakes just fine — but now — Oh-WOW! This looks amazing.

  56. Ohhh my!!!!! This looks utterly delicious and so creamy!!! Pinning that for sure!

  57. This looks DIVINE! Love your cheesecake recipes.