By Team Dirty
Feb 10, 2023,
What’s your love language? Words of affirmation? Acts of service? Ours is undoubtedly this Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake. That’s English for delicious.
This dessert is rated five stars and loved by our members, and it’s easy to see why. Luscious, rich chocolate filling complements a nutty, delicately sweet crust. And an optional fruity, tart (surprisingly simple) raspberry sauce is the bow on top. Make this for your sweetie or your flexitarian friends and they’ll be sure to feel loved…and ask for the recipe. Oh, and did we mention it’s gluten-free and the filling sets overnight in the fridge? Perfection!
Take a peek inside
Pecans and almonds: no graham crackers here. These versatile nuts give the crust body, with a healthy dose of buttery and toasty flavors, too.
Almond flour: made from ground skinless almonds, almond flour layers more tasty almond flavors into the crust and gives the added benefit of making this cheesecake gluten-free.
Almond butter: this helps bind the ingredients together to achieve that perfect slightly-crumbly-but-not-dry texture all great cheesecakes have.
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake filling
Silken tofu: this surprising ingredient is responsible for the plush, silky texture. Its mild taste means that it will carry the flavors of whatever ingredients we add to it. Note: pay close attention to the amount called for in the recipe and the weight of the package as sizes can vary greatly.
Coconut sugar: featuring more fiber than conventional sugar and less processing, coconut sugar is a fantastic whole food plant based sweetener. Consuming fiber with your carbs helps keep your blood sugar stable. If you’re not a coconut lover, don’t worry, its flavor is more like brown sugar or maple syrup, and you won’t notice any coconut notes.
Balsamic vinegar: another surprising addition, balsamic vinegar helps brighten and complement the deep chocolate and nutty flavors in your cheesecake.
Salt: don’t skip this! A little salt added to sweet dishes won’t make them salty. It helps enhance sweet notes without being overwhelming. Chemistry is cool!
Dark chocolate chips: it wouldn’t be chocolate cheesecake without chocolate. Dark chocolate typically contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar. It doesn’t usually have dairy, but check the label to be sure. You also want to make sure you find dark chocolate that’s been sweetened with unrefined sugar. We call for chips because they melt quickly and evenly, but feel free to chop up a bar if that’s what you have.
Let’s do this
Make the crust
First, get the oven heating to 350ºF (175ºC). The filling doesn’t need to be baked, but the crust needs a few minutes in the oven to firm up. You’ll need a 9-inch pie plate, springform pan, or cake pan. If you’re using a deeper pan with non-removable sides, you may want to line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, but it’s not obligatory.
Place all of the crust ingredients into your food processor, starting with the dry ingredients. If you have a less powerful processor, you may want to pulse the nuts by themselves a few times before adding the other ingredients.
Once everything is loaded up, process on high until you see a course paste-like texture and everything sticks together. If things remain crumbly and separate even after all the big pieces are broken up, add water a half-teaspoon at a time until it comes together.
Remove your dough from the processor and put into your baking dish. Spread it out a bit and then begin pressing it firmly into the bottom of your dish and up the sides at least one inch using your fingertips or knuckles. The more you compress the crust and press it into the pan, the better it will hold together after baking, so don’t be afraid to use a little muscle. This is an excellent way to relieve tension after a hard day, but you may want to make sure no one walks in on you strong-arming and growling at your cheesecake crust—it could lead to awkward questions.
Once your crust has been firmly put in its place, pop the dish into the oven until it starts to brown at the edges, about 12–13 minutes. Remove it and let it cool on the counter for 15 minutes before putting it into your fridge to finish cooling.
It’s very important that your crust cool completely before adding the filling. It’s best to add the filling to the crust immediately after making it, so we recommend waiting until the crust is completely cool before starting the filling.
Start the Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake filling
Break out the blender and place all of the filling ingredients except the chocolate chips into it. Pop on the lid and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Leave the mixture in the blender when it’s done.
Now let’s melt the chocolate. There are two ways to do this.
Melting chocolate using a double boiler
This is the traditional way. It’s a bit fussier than the microwave, but many pastry chefs insist it produces tastier chocolate. We have no preference and, as always, you should do what works for you. There are just a few things to keep in mind if you choose this method.
You’ll need a small to medium-sized saucepan (a pot with straight, high sides) and a heat-safe glass or metal mixing bowl that fits snugly on top of the pot. If you’re using a metal bowl, make sure it doesn’t have silicone or another material on the bottom.
Put about one inch of water in the pot and heat over medium-high until it’s at a simmer. Turn the heat to low and place the bowl on top of the pot. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Keep an eye on the water level as you work and add more if all of it evaporates.
Pop the chocolate chips into the bowl, and they’ll begin melting pretty quickly. Stir occasionally with a rubber spatula to make sure things are melting evenly. It will only take a few minutes. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat.
Be very careful not to let any steam or water get into the bowl with the chocolate. Water makes melted chocolate seize, and you’ll need to start over, which would be annoying.
Melting chocolate in the microwave
We’re all busy, and the microwave can be a lifesaver. Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for one minute. Remove the bowl, stir with a rubber spatula, and return it to the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir again. Continue microwaving for 30 seconds at a time and stirring between until the chips are melted. If there are just a couple unmelted spots, giving everything a stir will often finish the job without returning to the microwave.
Blend and chill the cheesecake filling
Once your chocolate is melted, use your rubber spatula to scrape it into the blender with your other filling ingredients and blend immediately until completely combined.
Do not stop and restart your blender. Once you start blending, let it run until things are silky and well-mixed. The filling should only be blended once to completion or it won’t set correctly when chilled.
Pour the filling mixture on top of your cooled crust and use the back of a spoon or rubber spatula to smoothly level the top. Cover your beautiful Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate overnight.
Drizzled with love
Take your cheesecake over the top with a drizzle of Raspberry Coulis. This recipe is available for Plant Fueled members and is a vibrant, perfectly sweet addition.
Once the filling has set and it’s time to serve, pop the cheesecake out of the fridge and slice it up (remove the sides first if you’re using a springform pan).
Drizzle your cheesecake slices with Coulis if you’re using it, and you’re ready to enjoy. Lucky you!
Store your Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake covered in the fridge for up to five days. But honestly, it’ll be gone by then.
- 1 9-inch pie plate, springform pan, or cake pan
For the crust
- ⅔ cup raw shelled pecans (80 g)
- ⅔ cup raw almonds (90 g)
- ⅓ cup almond flour (40 g)
- 3 tablespoons almond butter (45 g)
- 2 teaspoons 100% pure maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons water (more if needed, see below)
For the filling
- 1 14-oz. package silken tofu, drained (395 g / pay close attention to the weight of the package as sizes can vary greatly)
- ½ cup almond flour (55 g)
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (118 ml)
- ¼ cup almond butter (60 g)
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (25 g)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (10 g)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (or a healthy pinch)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (50-90% cocoa, sweetened with unrefined sugar)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Place all of the crust ingredients into your food processor and process until it becomes a paste-like texture and is sticking together. If your mixture is still crumbs, pulse in a little bit of water at a time until it holds together.
- Transfer the dough to your baking dish and press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of your baking dish at least 1 inch. Press hard so it has a firm base.
- Bake until just starting to brown on the edges, about 12–13 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly, then pop the pan into your fridge. The crust needs to be completely cool before adding the filling.
- Place all of the filling ingredients into your blender except for the chocolate chips and blend until smooth and creamy. Leave it in the blender for now.
- Melt the chocolate chips until smooth and there are no lumps. There are 2 ways you can do this, choose whichever method you prefer.
- Double boiler method: Pour about 1 inch of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place a heat-safe glass or metal bowl (bigger than the saucepan) snugly on top of the pan so that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl and stir occasionally until smooth and melted. Be super careful not to get any water in the bowl or your chocolate will seize up and become un-meltable. You will have to throw it out and start over.
- Microwave method: Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave for 30 seconds more and stir again. Continue microwaving for 30 seconds and stirring between until the chips are just melted and smooth.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to your blender and immediately blend until smooth and well combined. Do not stop and restart your blender. This mixture should only be blended once to completion or else the filling won't set properly.
- Pour the filling mixture into the cooled crust and level the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- After your filling is set, remove the cheesecake from the fridge and slice it up. Top with optional Raspberry Coulis (see Note) and enjoy!
Have you made this stunning dessert? Did your omnis adore it? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
Here’s to desserts that speak our love language.
After you share that cheesecake (or not) check out this sweet collection of whole food plant based desserts you’ll love. We also have a divine Whole Food Plant Based Chocolate Cake that you need in your life.
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