I do love those dense, dairy-free cashew cheesecakes, but they are heavy! This vegan chocolate cheesecake is lighter in calories and fat, even when generously sliced. It’s a baked cheesecake, and does some patience. It’s quick and easy to prep, but it bakes for roughly 2 hours and then chills for another 8 hours. So be sure to plan ahead!
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake that’s Deliciously Light and Fulfilling
This vegan chocolate cheesecake originally came to us from Vegetarian Times Magazine. We’ve adapted it ever so slightly, but stayed true to their timeless formula. We also have some answers to common FAQs.
Will Regular Graham Cracker Crumbs Work?
Yes, you can simply use them in place of the chocolate crumbs, or add a little cocoa powder (perhaps about 2 tablespoons) if you want that chocolate crust flavor.
Is there a Brand of Dairy-Free Cream Cheese that Works Best in Cheesecake?
We used to rely on Daiya cream cheeze for desserts, but they have changed their formula. Violife has become quite popular for recipes, and Tofutti is a time-tested favorite for many people. If you like cashew cream cheese, Treeline is a great option and it bakes well. We’ve actually made mini New York-style cheesecakes with it.
Where Can I Get Dairy-Free Chocolate Sauce?
Traditional Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is actually dairy free! But we often just make our own with this Dairy-Free Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe. If you’re using firm silken tofu, rather than extra-firm, you could even get away with melting dairy-free chocolate chips as a substitute for the chocolate sauce. Once chilled, they will help this vegan chocolate cheesecake set up more firmly.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1½ cups dairy-free chocolate graham cracker or cookie crumbs (store-bought or homemade; use gluten-free, if needed)
- ⅓ cup dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 19 ounces (2⅓ cups) extra-firm silken tofu
- 1 (8-ounce) tub dairy-free cream cheese alternative
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup (see post above)
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Fresh berries and sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
- Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the cracker crumbs and 3 tablespoons. sugar. Whisk in the butter alternative until evenly sized clumps form.
- Press a thick layer of the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and part way up the side of your prepared springform pan.
- Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- In a food processor, puree the tofu. Add the cream cheese alternative and puree until smooth. Add the ¾ cup sugar, chocolate sauce, cocoa powder, vanilla, and lemon juice and process until smooth.
- Pour the filling into your prepared crust. Tap the pan on counter several times to release any air bubbles.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet on the center rack in your oven. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour (the center will still be wobbly). Turn your off oven, and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour.
- Transfer the springform pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecake cool completely, about 4 hours.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours, cover it with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate it for another 4 hours or more.
- If the cake top still looks wet, just blot it gently with a paper towel. Place the springform pan on a serving plate, and carefully release the side wall to serve.
- Garnish the dessert with fresh berries and/or more chocolate sauce, if desired.
- This dairy-free chocolate cheesecake (ungarnished) will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, covered loosely with foil.