The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake featuring crunchy, buttery, cookie crust with rich, creamy, velvety smooth and super chocolatey cheesecake filling. This easy no bake vegan cheesecake is quick to make and keeps for ages so you can prepare it well ahead when entertaining.
My chocolate loving heart says dessert doesn't get better than this. We're talking buttery, chocolatey, crunchy cookie crust, filled with the most indulgent, rich, creamy, velvety smooth, super chocolatey cheesecake filling.
And we're talking simple. Just like my Vegan Biscoff Cheesecake, this recipe is really easy to make with no cooking involved!
In this post: Everything you need to make Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake:
Obsessed is not the word. With everything. Taste (perfectly rich, intense chocolate flavor without being too sweet), perfect texture and that good crust to filling ratio. Pet peeve ... cheesecake crusts that are not substantial enough. A good thick crust is so important for a good textural eating experience and it makes slicing and serving neater and easier too.
Added bonus: No-bake cheesecake is a lot easier to make than baked cheesecake. Without the baking, there is virtually ZERO room for error. You don't have to worry about leaking, under-baking, over-baking or cracking. With this no-bake vegan chocolate cheesecake, we’re essentially removing all of those complicated steps and any room for error. This is a totally foolproof vegan chocolate cheesecake recipe that is just perfect for vegan dinner parties and entertaining, especially because you can have it made and ready days before.
Ingredients & equipment
(For detailed measurements and instructions, see the printable recipe card).
Here's what you'll be needing to make this amazing vegan chocolate cheesecake and a little about why we need each one:
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies - This is an Oreo cheesecake recipe so you need either Oreo cookies or another similar chocolate sandwich cookie. Newman's O's are a great organic option. For a gluten-free cheesecake use gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies like gluten-free Oreos.
- Vegan butter - This adds buttery flavor and sets the cookie crumbs so they hold together and the crust is easily sliceable. Use my vegan butter recipe or store bought vegan butter. You could use coconut oil instead but I recommend using butter if you can because it gives the best flavour. If using coconut oil, only use unrefined coconut oil if you are ok with a coconut flavour coming through in the crust. Otherwise use refined coconut oil which has no coconut flavour.
- Dairy-free chocolate - For the chocolate flavor but also as it's an eggless chocolate cheesecake, it works to set the cheesecake. This means that the quantity cannot be reduced or increased without greatly affecting the texture. Too little and the cheesecake won't set properly, too much and the filling will become too hard. After many rounds of testing the balance is perfect just as it is. Dairy-free chocolate or chocolate chips are available at pretty much all grocery stores.
- Canned coconut milk - This must be full fat and not light. Because this is a no bake and eggless chocolate cheesecake recipe, the fat in the canned coconut milk and the chocolate are what sets the cheesecake and gives it the perfect texture.
- Cocoa powder- For even more chocolate flavor without the sweetness and extra firmness that using more chocolate would give.
- Vegan cream cheese - I recommend using Tofutti Cream Cheese if you can. I tried them all and it gives by far the best results.
- Powdered sugar - Essential for the perfectly smooth, velvety texture. Don't switch it for regular sugar or you'll feel slight graininess when eating. For a cheesecake of this size there isn't a huge amount. The sweetness is perfectly balanced by the slight bitterness of the chocolate and cocoa.
- Espresso powder/finely ground coffee - Optional but highly recommended. This is not espresso for a discernible coffee flavor. This is espresso for unmatched chocolate FLAVOR. Just a little bit enhances the flavor profile of the chocolate and really adds a little somethin’ somethin’. More detailed information about this is included in the FAQs because I always get asked about why I add coffee to chocolate recipes.
- Sea salt - Again to enhance the chocolate flavor further. Salt is a magic ingredient that makes everything better! It's important you use fine sea salt and not table salt.
- Vanilla extract - For another layer of flavor and like the coffee and the salt it boosts the chocolate flavor. All of these little additions might seem insignificant but they work together to create A-mazing overall flavor!
- Apple cider vinegar - Vegan cream cheese isn't as tangy as regular cream cheese so a little apple cider vinegar really helps with that signature cheesecake tang and helps cut the richness.
You will also need a springform pan. They are the best choice when making any cheesecake recipe. That's because they have removable sides which makes removing the cheesecake cleanly and easily a breeze. A loose bottom push up style pan is the backup choice. Don't make it in a regular cake pan without springform sides or a loose bottom though or you'll never get it out. A 9-inch pan if you can but 8-inch or 10-inch will work. Use a 6-inch pan for the mini version.
How To Make Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
This no-bake chocolate cheesecake recipe is as easy to make as it is delicious! Here's how it's done:
First make the cookie crust:
- Line your springform pan with a square of parchment paper like in picture number one. This makes it so easy to slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the pan and onto a plate or cake stand.
- Crush the sandwich cookies to fine crumbs then mix with melted vegan butter. I use a food processor to crumb the cookies because it's quick and easy but if you don't have one you can put the cookies in a ziplock freezer bag and use a rolling pin to batter and crush them.
- Tip the buttery crumbs into the cake pan and press down tightly all over with the underside of a cup or glass.
- Refrigerate while you make the filling.
Then while the crust chills, make the chocolate cheesecake filling:
- Melt the chocolate into the coconut milk. Let it cool so it's almost room temperature.
- Roughly mix everything but the cream cheese into the melted chocolate mixture.
- Add the cream cheese.
- Beat until combined then keep going for a few minutes more. This traps lots of air in the mixture and helps lighten the filling.
- Spoon the chocolate cheesecake filling onto the cookie crust and level with a spatula.
- This is a no bake vegan chocolate cheesecake recipe so you simply need to refrigerate it until set. No cooking required!
- Plan ahead. This cheesecake needs a good few hours to set so it's best made the day (or up to 7 days) before it's needed.
- Don't mess with the coconut milk to chocolate ratio. In this eggless chocolate cheesecake recipe it's important the ratio stays as it for the cheesecake to set properly and have a good texture.
- Since you have to wait for it to cool, I usually melt the chocolate into the coconut milk before I start so it has a chance to cool down a bit while I prepare the crust.
- Beat the filling on high for a good few minutes to really get lots of air into it.
- If you want to make presentation extra special, for nice clean slices heat a large sharp knife before slicing. I just run mine briefly under hot water then dry with a cloth before quickly making each cut.
This vegan chocolate cheesecake is so delicious it really doesn’t need any toppings. However you can't go wrong with some vegan chocolate syrup, chocolate shavings or a sprinkle of good quality flaky sea salt. Maldon is my go to. So, SO good with chocolate and it really helps cut through the richness. If they are in season a few fresh raspberries on the side is a very good idea too. If you want to be EXTRA though, try some of these ideas:
To add before you set the filling:
- Banana Peanut Butter Cups or store bought Justin's Nut Butter Cups. Leave them whole or break them into chunky pieces then push them very gently into the cheesecake filling before you put it in the fridge to set. It's thick enough that they won't sink.
- Same as above but with chocolate sandwich cookies, dairy-free thin mints, your favourite vegan candy bars or vegan creme eggs for Easter.
- Make a s'mores cheesecake. Stir mini vegan marshmallows through the cheesecake filling. Decorate with more marshmallows, crumbled graham crackers, and heavy drizzles of melted chocolate or chocolate sauce.
To add after you've set the cheesecake and before serving:
- Clouds of vegan whipped cream or cocowhip
- Chocolate shavings
- Fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries or cape gooseberries are all awesome with chocolate).
- A thick layer of chocolate ganache (let some drip down the sides).
- Shredded/flaked coconut
- Vegan caramel
- Date caramel
- Make it a "Snickers" cheesecake with roasted peanuts and caramel sauce.
- Strawberry, raspberry or cherry sauce
- Vanilla roasted strawberries
For me though, I’m just really obsessed with minimal chocolate cheesecake beauty!
Try adding a few drops of mint or orange extract when mixing the cheesecake to make a vegan mint chocolate cheesecake or vegan chocolate orange cheesecake. You could even use mint Oreos or mint Newman O's for the crust.
This vegan chocolate cheesecake will keep well in the fridge for up to 10 days. Just make sure to keep it covered so it doesn't dry out around the edges. For optimum flavor and texture, I recommend removing from the fridge about 30 minutes (or a bit longer) before serving if you can, although it's not essential if you forget. This isn't a cheesecake that will melt into a puddle if you leave it out. It's fine even left out for hours. Perfect for parties!
Cocoa beans and coffee beans have similar fruity, spicy flavor elements and by adding coffee to chocolatey recipes, you deepen and enhance the rich, chocolatey flavor of the chocolate. In small amounts the coffee does not add a discernible coffee flavor, it simply makes the chocolate flavor more intense, in a similar way to how salt works when added to food. When added in the right quantity, you don't actually taste the salt in a recipe, but you know it's there because it enhances the flavor and makes the food taste better. It's a tip that's well worth remembering when making anything chocolatey like chocolate cake, cookies etc.
Yes you can. I recommend spooning the cheesecake filling into individual ramekins or jars though because it won't be easily sliceable without the crust.
Yes! You can scale the recipe down to fit into a 6-inch springform pan which will make 4 to 5 large servings or 6 small servings. . Divide everything by 3 to get the perfect fit. For example instead of 36 sandwich cookies use 12, and instead of 3 tubs of cream cheese, use 1.
Yes you can. Your finished cheesecake will just be a little thinner.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Vegan Chocolate CheesecakeAuthor:
For the cookie crust
- 36 (15 oz / 414 grams) chocolate sandwich cookies , such as Oreos or Newman O's (use gluten-free Oreos to make the recipe GF)
- 9 tablespoons (135 mls) melted vegan butter
For the cheesecake filling
- 1 cup (240 mls) canned coconut milk , must be full fat not light
- 13 oz (360 grams) dairy-free chocolate , bars or chips
- 1½ cup (180 grams) powdered sugar , icing sugar in the UK
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt , not table salt
- 1 tablespoon (15 mls) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mls) vanilla extract
- (OPTIONAL) 2 teaspoons finely ground espresso , or any other finely ground coffee beans
- 3 x 8oz/227 gram pots vegan cream cheese , Tofutti works best
TO SCALE THE RECIPE DOWN FOR A 6-INCH PAN SEE THE RECIPE NOTES
- Grease the base of a 9-inch springform pan with a little vegan butter, then lay a large square of parchment paper over it. (To scale the recipe down to fit a 6-inch pan see the recipe notes). Press it with your hands to stick it down onto the butter. Then clip the sides onto the pan over the paper so the excess paper sticks out around the edges. There is a picture of this in the post above. By doing this, when the cheesecake is set, you can easily pull it off the base of the pan and slide it onto a plate or cake stand, then pull the paper out from under it once it's in place. If you don't have a springform pan and are using a loose bottomed push up pan, line the bottom with a circle of paper.
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, blend the chocolate sandwich cookies (with the cream filling) until very fine crumbs form. If you don't have a food processor put the cookies in a ziplock bag, seal it making sure to squeeze out the air, then bash them with a rolling pin.
- Pour in the melted butter and pulse until all crumbs are completely coated and moist. If you crushed the cookies in a bag, transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir through the butter.
- Spoon the buttery cookie crumbs into the pan and press down all over so they are flat, even and compact. The bottom of a measuring cup or jar works well. Then put it in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Heat the coconut milk until hot but not boiling. If you have a microwave pour it into a bowl and heat it on full power for a minute or two. If you don't, put it in a small pan on the stove and warm until hot but not boiling.
- Break the chocolate up into small pieces and add it to a large bowl (or your stand mixer bowl if you have one), then pour over the hot coconut milk. Stir until the chocolate is melted and combined with the milk. Once it's done set aside and let it come back to room temperature.
- Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and optional espresso powder. Stir briefly. Don't worry about mixing it in properly, you just want the powdered ingredients to be wet so they don't fly everywhere when you beat the cream cheese in.
- Add the cream cheese, and using an electric mixer beat on low until everything is combined, then turn up the speed to high and keep beating for another 3 to 4 minutes to trap lots of air in the mixture and make your filling lighter.
- Take the crust out of the fridge and spoon over the cheesecake filling. Level the top with a spatula, make some nice swirly patterns, then place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. TIP: Place a dinner plate or some cling wrap over the top of the pan just in case someone drops something on it. (I ended up with a brussels sprout embedded in the top of mine the first time I made it 🤣)
- Once it's set, remove the sides of the pan and using the parchment paper, slide it onto your serving plate or cake stand. Using a spatula carefully lift one side and slide the paper out.
- Before serving I recommend allowing it to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the very best flavour and texture.
- For the best cleanly cut slices, run a large sharp knife under hot water, dry with a towel, then cut. Repeat for each slice.