Insanely smooth no-bake vegan cheesecake packed with dark chocolate and hazelnut praline. It’s like a vegan nutella cheesecake but with extra class!
This no bake vegan cheesecake is potentially too decadent for you. The last thing I want is for you to move on from this recipe, but here’s the deal. This recipe is DEC-A-DENT and if you’re not down, don’t be sad, just maybe try these guys instead.
If you’re down, then great, we’re on the same page – you made it past the disclaimer. Now I can assume that you’re absolutely good with being SMACKED in the mouth with the creamiest, richest dark chocolate and hazelnut experience of your lifetime. Awesome. Same.
Why is this no bake vegan cheesecake so special?
First of all, just look at it. It almost doesn’t even look like a cheesecake. It has an insanely smooth texture which slices so beautifully and is topped with the silkiest chocolate ganache you’ve ever come across.
The hazelnut praline paste makes it feel like something you picked up in a French patisserie and elevates the whole experience to something much more grown-up. Meanwhile, the crust is also packed with toasted hazelnuts to really help tie the whole thing together.
Any specialist ingredients?
This no bake vegan cheesecake is pretty simple to make, but here’s a quick explainer on some of the ingredients you may not have just lying around.
Hazelnut Praline Paste
This stuff is like puree’d heaven! It’s seriously the most toasty, nutty ingredient I’ve ever come across. It’s used in French patisserie a lot and is made by caramelising hazelnuts before blending them into a paste.
If you want to go whole hog, you can make some hazelnut praline paste using this recipe.
If, like me, you’d rather buy it, you can grab some here.
Vegan Cream Cheese
There are loads of vegan cream cheese brands out there now, but some simply aren’t suited to dessert recipes. Especially this no bake vegan cheesecake!
Make sure you try the vegan cream cheese you plan to use before hand. If it tastes too “cheesy” or savoury, then try a different brand. You want something smooth and slightly tangy.
My brand of choice is Violife, Tofutti or Daiya.
What’s the process?
The process to make this no bake vegan cheesecake is actually super simple. My main tip is to make sure each layer has chilled and set before moving onto the next one. Do NOT pour the ganache on top of the cheesecake centre before it’s set. Anyway! Here’s a breakdown of the process!
Make the Crust!
My tip for making the crust is to MAKE SURE your hazelnuts are perfectly toasted. This is where most of the flavour comes from in the crust, so don’t skip this process.
Once the hazelnuts are toasty AF, blitz them up with your other crust ingredients and some melted vegan butter until you have a sandy texture. Line your cake tin and push the crust into all the corners, making sure it’s flat and neat all the way around.
Make the Filling
For this step you’ll need to soak some cashews, so make sure you do this well in advance. If you can do it the day before then grand! That’ll make for a super smooth cheesecake texture.
Once your cashews are beautifully smooth, you’ll add all your remaining filling ingredients along with some melted chocolate and mix it all up. Pour on top of the chilled base and refrigerate. The recipe calls for around five hours to allow the filling to set, and this is no exaggeration! You’ll end up with a gross sloppy mess if you move on before this time is up.
Make the Ganache
This ganache couldn’t be easier and it transforms your no bake vegan cheesecake into something much more classy and extravagant.
All you need to do is heat your coconut milk up until it boils, remove from the heat and add some chocolate. Don’t mix, just leave the chocolate to melt for ten minutes. Once ten mins is up, give it a good whisk and you’ll have a shiny, smooth, ganache.
Pour the ganache on top of the cheesecake and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. And hey, presto! you’re ready to serve!
Disclosure: some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn commission when you click through and make a purchase.
- High Speed Blender
For the Crust
- 85 g hazelnuts (raw)
- 130 g digestive biscuits (or vegan graham crackers)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- pinch flaky sea salt
- 90 g vegan butter
For the Filling
- 65 g cashews (raw unsalted, soaked in boiled water for at least 30 minutes)
- 130 ml water
- 400 g vegan cream cheese
- 240 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp hazelnut praline paste
- 250 g vegan dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
For the Ganache
- 1 can coconut milk (the 15oz/425g variety – and make sure it's full fat!)
- 400 g vegan dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
To Make the Crust
- Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan. Swirl the nuts constantly and watch like a hawk to make sure they don't burn. Once toasted, remove from the pan and add to a food processor.
- To the food processor, add the digestives/graham crackers, sugar and salt.
- In the frying pan you used for the hazelnuts, add the vegan butter. Place over medium heat and melt the vegan butter. If you're using a butter which browns (naturli or miyokos) then keep cooking after the butter has melted, stirring constantly. After the butter becomes foamy, it will start to turn slightly golden and may pick up a few flecks of nutty dark brown specks. Don't let it burn, you only want a little colour on the butter.
- Add the vegan butter to the food processor and blitz until everything is coarsely ground.
- Line the bottom of a 21cm spring-form cake tin with baking parchment. Add the base mixture and press into one flat layer with a spatula. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
To Make the Filling
- Drain the soaking water off the cashews. Place the cashews into the cup of a high speed blender (nutribullet, ninja or magimix). Add 130 ml water to the cashews and blend until very smooth.
- To the smooth cashew cream, add the vegan cream cheese and blitz until smooth. Once smooth, pour out into a bowl. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and hazelnut praline paste.
- In a double boiler, or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, place the chocolate and melt while stirring constantly. Add it to the filling mix and stir to combine until completely smooth.
- Once the filling is completely smooth, pour it into the cake tin with the hazelnut base and place in the fridge. Leave to set for at least five hours.
To Make the Ganache
- Pour the can of coconut milk into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Gently bring to the boil.
- As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and add your chocolate. If your chocolate is in a bar or large chunks, chop it finely. Leave for ten minutes.
- After ten minutes is up, whisk the ganache vigorously until very smooth and glossy.
- While still warm, pour the ganache over the chilled cheesecake (while still in the tin). Place back in the fridge for 30 minutes and allow to chill before slicing and serving.