Enjoy this gluten-free cheesecake that’s also dairy-free and egg-free. Learn how to make gluten-free cheesecake and some great topping ideas.
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Are you a cheesecake lover? On a gluten-free or dairy-free diet, enjoying your favorite desserts can be tricky. By making some simple ingredient swaps, you’ll be able to enjoy cheesecake any time and for any occasion.
Long ago, I was a cheesecake lover. When I was a kid, I chose cheesecake over other treats like chocolate cake or ice cream. Of course, once I couldn’t eat gluten or dairy any longer, cheesecake became a big “no go” in my diet.
Unfortunately for me, my sister’s family are HUGE fans of cheesecake, meaning I see it at many family gatherings and never get to enjoy it.
I’ve been missing the flavor of it, but needed to make a version that was safe for me without gluten, dairy, or eggs.
I did some research to see how others have created an alternative option for cheesecake, and with a few swaps here and there and remaking the filling using raw cashews instead of dairy, I was able to come up with a delicious and actually quite simple gluten-free cheesecake without any dairy and eggs.
Is cheesecake gluten-free?
For normal cheesecake recipes, the crust is often made using graham cracker crumbs which usually contain gluten. This would make the crust of the cheesecake not safe for a gluten-free diet, but the filling would be safe to eat.
Read on: Is cheesecake gluten-free?
How To Make Gluten-free Cheesecake
This cheesecake is gluten-free, meaning there is no gluten in the filling OR the crust. The crust of this recipe uses raw pecans and almonds, almond flour, dates, and coconut oil.
Gluten-free cheesecake crust
This gluten-free cheesecake crust is made by combining raw pecans and almonds, almond flour, dates, and coconut oil in a food processor or high speed blender.
Add the raw pecans, almonds, almond flour, dates, and coconut oil to the food processor and pulse until you reach a mealy consistency.
Once your gluten-free cheesecake crust is made, press it into a parchment paper lined 8-inch springform pan. Use your fingers to press it into a firm crust around the bottom and all the way to the edges of the pan to make an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer until you’re ready to add your filling.
Get the full recipe and read about this gluten-free cheesecake crust.
Click here for an alternative gluten-free graham cracker crust to use with this recipe.
Is cheesecake dairy-free?
Most classic cheesecake recipes contain cream cheese and sour cream in the filling, as well as butter in the crust. These three ingredients are dairy, as they are derived from animal milk, so cheesecake would not be considered a good option for a dairy-free diet.
Dairy-free cheesecake filling
Is cheesecake filling gluten-free?
In most traditional cheesecake recipes, cheesecake filling doesn’t contain gluten. Many recipes contain cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. None of these ingredients have gluten in them, making a classic cheesecake recipe gluten-free.
The times when a filling of a cheesecake may contain gluten would be if another ingredient added into the filling had gluten already. For example, if you included cookie crumbs in the filling mixture and the cookies had gluten or wheat in them, then the filling would not be gluten-free.
Does cheesecake have cheese?
The name “cheesecake” can confuse people to not understand if cheese is an actual ingredient in cheesecake. The cake is named cheesecake, because it contains cream cheese, which is in fact a cheese. While it may not contain cheddar or gouda cheese, the name of “cheesecake” is true to its name.
How to Make Dairy-free Cheesecake Filling
This dairy-free cheesecake filling isn’t a traditional or classic cheesecake recipe, because it doesn’t contain cream cheese or sour cream in the recipe.
I have altered the recipe to create a similar flavor and texture that many love about cheesecake, but without the dairy ingredients.
This dairy-free cheesecake filling is made with soaked cashews, lemon juice, coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. The best part of this recipe is that it can be made entirely by using your food processor or blender to mix up the ingredients.
Combine all ingredients in your food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This may take up to 5 minutes to get a smooth texture. Transfer the filling mixture to the springform pan where your crust is already pressed into the pan.
Spread into an even layer with a spatula. Add any toppings you wish, then transfer the pan to the freezer to set for at least 4 hours before cutting into it. To cut into the cheesecake, remove from the freezer for at least 10 minutes to be sure it’s easy to move your knife easily through the cake.
No water bath
This gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake is super easy and doesn’t even need any additional baking or a water bath, making it incredibly simple to put together if you have a blender or food processor, springform pan, and a refrigerator.
No egg cheesecake
Most classic cheesecake recipes call for eggs, but the beauty of this recipe is that it’s completely vegan. There are no eggs, dairy, or any baking involved in this recipe.
Dairy-free cheesecake toppings
What should you top your gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake with? Anything you like! Try some of these delicious ideas and make it your own:
- Dairy-free chocolate sauce
- Dairy-free nutella
- Peanut butter drizzle
- Cinnamon sugar drizzle
- Dairy-free chocolate chips
- Dairy-free caramel sauce
- Fresh strawberries
- Fresh raspberries
- Fresh fruit
- Dairy-free coconut whipped cream
- Gluten and dairy-free cookie crumbs
- Any combination of these ideas!
How long does cheesecake last?
How fast can you eat it?! This cheesecake will last about one to two weeks when kept in the freezer. You can remove it from the freezer at least 10 minutes before you want to cut into it to be sure it’s soft enough to get your knife through.
Can you freeze cheesecake?
This cheesecake is frozen before cutting into in order to help all the ingredients firm up, since it isn’t baked in the oven. This cheesecake can be frozen for up to 1 to 2 weeks if you want to make it ahead and store it for a gathering later on too.
Is this cheesecake recipe vegan?
This gluten and dairy-free cheesecake recipe is vegan, because not only does it not have any gluten or dairy, but there are also no eggs or honey in the recipe, making it vegan-friendly.
Since I love keeping things real around here, after taking photos of this yummy cheesecake, my 6-year old son who is definitely NOT a fan of cheesecake gobbled up the entire slice after I put a tiny bit of strawberry jam on top. Suffice it to say, even if this isn’t the “real deal” cheesecake, it’s still a crowd pleaser!
Ingredients for Crust
- ¼ cup pecans
- ¼ cup almonds
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 dates, pitted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for Filling
- 2 cups raw cashews
- Water for soaking
- ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest of two lemons
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted then cooled
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Add the raw cashews for the filling to a bowl and cover them in water. Set aside for 4 hours or overnight to let them soften. It's best to let them sit overnight, so they create a smooth filling.
- Prepare your springform pan by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Start making the crust by adding the crust ingredients to the food processor or high speed blender, and pulse until a meal forms.
- Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared parchment paper-lined springform pan. Use your fingers to press it into a firm crust around the bottom and all the way to the edges of the pan to make an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer until you're ready to add your filling.
- Clean out your food processor or high speed blender, then make the filling. Drain the soaking cashews from their liquid. Add the soaked cashews, coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the food processor or blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 5 minutes. This may take a few minutes to get the smooth consistency you're looking for for the cheesecake.
- Transfer the filling to the springform pan by pouring over the crust, and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Add your desired toppings, then place back in the freezer. Some toppings may need to be added later if the filling needs to be set up first, like sauces or drizzles.
- Freeze the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer at least 10 minutes before serving. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and cut into 8 slices. Enjoy!
If you’ve been looking for a dairy-free cheesecake option without eggs or gluten, I hope you love this recipe. With nuts, maple syrup, and coconut milk and oil, you know this recipe is full of healthy fats without any of the dairy or refined sugar that normally comes with cheesecake.
Love this recipe? You might love some of my other gluten and dairy-free recipes!
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