We all understand the importance of achieving the perfect balance between a creamy body and a crunchy, buttery biscuit base. And guess what? You don’t need dairy products to achieve that divine texture. Gone are the days when cheesecake was exclusively associated with traditional non-vegan ingredients.
However, I have tried many vegan cheesecakes and have found them to be lacking in indulgence. So, I decided it was time to master my own vegan white chocolate cheesecake recipe. That’s right, you did see vegan and white chocolate in the same sentence. But, I do believe I have crafted a vegan masterpiece that will exceed your wildest expectations and will fulfil your desires for white chocolatey goodness.
I am not a believer in coconut cream on top of a healthy base of crushed nuts and seeds as a suitable alternative, sometimes sugar is necessary. I experimented a lot with no-bake cheesecakes and all I found was that they still tasted slightly lacklustre. Raw vegan food just tastes, well, raw.
Many dairy-free cheesecake recipes rely too heavily on coconut oil and end up tasting like, you guessed it, coconut, which is fine if you are going for those tropical vegan flavours. However, I desire a vegan cheesecake that resembles the real thing. Creamy, vanilla-ry, with an extra dose of yumminess.
So, you won’t be finding any ‘healthy’ wholesome ingredients here. This is a vegan white chocolate cheesecake that can stand up against a non-vegan cheesecake. A like-for-like replacement. With that in mind, what are you waiting for?! Let’s tuck in!
Ingredients for vegan white chocolate cheesecake
There are quite a few ingredients used to craft this particular plant-based cheesecake recipe, but they really all do have a purpose. When using nuts, I do like to add in some tart flavours that are reminiscent of cream cheese, which is why the recipe also calls for apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. If you remove them, you’ll get less of the cheesecake mouthfeel that you’ve come to expect from non-vegan versions.
Let me walk you through some of the main ingredients that are needed to create this vegan white chocolate cheesecake recipe.
This is a predominantly nut-based cheesecake mix, meaning that the creamy ‘cheesecake’ mix is made using cashews and macadamia nuts, rather than the traditional base of cream cheese. There are many awesome vegan cheese alternatives out there nowadays that allow you to make more realistic vegan cheesecakes as I have done with my baked vegan cheesecake recipe, but I do also enjoy the flavours that you can achieve by using nuts.
You can change up the quantity of each nut and even switch to using just one if you prefer. Do keep in mind though that some other types of nuts may add a different flavour or colour to the mix.
Now, you might be questioning how you can achieve the taste of white chocolate. Well, it is possible by using one of the ingredients used to make white chocolate itself – cocoa butter (I buy mine online here). If you aren’t able to source it or don’t crave white chocolate as much as me, then you can just substitute it for some coconut oil.
I personally do not enjoy baking with vegan white chocolate products. A lot of them are incredibly sweet and considering there is already sugar inside this vegan white chocolate cheesecake mix, you really don’t need any more! Therefore, I find the cocoa butter helps to add a chocolate flavour to the cheesecake with no unnecessary extra flavours.
I love rhubarb. Initially, when I created this recipe we were leaving the forced rhubarb season and entering the field rhubarb season so we could find rhubarb in the shops quite easily. This inspired me to experiment with it in this vegan white chocolate cheesecake recipe. The tartness really complemented the creaminess of the cheesecake mix.
However, if you struggle to find it or just don’t like rhubarb, you can substitute it with another fruit of your choice. For instance, you could try out raspberry which complements white chocolate flavours really well. I would recommend rhubarb though for its deliciousness, sharpness and colour! Even in its raw form, it looks just like bright pink candy. Once swirled into the cheesecake mix it will create a beautiful balance between sweet and sharp.
In my honest opinion, all the best cheesecakes are made using a ginger biscuit base. There is something about ginger biscuits that just makes desserts incredibly moreish. Moreover, the ginger taste really complements the white chocolate flavours of the ‘cheese’ mix. Plus, many brands of ginger biscuits are accidentally vegan.
However, if you prefer something a little less gingery, then you can opt for a vegan-friendly digestive biscuit base instead.
How to make it
There are a few important steps required to make this delicious plant-based dessert, but it is really easy to pull off. Here is an overview of the steps to make this vegan white chocolate cheesecake:
1. Soak the nuts
If possible, it is best to start this process the night before you make the cheesecake. The longer the nuts get to soak in water, the easier it will be to blend them into a silky-smooth consistency. Don’t leave the nuts to soak for more than one day though as this can cause them to break down too much.
If you can’t soak them the day before then put them in soak at least a few hours before making the vegan cheesecake. Alternatively, boil the nuts in water for about 10 minutes and allow them to cool in the water before draining and using.
2. Make the rhubarb coulis
You’ll want to start by making the fruit coulis so that it is ready for when you assemble the cheesecake. If you don’t want to use a fruit coulis then you can miss this stage completely and move on to the next.
Simply add all of the rhubarb coulis ingredients to a pan and cook before blending in until it forms a smooth fruit paste. It should be vibrant and pink in colour. Set aside to cool until you need it later.
3. Create the biscuit base
Blitz up your ginger biscuits or bash them until they are fine using a rolling pin and a sandwich bag. Melt your margarine and mix it into the crushed biscuits. You’ll then press this biscuit mix into the base of a springform cake tin and allow it to set in the fridge. Meanwhile, move on to the next step.
4. Make the cheesecake mix
Melt your coconut oil and cocoa butter together gradually before adding to the rest of your cheesecake mix ingredients (excluding the flour) and blend it all together until the mix is nice and smooth. You will need a high-powered blender to achieve this. Sift the flour into this mix and then fold in before pouring the mix onto your cooled biscuit base.
Drizzle your rhubarb coulis evenly over the top of the cheesecake mix and stir it in using a chopstick or metal skewer to create a marbled effect on the top. Don’t over-mix it as it will lose its vibrant colour.
5. Bake the cheesecake
Put your assembled vegan cheesecake into a preheated oven and bake for around 40 minutes, until the top of the cheesecake has turned a lovely golden brown colour. Take it out of the oven and leave it cool fully so that the mix fully sets.
6. Add toppings & serve
Sprinkle your favourite toppings onto the cooled-down cheesecake. Try out some nuts, like pistachios, and maybe some extra rhubarb. You may also want to serve it with some vegan cream or vanilla ice cream.
Tips & tricks
It can be tricky to master the art of vegan cheesecake making, at first. So do make sure to read through these useful tips to ensure you make a good vegan white chocolate cheesecake:
- Soaking the nuts: Soaking the nuts, such as cashews, overnight or for a few hours before blending them will help achieve a smooth and creamy texture. This softens the nuts and makes them easier to blend, resulting in a velvety consistency for the cheesecake filling.
- Quality cocoa butter: Use high-quality cocoa butter to create authentic white chocolate flavour. Look for cocoa butter that is food-grade and preferably organic. This will contribute to the rich taste and smooth texture of your vegan white chocolate cheesecake.
- High-powered blender: A powerful blender is crucial for achieving a silky-smooth texture when blending the soaked nuts and other ingredients. Make sure your blender has enough power to process the mixture into a creamy filling effectively.
- Gradual melting of cocoa butter: When melting the cocoa butter, it’s essential to do it slowly and gently to prevent scorching or overheating. Use a bain-marie or melt it in short bursts in the microwave, stirring in between, until thoroughly melted. This will preserve the quality and flavour of the cocoa butter.
- Proper chilling time: After cooking your cheesecake, allow it sufficient time to chill and set it in the fridge. This will help it firm up and develop the desired texture. Overnight chilling is often recommended to ensure the best results.
I could eat slices of this dairy-free cheesecake straight out of the pan, but it does also pair up really nicely with the following things:
- A few scoops of a good quality vegan vanilla ice cream
- Lashings of vegan cream, like this one by Oatly
- Slices of fresh rhubarb, or other fruit like raspberries
Other vegan baking recipes you’ll love
If you enjoy this vegan white chocolate cheesecake recipe, then I know you’ll also really like these recipes of mine. Some use vegan white chocolate, some use rhubarb and some are other cheesecake recipes of mine.
Vegan white chocolate cheesecake recipe
- 200 g Rhubarb
- 40 g Golden caster sugar
- 70 ml Water
- 1/2 Lemon - the juice from
- 200 g Vegan ginger biscuits - many supermarkets sell their own brand biscuits that are suitable for vegans
- 100 g Vegan margarine
- 2 balls Stem ginger - optional – if you really love ginger!
- 100 g Macadamia nuts - soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 200 g Cashew nuts - soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste
- 2 Lemons - the zest from
- 60 g Oat milk
- 180 g Agave
- 30 g Cocoa butter
- 50 g Coconut oil - I prefer mild odourless
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
- 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Plain flour
Pistachio Crumb Topping
- handful Toasted pistachio nuts - crushed or blitzed
- Start by placing all of the rhubarb coulis ingredients in a pan and cook for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat (or until soft and broken down)
- Let the mix stand for 30 minutes before blending to a smooth consistency
- Whilst waiting for the rhubarb to cool, break the ginger biscuits into a fine crumb. Either place them in a freezer bag, cover with a tea towel and then bash them with a rolling pin (the fun method) or simply blitz them in a food processor
- If you’re using stem ginger, this is where you would finely chop it and mix it into the biscuit crumb
- Melt the vegan margarine and mix into the biscuit crumb
- Press the biscuit mix into the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin and leave to cool (it is best to put it in to the freezer so that it sets in time for the mix to be added)
- Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a bain-marie (a bowl sitting above a saucepan of boiling water)
- Add the melted mix and the rest of the ingredients, excluding the flour, in to the blender and blend until smooth
- Put the blended ingredients into a mixing bowl, sift in the flour and fold in
- Pour the mix on top of the chilled biscuit base and then swirl in the rhubarb mix on top to create a marbled effect (I use the thin end of a chopstick)
- Cook at 180 degrees (fan) for 40 mins. If the top starts to catch and burn, cover with foil
- Leave it to cool and then scatter over the pistachio crumb, along with any extra optional toppings
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