This Baked Crustless Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake features a combination of raw cashews, flax eggs, and coconut cream to make the perfect cheesecake texture that you won’t believe is vegan. Top with vegan caramel sauce for an easy, plant-based, naturally sweetened dessert!
Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts. I would often ask for cheesecake in place of regular cake for my birthday and loved my grandmother’s recipe so much. This Baked Crustless Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake is adapted from her recipe to be made gluten-free and vegan and doesn’t use any replacement cream cheese products. I use a combination of cashews, flax eggs, and coconut cream to make the perfect cheesecake texture that you won’t believe is vegan, and then top it with a lush layer of my Homemade Vegan Caramel Sauce for a unbelievably drool-worthy dessert.
The idea to create a crustless cheesecake stemmed from a couple different things. 1. My grandma’s cheesecake was always crustless… so if I’m being honest, I’ve always been more of a cheesecake filling lover. 2. that just makes this recipe even easier to make because we get to skip a whole step! It literally can’t get easier than blending all of the cheesecake filling ingredients together, pouring into the springform pan and baking. And 3. I don’t know if you noticed from the photos, but the way this cheesecake bakes up it almost looks like there’s a crust. The outer edges get slightly more baked than the center making it an almost self-made crust. That’s right, I let the cheesecake do the work for me, haha.
The only “down side” is that you have to bake it for 55 minutes to an hour, let it cool, and then chill overnight. So minimal work, but a bit longer of a wait time to dig in. But that’s ok! It’s worth the wait… and if you make this Baked Crustless Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake before bed and chill it overnight I won’t even judge you if you have a slice for breakfast 😉
When I created my Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake for my dessert book, The Beginner’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Baking, I knew I was onto something. This cheesecake is rich and creamy and decadent, so in most cases a small slice will satisfy your cheesecake craving. And the caramel on top is just the icing on the… uh.. (cheese)cake! Not to mention, with the use of plant-based ingredients, I might even get away with saying this cheesecake is healthy 😉
AND you’ll never believe that this chocolate caramel cheesecake is 100% naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Remember when I said I wouldn’t judge you for having a slice for breakfast? No different than pancakes, hehe.
- 1 ¾ cup raw cashews, boiled for 15 minutes
- 5 flax eggs (5 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 3/4 cup water)
- ½ cup vegan/plant butter
- 1 can coconut milk, solid part only
- 1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup oat milk (or other plant milk)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (or other nut/seed butter may be used)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons vegan/plant butter (may sub with coconut oil instead if you wish)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter for peanut free)
- 2 tablespoons oat milk (or other creamier plant milk like cashew or coconut)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Add the cashews to a medium saucepan and cover with water. Boil them for 15 minutes. In the meantime, combine the flaxseed meal and water and set aside.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. In the food processor/blender add the butter, coconut milk (solid part only), cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond extract, lemon juice, oat milk, sunflower seed butter, salt, cashews, and flax eggs and blend for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy and no cashew chunks remain.
- Pour the filling into a 9-inch springform pan and bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes. The outside edges will look done and the center will still be slightly jiggy, that’s ok as it will set up once it cools. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature.
- While the cheesecake is cooling, make the vegan caramel. In a small saucepan, melt the plant butter/coconut oil over high heat. Once melted, whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla and pinch of salt. Next, whisk in the nut/seed butter, whisking continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in the baking soda (if using) and oat milk until it's smooth and silky like caramel sauce! Allow it to cool and thicken slightly then pour it over the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake in the fridge to finish cooling overnight. Note: If you prefer a more saucy caramel topping opposed to a more set-up caramel, make the caramel right before serving and pour over the cheesecake then serve.
Keep leftover cheesecake stored in an airtight container in the fridge.