The diets of ancient Greek Olympians were simple, fresh, and predominantly vegetarian, designed to give them strength and energy for the games ahead. They had figs, porridge, vegetables, fruits, and evidence suggests, cheesecake, too. Yep, it’s true: cheesecakes can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, but back then, they consisted of fresh cheese, which was pounded with flour and honey.

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Over the centuries, cheesecake has grown steadily in popularity. In fact, in 2020, the global cheesecake market was valued at $18 billion. So, it’s safe to say, it’s likely the best dessert for a heck of a lot of people. The cheesecake recipe has evolved significantly since the days of ancient Greece, and there are many variations all over the world, but cheese is still a key ingredient for most—so how do you make it vegan? Here’s what you need to know, plus the tastiest recipes to try.

RELATED: 25 Most Popular Vegan Desserts to Make Before You Die

What are vegan cheesecakes made of?

For the most part, cheesecakes feature three basic ingredients: graham crackers, cream cheese, and cream. But not all of these ingredients need to be made with dairy. Nowadays, vegan cream cheese is relatively easy to come across in grocery stores (and you can find our guide to some of the best options here), and you can also find vegan cream options, too, including sour cream.

Daiya CheezecakeDaiya

Cheesecakes come in a variety of flavors, but fruity recipes lend themselves well to being veganized. You can also use nuts, vegan chocolate, peanut butter, cookies, and more if you want to go for a more creative filling or topping.

RELATED: Make These Tasty Fruit Pie Recipes For Summer

Are nuts better than tubbed cream cheese?

Many vegan recipes call for cream cheese, but this isn’t the only way to make a creamy, decadent cheesecake. You could also use soaked cashews, which, when blended, form the perfect thick and velvety consistency for a cheesecake filling. Whether you choose cashew nuts or cream cheese is down to personal preference (and time—as cashews often need to be soaked overnight first), but cashews will firm up in the fridge, so they’re a particularly good choice for no-bake recipes.

Another option is firm tofu, which has a low water content and will help to give you that dense, yet creamy, crumbly texture. This is also a great option for those looking for a tasty nut-free dessert.

How to make the best vegan cheesecake: nine recipe ideas

Ready to whip up a vegan cheesecake? We’ve got you. Here’s how to make yours the very best, with nine different vegan recipe ideas.

VegNews.ChocolatePecanCheesecakeLittle Pine

1 Vegan Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake

This fancy-looking (and tasting) cheesecake is actually super easy to make. The filling is made with soaked cashews and the crust with graham crackers, but it’s the indulgent fudge sauce that steals the show. The latter is made with a mix of coconut cream, cocoa powder, and vegan butter.
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VegNews.PassionfruitWhiteChocolateCheesecakeChristina Leopold

2 White Chocolate and Passionfruit Jelly Cheesecake

Keep things sweet and tropical by topping your vegan cheesecake with passionfruit jelly. The fruity flavor compliments the white chocolate filling—which is made with cacao butter, cashews, and vanilla soy yogurt—perfectly.
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miniblueberrycheesecakeVegNewsRecipeThe Experiment

3 Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

What’s better than vegan cheesecake? Mini vegan cheesecakes. Keep these tiny, bite-sized desserts in the fridge for a tasty little treat every now and again. The filling consists of soaked cashews, while the crust features raw almonds and Medjool dates.
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VegNews.KalamansiPandanCheesecakeMaureen Eppler

4 Calamansi and Pandan Mini Cheesecakes

Enjoy the delicious flavors of the Philippines by combining calamansi citrus with pandan, a fragrant leaf from a tropical Southeast Asian plant. For extra fruity goodness, why not make a zesty calamansi syrup for serving, too?
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5 Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

This is one to bookmark for the fall months, when pumpkin is not only back in season, but in everything. Get in on the hype by combining the tasty autumnal classic with pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum extract. If you’re looking to avoid cashews or cream cheese, the filling in this recipe is made with silken tofu.
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VegNews.TheBestBlueberryCheesecake.FeatureLauren Toyota

6 Cashew-Cream Cheesecake With Blueberry Compote

For a summer cheesecake, this recipe is arguably one of the best. It’s topped with tangy, juicy, deliciously sweet blueberry compote, the flavors of which are balanced out by the decadent cashew cream cheese base.
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VegNews.NewYorkStyleCheesecake.JackieSobonJackie Sobon

7 New York-Style Cheesecake

Veganize one of the most iconic cheesecake variations with vegan cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and sour cream. And don’t forget the fresh berries on the side.
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VegNews.NoBakeChocolateRaspberryCheesecake.RobinRobertsonWilliam and Susan Brinson

8 No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

Not all cheesecakes need to be baked, in fact, some can just be left in the refrigerator overnight to set, ready to eat the next day. This recipe is ultra-indulgent, thanks, in part, to the extra addition of cookie crumbs.
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VegNews.PeanutButterChocolateCheesecake.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

9 Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Peanut butter and chocolate are, arguably, some of the best dessert flavor combinations of all time. Not convinced? Make this vegan cheesecake recipe, which calls for vegan cream cheese, vegan chocolate chips, and creamy peanut butter, and you’re bound to change your mind.
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For more on vegan desserts, read:

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