Homemade Dairy-Free Cherry Cheesecake

Homemade dairy-free cherry cheesecake

​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Cool and Chill: 5 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
519 Calories
33g Fat
51g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 519
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 314mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 94mg 7%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 202mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A cheesecake without dairy may seem like an impossibility, but this recipe proves it can be done. This cherry-topped cheesecake is actually a cheeseless cheesecake, prepared with dairy-free cream cheese (such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese) and dairy-free sour cream in place of traditional ingredients. It allows vegans and those with dairy allergies to partake in eating this delicious dessert.

The crust is made of graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and soy margarine. Most graham crackers are naturally dairy free, but if you need the recipe to be vegan, make sure the cracker crumbs do not contain honey. Dairy-free cream cheese and sour cream, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla make up the sweet whipped filling, which is then baked in the crust. The cake is finished off with cherry pie filling and chilled. Although delicious as is, feel free to serve it with vegan whipped cream.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 5 tablespoons soy margarine, melted, plus more for greasing pan

  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground dairy-free graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the Filling and Topping:

  • 4 (8-ounce) packages dairy-free cream cheese

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • Egg replacer for 4 eggs, or 3 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons dairy-free sour cream, or more as needed to fill cake cracks, divided

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

Steps to Make It

Make the Crust

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dairy-free cherry cheesecake crust gathered

    ​​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan well with dairy-free soy margarine. Set aside.

    Oiled springform pan

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar until well combined.

    Graham cracker crumbs and sugar in bowl

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  4. Add the melted dairy-free soy margarine and mix until well combined.

    Dairy-free cheesecake crust ingredients combined in bowl

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  5. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and 2 inches up the sides.

    Pressed dairy-free cheesecake crust in springform pan

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

    Browned dairy-free cheesecake crust

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  7. Transfer to a cooling rack while preparing the filling.

    Dairy-free cheesecake crust on cooling rack

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dairy-free cherry cheesecake filling gathered

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  2. Using a standing mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat the dairy-free cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

    Beaten dairy-free cream cheese in stand mixer bowl

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  3. Add the sugar and continue to mix until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Incorporating sugar into dairy-free cream cheese in stand mixer bowl

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  4. Add the egg replacer, beating until well combined.

    Stand mixer beating egg replacer in bowl

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  5. Add the 1/3 cup of the dairy-free sour cream and the pure vanilla extract, beating well and scraping down the sides periodically to ensure even mixing.

    Dairy-free cheesecake filling in bowl

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  6. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the cheesecake is lightly browned.

    Browned dairy-free cheesecake

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  7. If there are any cracks in the top of the cake, spread several tablespoons of the dairy-free sour cream over the surface to fill them in.

    Dairy-free sour cream on dairy-free cheesecake

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  8. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely for 1 to 2 hours. Then transfer the cake to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

    Dairy-free cheesecake topped with dairy-free sour cream on wire cooling rack

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  9. Remove from the fridge and top the cheesecake with the canned cherry pie filling; return the cake to the refrigerator for 1 more hour.

    Dairy-free cheesecake with cherry topping

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  10. Serve the cake cold with a dollop of vegan whipped cream, if desired.

    Slice of dairy-free cheesecake on plate

    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Recipe Variations

  • If you don't need this cheesecake to be vegan, you can use three eggs instead of the egg replacer.
  • To make the cake gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers or crushed gluten-free cookies for the crust.

Tip

To create clean slices of cake, use a sharp knife that's been quickly run under water. You want a little dampness to help prevent the cheesecake from sticking to the blade.

How to Store

This cherry cheesecake can be kept in the refrigerator for five to seven days when wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container. If you would like to freeze leftovers, cut the cake into slices, wrap individually, and freeze for up to six months. Thaw pieces in the refrigerator.