These easy no-bake vegan cheesecake jars feature a buttery cookie crust and a creamy dairy-free cheesecake filling. Top them off with perfectly sweetened berry compote for a fancy but simple individual vegan dessert!
Thank you to Stahlbush Island Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
Whether you’re looking for vegan dessert jars for the crowd at your next dinner party, or would like to have some make-ahead individual desserts ready for your next craving, these dairy-free cheesecake jars are for you!
Compared with traditional cheesecake, these mini vegan cheesecakes don’t require hours of baking and then setting up, so they’re a lot faster and easier to make. Plus pre-portioned cheesecake in jars are just cuter!
These berry cheesecake cups feature a short list of ingredients which you may already have on hand in your pantry and freezer. And with just 15 minutes of active time in the kitchen, a pretty and festive holiday vegan dessert doesn’t get any easier!
We also love these vegan cheesecakes dessert jars because they are easy transport, making them a great option for a baby shower, BBQ, picnic, or potluck.
These individual no-bake cheesecakes are naturally dairy-free, egg-free, plant-based, and vegan. Make them gluten-free if desired by using gluten-free cookie crumbs.
How to Make No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake Jars
There are three easy layers in these no-bake cheesecake cups:
1. Cookie Crumb Layer:
2. Dairy-Free Cheesecake Filling:
Blend the cheesecake ingredients in the blender until creamy and smooth. This cashew cheese base is zingy, lush, and no one will miss the dairy!
3. Berry Compote:
Simmer the raspberries (or other berry of choice) with water, sugar and lemon juice until slightly thickened, then cool.
How to Serve Vegan Dessert Jars
Mason or canning jars are great for serving and storing these cheesecake cups. You’ll get anywhere from 6-8 jars per recipe depending on the size of the jars you use and how full you fill them.
If you don’t have any jars, you can use short drinking glasses, or even cups. One of the nice things about desserts in jars, though, is the ability to see the pretty layers, so using glass or food grade plastic cups is recommended for best presentation.
For an easy dessert to impress at dinner parties or a romantic dinner, try serving the no bake vegan cheesecakes in pretty wine glasses or coupe glasses!
Feature Ingredients & Substitutions
I used Stahlbush Island Farms frozen red raspberries in the raspberry compote. Frozen raspberries are great because they are easy to get year round.
If you have some fresh raspberries you need to use up, they will also work in this berry compote recipe.
Other berries work well in this easy compote. Some of our favorites include strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and mixed berries!
While there are many ways to make a vegan cheesecake filling, including ingredients like tofu, vegan cream cheese, or a custard base, here we use cashews and vegan yogurt. When soaked and blended, cashews create a lovely creamy backdrop which is reminiscent of dairy-based cream.
Use either raw whole cashews or cashew pieces with no added salt or oil. Cashew pieces tend to be cheaper and are easier to blend!
The cashews will need to be soaked until they are swollen in size, and soft – they will break apart easily if you squeeze them between your fingers. Soaking the cashews ahead of time will help them blend smoothly, and is especially important if your blender is not a high speed one like a Vitamix or Blendtec. A good soak would be about 4-6 hours, or overnight (in the refrigerator). If you’re like me and often forget to prep ahead of time, do the quick soak method:
Quick Soak Method for Cashews:
Place the cashews in a small saucepan and cover with water, ensuring there’s about 2 inches (5 cm) water above the cashews. Bring to a boil on the stove, and then reduce the heat to simmer the cashews for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t run dry. Drain and rinse them either use right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you need them.
I’ve tested this recipe with sweetened yogurt, and then with unsweetened yogurt. Both worked really well in the no-bake cheesecake mixture – use whichever you prefer. You can use either unflavored or vanilla yogurt in this cheesecake filling, with the vanilla option providing extra vanilla flavor to the cheesecakes for my fellow vanilla fiends!
You may be wondering why I didn’t use vegan cream cheese in this recipe like a lot of vegan cheesecake recipes do. I find it’s really hit and miss with vegan cream cheese – some are zingy and flavorful like dairy-based cream cheese, and some are pretty bland. As a result, the cheesecake filling could be really good with non-dairy cream cheese but if you can’t find a good one, the cheesecake filling would be pretty lack luster. I wanted the best vegan cheesecake flavor here, and using non-dairy yogurt nailed it!
Yogurt is cultured, making it naturally zingy and flavorful so it creates that nice cheesecake flavor when blended with cashews.
Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar
Both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar provide the extra zing that we expect when eating cheesecake. You can substitute the apple cider vinegar with all lemon juice if that’s all you have on hand.
Graham Wafer or Cookie Crumbs
I usually buy vegan cookies or graham wafers and make them into crumbs at home as store-bought vegan cookie crumbs can be a little hard to find. You can make your own cookie crumbs or graham wafer crumbs by pulsing the cookies in a food processor until they have a sand-like texture. Otherwise, you can place them in a sealable plastic bag and roll a rolling pin over them until they’re broken down – this can take a little longer.
Not all graham wafers are vegan, so it’s best to check the ingredient label.
Other types of dry, crisp vegan cookies or biscuits can be used to make the crumb base for the cheesecake jars. Biscoff cookies work really well (although they are much sweeter than graham wafers), as do ginger snaps and vanilla biscuits.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
Assemble the cheesecakes once the vegan cheese filling is ready – the cashew cream cheese filling will thicken once it chills making it more difficult to smooth out over the cookie crumb base later. Spoon over the berry topping.
Place lids on the jars (or cover them with plastic wrap if you’re using glasses), and then store them in the refrigerator until serving time.
These mini dairy-free cheesecakes will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
These no-bake vegan cheesecakes can be covered securely and then frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
More No-Bake Vegan Desserts
- No-Bake Chocolate Biscoff Tart
- Peanut Butter and Jam Chocolate Cups
- Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Chocolate Candy Bark
If you make these No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake Jars, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake Jars
- 2 ½ cups frozen raspberries* (See Notes for Substitutes)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp lemon juice
No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
- 1 cup non-dairy yogurt
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked 4+ hours and drained (See Notes for Quick Soak Method)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups crushed vegan graham wafer crumbs* (See Notes for Substitutes)
- 3 tbsp melted vegan butter
- In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, water and lemon juice over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly thicken. Remove from the heat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until chilled, and you're ready to assemble the cheesecake jars.
No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake Filling
- If you have a high-speed blender, place all of the ingredients for the cheesecake filling into the blender. Blend until completely smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides as necessary. If you have a regular blender, add all of the ingredients to the blender but with only 1/4 cup of cashews at first. Blend until the mixture is smooth, and then add another 1/4 cup of cashews. Repeat this until the mixture is smooth – stop and scrape down the sides as you go, and run a spoon or spatula through the mixture to release any large air bubbles which can interfere with blending.
- In a food processor (or a medium-sized bowl), drizzle in the melted vegan butter. Pulse (or stir if using a bowl) until the mixture comes together and resembles wet sand.
- You'll need 6-8 jars or glasses depending on their size and how full you fill them.Spoon the cookie crumb mixture into each jar – about 2 tablespoons for a 1 cup (8 ounce) jar, or 1½ tablespoons for a ¾ cup (6 ounce) jar.
- Spoon the cashew cheese filling over the cookie crumb layer, ensuring the filling reaches the sides of the glass so the berry topping doesn't leach down making the cookie crumbs soggy. I used about ⅓ cup for the 1 cup (8 ounce) jar and a scant ½ cup for a ¾ cup (6 ounce) jar.
- Top with the chilled raspberry compote (if it's warm the juices won't be as thick and can trickle down the cheese filling – tasty but not as pretty.) If the cheesecake filling is still warm from blending, cover the jars and set in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
- Place lids on the jars (or cover them with plastic wrap if you're using glasses), and then store them in the refrigerator until serving time. These mini dairy-free cheesecakes will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze, cover securely, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.