Embarking on the culinary journey of creating this No-Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is a delightful adventure in crafting a dessert masterpiece that transcends dietary boundaries. As the stopwatch ticks through the meticulous process, the recipe reveals a thoughtful balance of ingredients, weaving together a tapestry of flavors and textures that harmonize into a singularly satisfying indulgence. The walnut-infused graham cracker crust sets the stage with raw walnuts, almond flour, dates, coconut oil, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt, artfully transforming into a textured yet cohesive foundation.

The heart of this culinary marvel lies in the velvety cashew cheesecake filling, an alchemy of soaked cashews, shaken coconut milk, melted coconut oil, pure maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and the aromatic essence of vanilla, either derived from extract or the luxurious vanilla bean powder. This blend, meticulously processed until achieving a silky smooth consistency, embodies the essence of a traditional cheesecake while proudly waving the banners of gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan alternatives.

Yet, the narrative of this cheesecake transcends the expected as it undergoes a metamorphosis in the freezer, patiently awaiting its transformation into a dessert symphony. This period of chill time, spanning a minimum of three hours, serves as the incubation for the development of a firm yet lusciously creamy texture that promises to captivate palates.

The crescendo of flavors reaches its zenith with the addition of a decadent chocolate ganache, where dark chocolate meets the richness of coconut milk. This crowning glory melds seamlessly with the nutty undertones of the crust and the nuanced sweetness of the filling, elevating the cheesecake to a realm of pure indulgence.

As each slice is ceremoniously served, whether immediately savored or meticulously stored for later enjoyment, the No-Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake becomes a testament to the artistry of crafting desserts that not only cater to dietary preferences but also redefine the boundaries of flavor and texture. It is a culinary opus that invites individuals on a sensory expedition, promising to satiate the most discerning of cheesecake cravings with each sumptuous bite.

No-Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)

  • prep time: 30 MINUTES
  • chill time: 3 HOURS
  • total time: 3 HOURS 30 MINUTES
  • yield: 10 SLICES 1X
  • category: DESSERT
  • method: NO-BAKE
  • diet: VEGAN

This No-Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is a gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan cheesecake made with a walnut crust, a creamy cashew cheesecake filling, topped with a luscious chocolate ganache. This healthier cheesecake alternative will satisfy your cheesecake cravings!


For the graham cracker crust

  • ½ cup (64g) raw walnuts
  • ½ cup (48g) almond flour
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the cheesecake

  • 2 cups (240g) raw cashewssoaked in water for at least six hours or preferably overnight, drained and rinsed before using (see Notes)
  • ½ cup (120g) canned coconut milkshaken
  • ¼ cup (50g) coconut oilmelted and cooled, use refined coconut oil if you want no coconut flavor
  • ⅓ cup (111g) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder

For the chocolate ganache

  • 3 oz. dark chocolateI used 72%
  • ⅓ cup (80g) canned coconut milk


  1. Grease a 6” springform pan with coconut oil, or line an 6” cake pan with strips of parchment paper for easy removal, and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Add the walnuts, almond flour, pitted dates, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small walnut bits remaining. Don’t over process, or it’ll turn into nut butter! Press the date dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In the same food processor or high-powered blender (no need to wash between – I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk or lemon juice to get it to blend smoothly if your blender isn’t super high-powered.
  4. Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness/tartness levels, if desired.
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Place in the freezer.
  6. Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours or until completely firm before adding the chocolate ganache.
  7. To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan until just simmering, and pour over the chocolate. You can also warm the coconut milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Make sure the milk is covering all the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, and then spread over the cheesecake.
  8. Serve immediately, or place in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.
  9. If storing in the freezer, let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving or let thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the cheesecake with the still-hot (dried) knife.
  10. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the freezer (3 months) or refrigerator (5 days).


You can also cover the cashews in very hot/boiling water and let them sit for about an hour if you want to speed up the process – it won’t be quite as creamy, but it will do the trick!