Vegan Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

This vegan cinnamon swirl cheesecake is like a fusion of cheesecake and cinnamon roll buns with added swirls of salted caramel and a hint of apple pie flavour. It’s light and creamy filling melts like silky velvet in the mouth, and the oaty base contrasts the smooth filling with a a bit of bite.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Setting Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 40 minutes
4.78 from 9 votes

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cinnamon cheesecake on plate.

CHEESECAKE THAT TASTES LIKE CINNAMON ROLL BUNS!

The smell of cinnamon rolls is a scent that immediately reminds me of autumn. There is something really inviting and warming about freshly baked cinnamon buns.  I wanted to capture that experience and turn it into a no-bake dessert thats not only vegan and easy to make, but can also be adapted as gluten-free.

Seriously, the cheesecake is like a fusion of cheesecake and cinnamon roll buns with added swirls of salted caramel and a hint of apple pie flavour. I originally created my cinnabun/cinnabon apple cheesecake recipe back in 2018, and since then, I have created a new take on that recipe every Autumn. This cinnamon swirl cheesecake, being the best version yet.

Cinnamon swirl cheesecake recipe

Did I grab your attention with cinnamon buns? Perhaps the hint of apple pie drew you in. If not I you must be a salted caramel lover? Or if like me, you love all those flavours, then I’m sure you will appreciate this cake. It’s light and creamy filling melts like silky velvet in the mouth, and the oaty base contrasts the smooth filling with a a bit of bite.

Although this recipe is not coconut free (there is a small quantity of coconut oil used to set the filling), I am happy to report that there is no coconut milk in the filling. Some of you have requested that as you aren’t fans of coconut – I get it, you either love it or hate it! And although the majority of my cheesecake recipes don’t taste like coconut, as the other flavours in the recipes help to mask the taste – I wanted to include a recipe that doesn’t use it in case you really loathe it haha!

Cinnamon swirl cheesecake

WHAT’S IN THIS CHEESECAKE?

OATY CRUST

The base of the cake could even be made as a recipe in itself and formed into bliss balls for taking with you to work, school or college when you need a little energy kick. Made from nuts, oats, dates and spiced up with a little cinnamon, it’s delicious and nutritious just on its own. If you have a gluten intolerance, you can substitute the oat flakes for a gluten free variety or simply increase the ratio of nuts to compensate.

CREAMY CINNAMON APPLE CHEESECAKE

If you are already familiar with some of my recipes, you will know that I use coconut milk in the majority of my cheesecakes. Sometimes however, I have I like to experiment with recipes without the coconut milk and the texture is amazing! This ‘cheesecake’ part of this cake is based on cashews and is super creamy and mousse-y. This cake can be enjoyed semi-frozen but once defrosted, it’s consistency is creamy and like a mousse.
 

CARAMEL SAUCE

Last but not least the caramel was made from juicy moist medjool dates, but with a new addition, cashew butter. Oh my, this is something you’ve gotta try! The cashew butter takes this salted date caramel to another level. I had to tear myself away from eating it on its own!
 
Cinnamon swirl cheesecake

LETS MAKE A CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE..

PREP THE CASHEWS

The cashews for the filing of this cheesecake need to be soaked ahead of time. This not only gives them a silkier, creamier mouth feel, it also helps to make the blending process much easier on your kitchen equipment!

Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with filtered water. Leave them to soak for about 4 hours, then rinse them clean and drain before use.

Note: If you’re in a hurry – don’t worry you can soak them in boiling water instead, then rinse and drain.

THE CRUST

The crust of this cake, just like the other elements of the recipe is easy-peasy to make. Start by adding the blanched almonds, rolled oats, ground cinnamon and salt to your food processor. Blitz for a couple of minutes to a fine crumb consistency.

Next add in the wet ingredients to form a dough consistency. Add the cashew butter, coconut nectar and water and continue to process for another 2 minutes or so, until the mixture begins to stick together to form a dough.

Line the bottom of a 7″ cake pan with parchment paper. Press the dough into the base of a pan and use a flat bottomed glass or spatula to compact it and smooth it out. Set aside in the freezer while you prepare the filling and caramel.

THE CARAMEL

To make the caramel, simply add all the ingredients to your blender or high speed food processor.  Make sure that there are no lumps and the caramel is creamy and set aside. If you’re blender is struggling with this step, you can add a little more liquid in the form of the cashew milk. I always use my vitamix for this step as it’s really powerful, bunt a nutri-bullet or food processor would also work.

THE FILLING

To make the filling, simply add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Next transfer the filling mixture to a large bowl and using a spatula, gently fold the caramel sauce through the filling. You don’t want to over mix here as the goal is to have a nice marble effect of caramel throughout the cheesecake.

Pour the mixture on top of the cake base. Using your spatula, make a large swirl print on top of the cake by holding the spatula at the outer edge of the cake and working your way into the middle whilst spinning the cheesecake tin.

Place the cake in the freezer to set for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

THE GARNISH

Remove the cheesecake from the cake pan whilst still frozen, it’s important not to allow the cheesecake to defrost before attempting to remove the pan as it will stick to the edges and make it difficult to get a clean finish. Next dust the top of the cake with some ground cinnamon and allow to defrost for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the white chocolate and coconut oil to a double boiler and heat gently until melted. Spoon the melted chocolate around the edges of the cake letting drip down the sides, and swirl the remaining chocolate mixture on top of the cake in circular motions.

This cake stores well in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Alternatively you can freeze any sections you aren’t using straight away and defrost them as needed.

This cake can be enjoy both semi-frozen or defrosted. I prefer it completely soft as it has a mousse like texture. Allow at least an hour for defrosting before serving to reach this consistency.

Cinnamon swirl cheesecake

WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE?

  • Plant-based and Vegan-friendly
  • Tastes like cinnamon rolls!
  • Great for special occasions/halloween/thanksgiving
  • Easy to make
  • Egg-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Free from animal derived products
  • Gluten free (check labels of ingredients if you have a severe allergy/intolerance)
 
 

OTHER RECIPES TO TRY

cinnamon cheesecake on plate.

Vegan Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake (No-Bake)

4.78 from 9 votes
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This dessert is like a fusion of cheesecake and cinnamon roll buns with added swirls of salted caramel and a hint of apple pie flavour. It’s light and creamy filling melts like silky velvet in the mouth, and the oaty base contrasts the smooth filling with a a bit of bite. The recipe is vegan, no-bake and can be adapted as gluten-free.
Prep Time 40 mins
Setting Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 40 mins
Servings 12

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • ½ cup rolled oats use gluten-free is required
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp water

FILLING

  • 1 ½ cups cashews soaked *see notes
  • ½ cup soy or coconut yoghurt plain or vanilla flavoured
  • ½ cup apple puree
  • cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil solid
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

CARAMEL

  • 8 medjool dates pitted
  • ½ cup cashew milk or other plant-based milk of choice
  • 4 tbsp cashew butter
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp maca powder optional

GARNISH

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Make the crust by adding the blanched almonds, rolled oats, ground cinnamon and salt to your food processor. Blitz for a couple of minutes to a fine crumb consistency.
  • Add the cashew butter, coconut nectar and water and continue to process for another 2 minutes or so, until the mixture begins to stick together to form a dough.
  • Line the bottom of a 7" cake pan with parchment paper. Press the dough into the base of a pan and use a flat bottomed glass or spatula to compact it and smooth it out. Set aside in the freezer.
  • To make the caramel, add all the ingredients to your blender or high speed food processor. Make sure that there are no lumps and the caramel is creamy. Set aside.
  • To make the filling add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer the filling mixture to a large bowl and using a spatula, gently fold the caramel sauce through the filling - be careful not to over mix.
  • Pour the mixture on top of the cake base. Using your spatula, make a large swirl print on top of the cake by holding the spatula at the outer edge of the cake and working your way into the middle whilst spinning the cheesecake tin.
  • Place the cake in the freezer to set for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the cake pan whilst still frozen, dust with some ground cinnamon and allow to defrost for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the white chocolate and coconut oil to a double boiler and heat gently until melted.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate around the edges of the cake letting drip down the sides.
  • This cake stores well in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Alternatively you can freeze any sections you aren't using straight away and defrost them as needed.

RECIPE NOTES

* Soaked cashews - soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain. (alternatively soak in boiled water for 1 hour, rinse and drain)

NUTRITION

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg
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7 thoughts on "Vegan Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake"

  1. I don’t have any kind of oil at home at the moment and because of the quarantine I can’t stock up… Can you suggest a substitution? I would be super thankful!

    1. Hi Marija,

      The oil is what helps the cake to set properly, so if omitted it just won’t be as stable. If you have it to hand you can also use cacao butter in it’s place

    1. Hi Robin,

      Apple sauce will sometimes be chunkier, so it’s personal preference whether you’d like to add it, but it will work too. Perhaps just keep an eye on the ingredients as some brands might have a lot of added sugar which will alter the sweetness of the recipe, so you can reduce the maple syrup etc to compensate according to your taste.