Vegan Strawberry Shortbread Cheesecake

This vegan cheesecake strawberry shortbread cheesecake is creamy and rich while being refreshing and fruity. Creamy tangy vanilla cheesecake with fragrant macerated strawberries on a baked gluten-free shortbread crust.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Set Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 40 minutes
5 from 3 votes
cheesecake topped with strawberries on a grey surface.

It may not be strawberry season yet but we’re getting ahead of the game here so that you have your strawberry recipes ready to go once berry seasons arrives!

This cheesecake has it all, a buttery shortbread crust that’s gluten-free and baked to perfection. A creamy vanilla cheesecake filling that melts in the mouth, and sweet strawberries in syrup to top it off. The strawberries are macerated in sugar which creates a sweet syrup and intensifies their flavour.

The inspiration for this recipe came from my Chamomile Vanilla Cheesecake from last Summer. I don’t know about you, but winter here feels like it’s been going on forever and I’ve never been more ready to welcome Spring and all the fresh flavours it has to offer.

This strawberry shortbread cheesecake is:

  • Creamy and light
  • Fruity and sweet
  • Bursting with flavour
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly
  •  

vegan vanilla strawberry cheesecake

WHAT INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED FOR THIS VEGAN CHEESECAKE?

FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST AND CRUMBLE TOPPING

All purpose GF flour and ground almonds: I like to use these ingredients at a 1:1 ratio for the perfect shortbread base. You can also use regular all purpose flour if you don’t need the cake to be gluten-free.

Vegan butter: You can also use coconut oil in place of vegan butter.

Pure maple syrup: This helps to bind the ingredients for the shortbread dough as well as adding a hint of sweetness.

Sea salt: You can use flaky sea salt, kosher salt or pink Himalayan salt. Avoid regular table salt however.

Rolled oats: Oats are added to some of the shortbread dough in order to create a crumble topping for the top of the cheesecake.

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

Cashews: When soaked for a minimum of 4 hours, these nuts begin to soften. Once blended, this allows them to create a rich and creamy base for the cheesecake filling.

Full fat coconut milk: You’ll use the full fat canned variety to get a rich consistency. Reduced fat coconut milk and other plant milks will NOT work for this recipe. The fat content is vital for creating a stable emulsion which will keep your cake nice and set!

Vanilla soya yoghurt: Adding plantbased yoghurt to vegan cheesecakes is a game changer! That light, cultured flavour adds a twang and airiness to any cheesecake recipe.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil solidifies at around room temperature, and is great for helping cheesecakes to set and keep their shape.

Lemon juice: A dash of lemon is used to elevate that cheesecake flavour.

Vanilla extract: I don’t skip this ingredient in most dessert recipes and with GOOD reason! It always helps to round off the flavours of a dessert.

FOR THE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

Fresh strawberries: For this recipe, it actually doesn’t matter if your strawberries aren’t the sweetest. Caster sugar is added to them which enhances their flavour and sweetness and creates the most delicious strawberry syrup.

gluten free vegan strawberry cheesecake

LET’S PUT IT TOGETHER

(full recipe and ingredients list can be found on the recipe card at the end of this post)

HOW TO MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST AND CRUMBLE TOPPING

First things first get your oven preheated to 175°C (350°F). Next line the bottom of a 7″ cake tin with removable base with some parchment paper. This will make it easy to remove the cake once from the tin later.

Make the dough by combining the gluten-free flour, almond flour, vegan butter, maple syrup and salt in your food processor until the ingredients stick together to form a dough. Set aside one third of the dough, as this will be use to make the crumble topping for the cheesecake.

Press the remaining two-thirds of dough into the base of the cake tin, and smooth it out with a spatula or flat bottomed glass. With a fork, gently prick the dough several times.

To prepare the crumble topping, add the remaining third of dough back to the food processor along with the rolled oats and one tablespoon of maple syrup. Blitz for about 20 seconds. Then crumble the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place both the cheesecake base and crumble into the preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the crumble into an airtight container until ready to serve.

MAKING THE CREAMY CHEESECAKE FILLING

For the filling, add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and blitz for several minutes until completely smooth and creamy, with no lumps or grit. The mixture should be silky smooth with no lumps. Pour the filling into the cake tin and place in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours (or overnight if preferred).

Once set, remove the cheesecake from the cake pan whilst still frozen and allow to thaw at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.

HOW TO MACERATE STRAWBERRIES

Wash and dry the berries well. Then cut the strawberries into quarters and place them in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and cover. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and formed a syrup around the berries.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE THIS STRAWBERRY SHORTBREAD CHEESECAKE

Add the crumble and macerated strawberries to the top of the cheesecake just before serving. If you don’t plan on serving the entire cake in one go, keep the remaining crumble and strawberries in separate containers and add just before serving.

This cake will store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days (with the strawberries and crumble stored separately).

vegan strawberry cheesecake

RECOMMENDED TOOLS TO MAKE THIS NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE

gluten free vegan cheesecake

HERE ARE SOME OTHER RECIPES THAT I THINK YOU’LL LOVE

cheesecake topped with strawberries on a grey surface.

Vegan Strawberry Shortbread Cheesecake

5 from 3 votes
PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE
Deliciously creamy vanilla cheesecake with fragrant macerated strawberries on a gluten-free shortbread base. This cheesecake is creamy and rich while being refreshing and fruity.
Prep Time 40 mins
Set Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 40 mins
Servings 10

INGREDIENTS

CRUST/CRUMBLE TOPPING

  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour or regular all purpose flour for non-GF version
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats or regular rolled oats for non-GF version
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

FILLING

  • 200 g cashews soaked *see notes
  • 1 cup chilled canned full fat coconut milk *see notes
  • ½ cup vanilla soya or coconut yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil solid
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

  • 400 g fresh strawberries
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar or coconut sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Line the bottom of a 7" cake tin with removable base with some parchment paper.
  • In your food processor, combine the gluten-free flour, almond flour, vegan butter, maple syrup and salt until the ingredients stick together to form a dough.
  • Set aside one third of the dough for the crumble. Press the remaining two-thirds of dough into the base of the cake tin, and smooth it out with a spatula or flat bottomed glass. With a fork, gently prick the dough several times.
  • Add the remaining third of dough back to the food processor along with the rolled oats and one tablespoon of maple syrup. Blitz for about 20 seconds. Then crumble the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Place both the cheesecake base and crumble into the preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the crumble into an airtight container until ready to serve.
  • For the filling, add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and blitz for several minutes until completely smooth and creamy, with no lumps or grit. The mixture should be silky smooth. Pour the filling into the cake tin and place in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours (or overnight if preferred).
  • Once set, remove the cheesecake from the cake pan whilst still frozen and allow to thaw at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prepare the macerated strawberries. Quarter the strawberries and place them in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and cover. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and formed a syrup around the berries.
  • Add the crumble and macerated strawberries to the top of the cheesecake just before serving. If you don't plan on serving the entire cake in one go, keep the remaining crumble and strawberries in separate containers and add just before serving.
  • This cake will store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days (with the strawberries and crumble stored separately).

RECIPE NOTES

* Soaked cashews - soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain.
* Chilled coconut milk - refrigerate the tin of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can.

NUTRITION

Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg
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