Dairy-Free Chocolate Cheesecake

I love cheesecake! Always have, always will.

Vertical image of a slice of a dark brown dessert topped with whipped cream on a brown plate, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

There’s something so special about the filling that makes me fall in love all over again every time I eat a slice, as if it was my first time ever trying it.

With every bite, I go crazy over the slightly sour yet lightly sweet flavor and the sinfully rich and creamy texture.

And when you pair that with a buttery graham cracker or cookie crust, what a perfect match!

Unfortunately, my love connection with this dessert isn’t as strong as it used to be – I try not to consume too many desserts made with dairy, due to stomach issues.

Vertical image of a slice of a dark chocolate dessert topped with whipped cream on a plate next to cookies and crumbles.

Which means no thick, over-indulgent slices of cheesecake for me.

And I’m sure we can wallow in our tears together – many of you likely suffer from this issue!

We are so used to only nibbling on the tiniest, skinniest slivers of cheesecake, to prevent any impending digestive doom later.

Maybe we’ve all considered, at some point, that this would be our sad fate forever.

Or so we thought…

Vertical top-down image of a half-eaten cake topped with whipped cream on a plate next to a fork and cookies.

Today, I’m happy to say that I have created a delicious dairy-free cheesecake recipe, and I’m excited to finally share it with you.

And the process is virtually the same as making any other basic cheesecake recipe!

Let’s give a little love to each layer, and take a look at each one more closely.

Vertical image of a whole dessert with Oreo cookie crust topped with dollops of whipped cream and candy shavings on a wooden board.

To start – did you know Oreos are vegan?

They ARE! And while we’ve already included them before in this vegan raspberry cake, I also couldn’t resist using them as the perfect base for this dairy-free chocolate cheesecake.

Along with some melted vegan butter and a little salt, the cookies are pulverized in the food processor to create a sweet and aromatic crumble. Once you press the mixture into a springform pan and bake it, you can move on to the filling.

With more help from alternative products like dairy-free cream cheese and sour cream, a thick and delish chocolate cheesecake filling is easy to achieve when these are combined with eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and melted bittersweet chocolate.

Vertical image of a half-eaten slice of a dessert topped with whipped cream and candy shavings on a dark plate.

Once you – patiently – allow the cheesecake to bake, cool, and set completely, you’ll be rewarded with a thick and rich chocolate cheesecake.

Surprise all of your guests with thick slices of this dairy-free dessert at the end of a meal – even the dairy lovers will fall hard for it!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Horizontal image of a slice of a dark brown dessert topped with whipped cream on a plate.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch cheesecake (10-12 slices) 1x


Can you make cheesecake without dairy? Our dense and delicious recipe is the answer. With a rich and creamy chocolate filling, it’s the perfect alternative.



For the Crust:

  • 24 Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 2 tablespoons vegan unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds plain vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain vegan sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


For the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Place the Oreos in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and process into fine crumbs. Add the butter and salt and pulse until combined. The mixture will be crumbly, but should easily clump when pressed together.
  3. Transfer the crumbs into an ungreased 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan.
  4. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, until dry and fragrant. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool as you make the filling.

For the Cheesecake:

  1. As the crust bakes, melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Set aside to cool. Boil water in a kettle, and keep it hot as you prepare the filling.
  2. Place the cream cheese and sour cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix together at medium speed until completely combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Mix in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt at medium speed until completely combined, 1 minute more. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and briefly remix.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and briefly remix.
  5. With the mixer still on low speed, add the melted chocolate and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and briefly remix.
  6. Pour the batter onto the crust and spread it into an even layer.
  7. Tightly cover the bottom and sides of the pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Place the pan inside a large baking or roasting pan with tall sides. Transfer to the oven and carefully fill the roasting pan halfway with the hot water.
  8. Bake until the cheesecake is fully set around the edges with just a slight jiggle in the center, 60-75 minutes.
  9. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the springform pan from the water bath. Dispose of the aluminum foil.
  10. Place the springform pan on a cooling rack and let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours to set, or preferably overnight.
  11. When set, remove the ring from the springform pan, slice the cheesecake into wedges, and serve.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: cheesecake, dairy-free, chocolate, Oreo

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Set out the equipment you will need. Get out your food processor fitted with the blade attachment, as well as your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Horizontal image of Oreo cookies, melted butter, and salt in white bowls.

Set out an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan and a large baking or roasting pan with tall sides. Fill a kettle with water.

For the crust, measure out the Oreos and kosher salt. Measure and melt the vegan butter.

For the filling, all of the ingredients should be at room temperature in order to combine more homogeneously. Measure and keep out the vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream. Crack 4 large eggs into a bowl and keep these on the counter as well, to warm to room temperature as you prepare the crust.

Horizontal image of assorted wet and dry ingredients in assorted light-colored bowls.

Choose dairy-free alternative products that are unflavored. And don’t be alarmed if you can’t find dairy-free cream cheese in a block format at the store, as many vegan brands do not sell that format!

For this recipe, I used Kite Hill’s Dairy-Free Plain Cream Cheese, which is available on Amazon.

Measure out the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and kosher salt.

Measure and finely chop the bittersweet chocolate – but first double check to make sure you are using bars that don’t contain milk products!

Step 2 – Make the Crust

Place the Oreos in a food processor and process into very fine, sandy crumbs.

Horizontal image of crumbled cookies in a food processor.

Add the melted butter and salt and pulse until completely combined. The mixture will be crumbly, but should easily clump together when pressed or squeezed in your hand.

Pour the crumbs into the springform pan. Using your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup, firmly press the crumbs into the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan.

Horizontal image of an unbaked cookie crust in a springform pan.

The crumbs will stick together, creating a solid – and delicious! – crust.

To prevent the crumbs from sticking to your hand or measuring cup, place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crumbs before you begin to press down. The paper will act as a shield between you and the buttery crumbs.

Step 3 – Bake and Cool the Crust

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes. The crust will be fragrant, and will look mostly dry.

Horizontal image of a baked Oreo crust in a springform pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool slightly on a cooling rack as you make the filling.

Step 4 – Boil the Water and Melt the Chocolate

As the crust is baking, melt the chocolate so it has some time to cool slightly. Adding hot chocolate to the filling may cause the eggs to scramble.

Horizontal image of melted chocolate in a bowl with a spatula.

Melt the chopped chocolate completely in a double boiler on the stovetop. Remove from the heat and set aside until you are ready to make the filling.

If you prefer to melt the pieces in your microwave, use a microwave-safe bowl and heat the chocolate in 20-second increments, stirring after each one.

You should also boil the water at this point, keeping it hot for the water bath.

Step 5 – Make the Filling

Place the cream cheese and sour cream in the stand mixer. At medium speed for about one minute, combine these to form a smooth and creamy mixture.

Horizontal image of a thick batter in a metal bowl.

Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Mix at medium speed until completely combined, for about another minute. With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and briefly remix.

With your mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time and incorporate completely before adding the next egg.

Again, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with your rubber spatula to briefly remix.

At this point, once the eggs have been added, do not overmix the batter at a high speed. This will whip air into the cheesecake base, potentially resulting in cracking and deflating.

With the mixer on low speed, add the melted chocolate and beat until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and briefly remix.

Step 6 – Cover with Aluminum Foil and Bake in Water Bath

Tightly cover the bottom and sides of the pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil. These layers will prevent water from seeping into the bottom of the springform pan.

Horizontal image of an unbaked dessert in a springform pan covered in foil in a roasting pan.

The safest way to create a water bath for baking is to first place the springform pan in the empty roasting or baking pan, and transfer it to the oven. Leaving the rack the pan is resting on pulled halfway out of the oven, carefully fill the roasting pan halfway with hot water from the kettle.

Don’t fill it too high! As long as the water is below the top of the aluminum foil, it should not seep into the springform pan.

Carefully push the rack in to move the pan towards the center of the oven, close the door, and bake for about 60 to 75 minutes. There should still be a slight jiggle in the center when you gently shake the pan, but the cheesecake should be mostly set.

Step 7 – Cool

Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven, and immediately lift the springform pan from the water bath. Remove the foil from the bottom, and place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool in the pan.

Horizontal image of a baked dessert in a springform pan on a baking sheet.

Allow it to cool for one hour at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator, uncovered, to set completely.

This is where patience is an absolute necessity! The filling needs to fully chill and set so it can be cut into solid wedges. Allow the cheesecake to set for a minimum of 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

Step 8 – Remove from the Springform Pan and Serve

Ready to serve? We’re ready to eat!

Horizontal image of a whole dessert with Oreo cookie crust topped with dollops of whipped cream and candy shavings on a wooden board.

Remove the springform pan from the refrigerator. Release and remove the collar.

If the cheesecake is sticking to the collar, it may need a little extra help! Run a small knife, like a butter or paring knife, around the edge before you remove the collar.

With a chef’s knife, slice the cheesecake into wedges, serve, and enjoy.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Garnishes Galore

Simple, minimal, and modern, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your decision to serve this cheesecake unadorned, with nothing extra on top.

Horizontal image of a slice of a dark brown dessert topped with whipped cream on a plate.

Letting the dessert speak for itself is a fine choice!

But for those of you who don’t think a dessert is complete without a few edible accessories, these ideas are all for you.

Consider garnishing the top of your cheesecake with any of the following dairy-free ingredients:

How do you think you’ll decorate this cheesecake? Do you have other ideas for dairy-free garnishes? The comment section is open – I’ll be waiting!

Oh, the wonders of chocolate! Whether in the form of cocoa powder, chips, or bars, this magical ingredient is a go-to in so many desserts. Try it in even more made-from-scratch dairy-free sweets, like these:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Sarah Hagstrom on May 20, 2015. Last updated on January 27, 2023.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

36 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Chocolate Cheesecake”

  1. Cashews is an interesting alternate to the cream cheese element. I have also seen similar recipes that utilize avocado which ‘creams’ the cocoa element of the recipe when used. I’m absolutely giving this one a shot. I’ll put warning signs all over it for those allergic to peanuts.

  2. Dairy bothers my stomach a lot of the time as well and I love cheesecake so needless to say I don’t eat it often but this recipe looks delicious, I cant wait to give it a try!!

  3. Awww yes, this is perfect. I love cheesecake, but dairy isn’t exactly my friend, so it’s great to have an alternative. I might need a better blender for this but once I get one, you bet I’m trying this out!

  4. Before I comment on this post, I would like to thank you for such a wonderful blog-site. I am very impressed. Well done to you. Now lets get to the cheesecake 😉 I LOVE cheesecake too and so does my family. But, unfortunately, it can be a little heavy on the hips, so I’m always eager to try new and tested recipes. With that said, I am DEFINITELY going to be trying this one too. Well done and keep up the good work.

  5. I love trying new things! I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy as much cheesecake I like but a friend of mine has a dairy intolerance so she is always on the hunt to try new things. I think I might just go and make this for her this week as a little treat. Normally if I make a cake or desert of some sorts she can’t eat it so this time it will be a nice surprise for her to actually taste something that I have prepared !

    • I was just thinking the same thing, but for one of my daughters. She recently learned she has developed a lactose intolerance, and she’s missing the foods she can no longer have. This might just be the perfect treat for me to make for her. That should cheer her up. Well, I know chocolate cheesecake would cheer me up. Haha. I enjoy cheesecake anyway, but with chocolate too? What’s not to like?

  6. Kindly clarify… are the raw cashews being soaked in warm water or cold water?! Would really love to know 🙂
    This has been listed down on cakes section on my organizer, to be tried and tested 🙂 … fingers crossed i get this right, even if i don’t, i try till i get it right 🙂
    I’m imagining downing this with a hot cup of chocolate… pure heaven 😉

  7. What a great recipe! It’s always good to see alternative ways of cooking a dish to ensure everyone can enjoy it and this cheesecake must be very welcome to those who cannot tolerate dairy. It’s certainly one of the things I’d miss the most if I was forced to stop eating dairy and I’m sure it’s the same for others too.

  8. I’m lactose intolerant and diabetic – this is a dream come true. Every once in a while I’d make a regular one to satisfy the cravings, but I’d feel awful for days afterwards. The lemon juice bit is what concerns me, as it seems a bit out of place (in my tastes) but I do have a bottle on hand, so I can definitely give it a shot.

    Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  9. That looks absolutely delicious. I haven’t noticed an issue with dairy, unlike many other items, but this looks mighty tempting, so I might try making it when I have the ingredients and equipment. I do have friends and family with dairy issues, so I’ll be sharing this recipe with them.

  10. This picture is almost unfair to have on the front page! It looks so delicious, makes you want to throw any diet to the window right on the spot…

    Though to be fair, I looked avidly at the ingredients to see if I would have it on hand to make it, and I don’t have most of this at home. I’m both bummed and relieved. Hehe!

  11. I had to give up cheesecake when I developed a lactose intolerance so this is a great alternative. I will definitely try this and chocolate is perfect with it. I do like a buttery type base so I could experiment to try to still achieve that with this recipe.

  12. I simply love cheesecake, I’m not much of a baker though, but thanks to the recipes you guys posted, I might just become one. Thanks a lot ladies.

  13. Oh my goodness. Why do you have to tantalize us with those delicious looking cheesecake images? Those look so good, it’s indescribable. I’m glad you were able to nail the recipe and have it shared among us all. This qualifies as another good idea for a major BBQ that I’m going to next month. I’m just imagining how my family would react eating these.

  14. Thanks for this recipe Sarah! I eat dairy free and love cheesecake too. Sometimes, the cooked version I make with tofu, can be really rich and heavy, albeit, delicious. So, this is an attractive alternative that looks delicious and nutritious. I will definitely be trying out this recipe.

  15. Since being giving birth to my son I have become lactose intolerant. I was so excited to eat cheesecake. Unfortunately cheesecake generally has a lot of dairy, and most vegan ones I have seen look like a weird gramcrackery mess.

    However, this looks delicious. I plan on attempting to make this tomorrow. Though I plan to substitute walnuts for another nut. Hopefully it turns out as good as yours looks!

  16. Nice recipe, especially the fact it’s dairy-free. To be honest, I do tolerate dairy products and eat them on a daily basis, but I would always like to make a change in my life and try these hips-friendly recipes, including this one. It looks just fine and I’m more than eager to make it myself.

    Like someone stated above, it’s very unfair that it’s being shown in the front page listing, haha. Now I’m hungry…

  17. I have been looking for way to put more coconut oil in my diet as I have read how good it is for you. This sounds just the job. A slice of this a day would give me more than I need of coconut oil and satisfy my chocolate cravings as well! I do not have a dairy intolerance but I do want to improve my digestion and general health and I think this would help in a delicious way!

  18. I love sweets, and I have many vegan friends who are bakers. However, I have found that vegan desserts aren’t always my favorite. I don’t know if its the missing eggs or cream or whatever else, but even the vegan bakeries around here don’t seem to compare to the animal ingredient counterparts.

    That being said, the one exception to the rule is definitely cheesecake. Something about it just works out. If only the cakes and cookies could be this indistinguishable from non-vegan ones.

    • Looks very delicious and it accommodates me and my family needs. My husband also has stomach problems from eating dairy products and we love eating cheese cake. We also are trying to be clean eaters as well so the gluten free ingredients also help us as well. I cant wait to try this and substitute our favorite cheesecake for something more healthy so thank you because you have answered our prayer.

  19. I don’t have problems eating dairy, at least not stomach related. I am actually allergic to all dairy products and components, so a recipe like this is really good to see.
    I have to say that I think I would probably cut back on the amount of dates in the crust. It does seem to be an awful lot and will make the crust really sweet and I am a touch curious why when you saw raw walnuts, raw cashew nuts, raw cocoa powder that you don’t then say raw dark chocolate or point out that a lot of dark chocolate actually does contain dairy. It is something that needs to be watched out for when you can’t have dairy products. I can’t also help feeling that the topping might just benefit from a touch of coffee powder as well, to bring out the chocolate flavour a touch more.

  20. I was looking for something to have on my cheat day, and here I am, rubbing my palms while the victory trumpets go off. Chocolate cheesecake have been my weakness since I was young, not even now I can’t say no to one! Excellent article!

  21. I am very interested in how this would taste compared to regular cheesecake. I have no problems with regular cheesecake but I do love new things. I showed this to my daughter and she got really excited. The only problem is that my mom can not eat nuts so I can not share with her. I can always make regular cheesecake for her. I also like the use of coconut oil. I have not used that to cook with yet but I have been meaning to try it and this gives me a good excuse.

  22. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m slightly lactose intolerant 🙁 Just to be safe, I try to avoid all dairy. It’s just a little difficult buying these ingredients and staying stocked because it’s quite pricey. I would also just modify the crust; I don’t like dates… Any other recommendations?

    By the way, the photo looks excellent. Makes me jealous that it isn’t in my fridge right now 🙂

  23. That looks so delicious! I like to cut down on the dairy once in a while so this is a perfect alternative for when I decide to do that again. Can’t wait to try this and I’d rather use the macadamia nuts for the top. Yum!

  24. Alright this is something I would eat all day long. I’m loving the ingredients. A sea salt though is what I prefer or a pink himalayan salt. This is also a RAW recipe. The raw desserts have so much flavor to them. I have to make this one. The best part is that it is dairy-free. Sometimes I slip up and eat dairy just cause it looks so good, but I try not too. So this one is a guilt free recipe.

  25. This is perfect! Cheesecake is one of my favorite foods, but any amount of dairy sends me to the bathroom in agony. I’m gonna whip up some over the weekend. Thank you so much for this!

  26. I love cheesecake and I’m kinda wondering would it still be called cheesecake if there is no cheese in it? I’m not sure I would want my cheesecake without cheese. I guess this would be a good recipe for non diary users.

  27. This is a very interesting take on the cashews as replacement for the cream cheese. This is my first time to hear of it. The picture shows that it’s a viable replacement for cream cheese. While I’m not a big fan of cashews or cheesecake in general, I think this is something I can enjoy primarily because of the chocolates. Anything with chocolate just does it for me, and I seem to forget of the other ingredients.

  28. O.M.G… I want this RIGHT NOW! My mouth is literally watering. I love cheesecake, but I have had some really good vegan cheesecakes, so I don’t doubt this cake is awesome. All of the ingredients sound delicious.

  29. Oh wow! I had never seen this type of cheesecake recipe before. What a difference. I’m a total cheesecake lover and always attempt to try at least 3 or 4 types of cheesecakes a year that I had never tried before. From all of the cheesecake varieties of cheesecake I have tried before I’ve never had any that have been dairy free. I have had though the kind in which artificial sweetener has been used, This recipe is truly a welcome change. Thanks a lot!

  30. What I would give for a decent blender/processor… This dessert has everything one needs to enjoy a healthy alternative to chocolate cake.

  31. I have a friend who is not allowed to eat dairy foods because they make her sick. Therefore, I am very grateful that this recipe exists. I can finally make something that she would enjoy! Thanks.

  32. Well it certainly look delicious, but I cannot help but notice that the whole graham cracker crust that you love is not in there. I would agree with you, and I think that the crust can make all the difference, and while the one here looks pretty good with the cashews and all, it is hard to beat that graham cracker crust. I will have to see, though, and hopefully I have a new favorite. Thanks for sharing.

  33. I was hoping this was gluten free and nut free like the crust you had this recipe linked to, but that aside it looks very yummy.

    • Ah, that’s too bad. It is gluten-free, but since you can’t have nuts, maybe you’d like to give this crust recipe a try to swap out for the date and walnut base? It comes highly recommended! Search for “gluten free nut free cheesecake crust” on hungerthirstplay dot com. Happy baking!


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.