This recipe is for all my fellow cookie dough lovers! Super creamy vegan cookie dough cheesecake is spread on top of a chocolate cookie crust and is all topped with globs of edible vegan cookie dough. It’s incredibly rich in the best way and is so fun to make! This recipe can also be made gluten free or not, depending on your needs. Either way, the outcome is slices of cookie dough heaven.
No Bake Vegan Cookie Dough Cheesecake
Vegan cheesecakes are always my go-to for just about any party because they’re easy to whip up and everyone can enjoy them! They also surprise people, especially those who still consume dairy. Everyone is always shocked by how much it tastes like ACTUAL cheesecake! And when cookie dough is involved, these bars go FAST.
So what makes these bars so special? Other than being vegan and gluten free, these bars are also no bake and the easiest thing to make. Here’s what we’re looking at:
- Chocolate Cookie Crust – To break up the monotony of cookie dough on cookie dough, this chocolate crust helps balance out the flavors and add an extra kick of chocolate flavor. All that’s needed is chocolate sandwich cookies, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup!
- Cookie Dough Cheesecake – On top of the crust is a thick layer of no bake cheesecake that is so rich and creamy that you can’t even tell it’s dairy free. Flavored with vanilla and chocolate chips, it’s the perfect pairing to what lies on top.
- Vegan Cookie Dough – Scoops of edible vegan cookie dough are plopped on top of the cheesecake, taking this recipe over the top!
After assembly, the cheesecake is stored in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. That’s another reason why I love this recipe – I can make it a day ahead, and then just transfer it to the refrigerator a couple hours before the party and they’re ready to go. In the freezer, they turn firm and hard. Then, once thawed in the refrigerator, they’ll change to a super smooth and creamy texture just like cheesecake.
What is vegan cookie dough cheesecake made of?
As you may know, I’ve cut gluten and dairy out of my diet within the past couple years due to a digestive sensitivity. Cheesecake was one of my FAVORITE desserts so I knew I had to make a dairy free version that tastes just as good.
The secret? Cashews! Due to their mild flavor but creamy and fatty texture, they’re the perfect substitute for cream cheese when paired with the right ingredients. The trick so to hydrate the cashews before use, as this will help create a really smooth cheesecake texture once blended.
To hydrate, you can either allow the cashews to soak in water overnight OR boil them for 10 minutes before use. I tend to forget to prep them the night before, so I typically opt for boiling. Either way, the water helps plump up the cashews, making them soft and pliable.
After they’ve boiled, the cashews are drained and added to a high speed blender along with coconut cream, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla. The coconut cream helps enrich the batter, while the lemon juice adds that signature cream cheese tang.
Once blended, it turns into an ultra creamy batter that’s ready to be poured into your loaf pan. Refrain from eating it straight out of the blender with a spoon…you’ve been warned.
How to make vegan edible cookie dough
The real show stopper of this recipe is what lies on top. This cheesecake instantly draws people in as it’s adorned with the ultimate dessert – full scoops of edible cookie dough!
To make this cookie dough completely vegan, only one simple swap needs to be made. In place of regular butter, we’re using vegan butter. There are so many great options available that it’s hard to even tell a difference!
I made the base of this recipe with softened Miyoko’s vegan butter. To get it to the right temperature, remove it from the refrigerator about 1 hour before starting. Vegan butter softens VERY fast so keep an eye on it!
It’s then mashed and mixed with brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. I used a combo of brown sugar and maple syrup because the flavor of brown sugar is more true to actual cookie dough, but too much can cause the dough to feel grainy. Maple syrup is there to add just a touch more sweetness!
To thicken the dough, a cup of flour is mixed in. Now, it’s very important to use heat treated flour here. Flour has the potential to become cross contaminated during the milling process, so heating the flour helps kill any potential bacteria.
To heat treat, microwave the flour for about 90 seconds. It will become VERY hot which is a good thing! But adding hot flour to an already soft butter can turn the dough way too thin. Pop the flour in the freezer to cool off before mixing in to the dough.
After the chocolate chips are added, use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and place globs of cookie dough all over the surface of the cheesecake!
Vegan Cheesecake FAQs
The delicious creamy texture happens when the cheesecake batter is chilled. To speed up this process, the bars are frozen until solid. This just ensures they’re fully set and ready to eat.
But rather than eating them frozen, allow them to rest at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before eating. This slowly thaws the bars into that soft and creamy texture. From here, the bars can either be left in the fridge for easy access, or placed back in the freezer to keep for about a month.
Once frozen and sliced, the bars must be store in an air tight container. They can be left in the freezer where they’ll keep for about a month, or store in the refrigerator to have soft and creamy bars on demand. They’ll keep in the fridge for about a week.
Coconut cream can be found in a can of coconut milk that has been chilled overnight. When chilled, the liquid of the milk sinks to the bottom, while the cream floats to the top. It’s thick and lush, kind of like yogurt. If you can’t get your hands on coconut cream, you can also sub in 1/2 cup of vegan cream cheese.
Yep! If you want to make enough for a crowd, double the recipe and use an 8×8 square baking dish in place of the loaf pan. All other instructions remain the same.
For more vegan dessert recipes, check out my:
- Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Vegan PB Cup Cheesecake Bars
- Vegan Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Bars
- Fudgy Vegan Brownies
- Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Cake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make these vegan cheesecake bars. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!