This vegan tofu cheesecake is on the lighter side - like a cheesecake pudding pie - yet still wonderfully creamy, sweet, and satisfying! Silken tofu is the perfect base for the filling, lending body and creaminess while keeping the fat lower than your average vegan cheesecake. Only 8 ingredients and prep is so easy!
The tofu cheesecake filling contains no oil or coconut and can be refined sugar-free by swapping in your favorite WFPB sweetener.
Why You'll Love It
Is there anything tofu can't do? Silken tofu works especially well in lower-fat vegan desserts like my healthy lemon bars. It's also more neutral-tasting than other types of tofu, which means there's no unwanted flavor to try cover up!
Tofu is also a great source of plant-based protein, which somehow makes you feel even better about eating dessert!
This silken tofu cheesecake isn't dense or heavy like traditional cheesecake, in case that's what you're looking for. But if you're a fan of lighter desserts, I think you'll love it!
The recipe also seems pretty versatile. If you'd like to add more cashews or some coconut cream, for example, for a richer dessert, that's very doable.
To make tofu cheesecake, all you need are 8 ingredients and a pie crust. You can use a homemade or store-bought graham cracker crust, any type of press-in nut-date crust, or the oatmeal pie crust you see in the photos (more on this below...and how to make a fat-free version)!
- silken tofu - I usually buy the refrigerated kind, as opposed to shelf-stable ones like Mori-Nu. Look for silken tofu in the coolers near the produce section of the grocery store.
- cashews - The first time I tested the recipe I didn't include nuts or any additional fat. And though it tasted pretty good, we decided it was actually too light. So I added ½ cup raw cashews to the filling to give it a bit more density.
- non-dairy milk - I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but other varieties are fine, like soy or oat milk.
- sugar - To keep the recipe simple and accessible, and for a neutral flavor, I used regular sugar (I buy the 365 brand which is vegan). If you'd like to experiment with less refined sweeteners, just keep in mind that it will impact the flavor and color of the filling.
- lemon - You'll need a small amount of lemon zest and ⅓ cup juice. One large lemon should be enough.
- starch - arrowroot starch or cornstarch, whichever is easiest. This adds creaminess and helps the filling set.
- agar agar - Since this tofu cheesecake is so low in fat, we need something else to help it firm up and set, and agar is my go-to. I use this agar powder. It's definitely a versatile ingredient to have in your plant-based kitchen! I have many other recipes to help you use it, in case you're interested (just type "agar" in the search bar).
- oatmeal pie crust - As mentioned above, I used my oatmeal pie crust recipe because I always have the ingredients on hand, and it's so quick to pull together. It can be difficult finding vegan graham cracker crusts, so it's nice to have an easy substitute.
*For a fat-free crust, replace the vegan butter with ½ cup applesauce. The texture is more chewy and less crisp without the fat, but it's still delicious! And even without oiling the pie plate, it didn't stick.
If you have another pie crust you enjoy, that's great, too! Even a more classic type of pie crust like this vegan gluten-free pie crust will work (not that there's anything "classic" about that recipe)!
See the recipe card below for quantities and complete instructions.
How to Make Tofu Cheesecake
Blend all of the filling ingredients except the starch and agar. Taste and add more lemon or sugar, if desired. Once it's smooth and creamy, add the starch and agar and blend again.
Bring the filling to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. This step activates the starch and agar and helps the filling set.
Pour into the prepared crust and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
Super easy, right?
Serve with fresh berries and a dollop of vegan whipped cream!
- cashews - If you're allergic to cashews, feel free to try another nut or seed or nut/seed butter. Just keep in mind that this will impact the flavor and color. You could also use coconut cream or coconut oil to add richness and help the tofu cheesecake set.
- sugar - I used regular granulated sugar since it has the most neutral flavor. If you don't mind a change in the color and flavor of the filling, feel free to use an unrefined option, such as date or coconut sugar. I'm not sure how well a low-calorie, alternative sweetener would work here, but it's worth a try!
- agar - unfortunately there's not really a good substitute for the agar powder, unless you want to increase the amount of cashews and starch, or introduce a firm, saturated fat like coconut cream or oil.
Tip! It's a good idea to taste the blended tofu mixture before adding the starch and agar. Then adjust the amount of sugar and lemon as desired.
A soft, medium, or firm tofu might also work. Firmer varieties contain less water than silken tofu, so it will change the consistency and possibly have a more pronounced tofu flavor.
Not necessarily. To help the cashews blend easily, soak them overnight or in boiling water for an hour. Then drain before blending. Another option is to use ¼ to ⅓ cup raw cashew butter instead of whole cashews.
Absolutely! This pie and the oatmeal pie crust hold up beautifully overnight.
More Tofu Desserts
I hope you enjoy this light and tangy tofu cheesecake. If you give it a try be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Vegan Tofu Cheesecake
- 1 baked 9-inch oatmeal pie crust - or graham cracker crust; see Note 1
- 16 ounces silken tofu, drained
- ¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk - I used vanilla almond milk
- heaping ½ cup raw cashews - see Note 2
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup lemon juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- If not using a high-speed blender, soak cashews overnight, then drain. Alternatively, cover with boiling water and soak for 1 to 2 hours, or use ¼ to ⅓ cup raw cashew butter.
- Combine the tofu, milk, cashews, sugar, lemon zest, ¼ cup of lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and add more lemon or sugar, if desired (I like to whisk in more lemon juice after heating it in Step 3). Once the filling is smooth and creamy, add the starch and agar and blend again
- Pour into a heavy-bottom sauce pan. Slowly bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Once it's hot and bubbly, continue to whisk and cook for another 2 minutes or until thickened and creamy. Remove from heat and whisk in another tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared crust. Refrigerate uncovered until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.
- Serve now, or cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
So if you follow a low-fat diet, preparing the crust with applesauce is a great option. Note 2 - cashews: I haven't tested a cashew-free version of the filling yet, but I suspect other nuts or seeds or coconut cream will work. Store the cheesecake pie in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freezing is not recommended.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.