Low-Carb Cheesecake Recipe made dairy-free and sugar-free for a silky smooth decadent dessert. This easy keto cheesecake recipe requires zero baking and only 7 ingredients!
Are you familiar with the cashew-based cheesecake?
Five years ago, I posted my first No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake recipe using raw cashews, and have since shared my Vegan No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake, and – a reader favorite – my Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake.
I know…it may seem like a far stretch to achieve one of the most highly coveted desserts out of a nut, but you may just need to take a flying leap of faith here.
The result is a rich and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth slice of heaven that isn’t an exact replica of traditional cheesecake but definitely quenches that craving for the creamy, tangy pie.
To provide an honest review, I personally think the cheesecake tastes almost indistinguishable from regular cheesecake, but my partner thinks he would be able to pick the real from the “fake” out of a lineup. He still enjoys it as a delicious dessert, but wouldn’t say it’s a 1:1 match to cream cheese based cheesecake.
Let’s dive into the details!
How to Make Dairy-Free Sugar-Free Cheesecake:
While it is entirely possible to make a low-carb keto cheesecake using cream cheese, I figured I would create a dairy-free sugar-free cheesecake for those of us who don’t tolerate dairy like champs.
The “cheesecake” filling for this rich and creamy low carb cheesecake recipe is a combination raw cashews (that have been soaking overnight), lemon juice, full-fat coconut milk, and sugar-free confectioners sugar.
Everything gets blended in a blender until you have a thick filling mixture, and there’s no baking necessary!
The lemon juice is the key component to providing that tang you get with cream cheese, and the raw cashews and coconut milk are what lends the creaminess. When swirled up together into a creamy love sauce, it all magically forms what we now know as the best vegan keto cheesecake on the planet. 😉
The no-bake crust portion of the cheesecake is a simply combination of raw cashews, coconut oil, and sugar-free confectioners sugar. The nutty texture of the crust is a marvelous counterbalance to the creamy filling…everything combined results in the most sinfully amazing dessert!
Ingredients for Low-Carb Keto Cheesecake:
Raw Cashews: Rather than using cream cheese to make cheesecake, we soak raw cashews to create the iconic thick and creamy filling. The cashews must be raw and soaked, or the filling will stay grainy rather than creamy.
You do need a high-powered blender (or food processor) to get the consistency of the filling smooth.
Coconut Milk: Full-fat canned coconut milk not only adds rich creaminess to the cheesecake, but it helps blend the cashews so that we have a thick, smooth filling. It also adds a natural sweetness and flavor that helps mimic cream cheese!
Lemon Juice: While cashews and coconut milk make the creamy portion of the recipe, the lemon juice lends a tang, which is what gives it that mock “cheese” flavor present in cream cheese.
You can adjust the amount of lemon juice according to taste. I like just enough to get that tangy counterbalance to the sweet and creamy flavors, and you can add more or less depending on your desired level of tang.
I recommend using fresh lemon juice as opposed to lemon juice that comes pre-squeezed as it simply has a fresher flavor.
Note that this isn’t supposed to taste like a lemon cheesecake unless you want it to. If that’s the case, you’ll need to add 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon zest to the filling mixture to bring out more lemon flavor.
Sugar-Free Confectioners Sugar: The fun part! In order to make this dessert low-carb, we use sugar-free confectioners sugar. It must be confectioners, not granulated, as granulated will result in a gritty texture. Confectioners sweetener ensures the cheesecake turns out nice, smooth, and sweet without a noticeable texture. I use Swerve, Truvia, or Lakanto brands of confectioners, but your favorite will work!
Sea Salt & Vanilla: Flavor enhancers! A touch of sea salt and vanilla extract add warmth to this no-bake cheesecake and make for a well-rounded cheesecake experience.
Raw Almonds: The pie crust is made with raw almonds! This results in both a nutty flavor and texture, which I find is a lovely contrast to the ultra creamy filling. We also use sugar-free confectioners sweetener to sweeten the crust.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil helps blend and bind the raw almonds to give us a no-bake pie crust that holds together nicely.
Now that we’re experts on the topic, let’s make one!
How to Make Low-Carb Cheesecake:
Soak the Cashews:
Making this cheesecake does require a little forethought, as the cashews will need to be soaked in order to soften them up enough to blend into a creamy consistency.
Place the raw cashews in a bowl and fill with water (2 inches above the line of cashews) so that they’re completely covered. Soak overnight (at least 8 hours).
Note: You can speed up this process by soaking the cashews in boiling water for 2 hours.
Prepare the Crust:
Add the ingredients for the cheesecake crust to a food processor and process until completely combined and the nuts are chopped into tiny pieces. You may need to add 1 to 3 additional tablespoons of coconut oil depending on the consistency of the crust – you want it to press together easily like a dough but not be overly oily.
Line a 8-inch springform pan (9-inch works too) with parchment paper and transfer the crust mixture to it. Use your hands to press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer.
Make the Filling:
Drain and rinse the cashews then transfer them to a high-powered blender (they can be moist – they don’t need to be completely dry). Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling to the blender and blend until completely smooth. You may need to stop the blender a couple of times, scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and get it going again in order to get the consistency completely creamy.
Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and smooth into an even layer. Transfer the cheesecake to your freezer and freeze at least 2 hours, until completely set up.
When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, allow it to thaw a few minutes (up to 20 minutes if the cheesecake has been frozen for a long time), then slice using a sharp knife and serve.
That’s it! Everything you need to know to make the ultimate best vegan, no-bake, sugar-free, grain-free, amazing cheesecake!
Is This Cheesecake Keto?:
My answer to this question is always: depends on who you are. If you make 12 slices, each slice has 8 net carbs. For some people, this fits their carbohydrate needs just fine, whereas for others it eats up too many carbs out of the day.
Active individuals on keto can typically consume more carbohydrate and remain in ketosis than those who are inactive.
To get an accurate idea of what your carbohydrate threshold is, it may be worth purchasing a ketone monitor, or simply going by the way your body feels. There is a noticeable difference when you’re in ketosis versus out.
How to Store Cheesecake:
Store the cheesecake in a sealable container in your refrigerator, or in the freezer. If you choose to freeze the cheesecake, I recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap, then placing it in a zip lock bag to ensure it keeps longer.
More Keto Dessert Recipes:
- Keto Chocolate Pie
- Dairy-Free Keto Coffee Cake
- Keto Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Low-Carb Chocolate Fudge
- Dairy-Free Keto Pecan Pie
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 5 Tbsp coconut oil (+ more if needed)
- ¼ cup sugar-free confectioners sugar
- Pinch sea salt
- 3 cups raw cashews
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 ⅓ cups full fat canned coconut milk
- ⅔ cup sugar-free confectioners sugar (or more to taste)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Place the raw cashews in a bowl and fill with water (2 inches above the line of cashews) so that they’re completely covered. Soak overnight (at least 8 hours).
2. Add the ingredients for the cheesecake crust to a food processor and process until completely combined and the nuts are chopped into tiny pieces. You may need to add 1 to 3 additional tablespoons of coconut oil depending on the consistency of the crust - you want it to press together easily like a dough but not be overly oily.
3. Line a 8-inch or 9-inch springform pie pan with parchment paper and transfer the crust mixture to it. Use your hands to press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer.
4. Drain and rinse the cashews then transfer them to a high-powered blender (they can be moist - they don’t need to be completely dry). Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling to the blender and blend until completely smooth.
5. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and smooth into an even layer. Transfer the cheesecake to your freezer and freeze at least 2 hours, until completely set up.
6. When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, allow it to thaw a few minutes (up to 20 minutes if the cheesecake has been frozen for a long time), then slice using a sharp knife and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 slices Serving Size: 1 of 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 38gCarbohydrates: 16gNet Carbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gSugar Alcohols: 5gProtein: 9g