With a perfect balance of a crunchy, buttery crust, and a sweet, fruity, creamy filling, this easy Vegan Cherry Cheesecake recipe is a real crowd-pleaser. My quick and simple recipe for cherry cream cheese pie uses just 8 easy-to-find ingredients like canned cherry pie filling and can easily be made as a no-bake dessert, so it’s the perfect option all year round.
When I was little, my mom used to make a cherry cream cheese pie for the holidays, so when I hosted everyone for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to try my hand at vegan-izing it. Let me preface this by saying the majority of my family is decidedly NOT plant-based, so I was concerned about how it would go over.
As it turns out, it was a wild success! Everyone said my updated cherry cheese pie was the star of the show, so much so that Mom asked me to make it again for Christmas. For a group of proud omnivores to love this purely plant-based dessert so much that they requested seconds? I’ll call that a serious win. 🥳
This sneakily vegan canned cherry pie recipe requires just 8 easy-to-find ingredients, so you know it’s a simple one. Here’s what you need:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs - You can cut down on prep by buying your grahams in crumb form in the baking aisle, or use your food processor or a zip-top gallon bag and a rolling pin or mallet to crunch them up yourself.
- Granulated Sugar - Plain, white sugar has a neutral flavor that lets the other flavors of this cherry cheesecake pie shine through. Feel free to swap in less-processed varieties like organic cane sugar or coconut sugar if you prefer. The Wholesome brand is one of my favorites because it is vegan and can be found at a lot of grocery stores.
- Vegan Butter - For all the buttery flavor in your crust while avoiding any animal products. I happen to like Miyoko’s and Earth Balance, but feel free to use whichever brand you prefer.
- Vegan Cream Cheese - Not sure where to start? I wrote a post about all my favorite vegan cream cheese brands to help you navigate the refrigerated section with confidence.
- Plant-Based Condensed Milk - It’s usually easy to find Let's Do... Organic brand at most grocery stores or on Amazon, but any coconut milk or oat milk-based brand will do. You’re also welcome to make your own!
- Lemon Juice - This is for the acidity and helping the filling firm up, so if you want to use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh, you totally can!
- Vanilla Extract - You can also use an equal amount of vanilla paste or powder, or use half as much ground vanilla bean. For a slightly different take, consider using almond extract instead.
- Canned Cherry Pie Filling - This easy store-bought shortcut adds tons of cherry flavor without any fuss. Of course, you’re welcome to make it from scratch if you prefer.
Pro Tips for Vegan Cherry Cheesecake Pie
- Let the crust cool completely before filling it. To speed up the process, use your fridge or freezer!
- Or, make life easier and opt for a store-bought graham cracker crust to make this a vegan no-bake cheesecake. Not only will it save you time, but will also cut your ingredient list down to just 6 items!
- Give the cherry cheesecake filling time to set up properly. At a minimum, it will need 4-6 hours. I suggest making it the day before you plan on serving it just in case your fridge needs a little extra time. 😉
- If you prefer more of a cheesecake texture, freeze the cheesecake overnight then thaw for about 30 minutes before serving. If you prefer more of a cream pie texture, allow the pie to set for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator, then serve immediately.
Why is my cherry cream cheese pie runny? Oooops! Sounds like you didn’t give the filling enough time to set up in the fridge. Since the egg-free cheesecake filling doesn’t get baked, it relies entirely on chilling to help it achieve the proper consistency. Pop it back in the fridge for another few hours and it should be perfect.
Are store-bought graham cracker crusts vegan? I always recommend you check your labels when buying prepared foods, but most of the crusts I’ve encountered are indeed vegan.
How To Make Vegan Cherry Cheesecake
Make the Crust
- If you buy a pre-made graham cracker crust, you can skip this step, and it becomes a no-bake recipe! If you want to make a homemade graham cracker crust, preheat your oven to 350°F. Crush the graham crackers either in a reusable baggie with the bottom of a glass or in a food processor.
- Stir together the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish, and press it firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Be careful not to press too hard, or the crust will be too hard. You want to press it enough so that the mixture isn't crumbly. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, and allow it to cool completely before adding the filling.
Make and Set the Filling
- With a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the condensed coconut milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, and beat again until well combined.
- Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust.
- If you prefer more of a cheesecake texture, freeze the cheesecake overnight. When ready to serve, pour the cherry pie filling overtop and allow the cheesecake to thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving. If you prefer more of a cream pie texture, allow the filling to set for at least 4-6 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour the cherry pie filling over top and refrigerate for 10 more minutes until chilled. Then, slice, serve, and enjoy!
While I love this vegan cherry pie with cream cheese recipe just the way it is, there is plenty of room for you to make customizations. Here are a few options to consider:
- Change The Crust Flavor - Feel free to use pretzels, chocolate wafer cookies, gingersnaps, or vanilla wafers in place of graham crackers.
- Make It No-Bake - Use a store-bought crust to eliminate the need to bake anything. This is particularly helpful during hot summers!
- Gluten-Free - Opt for gluten-free graham crackers or a GF store-bought crust to make this a gluten-free dairy-free cheesecake.
- Cherry Cheesecake Dip - Alternatively, eliminate the crust altogether and serve the filling as a tasty dip with your choice of dippers like pretzels, cookies, graham crackers, and fresh fruit.
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Cherry Cheese Pie Recipe
If you’re a fan of cheesecake and cherries, you’re going to LOVE this super simple vegan cherry cheesecake pie. Aside from having all the hallmark flavors of both cherry pie and cheesecake mashed into one delectable dessert, this foolproof recipe is also:
- Quick & Easy - All you need is about 15 minutes of active time to make it, even less if you opt to use a ready-made crust.
- Made With Only 8 Ingredients (Only 6 If You Use A Store-Bought Crust!) - I love uncomplicated recipes, don’t you?
- Crowd-Pleasing - Like I said earlier, my proudly omnivorous family gobbled this up and asked me to make it again, so even non-vegans will love it.
- Sweet & Creamy - It’s basically a cherry cloud on a graham cracker crust. What’s not to love?
Let me know if you try out this vegan cherry cheesecake, and if you do, I would love it if you left a rating and review below! Make sure you also follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more food inspiration.
More vegan dessert recipes:
- Chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats
- Peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies
- Nutella stuffed cookies
- Chai cupcakes
- Oreo Truffles
- Apple Galette
- Millionaire Shortbread Bars
- Funfetti Protein Bites
- Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts
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