This Easy Vegan Black Forest Cheesecake is a twist on the traditional Black Forest Cake you might know. It also combines chocolate and cherry flavours (such as our Vegan Chocolate Cherry Mousse) but in a more cheesecake like texture. It's eggless, nut-free and can easily be made gluten-free. It also only uses a minimal amount of oil.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It contains a lot of wholefood ingredients and is made without gelatine too!
- It combines a fruity cherry layer with some super creamy chocolate layer!
- It's super easy to make and doesn't require an oven!
How to Make This Black Forest Cheesecake
Start by preparing the crust first. Simply put all the ingredients needed into a food processor and blend until a sticky mass forms. This might take a couple of minutes. Make sure to regularly scrape down the sides of your food processor. Transfer the mix to a cake tin and press the crust into the tin using your fingers (also along the sides). Bake for about 12 minutes, then let cool completely.
Next prepare the cherry layer. Blend cherries, frozen strawberries and maple syrup until smooth. Then transfer mix to a saucepan.
Dissolve agar agar powder in water and add it to the mix. Bring to boil, let simmer for about 2 minutes and let cool for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, deseed the cherries that go onto the crust and spread them evently over the crust.
Next, pour the cherry/strawberry mix from the saucepan over the deseeded cherries. Put the cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set.
For the chocolate layer, heat a saucepan over low heat and add dark chocolate and coconut cream, while constantly stirring with a whisk. Once fully dissolved pour your chocolate cream mix over the cherry layer and place it in the fridge to set (about 4 hours or overnight).
Ingredients & Substitution Notes
- Sunflower Seeds (or sub almonds): In order to keep the crust of this Black Forest Cheesecake nut-free, I used sunflower seeds instead of almonds. They have a very specific flavour which I personally like very much, but is probably not for everyone. If you don't need this cake to be nut-free, you could use almonds instead.
- Maple syrup: If you don’t mind this recipe not being vegan, you could also use honey or any other liquid sweetener of your choice.
- Oats: In order to keep this cake gluten-free, use gluten-free oats instead.
- Agar Agar Powder: Please check notes below to find out more about how to cook with agar agar.
- Coconut Cream: Make sure to put your coconut milk in the fridge the evening/day before you want to make this recipe. Coconut milk, when put in the fridge, separates into two layers: a solid cream at the top and liquid water at the bottom. For this recipe to work, it is really important that you only use the white, solid part of the coconut milk. It only remains at the top of the tin if the milk is cool enough. Secondly, it is really important that your coconut milk is a full-fat milk and has a high content of coconut extract, otherwise there won’t be a lot of cream on top. I prefer using a coconut milk that contains 90% coconut extract, whereas I also tried using a 55% version and it didn’t work. It might take some time to find an appropriate brand but it’s absolutely worth it.
Agar agar is obtained from marine algae and a plant based alternative to gelatine. It can be used as a gelling agent in sweet as well as savory recipes. Agar Agar powder can be a great substitute in recipes that call for gelatine.
Since it's obtained from seaweed, it's vegan and therefore often used in a variety of vegan recipes that call for a thickening agent.
When I first started creating recipes with agar agar, I just couldn't figure out the right amount needed. It took me a while before I realised why: apparently different brands use a different percentage of agar agar powder in their products. While two brands might sell the product as "agar agar powder", one might contain 25% agar agar while the other one contains 100%. While both are equally good and fine to use-, it's just really important to check the label before you start using it and use more or less accordingly. In this recipe below, I use 100% agar agar powder.
Agar Agar needs to be dissolved in liquid, similar to gelatine. It needs to be activated by bringing it to a boil over medium heat and then simmering for about three to five minutes. In contrast to gelatine, it already thickens at room temperature.
A lot of health food stores sell agar agar powder and it's also widely available on Amazon. Make sure to shop for products that contain 100% agar agar powder.
Other No Bake Recipes You Might Like
- Silken Tofu Chocolate Cherry Mousse
- Double Chocolate Marzipan Tart
- Chocolate Salted Caramel Tarts
- Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake
Easy Vegan Black Forest Cheesecake
- 2 cups (270g) sunflower seeds *skip if nut-free is not necessary and replace with almonds
- ½ cup (60g) (*gluten free) oats *optional
- 2 tablespoon cacao powder
- 4 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 8 tablespoon maple syrup
- 250 g (8,8oz) fresh cherries, pitted
- 1 cup (160g) frozen strawberries
- ½ cup (115ml) maple syrup
- 120 g (4,2oz) fresh cherries, pitted
- ⅛ cup (30ml) water
- 1 ½ tsp (4g) agar agar powder
- ¾ cup (170g) coconut cream *see notes
- 100 g dark (vegan) chocolate
- Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F).
- Add sunflower seeds to a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until seeds start releasing their natural oils.
- Then add all the other curst ingredients and blend until a stick mass forms.
- Line a cake tin with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil and press crust into the tin using your fingers (also along the sides).
- Then bake for about min 12-15 min. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Put frozen strawberries, 250g (8,8 oz) cherries and maple syrup to a blender and blend until smooth.
- In the meantime, mix water and agar agar powder together, stir with a whisk until there’s no clumps left and the powder is fully dissolved.
- Put cherry mix from the blender to a saucepan. Add agar agar- water mix.
- Bring mixture to boil and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from the stoveand let cool off for 5 min.
- In the meantime, prepare the cherries for the middle layer.
- Deseed them, cut them into small pieces and spread them over the crust.
- Then pour cherry-strawberry mixture from the saucepan over deseeded cherries. Put in the fridge to set for about 20min.
- Heat a saucepan over low heat and add dark chocolate and coconut cream, while constantly stirring with a whisk.
- Once fully dissolved pour your chocolate cream mix over the cherry layer and place it in the fridge to set (about 4 hours or overnight).
- Agar Agar Powder: In this recipe below, I use 100% agar agar powder. It's important to know that different brands use a different percentage of agar agar powder in their products. While two brands might sell the product as "agar agar powder", one might contain 25% agar agar while the other one contains 100%. While both are equally good and fine to use- it's just really important to check the label before you start using it and use more or less accordingly.
- Coconut cream: It is really important that your coconut milk has a is a full-fat milk and has a high content (of coconut extract, otherwise there won’t be a lot of cream on top. I prefer using a coconut milk that contains 90% coconut extract, whereas I also tried using a 55% version and it didn’t work. How many coconut milk tins you need, in order to get 1 cup of coconut cream also depends on the coconut content of your milk. If the content is high, one milk is definitely enough.