I’m sharing this luxuriously silky, crazy delicious, and easy vegan cheesecake with you all today. And it’s extra delicious because of the source of its lovely lavender hue, purple sweet potatoes! They’re roasted to caramelize the natural sugars within, and then pureed with the other delicious vegan cheesecake filling ingredients like cashews, maple syrup, vegan cream cheese, vegan yogurt, cinnamon, and vanilla to create the ACTUAL best cheesecake I’ve ever had. Yep, both vegan and non-vegan. This is by far the winner.
The sweet potatoes add another level of creaminess to the cheesecake, and they contrast perfectly with the slightly salty pecan crust. I love that in every bite you get the silky smooth filling, plus a wonderful nutty crunch! The recipe itself is super easy to make, there’s just a good amount of resting time involved for hands-off activities. Like making sure to soak the cashews overnight, and letting the cheesecake firm up in the fridge before slicing, for example. Make sure to read through the recipe before you begin so you have an idea of when it will be ready to serve, especially if you’re making this for a special occasion.
Since it’s cheesecake, it keeps very well in the fridge so you can definitely make it a couple days ahead of when you plan on serving it. Although, I can’t promise you won’t be tempted to eat it all before your serving date after you smell it post-baking! Just imagine the scent of maple and roasted sweet potatoes combining with toasted pecans and slightly sweet cheesecake to create the ultimate tempting dessert smell. It’s so hard to wait the few hours for it to firm up in the fridge, guys. But you can do it! I did it (barely). (But still).
I always end up feeling kind of gross after eating regular baked cheesecake, but this leaves me feeling elated (because of the tastiness) and pleasantly full. This vegan cheesecake is also dairy free and gluten free, which makes it perfect for bringing to events with mixed dietary restrictions. Almost everyone (except those with nut allergies) can partake and revel in its majesty! If you want more vegan recipe ideas for cooking for restricted diets, you can take a look here.
There are a couple things I want to make note of with this baked cheesecake, right quick. First, I like using a bain marie in the oven to help keep the cheesecake moist and prevent cracks from forming. This just means having a pan of water in the oven on a separate rack while the cheesecake is baking. Second, I always line both the bottom and the sides of my springform pan with parchment paper. The last thing you want is the sides of the cheesecake coming off because they’re stuck on the pan. All you have to do is cut a strip of parchment paper that’s as wide as the pan is deep, and then line the inside of the pan’s sides. All of this is outlined in the recipe below, but I wanted to mention it here for good measure.
Easy Vegan Cheesecake with Sweet Potatoes
This baked vegan cheesecake is extra creamy, rich, and the most beautiful shade of lavender due to the purple sweet potatoes that add another silky and sweet element to the dish. This creamy interior contrasts perfectly with the salty and crunchy pecan crust that lines the bottom of each slice. It's the perfect dairy free, gluten free, and vegan sweet for your table!
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups pecans ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt
Easy Vegan Cheesecake
- 1 pound 3 ounces purple sweet potatoes
- 2 cups cashews soaked overnight
- 5 ounces coconut cream room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegan yogurt room temperature
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese such as Kite Hill, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios for garnish
For the pecan crust, grease a springform pan that's 8 inches in diameter and at least 2-1/2 inches deep with coconut oil. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and cut a 2-1/2 inch wide strip of parchment paper to line the sides of the springform pan with, as well. Set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the coconut oil and sugar at medium low speed until smooth. Add the pecans, cinnamon, and salt and reduce speed to low, mixing until just combined. Evenly distribute the mixture across the bottom of the springform pan, patting it into place to create a firm and even layer with your fingertips.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce them all over with a fork. Place them in the oven and roast until tender when poked with a fork, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough you're able to handle them comfortably, then remove the skin and discard it. Chop the sweet potato into roughly 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Move one of the racks to the lowest rack possible, and fill a medium-sized pot 3-inches deep with water and place it on the bottom rack. This will create a steam bath in the oven and help the cheesecake cook evenly and help prevent cracking.
- Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soaking liquid. In a blender or food processor, blend together the cashews and coconut cream until smooth and creamy. Add the cooked peeled sweet potato, vegan cream cheese, vegan yogurt, and maple syrup and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture into the springform pan, tapping the filled pan on the counter gently to help release any air bubbles and to smooth out the surface of the cheesecake. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake until the sides are set but the center is slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open, allowing the cheesecake to cool to room temperature in the oven over a period of two to three hours.
Place the cheesecake in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Run a small butter knife between the parchment paper and the sides of the springform pan to loosen any hardened coconut oil. Release the sides of the springform pan and remove it, then peel away the parchment paper from the sides of the cheesecake. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios around the edges of the cheesecake. Slice and serve immediately.
- If there are any cracks, feel free to decorate the top with fresh berries or edible flowers to add some extra natural beauty to the cake. It's a win win!