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If I had to choose my favorite dessert, it would be a tie between cheesecake and ice cream.
Heck. Why not just have both?!
Sadly, when I said bye-bye to dairy several years ago, I also said bye-bye to cheesecake.
What a sad, sad day. 🙁
Now, don’t get me wrong.
There are TONS of dairy-free cheesecake recipes out there. A simple Google search will give you thousands of suggestions.
But the one thing that drove me crazy about all of those recipes is that they are all made using a nut base for the “cheese” part.
I like nuts, but that is just too dang much, especially if you are following any sort of gut-healing diet or the autoimmune protocol.
While I have successfully reintroduced nuts and seeds into my diet, I still keep my consumption to a minimum, just because it’s easy for me to get carried away and eat far too many. A few here and there is fine, but a slice of cheesecake made with macadamia nuts or cashews is just too much for me to handle.
So, that is how this recipe came about.
I knew there had to be a way to get a cheesecakey dessert without having to use nuts in my crust or as the base for the filling.
And so my vanilla bean faux cheesecake was born.
100% gluten, grain, dairy, egg, and nut free.
The splash of fresh lemon juice and zest gives it that slight tang of cream cheese. While it’s not going to taste exactly like your favorite cheesecake, it’s a pretty darn good substitute!
If you’re on a restricted diet, enjoy!
I used Norm’s Farms Elderberry Jam as the topping on this, but you could use any other jam or jelly of your choice. Fresh fruit would also be amazing, as would a fruit puree or sauce. Feel free to experiment with what you have on hand.
Coupons for Vanilla Bean Faux Cheesecake Ingredients
I am always asked about my favorite ingredients and what I use in my own kitchen. I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally use and recommend. And now, here are the special coupon offers that select affiliate partners are currently offering:
- Thrive Market: If you sign up through this link, you will get 15% OFF your first order.
- Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Thrive Market has better deals. If you like saving money, it’s good to shop around! 🙂
Important Note On Gelatin Types
When it comes to gelatin, you don’t want any old gelatin off the supermarket shelves. You want to look for 100% grass-fed gelatin from healthy animals. Just like other animal products, quality is important. I discuss this in detail in this post, The Scoop on Gelatin Brands.
That is why I recommend Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Gelatin products and Perfect Supplements products exclusively. I have compared these brand with other brands on the market and the quality far surpasses anything else I’ve tried. I am thrilled to be one of their affiliate partners and support such great products and companies.
Perfect Supplements offers a grass-fed hydrolyzed collagen (cold-soluble) and a gelatin (hot-soluble). Read my review of their product here or watch the video below. You can order their own products via their own site here or on Amazon here.
Vanilla Bean Faux Cheesecake :: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
The splash of fresh lemon juice and zest gives it that slight tang of cream cheese. While it's not going to taste exactly like your favorite cheesecake, it's a pretty darn good substitute!
- 1 cup coconut butter (aka coconut manna or coconut cream concentrate - please see note below)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. orange extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. liquid stevia
- 6 cups full-fat coconut cream or milk
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. liquid stevia
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract or 1 tsp. vanilla bean powder
- 1/4 tsp. orange extract
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 4 tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Warm your coconut butter over low heat until smooth and liquidy.
- Place in a small mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix all the ingredients together until combined.
- Press dough into your springform pan, pie pan, or other baking dish until it covers the bottom.
- Bake for 10-15 min or until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool to room temp while you make the filling.
- Combine all ingredients except gelatin in a saucepan.
- Heat over low heat until slightly warm.
- Slowly sprinkle the gelatin in while whisking vigorously.
- Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a bowl.
- Place in the fridge to chill for one hour.
- Once chilled, pour the mixture into room temperature crust and chill completely. You can also freeze this if you're making it ahead of time.
- Top with your favorite jam or fresh fruit.
1. I made this with a 9" springform pan with a VERY tight seal. If you question whether your pan will seal enough to prevent the mixture from leaking, I recommend making this in a normal pie pan (maybe reduce the recipe by 1/4 - 1/3 depending on the size of your pie pan). You could also use any type of glass baking dish and make cheesecake bars.
2. Because I get so many questions on this, coconut butter, coconut cream concentrate, coconut manna, and creamed coconut are all the same thing. The terms are used interchangeably to refer to dried coconut meat that has been ground into a super fine consistency, much like a nut butter. It is NOT the same thing as coconut milk or coconut cream (which is just thick coconut milk). Please read this post for more info.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Artisana Organics Non GMO Raw Coconut Butter, 14 oz
Anthony's Organic Shredded Coconut
Anthony's Organic Coconut Flour, 4lbs, Batch Tested Gluten Free, Non GMO, Vegan, Keto Friendly
Nutiva Organic, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined, Virgin Coconut Oil
Aroy-D 100% Pure Coconut Cream
Perfect Bovine Gelatin - Sourced EXCLUSIVELY From Brazilian Grass Pastured (Grass Fed) Cows
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 547Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 54mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 8g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered from Nutritionix and we often find their calculations to be slightly inaccurate based on the whole food ingredients we use on this site. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on many factors. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible, but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Want Even More Gelatin Goodness?
Health Benefits and Gelatin Info
- Get the real scoop on gelatin brands here.
- Learn how to use gelatin for an egg replacement here.
- Find out the amazing health benefits of gelatin here.
Gelatin Recipes (Gluten-Free)
- My real food boards on Pinterest.
- Strawberry Mint Lemonade Gummies
- Melon Gummies
- Elderberry Gummies with Ginger and Turmeric
- Honey Orange Fruit Snacks
- Strawberry Clouds Dessert
- Vanilla Bean Faux Cheesecake
- Clean and Healthy Homemade Marshmallows
- Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Pumpkin Brownies
- Pumpkin Scones
- Double Dark Chocolate Coconut Milk Pudding
- Coconut Tulsi (Holy Basil) Ice Cream
- Strawberries & Cream Tart
- Creamy Coconut Milk Yogurt (no yogurt maker required)
The Gelatin Secret
For further reading, my friend Sylvie’s book, The Gelatin Secret (affiliate link), is by far the best book out there on the subject.
Gelatin is the superfood that can give you relief from digestive disorders and thousands of people are finding that regular consumption is helping them heal their bodies and live a healthier life.
I feel as if this recipe is deceptive in its title. While you are in the right saying that it is gluten, dairy, and egg free… CocoNUTs are a tree nut, to which many are allergic to. Most “nuts” are tree nuts, the only “nut” which is not a tree nut, is a peanut… Which is actually not a nut at all, it is a legume, like soy. Which is a good reason, if you have peanut allergies, to avoid soy products as well.
Actually, coconut is NOT a tree nut. Coconut is a member of the palm family, which is not related to nuts or peanuts (legumes). Coconuts are technically a fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The FDA confused everyone a couple of years back by adding coconut to the list of tree nut allergens, however, it is not technically a tree nut. Hopefully that clears up your confusion!
o my goodness heaven has just arrived with a beautiful cheesecake thank you
haha! Thank you Carol! I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Yay! I have been waiting for someone to come out with a dairy-free cheesecake that doesn’t have cashews in it! 🙂 Can’t wait to try it!
I hope you enjoy Raia! 🙂
Love it! A cashew free cheesecake… I can indulge in coconut everything! Its the best!
Awesome! Hope you enjoy! 🙂
Cheesecake and ice cream are my favourite foods too!! I miss them, without dairy, but can’t wait to try this!
Hope you enjoy Naomi! 🙂
This sounds so good, but I’m on the GAPS diet and cannot have stevia. What would be the equivalent amount of honey in place of the stevia? Thanks!
Hi Gail – I am not sure, as I have not made it with honey before. I would try 1-2 tbsp. and see how that tastes. You could always add a touch more if needed. Hope you enjoy!
WOW! I am with Raia — I’ve been wishing for a dairy-free, cashew-free “cheese”cake recipe. I can’t wait to make this one! Amazing job, and gorgeous photos, too 🙂
Hey Amanda! Thanks! I hope you enjoy! 🙂
can you omit the honey in the filling?
Hi Tara – You could leave the honey out, but you will need to increase the stevia (or use another sweetener of your choice). Hope you enjoy! 🙂
This looks devine! I’m with you; cashew based cheese cakes just don’t do it for me. Coconut Cream is a non-diary miracle!
Thanks Lisa! Hope you enjoy! 🙂
I just made this for a birthday cake, and it was a big hit, even with dairy/gluten eaters, babies, and Paleo skeptics. I made it in cupcake liners for single servings. Might have wanted a touch more salt in the crust and filling, as it was slightly bland. I used only honey in the filling and skipped the stevia. Also, remember that you have at least 2 hours chill time in addition to the prep time listed in the recipe. This is a great idea and could be made in so many interesting variations (ginger cardamom, chocolate peanutbutter, key lime).
Hi Anna – Thanks for the feedback! I’ll have to remake it and see if I need to make some adjustments to the salt. Great catch on the prep time. I thought I added that in there, but I guess I did not. I’ll make sure to update that! 🙂
This looks delicious! However I can’t have coconuts either! Is there any substitution for the coconut products in this recipe?
Hi Caleb – Unfortunately no. This recipe was developed using the specific ingredients above. You’re more than welcome to experiment with some different ingredients, but I can’t attest to how well it will turn out! Cheers!
Hi I’m new to all this gelatine info so help needed please. I clicked on your order site you get yours from, but what’s the difference twix peptides and protein ones for baking. many thanks.and grass fed beef isn’t something we see in Scottish supermarkets so do I have to order all the way from America?
Hi Madeleine – I use the green top gelatin (the collagen protein) for this recipe. The other one (blue top) is cold soluble and won’t gel like you need for this recipe. The green top will be used for things like jell-o, gummies, etc. The blue top is used for things like smoothies because it doesn’t clump up on cold liquids. It’s a great way to get some added protein and amino acids into your diet. As far as ordering, I’m not sure what would be available in the UK that is grass-fed. I’m only familiar with Vital Proteins and Great Lakes gelatin here in the States (both are 100% grass-fed). There may be something comparable in the UK or Europe. Maybe check Google or Amazon?
Sorry should have read more carefully got it now. Also thanks for enlightenment as I thought coconut was a type of nut.
Hi Madeleine – My pleasure! The FDA really confused people about 8 years ago when they added coconuts to the tree nut list. You’re definitely not alone in thinking that! 🙂
I am dairy intollerant so trying to find dairy free recipes that taste good has been a struggle. I tried a cheesecake recipe made from cashew “cream cheese”. It was ok, but I wouldn’t have made it again. Now THIS recipe sounds awesome! I will have to give it a try soon!!
Hope you enjoy Rachael! I really miss good old fashioned cheesecake made with cream cheese. There’s nothing like it, but if I have to eat a dairy-free substitute, this is the next best thing! 🙂
How thick is this cheesecake with your 9 inch pan, not including the strawberries?
Hi Abigail – It has been a while since I’ve made it, but if I remember correctly, it’s probably 2 inches thick, maybe a tad more. Hope that helps! 🙂
Oops, I mean blueberries!
I made this last night and the cheesecake turned out great. I used 1/2 a tsp over-ripe banana instead of stevia in the cake and it turned out well. Not overly sweet and a bit more pana cotta than cheesecake but so delicious (and free of all the no nos in my life. Hooray!).
I do have a question on the crust. Mine seems flatter than your picture. Do you really mean 1 cup of the “butter” and 1/4 c flour? Or is that suppose to be reversed? The crust is yummy with the extracts but just more butter than substance. Thanks!
Hi Kate! So glad you guys liked it! Great idea with the banana! I may try that next time I make this! 🙂 Yes, the crust recipe is correct. The coconut butter is just pureed coconut meat, so it technically it’s like it already has coconut flour in it. The extra coconut flour is just to help absorb some of the oil and moisture from the coconut butter. I’m wondering if there was a difference in the size of the pan used? Mine was a 9″ springform pan. I’ve made this recipe a gazillion times and the crust always turns out great. It sounds like it still turned out well for you, even if the crust seems flatter than this one. 🙂
Should the oil separate to the top? My filling is sitting in the fridge two plus hours and it all separated and has not thickened. I used grass fed gelatin, not collagen. There is also a middle layer and bottom layer (it’s in a glass plan).
Hi Nor – No, that should definitely not happen. I’ve never had it separate and I’ve made this recipe a bunch. This recipe calls for gelatin, not collagen as you need it to gel, so you’re good there. Collagen doesn’t gel. Maybe try throwing the mixture in a blender or a mixer to recombine?
I see you used grass fed gelatin, I feel like this is a duh question but is there a difference between store bought gelatin and grass fed? If it says grass fed, it’s the same thing?
Hi Jenn! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, there is a difference between your regular store bought brands and grass-fed. I talk about all of that in this post: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2014/12/gelatin-brands/. Hope that helps! 🙂
Ours seperated. We have 4 very distinct layers: crust, a gelled liquid (coconut water) a creamy pudding, and a thick fat layer. 1 cup of coconut oil solidified on top is quite a lot of fat to bite through! and I like coconut oil. We felt like that seemed like too much oil, and, it is. Oil and and water wont mix unless blended to an emulsion. Simply heating it in a pan won’t make that happen. This is why the layers happen.
The flavor is quite bland. We have been doing the AIP diet so we are not used to sweet or salty and still this has very little flavor other than the coconut with a mild citrus flavor.
Sorry to give this a bad review. It has potential but perhaps needs some more testing.
Hi Brooke! So sorry the recipe didn’t turn out for you! I am perplexed as to why. I’ve made this recipe SO many times and it works well every time I make it. It’s always my go-to for special occasions and it’s a big hit whenever I bring it. I’m sorry you guys didn’t like it!
I’m glad I found your blog! My daughter has multiple food allergies, and eggs give her the most severe reaction. I was hoping to make her a pie for her birthday when I discovered recipes subbing gelatin for eggs to hold the shape. Only trouble is: she also has a beef allergy of all things (I know, right??) so what would you use if you couldn’t do bovine gelatin? I know Great Lakes has porcine gelatin, and I saw that Vital Proteins has a fish-based one (for like a million dollars). I did see one fish gelatin from some other company but it was sourced from farm-raised tilapia (yuck). Any hunch which would work better for this recipe? Do you know of any quality gelatin produced from any other animals besides what I’ve found? Does anyone make, like, chicken gelatin maybe?
Hi Ash! The only clean porcine version I know of is the Great Lakes brand. The fish one from Vital Proteins is not a gelatin is a collagen, not a gelatin, meaning it won’t gel or set up like you need for this recipe. You want to make sure you use gelatin only for this recipe or else you’ll end up with soup. 🙂 I am not aware of a chicken gelatin, but I am going to add that to my list to research. I will report back if I find anything! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Hello, my daughters are unable to eat oranges would another extract due as a substitute?
Hi Brittney! You could just leave it out and use extra vanilla. Or you could use another citrus extract of your choice. Either way would be delicious! Enjoy!
I would love to make something like this for my daughter, but besides having to be dairy free, gluten free, she also is citrus free. Is there anything that I can substitute for the lemon?
Hi Lynne! I’m so sorry for the delay. I am really far behind on answering blog comments. In regards to the lemon, you could just leave it out. It adds that little bit of tartness that is present in cream cheese, but it would still be delicious without it. Hope you enjoy! 🙂
Have you tried freezing a whole cheesecake for use a couple weeks later?
Hi Angie – I have not. I would be concerned that it might not hold up well as freezing does weird things to gelatin. I’ve tried freezing gummies before and that does not work as they melt/get overly mushy when thawed.