How could a dessert with the word “cheese” in it, possibly be dairy free? I know, it seems counter intuitive.  But, seeing as how cheesecake is always the birthday dessert I want each year, I wanted to try making it {dairy free} so that I could actually eat said favorite birthday dessert.

 

Honestly, it wasn’t hard.  And, it was really good.  Some of my dairy-loving friends told me they couldn’t even tell it was dairy free {or gasp…gluten free..i am not even sure they knew!}

So, all you dairy free eaters, breath a sigh of relief. Cheesecake is here to stay.

Recipe: Dairy Free Chocolate Cheesecake {Gluten Free}

{PRINT RECIPE}

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate cookies {I used a package of Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. Remove the cream frosting, then crush them. Or, you could also use chocolate animal cookies.}
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance {Dairy Free, Gluten Free}
  • 1/4 cup Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli Semi Sweet)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages Vegan cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli Semi Sweet)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

To Make Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the melted Earth Balance. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325º
To Make Filling:
  1. Warm the coconut milk in the microwave. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir until melted. {reheat mixture slightly if not completely melted}
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, mixing well.
  4. Add the eggs and beat until just blended.
  5. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and the melted chocolate mixture.
  6. Pour this filling mixture into the baked cookie crust.
  7. Bake at 325º for 45 to 50 minutes,  until center is just set.
  8. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven to cool.  {DO NOT FORGET IT IN THERE! that is a horribly sad mistake I have made…..)
To Make Topping:
  1. In a bowl, heat 1/4 cup coconut milk and the vanilla in the microwave until very warm.
  2. Pour the chocolate chips into the mixture and mix until melted.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the cheesecake.  {I even spread some around the sides of my cheesecake}
  4. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Wait at least 30mins for the chocolate to harden.

NOTE: To make this a Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake:

  1. Instead of vanilla extract,  use raspberry extract (in both the cheesecake and the chocolate topping).
  2. After you pour the chocolate sauce over top of the cheesecake, gently place raspberries on top.
  3. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Wait at least 30mins for chocolate to harden.

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*Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Scharffen Berger.