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No Bake Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

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Our perfectly sweet and tart No Bake Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake is a great dessert for spring holidays! It’s also gluten free, soy free, and vegan.

photo collage with text showing different views of dairy free lemon cheesecake.

Even though spring is in full swing on the calendar, we just got a ton of snow yesterday and today. But in spite of the cold weather hanging on, we’re still looking forward to fun spring gatherings for Easter and Mother’s Day.

To celebrate spring holidays and add a bright and fruity cheesecake to our collection, I made a delicious and simple No Bake Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake that’s also gluten free and vegan!

We took some new photos of our lemon cheesecake recently and included them in the post!

slice of dairy free gluten free lemon cheesecake with a bite taken

What’s great about all of our cheesecake recipes is that they are made without cashews or other nuts, so they are allergy friendly if your family or friends have nut allergies! Just check the labels on your chosen ingredients (coconuts are not technically tree nuts, but check with your allergist if you’re unsure if you should have coconut).

How to make our vegan lemon cheesecake

When mixing up your lemon cheesecake filling, make sure you soften the non-dairy cream cheese with a hand mixer first before adding anything else to it. The ensures that everything will mix up smoothly and not have any lumps in it.

Then you’ll beat in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and the other ingredients. If you add the lemon juice right away to the un-softened dairy free cream cheese, it will be a bit harder to mix and look lumpy at first.

overhead photo of dairy free lemon cheesecake garnished with berries.
We took some new photos of our cheesecake recently and added them to the post!

To add a nice yellow color to this lemon cheesecake, we added some natural food color powder from McCormick, but that’s completely optional. You don’t have to make this yellow if you prefer to keep it white. The McCormick natural yellow color I used has a slightly green tint to it, so it won’t look quite like an artificially colored lemon cheesecake.

How do I make a cookie crust for cheesecake?

We use the Mi-Del gluten free graham-style pre-made crust in a lot of our cheesecakes since it’s super easy to use and it’s yummy, but you can always make your own gluten free cookie crust for this cheesecake using Kinnitoos vanilla sandwich cookies.

pretty slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate with a fork

We show how to make a sandwich cookie crust in our Triple Chocolate Vegan Cheesecake recipe, all you’d need to do is replace the chocolate gluten free sandwich cookies with the vanilla Kinnitoos sandwich cookies for this recipe (unless you want chocolate and lemon together). It’s really easy to make and makes an awesome no-bake cheesecake crust!

Our video in this post shows how we make the gluten free and dairy free cookie crust for cheesecakes. We have also included instructions on the vanilla crust in our vanilla cheesecake post, it is the same process as the chocolate cookie crust.

You process the sandwich cookies in a food processor, mix with some melted coconut oil or melted Earth Balance Soy Free margarine, press it into a pie plate, then chill till set (check out the recipe I linked above for exact measurements).

close up photo of dairy free no bake lemon cheesecake in a glass pie pan.
We used Violife cream cheese in this particular cheesecake and it seems to result in a less firm cheesecake than the Daiya cream cheese.

If you can have gluten, you can try making a cookie crust with lemon Oreo cookies if you want a bit more lemon in your dairy free cheesecake!

Dairy free cream cheese and whipped cream options for our lemon no-bake cheesecake

We use Daiya cream cheese for all of our no-bake cheesecakes (made without cashews) because we can get it locally and it fits all of our allergies, but you can use another brand of non-dairy cream cheese that fits your diet.

I do find that this cheesecake is more firm when made with the Daiya cream cheese vs the Violife cream cheese. Violife tastes awesome, but seems to result in a less firm cheesecake in this particular recipe than the Daiya.

Most other brands of dairy free cream cheese should work great in this recipe, it might change the taste or texture slightly, but it won’t be noticeable. You can see some tips on replacing cream cheese in our article about how to replace dairy in recipes!

So Delicious CocoWhip is a coconut-based whipped topping alternative that is allergy friendly. If you can’t find CocoWhip in any stores, you can try ordering it online, or use a different brand of dairy free whipped cream.

Since I haven’t made this cheesecake with other brands of ingredients aside from the ones I listed, I’m not sure how other brands of whipped cream will turn out in this recipe. I don’t recommend using the dairy free Reddi-Wip canned whipped cream for this recipe since their whipped cream tends to deflate pretty quickly and won’t hold up as well as the CocoWhip will for cheesecake.

Coconut Reddi-Wip is great for adding to the top of desserts, but won’t hold up well in this actual recipe.

overhead photo of dairy free lemon cheesecake in a glass dish with berries on top.

Natural food color options

I recently discovered that the McCormick natural food color powder that I loved to use for my recipes was discontinued as of September 2022. I had noticed I couldn’t find it in any stores and I reached out to McCormick and they said they were no longer making it.

The McCormick natural colors were affordable and easy for me to get (our Walmart carried them), so I loved using them. Plus the color quality was pretty good. But since they are no longer making the natural colors, I’ll be on the lookout for new natural color options.

You can always leave this cheesecake white if you want and leave out the yellow color, but here are some options for food coloring (we haven’t tried these brands yet so I can’t give my opinion on how good they are):

  • Suncore superfood powders: these are in bigger bags and are going to be the most expensive option since they don’t come in small multi-packs like other colors do, but they have high ratings.
  • Watkins Assorted Food Coloring: this one has mostly good ratings and is affordable. I’m going to order some of this and give it a try. People have mentioned in reviews that you need quite a bit of the color, so I’ll see how it goes with these in recipes.
  • Color Kitchen From Nature Food Colors: this one looks promising but is a higher price than the McCormick powders and some of the other brands, but on the other hand less expensive than buying multiple bags of Suncore powders. They do make a smaller multipack that costs less, and you can buy individual color packets on Vitacost. These do say that they are made in a facility with wheat and nuts, so be aware of possible cross contamination and double check labels.
  • Whole Foods 365 natural food colors: not sure if this is actually available for purchase on Amazon, but this should be available in Whole Foods Markets.
  • King Arthur natural food colors set: this one has mixed reviews on how well the colors hold up with baking and in recipes.
  • Simple Truth Food Color (4 tube pack)
  • Chefmaster Natural Liqua-gel Food Coloring kit: the ratings on this are mixed for color quality, and it’s more expensive than some of the other brands.

Don’t forget to check the ingredients and cross contamination labels on these if you have multiple food allergies!

Check out our other no bake vegan cheesecakes made without cashews!

vegan lemon cheesecake slice on a black plate topped with raspberries

Kitchen tools you’ll need for this cheesecake recipe:

No Bake Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

Our perfectly sweet and tart No Bake Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake is a great dessert for spring holidays! It's also gluten free, soy free, and vegan.
Gluten free, dairy free, vegan; Free of: soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (except coconut)
4.73 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake made without cashews, dairy free lemon cheesecake, no bake vegan cheesecake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 314kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, beat the non-dairy cream cheese with a hand blender to soften it and make it smooth. Then add the powdered sugar, natural yellow food color, and the lemon zest. 
  • Then beat in the lemon juice and vanilla, mixing well so the cheesecake mixture is smooth.
  • Add 1/2 of the container of CocoWhip to the bowl and beat together with the cream cheese mixture until it’s smooth and mixed thoroughly, then fold in the remaining CocoWhip by hand with a spatula.
  • Spread the cheesecake mixture into the pre-made or homemade cookie crust, spreading out to make it smooth on top. 
  • Chill for 4 or more hours, until it is chilled and has firmed up. 
  • Serve topped with raspberries or strawberries and mint leaves for garnish. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

* So Delicious CocoWhip is a coconut-based dairy free and soy-free whipped cream

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg
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24 thoughts on “No Bake Dairy Free Lemon Cheesecake (Gluten Free)”

  1. the cream cheese you recommend gas pea protein in it and I get very bad stomach aches from that. I’m new to dairy free and need to go dairy free due to health reasons. is there another option that is also soy free?

    Reply
  2. Could I omit the lemon and zest ? (I love lemon, don’t get me wrong) I’m wanting to make just a no bake filling for a pie iron recipe.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Excellent vegan cheesecake. I’m a huge fan of everything lemon. My husband had no clue it was dairy free and loved it! The only surprise was the texture. I expected a thicker traditional cheesecake consistency but on hot summer nights this hits the spot wonderfully!

    Reply
  4. Hi, This is an excellent recipe. One question though, can we use dairy cream cheese and cool whip for those who consume dairy? Will it give same results ?

    Reply
  5. Thank you for this recipe, it worked perfectly for our needs. I used Kitehill almond cream cheese and vegan TruWhip and it turned out so well, so delicious!

    Reply
  6. Hi

    I’m in Uk so we don’t have coco whip here. I was thinking of replacing that with Elmlea double plant cream. Do you think that would still work?

    Alison

    Reply
    • Hi Alison! I’m not familiar with that brand or product, but if it is like a thick whipped cream, it should probably work fine in this recipe. Let me know how it works out for you, I’ve had a few other people ask about it on some of my other cheesecake recipes and if it works good, I’ll be sure to let them know 🙂

      Reply
  7. Looks delish and plan on this for my daughter in laws birthday. I did not find where it mentioned what size pan to put into. I will use a tart or springform pan. 9 inch?

    Reply
    • Hi Robin, I used a Mi-Del gluten free crumb crust for this recipe, and I think it’s an 8 inch crust, so I’d use an 8 inch tart pan or pie pan, but I’m not sure that a springform pan would work very well with this recipe (I haven’t tried my cheesecakes in a springform pan). I’ll add a note to the recipe with the size of the crust, thanks for pointing that out! 🙂

      Reply
  8. I’ll agree about the hand mixer. I did a stand mixer and I was just using a regular old paddle and the cream cheese turned out lumpy. I should have used the whisk mixer or tried in a different mixer. Yours looks so smooth!

    Reply
    • Thank you! I learned the hard way that a hand mixer is a must-have for working with cream cheese haha. The last batch of dairy free cream cheese glaze I made came out a little lumpy, I had to use an immersion blender to get it smooth again.

      Reply

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