Cheesecake is my favorite dessert in the whole world (right next to ice cream, of course). For my birthdays, I’d go to Outback Steakhouse just for my free slice of cheesecake with strawberry sauce. Since being vegan, it has been a bit of a struggle finding really good cheesecake. I never thought of trying to make one, because it’s intimidating. And I assumed it’d be expensive to shell out all that money on the vegan cream cheese alone.
Boy, was I missing out! Not only is it actually pretty simple to make a really delicious vegan cheesecake, but it was also very budget-friendly. It was basically a one-bowl recipe. Unfortunately, vegan cream cheese can be six times more expensive than traditional dairy cream cheese. I understand that it takes time and popularity for certain products to reduce the price, but I couldn’t justify spending $25 to test out a cheesecake!
Thankfully, Trader Joe’s offers more affordable products, including vegan cream cheese (not sponsored, but I’m available)! They sell 8-ounce containers for about $3.50 — half the price of other vegan cream cheese brands. Because of this, I felt like I could justify buying more than one pack. I’m really pleased with the consistency this cream cheese had in the finished product. It was smooth, creamy, and baked perfectly.
Of course, because it’s ~fall~, pretty much every recipe I set out to make right now has to have a fun, autumn twist like my spiced lava cakes. So, this is no regular cheesecake. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin (I know, I know), and warm apples aren’t exactly something that gets me pumped for the season (I’m sorry). But chai. Warm, spicy, subtle chai is more my style. That’s why for this cheesecake, I wanted to pair chai with some rich dark chocolate…..My mind.
At first, I wasn’t even sure chai and dark chocolate would taste good together. But I didn’t ponder over that for too long, because it started to sound amazing to me! Even better, on one of my random Target runs, I found some dark chocolate Oreos. Perfect, right? At first, I was going to add dark chocolate ganache on top and some dark cocoa powder to the crust, but I’m so glad I didn’t. These Oreos were great! The dark chocolate creme filling had such a nice, chocolate flavor that wasn’t very overwhelming.
The combination just worked, and the ingredients are so easy to find! In my recipe notes, I put some alterations or substitutions that might be simpler and more accessible, too. But dark chocolate and chai — I absolutely have to try making more things with these flavors. Maybe even making cheesecake bites using this recipe…Yum!
I’m very very happy with this recipe. I can’t imagine a better first-time cheesecake than this! Usually, I only try a little bit of what I make, but I couldn’t help myself with this one. Having a nice big slice of this cheesecake with a hot cup of chai (or coffee) made for a perfect evening. And now that I know how to make a really lovely vegan cheesecake, I’m definitely going to try a bunch of other flavors. If pumpkin and apple aren’t your faves, I highly recommend this cheesecake!
Dark Chocolate Chai Cheesecake Recipe
Dark Chocolate Chai Cheesecake
Dark Chocolate Crust
- 4 tbsp melted vegan butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 25 dark chocolate Oreos, crushed (about 3 cups)
- 32 oz vegan cream cheese
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp chai spices from tea bags (about 5-6 bags)
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a springform pan with parchment paper and grease each side
- Combine crushed Oreos with melted butter and sugar. Press firmly into the bottom of the pan, forming an even layer. Set aside
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until everything is evenly incorporated
- Pour the filling over the crust and spread the filling with a rubber spatula until even
- Bake for 50 min, then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for 10 more minutes
- Remove the cheesecake and let it cool for about 20 minutes
- Cool in the fridge overnight, and serve. Enjoy!
- If you can’t find dark chocolate Oreos, you can do any chocolate-flavored cookie or graham cracker — just double check to make sure any ingredients are vegan-friendly. Another alternative is adding dark cocoa powder to regular graham cracker crumbs — mix thoroughly, then the butter should help bind everything.
- I already had bags of chai at home, and my grocery store didn’t have actual chai spice, so I’m not too sure how much more/less potent chai spice is. If using that, and it is much stronger, start with 1 teaspoon and taste the filling. Go from there!
- I used Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese, and the consistency and flavor was so perfect! I’ve heard Daiya doesn’t work well in vegan cheesecakes, and Miyoko’s is okay. But I still prefer the TJ brand, in flavor and price!