I’m not sure which part to talk about first!
The No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe or the melon jelly on top?
Ok first of all, let me always admit when I am wrong.
Jelly Cakes, I was wrong about you, and now I am totally obsessed!
If you are like me and have already said “No” to the jelly cake
Please let me coerce you like I was coerced to at least give it a try!
I was definitely not trying to have any part of this newly trending 1970’s retro comeback of a Jell-O mold dessert!
Texture! Texture! Texture!
As I said in my previous recipe post for Jelly Cakes, “I can’t believe I love this!”
Well believe it because it’s a double winner when combined with my perfectly creamy No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake recipe!
Correction~ It’s a triple win because it is just so beautiful too!
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Notes for Success:
Although it is not 100% necessary, I like to use acetate cake strips for a no bake cake like this one, they ensure a clean and easy unmolding
Agar can be a tricky ingredient in No Bake Desserts such as this one.
A heavy hand ~ even a pinch too much~ can be the difference between delicious and rubbery inedible!
Pay attention to the strength of agar you are using, I typically use 900 strength in my recipes SPECIFICALLY THIS BRAND BY Landor Trading Co *not sponsored
Additionally the agar can be left out with no changes to the recipe, I’ve just gotten used to adding it to my no bake desserts!
Cornstarch is a very difficult ingredient to measure consistently with a volume/spoons measure
So while I list both measures below I cannot stress enough how the grams measure with a scale is going to give you the best results.
Many times people have complained that their custard is like rubber, this is from a heavy measure of cornstarch when using volume measuring spoon vs the 100% accurate scale measure in grams.
Because this is a no bake cheesecake you can use any brand of vegan cream cheese that you like!
For the Crust:
- Sandwich cookies 15 (170g)
- *use gluten free & Sugar free or no crust at all
- Vegan Butter 4 Tablespoons (56g)
For the Vanilla Cheesecake:
- Cashews 2 cups (350g)
- Unsweetened Plant Milk 1½ cups (360ml)
- Granulated Sugar ¾ cup (150g) *or your fav sugar sub
- Cornstarch 4 Tablespoons (36g) *see notes
- Agar Powder ½ teaspoon (1.5g)
- Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons (10ml)
- Vegan Cream Cheese *see notes 12 ounces (336g)
For the Jelly:
- Coconut Water or Fruit Juice 2 cups (480ml)
- Granulated Sugar ¼ cup (50g) *or your fav sugar sub
- Agar powder 2 teaspoons (6g)
- Canteloupe ½ of a large melon
- Combine the cashews and about 2 cups of water in a medium sauce pot and bring up to a boil
- Turn off the heat and let the cashews soak for 1 hour, then drain and reserve for later.
- Make the cheesecake crust by crushing the cookies (with the fillings) in a food processor to fine crumbs and add the melted vegan butter.
- Process until it resembles wet sand then press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 7" ring mold or spring form pan with the bottom removed.
- Be sure the cake ring mold is on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a cardboard cake circle before you begin the recipe.
- The cake ring mold should also be lined with acetate cake strips for ease of removal although this is not 100% necessary it makes for a much cleaner presentation & un molding.
- Once your cake ring is prepared, refrigerate it until you are ready to pour in the cheesecake.
- Start with making the custard by combining the sugar with the cornstarch and agar powder and then add the plant milk in a large sauce pot and cook whisking constantly over medium to high heat.
- Once the custard boils be sure to let it boil for 30 seconds to activate the cornstarch and the agar.
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract
- Now place the drained cashews along with the hot custard and the vegan cream cheese in a high speed blender and blend smooth
- Pour the cheesecake into the prepared cake ring mold onto the crust and the refrigerate to set for at least 2 hours or overnight
- While the cheesecake is setting up, use a melon baller to scoop balls of melon for the topping and set aside.
- The remaining melon can be chopped up into tiny pieces and served as garnish
- Now prepare the jelly by combining the coconut water or fruit juice with the sugar and agar powder and bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly
- Transfer to heatproof container to let cool slightly before pouring it on top of the cheesecake
- First arrange the melon balls over the top of the cheesecake then pour the jelly over top
- Refrigerate the cake to set for at least 2 hours or overnight
No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake must be kept refrigerated and will stay fresh for up to 1 week, although I did notice on day 4 that the jelly was much firmer than the previous days so the agar seems to tighten more over time.
I do not like to freeze vegan cheesecakes, although I have done it. They seem to change texture on the thaw and get slightly soggy, again I have done it but I do not prefer it.