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Baklava cheesecake is an easy but decadent dairy-free cheesecake with crispy phyllo crust filled with a creamy, cheesecake-like filling and topped with a sweet, crunchy, date, nut, and lemon flavored mixture that you would generally find inside a baklava. A dessert you must try!

baklava cheesecake on a wooden cutting board, before slicing
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Baklava meet cheesecake! Crispy phyllo topped with creamy delicious cheesecake, topped with sweet zesty nutty vibrant topping! A dessert to impress this festive season!

Baklava is a Middle Eastern dessert made with layered, buttered phyllo and sweetened nuts. In this baklava-style cheesecake, we’re using dates to sweeten the nut mixture instead of the more traditional honey or syrup, and the crust is sweet, crunchy layers of phyllo dough.

It delivers the amazing flavors of baklava in a creamy, cheesecake form.

Together, all of those layers make for an amazing burst of flavors and textures in your mouth that you are going to absolutely love!

I’m a big fan of baklava and love using that flavor and texture profile in desserts. If you love it, too, don’t miss my baklava cookies, baklava cake, and baklava overnight oats!

side view of baklava cheesecake on a wooden cutting board

Why You’ll Love Baklava Cheesecake

  • sweet creamy cheesecake with crispy, phyllo crust and crunchy, date-nut topping
  • delicious, make-ahead dessert
  • soy-free with a gluten-free option
close-up of a slice of baklava cheesecake, so you can see the texture inside

More Vegan Cheesecakes

Baklava Cheesecake Vegan

5 from 5 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Baklava cheesecake is an easy but decadent dairy-free cheesecake with crispy phyllo crust filled with a creamy, cheesecake-like filling and topped with a sweet, crunchy, date, nut, and lemon flavored mixture that you would generally find inside a baklava.
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Equipment

  • 8×8" baking pan
  • food processor optional

Ingredients 
 

For the Phyllo Layer

  • 5 or 6 phyllo sheets, about 10×10 inches or whatever size fits your pan
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan butter, melted, or oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

For the Cheesecake Layer

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 15 minutes, then drained
  • 15- ounce can full fat coconut milk, , see notes for subs
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the Date-Nut Layer

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pistachios, or roasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 to 9 soft dates, pitted

To Top the Cheesecake

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup mixed with 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice ,, warmed

Instructions 

Make the phyllo crust.

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (177 °C).
  • Line an 8×8” or similar-sized square or round pan with parchment. Use size of parchment, that will hang over the edges, so that it will be easy to remove the cheesecake from the pan later on. You can also use a springform pan.
  • Thaw your phyllo sheets, if you haven't already, then cut them to about 10×10” for an 8×8” or similar sized pan. You want at least an inch to come up on the sides. Place one phyllo sheet on your parchment lined pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and maple syrup, and brush this over the phyllo sheet, then place another phyllo sheet over the top, and brush a little bit of the butter mixture again. Repeat for at least 5 phyllo sheets, then bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are nicely golden and the rest of the phyllo sheets are also somewhat golden. Remove from the oven and set this aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make your cheesecake filling.

  • Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend for a minute. Then let this mixture sit for 2 to 3 minutes, and blend again for a minute. Let it rest for another minute and blend for half a minute again. Check if the mixture is well-blended and smooth, then taste and adjust flavor at this time by adding more tang and sweet if you like. (For a more cream cheese-like flavor profile, can add a 2 to 3 tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt or cream cheese to this mixture, and then blend again until smooth.)
  • Pour this blended mixture into the pan with the cooled phyllo sheets and even it out with a spoon or spatula.

Make the date-nut mixture.

  • Add all of the nuts to a small food processor, and pulse to make a course meal. (You can also chop the nuts with a knife into small pieces , if you would rather not use a food processor). Add the rest of the ingredients, and pulse again until all the dates break down and the mixture is somewhat sticky. (If you are not using a food processor, mash the dates in a separate, small bowl. Add in a few teaspoons of non-dairy milk to make them easier mash, if needed, and then add in the chopped nuts and mix and press and mix so that you have a cohesive, somewhat sticky mixture.) If your dates aren't that soft, you can add in a teaspoon or so maple syrup, either in the processor or in your bowl, so that the mixture isn’t too dry.

Assemble and chill.

  • Take small portions of the nut mixture and sprinkle it all over the cheesecake layer, and then put it in the fridge for a few hours or freezer for at least an hour before you slice it. Drizzle some warm maple syrup on top and on the phyllo. You can also drizzle some more maple syrup on top after slicing and before serving, if you like. (I usually add a little lemon zest to the maple syrup)
  • Alternate assembly: You can also make a top layer a full even layer with the nuts. For that, put the cheesecake layer in the freezer for an hour first to freeze, so that the nut layer doesn't sink in. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and then press the date-nut mixture into a dough. Press that dough into a square that’s the size and shape of your pan and 1/4” to 1/8” thick.  Press that over the cheesecake layer and spread it with your hands a little bit, then put it back in the freezer for another half an hour or so before removing from the freezer.
  • If you want the bars to be more solid, you can freeze them for another hour or 2 longer, then remove the pan from the freezer. Using the hanging parchment paper, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Then, slice it with a warm knife into the slices size that you like, and serve.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store the sliced cheesecake in the freezer in a closed container for up to 3 months. You can also store it in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It will be slightly softer in the refrigerator.
Glutenfree , omit the phyllo sheet layer and make a crustless cheesecake, or you can double up on the nut layer, and put a layer of that date-nut mixture in the bottom to act as a crust as well as some on the top.
nuts: It would be very difficult to make this without nuts, because the cheesecake layer and the top layer depend on a lot of nuts and their texture and flavor.
Date-free: To make this without dates, chop up the nuts and add a little bit of maple syrup to coat all the nuts, and then use that as a topping.
Coconut free: use 1/2 cup more cashews ie a total of 1.5 cups cashews and blend with 3/4 -1 cup oat milk/ almond milk and use 
Flavor variations: Use a combination of cinnamon and vanilla or cinnamon and almond extract. You can also use a mixture of cardamom and rosewater or just cardamom.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 144mg, Potassium: 344mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 37IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!
phyllo sheets, nuts, and other baklava cheesecake ingredients in bowls on the kitchen counter

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • phyllo sheets – This is the base for your crust. If you don’t want to use phyllo sheets, double the date-nut mixture, and press half the mixture into the bottom of the pan to use as the crust, and reserve the other half for topping.
  • vegan butter – Or you can use oil.
  • maple syrup – For that syrupy sweetness you associate with baklava.
  • raw cashews – This is the best for your creamy cheesecake filling. You want to soak them in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and use.
  • full-fat coconut milk – Combines with the cashews to make the creamy cheesecake layer.
  • lemon juice and zest – Gives the cheesecake its signature tang and adds zing to the date-nut layer.
  • vanilla extract – To flavor the cheesecake layer even more.
  • sugar – For sweetening the cheesecake layer.
  • chopped nuts – A mix of almonds, pistachios, and pecans are the crunchy part of the date-nut mixture.
  • salt – Brings out the sweetness of the dates and the flavors of all the nuts.
  • dates – Add syrupy sweetness to the topping, giving it a real baklava-like feel. You can use maple syrup instead.

Tips

  • Make sure that when you line the pan with parchment paper, there is at least an inch of parchment hanging over the sides. This will make it easy to remove the baklava cheesecake from the pan.
  • When you bake the phyllo, make sure it gets really nice and golden brown, but don’t let it cook so long that it burns.
  • You want that cashew-coconut mixture to be very smooth and creamy. Keep blending and resting until you achieve a velvety texture.

How to Make Baklava Cheesecake

First, make the phyllo crust.

thawed phyllo sheets

Preheat the oven to 350° F (177 °C).

Line an 8×8” or similar-sized square or round pan with parchment. Use a parchment size that will hang over the edges, so that it will be easy to remove the cheesecake from the pan later on. You can also use a springform pan. 

Thaw your phyllo sheets, if you haven’t already, then cut them to about 10×10” for an 8×8” or similar sized pan. You want at least an inch to come up on the sides. Place a phyllo sheet on your parchment lined pan. 

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and maple syrup, and brush this over the phyllo sheet, then place another phyllo sheet over the top, and brush a little bit of the butter mixture again.

lining a baking pan with parchment paper
adding the buttered phyllo sheets to the baking pan

Repeat for at least five phyllo sheets. Then bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are nicely golden and the rest of the phyllo sheets are also somewhat golden.

Remove from the oven and set this aside to cool.

phyllo dough in the pan, after baking

Meanwhile, make your cheesecake filling. 

Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend for a minute. Then let this mixture sit for two to three minutes, and blend again for a minute. Let it rest for another minute and blend for half a minute again.

cashews, coconut milk, and sugar in the blender

Check if the mixture is well-blended and smooth, then taste and adjust flavor at this time by adding more tang if you like. For a more cream cheese-like flavor profile, can add a two to three tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt or cream cheese to this mixture, and then blend again until smooth. 

cheesecake mixture in the blender, after blending

Pour this blended mixture into the pan with the cooled phyllo sheets and even it out.

pouring cheesecake mixture into the pan

Now, make the date-nut mixture. 

Add all of the nuts to a small food processor, and pulse to make a course meal. You can also chop the nuts, if you would rather not use a food processor.

nuts in the food processor, before processing

Add the rest of the ingredients, and pulse again until all the dates break down and the mixture is somewhat sticky.

adding dates to the food processor with the processed nuts

If you are not using a food processor, mash the dates in a separate, small bowl. Add in a few teaspoons of non-dairy milk to make them easier mash, if needed, and then add in the chopped nuts and mix and press and mix so that you have a cohesive, somewhat sticky mixture.

If your dates aren’t that soft, you can add in a teaspoon or so maple syrup, either in the processor or in your bowl, so that the mixture isn’t too dry. 

date-nut mixture, after processing

Take small portions of this mixture and sprinkle it all over the cheesecake layer, and then put it in the fridge for a few hours or freezer for at least an hour before you slice it.

crumbling the date-nut mixture over the cheesecake layer

Drizzle some warm maple syrup on top. You can also drizzle some more maple syrup on top after slicing and before serving, if you like.

drizzling maple syrup over the baklava cheesecake, before freezing

You can also make a top layer a full even layer with the nuts. For that, put the cheesecake layer in the freezer for an hour first to freeze, so that the nut layer doesn’t sink in. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and then press the date-nut mixture into a dough. Press that dough into a square that’s the size and shape of your pan and 1/4” to 1/8” thick. Press that over the cheesecake layer and spread it with your hands a little bit, then put it back in the freezer for another half an hour or so before removing from the freezer. 

If you want the bars to be more solid, you can freeze them for another hour or two longer, then remove the pan from the freezer and carefully, using the hanging parchment paper, remove the cheesecake from the pan.

baklava cheesecake, after freezing and removing from the pan

Then, slice it with a warm knife into the slices that you like, and serve. 

partially sliced baklava cheesecake
baklava cheesecake with square slices

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store leftovers?

Store the sliced cheesecake in the freezer in a closed container for up to three months. You can also store it in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It will be slightly softer in the refrigerator.

Is baklava cheesecake allergy friendly?

This recipe is naturally soy-free.

To make this gluten-free, omit the phyllo sheet layer and make a crustless cheesecake, or you can double up on the nut layer, and put a layer of that date-nut mixture in the bottom to act as a crust as well as some on the top. 

It would be very difficult to make this without nuts, because the cheesecake layer and the top layer depend on a lot of nuts and their texture and flavor. 

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. Emily says:

    5 stars
    Made this with nut filling at the bottom for crust. Oh my
    Gosh! It’s so delicious!! I am going to make it again and again!

    1. Richa says:

      Amazing!!

  2. BLKSunshine says:

    5 stars
    Wow, I can tell you really love what you do. This being one of my favorite, if not the favorite, even I believe I can make this. Every single ingredient I have and can do. Thank you for this one

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      thank you so much 🙂

  3. Nora says:

    I wish when you use coconut milk, you could include a sub for it as it raises cholesterol in people who went vegan to lower cholesterol as it is a genetic condition that is not controllable when using coconut products.
    Thank you

    1. Richa says:

      Added the sub. Often I add the subs, sometimes I forget to 🙂 thanks for asking! use 1/2 cup more cashews ie a total of 1.5 cups cashews and blend with 3/4 -1 cup oat milk/ almond milk and use

      1. Michelle says:

        5 stars
        Really delicious. The cheesecake layer didn’t really set up for me even after overnight in the fridge, so it was a bit squishy and messy.

        1. Richa says:

          Did you use full fat coconut milk? After overnight it should just freeze like ice cream