For when you want and you're feeling

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake

This Vegan Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake is perfect creamy, salty, and sweet! A dairy-free “cheesecake” filling made from coconut and cashews is swirled with bright strawberry jam and then poured into a crispy pretzel crust. Easily no-bake and gluten-free!

vegan strawberry pretzel cheesecake in a basket topped with pretzels and sliced berries

What is Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake?

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake is a soft and creamy dessert made from coconut, cashews, and strawberries with a salty pretzel crust. It tastes very similar to traditional cheesecake but it made entirely without dairy. To prepare, we add ingredients to a blender, pour them inside the pretzel crust shell, and chill to serve. It’s inspired by the Midwestern classic recipe Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

What is Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

According to Farmer’s Almanac, this recipe is described as “not a salad at all, but a light dessert that resembles a cheesecake with a sweet-salty pretzel crust made with pretzels, butter, and brown sugar, and a fruit topping.”

It is said to have originated in a 1960’s cookbook entitled “The Joys of Jello.” Since then it has become an American tradition (most notably in the South), where it is often served at potlucks and cookouts. You likely already gathered that this dish is not traditionally vegan (or even vegetarian, thanks to the presence of gelatin/Jello).

This recipe follows a similar layered approach, with a baked pretzel crust made with just three ingredients. Using fresh strawberries and jams yields a much lighter but nevertheless decadent dessert.

overhead shot of a basket of strawberries

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe + Possible Substitutions

For the pretzel crust:

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (This can be from a few cups of whatever kinds of pretzels you have on hand. I used minis. You want the texture to not be incredibly find, but rather “crushed” with a bit of texture)
  • 8 TBS melted vegan butter
  • Maple syrup as needed to further bind the crust (optional, if you need more binding power)

For the cheesecake base:

  • 1 cup cashew pieces, raw or roasted, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften
  • 1 cup coconut cream (This is the hard substance on the top of a can of chilled coconut milk, NOT coconut milk itself)
  • 3 TBS lemon juice, from about 1/2 of a large lemon
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves, or whatever jam you prefer
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • Extra strawberry jam to swirl on top, along with pretzels and fresh berries to garnish
overhead shot of a swirled strawberry pretzel cheesecake with a slice cut out

How To Make This Recipe Gluten-Free and No-Bake

Use gluten-free pretzels in the crust base and this recipe is automatically gluten-free. The crust will hold up just as well!

There are a few ways to make this “no-bake.” First, feel free to use a store-bought pretzel crust to save time, and then just blend + pour the filling to chill. Secondly, instead of baking the pretzel crust as outlined below, you can freeze it in the baking dish before pouring in the cheesecake base to set.

Love cheesecake? Check out this recipe for Vegan Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Bars next!

Other Vegan Strawberry Desserts to Try

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Frozen Strawberry Shortcake Bars

Rustic Any Berry Galette

American Flag Slab Pie

fork cutting into vegan strawberry pretzel cheesecake
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
vegan strawberry pretzel cheesecake in a basket topped with pretzels and sliced berries

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Vegan Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake is perfect creamy, salty, and sweet! A dairy-free “cheesecake” filling made from coconut and cashews is swirled with bright strawberry jam and then poured into a crispy pretzel crust. Easily no-bake and gluten-free! NOTE: This recipe requires four hours of chilling time.


Ingredients

Scale

For pretzel crust:

  • 2 cups medium ground pretzel crumbs (from a few cups of whatever kinds of pretzels you have on hand, I used minis)
  • 8 TBS melted vegan butter
  • Maple syrup as needed to further bind the crust (optional)

For the cheesecake base:

  • 1 cup cashew pieces, soaked in water for 10 minutes to soften (raw or roasted, it does not make a huge difference)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the hard substance on the top of a can of chilled coconut milk)
  • 3 TBS lemon juice, from about 1/2 of a large lemon
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • Extra strawberry jam to swirl on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (see note for no bake option).To make the crust, combine pretzel crumbs with melted butter until you have the consistency of wet sand. If it feels too dry, add a TBS of maple syrup. It should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
  2. Press the crust into a 9 inch springform pan or pie plate, using the bottom of a cup to really ensure it is packed tightly in the dish. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. Drain cashews and add to a high speed blender with coconut cream, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt, strawberry jam, and maple syrup. Blend on high until very smooth.
  4. Pour cheesecake filling into prepared crust. Add a few teaspoons of jam on top, swirling as desired. Chill in the fridge for at least four hours, until firm.

Notes

For a no-bake crust, press crust into dish and freeze until solid, at least 30 minutes. Pour filling into frozen crust and chill as directed in recipe.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Chilling
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 368 calories
  • Sugar: 5.6 grams
  • Sodium: 161.3 milligrams
  • Fat: 29.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 14.1 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 25.9 grams
  • Fiber: 3.6 grams
  • Protein: 5.4 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: strawberry, cheesecake, pretzel

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

Love this post? Share the love!

Similar Posts

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Garlic Head Logo

Garlic Head is a community for food lovers that is focused on providing affordable, simple, & delicious plant-based recipes to help us feel our best.

iPhone X displaying Garlic Head's "3-Ingredients Cocktails" e-Book

Free Resource

Get this e-book for free!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
For when you're feeling...
Our recipes look great on Pinterest!