Exploring Gelatin Alternatives for Cheesecake: Delicious Options for Every Diet

Cheesecake, with its creamy and indulgent texture, is a popular dessert enjoyed by many. Traditional cheesecake recipes often call for gelatin to help set the filling and achieve the perfect consistency. However, gelatin is derived from animal sources, making it unsuitable for vegetarians, vegans, and those with certain dietary restrictions. In this article, we will explore some fantastic alternatives to gelatin that can be used in cheesecake so that everyone can enjoy this delicious treat.


Derived from seaweed, agar-agar is a popular plant-based gelatin substitute. Available in powder or flake form, it sets at a lower temperature than gelatin. To use agar-agar in cheesecake, dissolve it in liquid and bring to a boil, then allow to cool slightly before incorporating into the filling. Agar-agar sets relatively quickly, giving your cheesecake a firm texture. It is tasteless and odorless, so it won’t change the flavor of your dessert.

Vegan Gelatin Substitutes

For those following a vegan lifestyle, there are several gelatin alternatives available in stores. Look for vegan gelatin substitutes made from ingredients such as carrageenan, konjac powder, or vegetable-based pectin. These substitutes work similarly to gelatin and can be used in cheesecake recipes by following the package directions for the appropriate substitution ratio.

Cream Cheese and Cornstarch

In some recipes, cream cheese combined with cornstarch can help achieve a thick and creamy texture without the need for gelatin. Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent, providing structure and stability to the cheesecake filling. Simply mix the cream cheese and cornstarch together until smooth before adding the other ingredients. Keep the ratio in mind and experiment with small batches to achieve the desired consistency.

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a gelatin substitute in vegan cheesecakes. Its smooth and creamy texture makes it an excellent base for creating a silky filling. Blend Silken Tofu until smooth and combine with other ingredients such as non-dairy cream cheese, sweeteners and flavors. The result is a delicious and satisfying cheesecake that is both vegan-friendly and packed with plant-based protein.

Cashews and Coconut Cream

For a rich and decadent dairy-free cheesecake, consider using cashews and coconut cream. Soaked cashews, when blended with coconut cream and other flavorings, create a creamy and luxurious texture reminiscent of traditional cheesecake. This method requires the cheesecake to be refrigerated or frozen to set properly. The combination of cashews and coconut cream delivers a delightful flavor profile while providing a velvety texture.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds, known for their high fiber and omega-3 fatty acid content, can also serve as a suitable gelatin substitute in cheesecake. When mixed with liquid, chia seeds form a gel-like substance that helps bind the ingredients together. To use chia seeds in your cheesecake recipe, combine them with water or a non-dairy milk alternative and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes until it thickens. Then stir it into the filling mixture and follow the recipe as usual. Keep in mind that the chia seeds may add a slight texture to the cheesecake, but it will still offer a delicious taste and a healthy twist.

Fruit purees or coulis

Another delicious alternative to gelatin in cheesecake is to use fruit purees or coulis. Purees made from fruits such as berries, mangoes, or peaches can add natural sweetness, vibrant flavors, and a pleasing texture to your cheesecake. To incorporate fruit purees, simply blend fresh or frozen fruit until smooth and strain through a fine sieve to remove any seeds or pulp. Adjust the amount of puree to your desired flavor and consistency. The natural pectin found in fruit can help the cheesecake set, creating a soft, creamy texture. This option not only replaces gelatin, but also adds a burst of fruity goodness to your dessert.

Tips for success and great results

  1. Follow the instructions: Each gelatin substitute may have specific instructions and recommended ratios for use. It’s important to read and follow the instructions on the package or in the literature to ensure the best results.
  2. Test small batches: If you’re trying a gelatin alternative for the first time or experimenting with a new recipe, it’s a good idea to test a small batch before making a full-size cheesecake. This will allow you to evaluate the texture, consistency, and flavor before committing to a larger dessert.
  3. Adjust the amount: Gelatin alternatives may require different amounts than traditional gelatin. Be prepared to adjust the amount based on the specific substitute you’re using. Start with the recommended amount and adjust as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  4. Pay attention to texture: Gelatin alternatives may provide a slightly different texture than gelatin itself. Some substitutes, such as chia seeds or fruit puree, can add a bit of texture to the cheesecake. If a smooth texture is critical for your dessert, consider using alternatives that provide a smoother finish.
  5. Chill and set properly: Gelatin alternatives, like gelatin itself, require proper chilling and setting time to achieve the desired firmness. Make sure your cheesecake has enough time to chill in the refrigerator or set in the freezer, following the recommended times listed in the recipe or gelatin alternative instructions.
  6. Consider flavor profiles: Gelatin alternatives can add unique flavors to your cheesecake. For example, fruit purees or coulis can add fruity notes, while coconut cream or cashews can add a subtle nutty flavor. Consider these flavors when choosing your gelatin substitute and complement them with other ingredients and flavors in your recipe.
  7. Use compatible recipes: Some cheesecake recipes may work better with certain gelatin alternatives than others. For example, recipes that call for a light and airy texture may not work well with substitutes that add density. Choose recipes that are compatible with your chosen gelatin alternative for the best results.
  8. Communicate your dietary restrictions: If you’re serving the cheesecake to others, be sure to share any dietary restrictions or substitutions you’ve made. This will help those with special dietary needs make informed choices and enjoy the dessert with peace of mind.

Remember that experimentation and personal preference are important when using gelatin alternatives in cheesecake. Don’t be afraid to try different substitutes, adjust amounts and explore new flavors to create a cheesecake that meets your taste and dietary needs.

Bottom Line

While gelatin is a common ingredient in traditional cheesecake recipes, there are numerous alternatives for those seeking gelatin-free options. Whether you follow a vegetarian, vegan, or special diet, there is a substitute to meet your needs and preferences. Agar agar, vegan gelatin substitutes, cream cheese and cornstarch, silken tofu, and cashews with coconut cream are just a few alternatives to explore. Embrace experimentation and adapt recipes to find the perfect gelatin substitute that meets your dietary needs while still providing a delicious and satisfying cheesecake experience for all.


What can you use instead of gelatin in cheesecake?

Since gelatin is not vegetarian, you may substitute it with agar-agar. If using this ingredient, microwaving is not necessary. Just add to the 1/4 cup cream, stir and let sit until needed.

What can I use if I don’t have gelatin for cheesecake?

Using Agar Agar in a Cheesecake

For cheesecakes, whether they are vegetarian-friendly or completely dairy-free, can benefit greatly from using agar agar rather than the standard gelatin. Generally, the standard amount that you will need will be about one teaspoon of agar powder for each teaspoon of gelatin needed.

How can I thicken my cheesecake without gelatin?

How to Thicken No-Bake Cheesecake

  1. As mentioned, the most important step is to beat cold heavy cream into peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling gently so you don’t deflate the air. …
  2. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6-8 hours, but overnight is better.


What happens if I don’t put gelatin in cheesecake?

Third, I also add gelatin to this cheesecake to help it firm up and make it easy to slice. Without it, the cheesecake is fairly soft and will gradually deflate.

Are there substitutes for gelatin?

Substitute powdered agar-agar for gelatin using equal amounts. 1 Tbsp. of agar-agar flakes is equal to 1 tsp. of agar-agar powder.

Can I use cornstarch instead of gelatin?

Many people use cornstarch to thicken gravies, soups, or sauces. The result is a creamier texture with an opaque appearance. Another thickener is gelatin. Gelatin is more often used for custards, pie filling, or Jell-O® desserts.

How do you make gelatin at home?

To make gelatin, start by adding 1/2 cup (120ml) of cold water to a large bowl. Then, empty a packet of gelatin into the cold water, and wait 5-10 minutes for the gelatin to expand. Next, bring 1 1/2 cups (360ml) of water to a simmer, and pour it into the gelatin mixture.

What thickens a cheesecake?

In most cases, the best way that you can fix your recipe for a no-bake cheesecake (assuming that the recipe you are following is not faulty), is adding gelatin to the cheesecake. Gelatin is a natural thickener and it is used in many recipes to help thicken sauces, custards, and other foods.

How do I make my cheesecake firmer?

A bit of alcohol or acid can help set your cheesecake a bit firmer, as well as making sure that you use full fat cream cheese (the cheaper stuff can be a bit looser than something like philly too) as well as double cream which you whip quite firm.

Can you add cornstarch to cheesecake?

When you add cornstarch or flour to cheesecake, the texture becomes firmer and coarser—maybe not ideal for a dessert, but I find it quite appropriate for a savory cheesecake.

Can I use jelly instead of gelatin?

From homemade jello to fruit jam, many sweets call for gelatin as an ingredient. But what happens if you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet? After all, gelatin is made from animal parts that have been boiled for a long time. Thanks to these four vegan gelatin substitutes, you can have your jelly (and eat it too).

Does all cheesecake have gelatin?

The cheesecakes that don’t have any gelatin include: Original Cheesecake. Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake. Original with Cherry Topping.

What is the vegetarian substitute for gelatin?


A teaspoon of agar powder is the equivalent of a tablespoon of agar flakes, and can render about a cup of liquid. Agar-agar is the most widely available alternative to gelatin.

Is gelatin the same as pudding?

Pudding is a dessert that can be made from gelatin, jelly or mixture of both. Making pudding needs to be added also with milk or coconut milk.

What is gelatin made of?

Easy No Bake Cheesecake with Gelatin5,0

How do you thicken cream cheese?

Quote from video: So if your cream cheese frosting is a bit too watery like my one here try adding a little bit of cornstarch to thicken the frosting.

Is it okay if my cheesecake batter is runny?

Fixing a Runny Cheesecake

This means that there isn’t much you can do after it is out of the oven and you will simply have to try again later. However, if your cheesecake is runny because it hasn’t been in the fridge, then the best solution for you would be to make space in a fridge for you to set your cheesecake.

Why is my cheesecake not setting?

Overmixing. While cheesecake should be thoroughly mixed with a hand mixer, mixing it too much will result in a super soft cheesecake. To help your cheesecake keep its form, never mix longer than the recipe instructs and avoid tools like a blender or food processor, which can prevent it from setting.

Why did my No bake cheesecake not set?

Rushing the chill. The filling needs proper chilling, a minimum of four hours but preferably overnight, to set into sliceable sections. Freezing the cheesecake results in a too-hard-to-enjoy crust and filling. Try this: The cheesecake should be shiny and firm to the touch when set.

How do you make a no bake cheesecake set?

To get cheesecake filling to firm up completely, it needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours. If you skip this step, the texture of the cheesecake will be more like mousse. Obviously, the goal is to create a firm cheesecake filling, similar to a baked cheesecake filling.

Why is my cheesecake so dry?

Don’t Overbake

An overbaked cheesecake will cause unattractive cracks and a dry, crumbly texture. Because cheesecake is a custard, it won’t be completely firm when done. The easiest way to make sure you don’t overbake it is to give it a little jiggle. Take a wooden spoon and give the cake pan a gentle tap on the side.