Vegan lemon cheesecake

Vegan lemon cheesecake

vegan lemon cheesecake

Are you guys ready to put your feet up? I certainly am. This past week has been manic and we have had a big health scare, which turned out to be a false alarm luckily but it did stress us both out no end, caused some unpleasant emotions and disrupted sleep so I am not feeling my best. After I hit publish on this recipe, I intend to do nothing (well, less at least) for a week. I need a little breather from recipe creation so that my brain can switch off a little.

As it’s Easter and my last recipe was savoury, today I’ve decided to tackle a bit of an Easter classic – baked cheesecake. As it’s spring and spring for some reason makes many people crave lemons – it’s a curious thing, isn’t it as not only do they not grow in our part of the world, but even where they do it’s not until late summer – so I made a lemon cheesecake. Even though I am more of a chocolate, coffee and nuts kind of dessert person, I do love this cheesecake!

It’s delicate and creamy, with a deliciously crisp base that has little hints of salt. You can have it as is or if you are feeling flamboyant, make a bit of a warm blueberry sauce to top it with. It’s divine. You can also pop some blueberries into the cheesecake as it bakes if you like a bit of a blueberry treasure hunt while you eat. Whatever you do, please make it as it’s super easy to make and it’s to die for, I promise.

vegan lemon cheesecake crust

vegan lemon cheesecake moulding crust

vegan lemon cheesecake mixture

vegan lemon cheesecake whole

vegan lemon cheesecake slice out

vegan lemon cheesecake slice

vegan lemon cheesecake backlit

makes
20 cm / 8"
PREP
20 min
COOKING
40 min
makes
20 cm / 8"
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
40 min
INGREDIENTS
BASE

CHEESECAKE

  • 200 g / 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 120 ml / ½ cup oat milk (or other)
  • zest of 2 lemons + 90 ml / 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 250 g / 8¾ oz silken tofu
  • 125 g / ¾ cup icing sugar or ground up coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • a generous pinch of turmeric (for colour)
  • a generous pinch of kala namak (black salt) or regular salt
  • 16 g / 2 tbsp tapioca starch

TOPPINGS

METHOD
BASE

  1. If making GF version, mix psyllium husks with 30 ml / 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and set aside to hydrate.
  2. Place almond flour, GF or regular flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add in melted fat and, if making a GF crust, activated psyllium to the dry ingredients and use a little less fat (I found 5 tbsp of melted coconut oil to be sufficient). Rub them into the dry ingredients with your fingers. The mixture should resemble slightly moist crumb by the end.
  4. Grease the baking tin (I used a round 20 cm / 8″ springform tin) and line the bottom and the sides with baking paper.
  5. Using your hands, spread the crumb on the base of your tin and mould it to the bottom and a little to the side using your fingers. Compress the crust using a flat bottomed glass over a piece of baking paper. Pierce the bottom with a fork in a few places.
  6. Bake in a 180° C / 355° F oven for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool.

CHEESECAKE

  1. Place drained cashews, oat milk, lemon juice and lemon zest in an upright blender. Blend until the mixture is super smooth and there are no lumps or visible grain.
  2. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth again.
  3. Pour the mixture over the pre-baked base. Tap the tin against the workbench a few times to burst any air bubbles in the mixture as they will cause cracks after baking.
  4. Bake in a 160° C / 320° F oven for about 40-45 minutes – it’s ready when the sides are set, but the middle is still a bit wobbly. Cool completely (overnight is best) before cutting.
  5. Decorate with blueberries and dollops of vegan meringue or vegan whipped cream. Once cut, store leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NOTES

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
234
12%
sugars
13 g
14%
fats
14 g
19%
saturates
5 g
25%
proteins
5 g
10%
carbs
26 g
10%
*per serving
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5.0
6 reviews, 20 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Marie:
Your cake is delicious Ania. I used more silken tofu (the package was 350g) and less cashews and a little bit more tapioca starch as I was not sure of the texture after baking. It turned out perfect and it tasted very good. We ate it with fresh berries and it was delicious ! Thank you for this great recipe !
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Maire, I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! Yes, the ratio of cashews to tofu is fairly flexible - my aim was to disguise any flavour of tofu whatsoever as I know that people tend to be sensitive to it, but glad you enjoyed yours and good thinking on your feet too! x Ania
eve:
Hi once again! what about milk? Will fatty (19-20%) coconut milk be ok? or rather thinner plant milk, such as soy or almond milk, will be better in this recipe? Is lemon juice necessary if I want to get vanilla flavor cheesecake? Does it only give flavor or does it have other uses?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Eve,
    Cheesecake, any cheesecake not just vegan, relies on fat for its creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. This is why I've suggested extracting coconut cream as it's closer in fat content to cashews, however, if you feel like experimenting feel free to try full fat coconut milk but be aware than you mean need a bit more cornstarch or else the cheesecake may end up not firm enough. Thin milk will definitely not work, I'm afraid. Lemon juice is used for flavour mainly, but also to replicate tang that you get from using dairy cheese. Hope this helps. Ania
Caitlin:
Hi Ania, I tried this dish with 150g cashews: 300g tofu, and also with 100g cashews: 300g tofu, and both worked really well with no taste of tofu. I also used EVOO in the crust and this worked well too. And my 8yr-old daughter suggested adding freeze-dried raspberries, which added lovely little bursts of flavour!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm glad it worked out well, Caitlin! Freeze-dried raspberries sound like a great addition - sounds like you have a pastry chef in the making...Ania
eve:
can I make this cheesecake as a nut-free version? did you try to prepare it without cashews?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi again,
    You could use coconut cream (obtained from a full fat coconut milk by chilling the can for a few days) instead but you may need to use a little more cornstarch too or bake for a little longer. I have only tested tofu version so you'll need to try and see what adjustments are needed. Hope this helps! Ania
Mia (Australia):
Thank you for this lovely recipe!
I made it yesterday morning. The crust was fine. It didn't need any baking stones or rice.
I knew my dark coconut sugar would turn the tart brown, but I used it anyway because I had nothing else.
Everything was fine otherwise. Texture is solid and tastes just like lemon cheesecake.
I let it cool down in the kitchen then transferred to the fridge for further setting up.
We had a slice last night. Perfect!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Mia! I'm delighted that you enjoyed this cheesecake and thanks so much for taking the time to let me know - I really appreciate it! x Ania
Silvia:
We did it! We used sicilian lemons and it was heavenly. What do you think about trying a lime version? Would you Just use lime juice and zest in the same quantities?
Baci
Silvi
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Silvia! I would go by your taste buds but I image that it will work out more or less the same. I'm sure the lime version will be equally delicious! x Ania
Emma:
Hi Ania, do you need to add any baking stones or filler like dried rice when you bake the base or does it hold its shape?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Emma,
    No, I didn't find there was any need for that - the middle may bulge up a little but just gently push it back down whilst still warm. The key is to compress the mixture really well before baking. I did test with baking beads once and a lot of the 'pastry' got stuck to the paper underneath so I think it's easier not to use them. Hope this helps! Ania
Hannah Lenck:
First of: the fotos look stunning!
Do you think I could replace the all purpose mix worth a combination of gf flours like rice flour and some more starch? And did you prebake the meringue and then just put it on top?
Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Hannah. Yes, absolutely you can, I tested it with gluten free flour mix, which contains rice and buckwheat flour, plus tapioca, potato starch and corn starch. As for the meringue, I simply piped it on top and then lightly toasted with a blow torch. Hope this helps! x Ania
Rika:
it can't be just quality of photos... I mean this looks amazing and delicious <3
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hahaha, thank Rika! That's lovely to hear and only one way for you to find out ;) x Ania
Silviya:
Looks amazing! Is there a substitute for physillium husks? Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    You only need that if you are making GF version of the curst. I'm pretty sure that chia egg or flax egg should work also but I have not had the time to test that. Hope it works out. Ania
Silvia:
Would firm tofu work? Silkem is hard to get where I live!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I have only just made it with silken kind but I feel that it would, you may need to add a splash more plant milk though. Ania
Caitlin Marchant:
This looks wonderful! Could I use olive oil in the crust? And could I replace half of the cashews with more silken tofu (trying to reduce the sat fat for health reasons)? Many thanks and Happy Easter to you :-)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Caitlin,
    Yes, olive oil (I recommend mild variety) should work well in the crust. You *should* be okay texturewise to replace, BUT the tofu flavour is likely to come through - my ratios conceal it completely. Hope this helps! Ania
gezilecek yerler:
Do you us brown or white jasmine rice? Also if I cannot find savoy cabbage what other cabbage type would you recommend using?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    I feel like you meant to leave this comment under the cabbage rolls recipe? If so, I used white jasmine rice (brown takes much longer to cook so needs to be precooked). White cabbage is fine too. Hope this helps! x Ania
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