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Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

I could be vegan. A great deal of the foods that I eat are vegetarian and many can be made vegan. I have experimented with vegan baking, which, by and large, has produced some wonderful results. I actually have many other vegan recipes and substitutions that surprise people, from cookies to cakes. Does it seem like I am dwelling on the sweet side? I am. Anyone who bakes will know that the biggest challenge about being vegan is the baked goods. It is hard, and in some cases nearly impossible, to replicate the properties of ingredients like eggs and dairy in baked goods. I will not be trying a vegan flan, meringue or whipped cream in the near future. This isn’t to say that it cannot be done, but it certainly won’t be easy.

Now, just because I could be vegan doesn’t mean I’m going to become one, but it does mean that I’m glad that Sam picked Vegan cooking as the theme for this month’s IMBB. I think it will increase awareness of what we’re eating a bit. I mean, butter, eggs and milk play huge parts in baking, and many people try to build regular meals around meat, rather than picking a vegetable as the focal point. It sounds easy to try to remove all these elements from cooking, but it is challenging when you are used to using honey, cheese, yogurt and even chicken stock without a second thought.

When I make something vegan, I do not tell people – excluding veg friends – that it is vegan. I prefer to surprise them with it once they’ve already eaten some. This cheesecake got good reviews, even after it was revealed to be vegan. Now, it was not as creamy or decadent as the cheesecake I made before, but I don’t think anyone would deny that this is a tasty cheesecake. It was a cross between a dense, New York style cheesecake and a lighter, European style cheesecake. It had a great texture, a bit melting, light and fluffy. I chose to make it lemon flavored, not wanting another dense chocolate dessert, but you could substitute orange or lime juice for the lemon.

I don’t think you want to see the nutritional information for my last cheesecake, but this one has no saturated fat and no cholesterol. Per slice, not necessarily by weight, this cheesecake has half of the calories and more than 3 times less fat than the regular cheesecake. Good reason to have seconds!

 Baked Vegan Lemon Cheesecake slice

Baked Vegan Lemon Cheesecake

1-14 oz package firm silken tofu
1-8 oz package Better than Cream Cheese
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
½ tsp almond extract
2 tbsp cornstarch
1-9 inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 350F.
Place silken tofu and vegan cream cheese in the food processor. Process for 1 minute, then add sugar. Process until smooth and no sugar granules remain, 3-5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and almond extract. Whisk in cornstarch. Pour mixture into the food processor and process until very smooth. Pour into prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.
Serves 10

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  • joe
    July 17, 2012

    Fabulous!!!!!! I added just a little more lemon. I used my famous cashew, coconut cookie crust, and served with lightly sauteed blackberries. YUM!

    The filling was exceptional. Thank you!

  • Jane
    April 30, 2013

    It’s great with blueberries !!! Thanks for the recipe I use it all the time!

  • Sparks
    July 11, 2013

    I baked this cheesecake and it was delicious. I really wanted you to know that. Although, I am not a began I enjoy the food. The proteins, vitamins and nutrients that are in chicken, red meat and fish are good for body nourishment. I can tell you how happy I am to have found this cheesecake since I am an ultimate eater of cheesecake. What excites me the most is that I don’t like plain cheese cake and this just replaced that. I will say that I changed some of the ingredients because it’s not east finding vegan ingredients where I live. You can find them, but you really have to search. With that said I used half of a 4oz package of tofu. A package of tofu is thick and big. I found out while preparing the cheesecake that the tofu overpowers the rest of the ingredients so half was better. I enjoy baking and with any recipe that calls for lemon juice it’s best to use real lemons with it or my fav lemon extract. Sqeezing lemons won’t give you much juice and lemon juice is a little watery and slightly bitterly to the pallet, where as lemon extract gives a burst. I also used Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which is a very good cream cheese, but only because It was a last minute bake idea. I will search for the vegan cream cheese and bake the cheesecake again to determine the difference in taste. Everything else was left. I also smiled from ear to ear when I noticed the recipe called for almond extract. I was ecstatic. Almond extract is very stron and you only need to add a little to an recipe and that amount was about just right. Almond extract is very good along with rum extract. I really, really enjoyed this cheesecake. I have a mouth full of sweet teeth amd they are smiling now. I also served this plain as well as having it topped with a lemon mouse. If you can stand making mouse give it a go. Don’t forget the wine. I chose a white from Italy’s region-Tuscany or Chianti.

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