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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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  • drbiggles
    September 27, 2005

    YAY !!! You did it! Very cool.

    I’m still working on mines.

  • Clare Eats
    September 27, 2005

    You did a GREAT Job!!

    What was in the pie crust?

  • Nic
    September 27, 2005

    Dr. B – I can’t WAIT to see your entry.

    Clare – Thanks! You can probably tell from the photo that there isn’t a crust on this particular cake. I wanted to taste the filling without being biased by the deliciousness of a graham cracker crust. Use vegan margerine and this crust.

  • Joe
    September 27, 2005

    Hi Nic,

    It’s nice to see a Vegan cheesecake that does come out well! I’ve tasted a couple that just left a bad taste but I think that was because of the sweetener. They didn’t use regular processed white cane sugar as some don’t consider this vegan since it could of been filtered through charcol that may be from animal bones.

  • Nic
    September 27, 2005

    Joe – It could be, but not all brands are. If you write to the company, they can often tell you wheather the sugar is vegan or not. I know if I were a strict vegan, I would check with the companies before writing off a product as great as sugar. You can also use evaporated cane juice (very similar to regular sugar).

  • Stephanie
    September 27, 2005

    Nic, that’s a fine-looking cheesecake! Cheesecakes are my weak spot…which is why I never make them at home…only save them for dining out.

    You need to watch that crust: butter holds the graham crackers together. But that’s only if you’re going for full-on vegan. Just being a brat and pointing that out.

    But really fantastic entry!

  • Nic
    September 28, 2005

    You’re right, Stephanie, but I’ve noticed that a lot of graham crackers in stores are made with shortening or vegetable oil and are vegan!

  • Catherine
    September 28, 2005

    Very impressive. And courageous! Hey, I’m tagging you for the 23/5 meme…http://foodmusings.typepad.com/food_musings/2005/09/meme_meme_bobem.html
    Good luck!

  • Catherine
    September 28, 2005

    I’m also an idiot. Here’s the real link, sorry…

  • chronicler
    September 28, 2005

    Nic, wow! Your cheesecake looks so, um, how do yo say, un-vegan! I’m glad it turned out!

    And oh heck! I just tagge dyou for the same meme! Evidently we all want to read an earlier post from you!

  • Nic
    September 28, 2005

    Thanks Catherine and Chronicler. I already participated in the meme, though. Check out my line here.

  • Sam
    September 28, 2005

    so Nic – do you have any honey and woool recipes for me to try???? 😉

    this is the most fabulous post on the theme. Not only an unbelievably delicious looking dessert, but also a very well thought out message about veganism.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone.It’s a fascinating subject.


  • Helen (AugustusGloop)
    September 28, 2005

    Looks great. Thought-provoking write-up on the whole vegan issue as well.

    And I had the same thought as Sam. Got any winter warmer wool recipes?

  • Catherine
    September 28, 2005

    Shoot, I missed that one when I did my checking. Drat!

  • T
    September 28, 2005

    Hi Nic,
    Your cheesecake looks like the real deal- great entry!

  • Kelly
    September 29, 2005

    What an interesting idea. Looks like it was a great success!

  • Nic
    September 29, 2005

    Ha, ha, guys. How about a cream soup that you eat on a cold day while wearing a wool sweater?

  • rae
    September 29, 2005

    i checked out the saucy link and can’t wait for more recipes! although i cook non-vegan baked sweets for my sweet i’ve pretty much given up on them myself. soggy, dense, wet, gross…

  • Nic
    September 29, 2005

    Rae – I wanted to e-mail you, but can’t find your address. I make this pudding cake vegan all the time, just by using soy milk. It works wonderfully.

  • McAuliflower
    October 2, 2005

    I’m so glad you took the cheesecake challenge! You are a great recipe supplier Nic!

  • Nic
    October 2, 2005

    Thanks, McAuliflower. I think that between the two of us, we could write a tofu dessert book in no time!

  • Anonymous
    October 3, 2005

    I made this last night, and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight. This morning I had my first taste and let me tell you, it is absolutely delightful to the tastebuds. I give this recipe an A+.

  • Nancy
    January 24, 2006

    I made this tonight for my husband’s birthday and it was fantastic – topped with sour cherries it made an awesome birthday treat. thanks for the recipe!

  • gooberp00h
    March 1, 2006

    Nic, looks great! Can’t wait to give it a try. Any idea whether trying to combine this with your Best Cheesecake would result in anything edible? I’m thinking leave out the lemon and maybe adding some vanilla to the “plain” portion, and adding chocolate to half of it. If I get around to it, I’ll let you know if it turns out!

  • Plume
    May 5, 2006


    Why but why haven’t we got any vegan cream cheese here in France???

    Well, to tell the truth we don’t have any regulat cream cheese either…
    I wanted to try this recipe with soy sour cream but I couldn’t find any yet.
    I’m ging to keep on looking for it…

  • SusanV
    September 7, 2006

    My husband made this for me for my birthday, and it came out fabulous. I chose this recipe for him specifically because it was created by a non-vegan: I figured that you would know what a cheesecake was supposed to taste like, while some of us have been vegan so long that we’ve gotten used to substitutes. I don’t know if my theory was correct, but this was definitely the best vegan cheesecake we’ve ever made. Thanks so much!

  • Nicolai
    September 8, 2006

    First, I’m interested to try this. I’m not vegan anymore, but I’ve cooked in places where customers want it, and this looks like one of the best bets I’ve seen.

    I believe that if you think you are doing the right thing by not using leather or eating animal products, but you still eat honey, there is nothing wrong with considering yourself to be a vegan.

    Yeah, but if you eat animal products, you’re–literally, by definition–not vegan. Honey is an animal product, so that’s kind of the end of that story. Like I know a surprising number of people who don’t eat any animal flesh except bacon. They’re not vegetarians.

  • Anonymous
    September 14, 2006

    Mmm… been wondering whether baked vegan cheesecake existed for ages! Thanks!

  • Anonymous
    September 15, 2006

    Just thought that I’d let everyone know about Earth Balance Vegan Butter. It’s great & I don’t even notice a difference between it & real butter.

  • Anonymous
    September 19, 2006

    a note on vegan products –

    writing/calling a company will do you no good in determining if a product is vegan – I have tried this in the past and found that the majority of CS reps gave false information (because they don’t know/care)

    For instance; I wrote a certain chip company (SoH) inquiring if their tortilla chips were vegan, I was told that ALL their products were vegan. I called them to complain about this misleading info and got the same story (all products were vegan). When I said I know that many of their products contain milk the rep responded that milk was an animal byproduct not a product, so it was vegan!

    If you want to know what you eat you have to do the “legwork” yourself

  • Jessi-veg
    December 1, 2006

    This cheesecake is SO awesome! I’ve made it many many times, and I always change the flavor. Strawberry extract is really good instead of lemon juice, and putting mangos and strawberries on top is absoultely fantastic. Thank you so much!

  • Fairly Odd Tofu Mom
    January 6, 2007

    I can’t believe I found such a great blog. And some vegan recipes too!

    I’ll be returning!

    (Oh, and btw, cane sugar is bone char whitened, but beet sugar is not. Most generic and store-brand white sugar is beet sugar, and thus vegan, if in doubt, check their website.)

    GREAT blog!!

  • Hannah
    July 20, 2007

    Oh my, even after making this it’s hard to believe it’s vegan. And I love how much faster it is to make than traditional cheesecake.

  • Lisa
    September 19, 2007

    This is such a great cheesecake – vegan or not! I used low-fat silken tofu, too, so I felt super unguilty eating it! Thanks!

  • Diane
    December 23, 2007

    this cheescake recipe is simple and delicious!

  • Church Secretary
    December 24, 2007

    Excellent recipe.

  • Vegan-in-training
    June 8, 2008

    Ni Nic,

    I know I’m late, but this recipe is phenomenal. I’ve just gotten into vegan/gluten-free baking and this was one of my first 100% vegan desserts. I made it with fresh lime juice instead of lemon, and mine was also crustless like the picture above because I couldn’t quite get a simple recipe for a gluten-free graham cracker crust. I will be serving it with an agave nectar sweetened strawberry sauce, and i already know this will be delicious as I’ve tasted the batter. Keep up the good work, and thanks a lot.


  • Corey
    June 11, 2008

    This is my favorite vegan baking recipe…it is unimaginably quick and easy. There are so many vegan cheesecake recipes out there, but they are all ridiculously and unnecessarily complicated. I have used this recipe many times and I just love it. Thanks so much.

  • Emma
    June 30, 2008

    I just made this and it’s sitting in the fridge waiting to be tasted. I’m being a good girl, and waiting until it’s chilled overnight. Wow, it’s hard. The batter tasted amazing though and it made my house smell great. My mom is celiac so I made a gluten-free crust for it. I mixed some crispy brown rice cereal with 2tb pureed silken tofu, 1 tb sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp ginger, prebaked it at 350 and i’m hoping that goes well too. I guess I’ll let you know. By the way, your site is without a doubt my favorite baking blog.

  • Laura
    November 20, 2008

    I made this and it does not taste anything remotely like cheesecake. The texture is fine, but the flavor is basically like sweetened tofu. I did make a really good tasting crust with vegan margarine and vegan vanilla cookies that somewhat covers up the bland tofu-ness of the cheesecake, but there’s no way anyone would mistake this for cheesecake.

  • Alisa
    December 20, 2008

    Hi Nicole,

    A viewer from my website, http://www.godairyfree.org, saw this recipe in a magazine (noting you as the author) and has been using it ever since. Her family loves it! Anywho, she submitted it to post in the recipes section of Go Dairy Free. I would like to get your permission not only to reprint the recipe, but also the photo, as I would like to feature it on the front page of Go Dairy Free. Please let me know if that is okay via the email I submitted with this post. Thanks so much! I love your blog btw! Happy holidays!

  • Pia
    January 6, 2009

    i really want to make this cheesecake, but i dont want to make it for 10 people so i didnt know how much oz to use, could someone please convert it for me into cups? please reply to me at 088614@student.wqeic.ac.uk

  • Vegan Straight Edge
    June 4, 2009

    Dang, this looks so good! I’m definitely going to try it. Unfortunately I’ve never had luck making vegan cheesecake myself, but hopefully your recipe will turn the tide eh?

  • Leen
    July 18, 2010

    Hi Baking Bites,
    I would like to clarify if we should steam-bake (water bath). Thank you and have a nice day!

  • Barbara
    September 21, 2010

    This is how I make Vegan Whipped Cream:
    Half cup Soya Milk + Sunflower Oil -enough to thicken, + tspn white Sugar;
    Put Milk into Deep jug (Or Jug Blender), Add Oil Slowly -whilst turning Stick Blender (Or Jug Blender) on a few seconds at-a-time, till thickened. Stir in Sugar; & Hey Presto! You have whipped Cream. And It stays fresh in a glass jar, in the fridge, for at least a week! It Is fattening of course, but only if you eat too much at once! Enjoy. Barbara 🙂

  • sheileah
    December 23, 2010

    I have been looking for food that I can eat. I am Extremely allergic to any dairy product. I am going to give this a try and I am sure that i will love it. I hope so.

  • nat
    February 6, 2012

    this was amazing! i used lemon and lime juice and made a crust from walnuts & gluten-free vegan gingernut cookies – amazing! oh & i put passionfruit on top 🙂

  • Holly
    April 30, 2012

    I made this for my book club and they all LOVED it even though I am the only vegan and they thought it sounded weird. The boyfriend of one of the girls was telling me he heard all about it when she got home from book club. Great recipe!

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