Even though I used to specialise in raw desserts in my cake business, I definitely prefer baked vegan cheesecakes! They are creamier, richer and less likely to taste like coconut. I’ve been on a mission for a few years to perfect a wholesome baked vegan cheesecake and I think I’ve finally nailed it.
The cheesecake is not only vegan, but it’s gluten free, refined sugar free and can easily be made coconut free!
The crust is a simple mix of a flour of your choice, rice malt syrup and oil. Most other vegan cheesecake recipes par-bake the crusts beforehand or include a high amount of nuts in the crust. However, I found that both of those elements causes the crust to burn towards the end. No one wants that!
I wanted to mimic the creamy and melt-in-your filling of classic cheesecakes. But what ingredients did I use?
- Cashews to provide the fat and mouth feel similar to conventional cheesecakes. But don’t worry – you can barely taste them.
- Silken tofu to provide a smooth creaminess that you simply can’t get from the highest powered blender. I love using silken tofu in desserts, and I love it even more when people can’t taste soy in it, such as in my decadent chocolate mousse tart
- Plant-based yoghurt such as coconut, almond or soy. I didn’t put yoghurt in my first vegan baked cheesecake recipe. However, my friend Audrey at Unconventional Baker used coconut yoghurt in her baked vegan cheesecake recipe so I gave her recipe ago and was super pleased with the results! So I went back to my original recipe and made a few tweaks.
- Plant-based milk because you need some liquids in there somewhere!
And to minimise any chances of the cheesecake from tasting like a nutty soy fest, I added a load of natural flavourings such as:
- Maple syrup because the fruity sweetness is needed to make the cheesecake taste good. I’ve tried other sweeteners but maple syrup’s flavour profile really stands out the most.
- Vanilla extract and vanilla bean powder because they always remind me of dessert, ice cream and cake!
- Lemon juice to provide some acidity to balance out the creaminess of the other ingredients
- Salt, an overlooked but essential ingredient to provide depth to the cheesecake!
How to serve
I think the cheesecake is best served with a tart fruit such as raspberries or passion fruit as their tartness cuts through the richness of the cheesecake! I also love how the seeds in the raspberries contrasts with the smooth creaminess of the cake.
Want something different?
If you like cheesecake but are after something slightly different, here are some of my other recipes:
- Baked passion fruit vegan cheesecake tart: basically a shorter cheesecake
- Baked vegan cheesecake: The base is made with dates
- Blueberry, blackberry and ginger cheesecake: raw or unbaked cheesecake
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
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Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Berries
- 2 1/2 cups (400g) gluten-free flour blend, or all-purpose flour if not gluten-free
- 1/2 cup (50g) blanched almond meal , or substitute with more flour
- 1/4 cup (100mL) any light-coloured liquid sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup , as needed
- 1/4 cup (65mL) light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
- Pinch of any good-quality salt
- 1 1/3 cups (175g) raw cashews*
- 1 cup (250g) firm silken tofu, also known as 'traditional tofu'
- 1/4-1/2 cup (100mL-200mL) any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, to taste
- 1/3 cup (85mL) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut
- 1/3 cup (60mL) plant-based yoghurt, such as coconut, soy or almond
- 2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar**
- 2 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract
- Pinch of any good-quality salt
- 3/4 cup (95g) frozen/fresh raspberries
- 2/3 cup (100g) frozen/fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup (100mL) any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, optional and to taste
- 1 tbsp (7g) corn flour or corn starch
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the bottom and sides of a spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin (I used a 20cm or 8-inch cake tin).
- To make the crust: In a large bowl combine all the crust ingredients until well combined and sticky. The mixture should stick together when pinched between two fingers. If the mixture is still a bit dry, add some extra liquid sweetener or water and mix until the ingredients come together. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the lined cake tin.
- To make the filling: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until there are no lumps. Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust.
- Bake the cheesecake for 45-55 minutes, just before the filling sets. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the cheesecake with a metal tray. The cheesecake is ready when the filling is no longer liquid and the filling still 'jiggles' in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for at least 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Let it come to room temperature, cover it and set it aside in the fridge overnight to chill.
- The next day, prepare the topping: Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and mix until combined. Bring the saucepan to medium heat and mix until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
- Remove the cheesecake from its tin. Pour and spread the berry topping on top and serve as desired.
- The cheesecake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
** Do not omit the lemon, vanilla and salt as these help the filling taste like a cheesecake.