The creamiest vegan lemon cheesecake topped with eggless lemon curd. No-bake, no cashews and less than 10 ingredients.
This lemon cheesecake recipe is based on my popular vegan strawberry cheesecake. It's packed with flavour, utterly creamy and doesn't have coconut oil or agar powder like most no-bake cheesecakes.
This vegan lemon cheesecake uses less than 10 ingredients which you can get in major supermarkets (in countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK). When you scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post, it may look like a lot of ingredients (but many are just repeated).
For the base, I used these accidentally vegan cookies which are available in major supermarkets in Australia.
To get that classic cheesecake flavour, I used vegan cream cheese (Sheese brand) and coconut cream. If vegan cream cheese isn't accessible in your country, I'd recommend my baked vegan cheesecake recipe which has no cream cheese.
I also used organic lemons from my parents' backyard. However, any type of lemon will do!
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make the graham cracker crust
Easy! Add the cookies to a small food processor and pulse until it forms fine crumbs. Add melted vegan butter, margarine or coconut oil and pulse until combined.
The mixture should resemble wet sand! Simply press the mixture into the bottom of your cake tin and you're done.
How to make the cheesecake filling
This vegan lemon cheesecake gets its unique creaminess (and setting ability) from a foundation of lemon custard or eggless lemon curd. No cashews, no coconut oil, just traditional stovetop cooking!
To make the 'custard base', just add the coconut cream, lemon juice and corn starch to the saucepan. Whisk the mixture to dissolve the corn starch. Doing this now will ensure the mixture stays smooth.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. The mixture may separate and that's completely fine! It's ready when it has thickened and you can't 'feel' the powdery corn starch. You should remove it from the heat at this stage!
Next, add all your cream cheese to the saucepan and whisk until smooth. The residual heat from the saucepan will help soften the cream cheese making it easier to mix. You can use either a spatula or hand mixer for this step! Just make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese at the end.
Alternatively, you can add the cream cheese and lemon mixture to your food processor or a mixing bowl and mix it there! I just did it in the saucepan as it's already quite messy.
Now you'll have an incredibly creamy yet dairy-free cheesecake mixture. It already tastes SO GOOD at this stage but it'll become creamier over time. Don't eat it all yet! Pour the mixture into your cake tin, smooth the top and let it set.
How to make vegan lemon curd (optional)
You know that saucepan we just used? Don't clean it - we'll use it to make the lemon curd. The cheesecake is packed with flavour so the lemon curd is totally optional!
To make this eggless lemon curd, I used corn starch/flour as a thickener. And to get that beautiful yellow hue, I added a touch of turmeric! See, similar ingredients to the cheesecake :). All ingredient amounts are in the grey recipe box at the bottom of my post.
It's really easy to make vegan lemon curd. Just add all the ingredients to a saucepan, whisk and heat until thickened! It'll thicken a lot more when it cools down.
Pour the curd on your vegan lemon cheesecake and let it set further or serve immediately!
Other ways to decorate the cheesecake
Apart from vegan lemon curd, you can also top your cheesecake with:
- Fresh berries, mango slices or even kiwi fruit!
- An easy mixed berry compote or strawberry compote, similar to my other vegan cheesecakes.
- Passionfruit puree, like my baked passionfruit cheesecake!
- Coconut yoghurt or whipped coconut cream
More vegan cheesecake recipes
Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
- ~2 cups (200g) plain sweet cookies, gluten free and/or refined sugar free if needed
- ⅓ cup (75g) vegan butter, margarine or coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup (240g) thick scoopable canned coconut cream, (note 1)
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, or light-coloured sweetener of choice
- ⅓ cup (70g) lemon juice and zest, or to taste (I used ~2 lemons and weighed the lemon juice and zest together)
- ¼ cup (30g) corn starch / corn flour
- ~2 cups (480g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature (2 x regular tubs)
- Line a 20 cm (8 inch) spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin with baking paper.
To make the crust:
- Add the cookies to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of your cake tin. Set aside.
To make the filling:
- Add the coconut cream, sugar, lemon juice and corn starch to a medium size saucepan and whisk to dissolve the cornstarch. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir the mixture constantly for 5 minutes or until it resembles a thick lemon curd. It's ok if the mixture seperates! Remove from the heat.
- Add the cream cheese to the saucepan (note 2). Mix until the cream cheese is fully combined with the coconut cream mixture. Try to make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese!
- Pour the mixture into your lined cake tin and smooth the top. Set aside the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until set.
To make the vegan lemon curd (optional):
- Add all ingredients to a medium-size saucepan and whisk to dissolve the corn starch. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
- Remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, pour or spread your lemon curd on top and serve!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- I don't recommend buying light canned coconut cream or canned coconut milk as they contain less 'thick scoopable cream' compared to regular canned coconut cream. Otherwise, you'll need to buy too many cans to get the required amount of coconut cream in the recipe.
- Adding the cream cheese to the saucepan allows the the residual heat to soften the cream cheese (it makes mixing easier and there's one less dish for you to clean)! Alternatively, you can add all the cheesecake filling ingredients to a food processor or mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
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