Trending Tries: Vegan Lemon Cheesecake

“Going vegan….”

COVID has brought many changes to people’s lives, one of which is folks thinking more about their health. Over the past year and a half, a growing trend has been more people turning to veganism, for a variety of reasons.

As someone with a dairy allergy, often our family recipes end up being vegan anyway, but recipes like cheesecake use eggs. Because several extended family members are now vegan, I decided to experiment with making a vegan cheesecake.

Many recipes I found utilized nuts which we cannot have due to allergies, so I went to the very basics which is that a cheesecake is usually cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. So, the issues were twofold: how to bind the cheesecake without using eggs and how to add the liquid which came from eggs.

In the end I used a vegan condensed milk which added both the sweetener and the liquid, and I opted for cornstarch to help bind. The result was a creamy, delicious cheesecake which we all enjoyed.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups gluten, dairy, nut free gingersnap cookie crumbs (an 8 oz bag of your favorite allergy friendly brand, pulsed into crumbs)

1/4 cup melted vegan butter (use your favorite brand)

Three 8 ounce containers of vegan cream cheese (use your favorite type), at room temperature

11 oz vegan sweetened coconut condensed milk (use your favorite brand)

1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed in best)

3 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp lemon extract

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with a couple of layers of aluminum foil, and bring water to a boil for later use.
  2. Mix together the gingersnap cookie crumbs with the melted butter and evenly spread the crumbs into the springform pan, patting the crumbs into a solid crust.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow it to cool.
  4. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down sides frequently.
  5. Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk, lemon juice, cornstarch and lemon extract, and blend until completely combined and smooth.
  6. Pour into the springform pan and spread evenly over the cookie crumb crust.
  7. Place the cheesecake into a pan larger than the springform pan and pour the boiling water into the pan until the water is about halfway up the springform pan.
  8. Bake the cheesecake for 60 to 65 minutes until the cheesecake is mostly firm and just slightly jiggly in the center. A knife inserted at the edge of the cheesecake will come out clean.
  9. Turn off the oven, and with the oven door open, let the cheesecake cool for 45 minutes to an hour inside the oven.
  10. Put the cheesecake in the fridge and allow it to cool for several hours or overnight.
  11. Once the cheesecake has solidified in the fridge, run a butter knife around the edge to loosen it from the springform pan, and remove the cheesecake.
  12. Serve plain, with vegan cream, and/or decorated with fruit.

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