Perfect for a special occasion, this Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake is an indulgent, vegan baked cheesecake that doesn’t require a lot of work. Subtly flavoured with orange and carrot, this vegan cheesecake is made with almond flour instead of cashews, so there’s no waiting around for cashews to soak. Beyond cooking the carrots and juicing the oranges, you just toss everything in a blender and your cheesecake is ready to bake. Just like our super popular Blend and Bake Lemon Cheesecake, this cheesecake recipe is sweet and simple!
TL;DR Making Orange and Carrot Cheesecake
The flavour of the cheesecake is a subtle combination of orange and carrot, with sweetness and a rich and creamy mouthful courtesy of vegan white chocolate. If you can’t find vegan white chocolate chips, you can substitute cocoa butter (yes, it’s vegan!) and white sugar (whether it’s vegan will depend on the manufacturer). See the notes in the Recipe Card below for the amounts.
This recipe doesn’t contain any vegan cream cheese or cashews. Instead, it uses a combination of almond flour, sunflower oil, tapioca starch, and cooked carrots to replace the body normally provided by the cream cheese or soaked cashews. Aquafaba (which is the liquid from canned or cooked beans, such as chickpeas) serves as the egg substitute.
About Blood Oranges
Blood oranges are a little bit sweeter than regular oranges with raspberry notes. The orange segments vary in colour, from pinky-orange to almost maroon.
The availability of blood oranges will depend on where you live in the world, as well as the time of year. In North America, they’re typically available from December into May. If you aren’t able to find blood oranges, look for the juiciest and freshest orange citrus you can find. You can even mix different kinds of citrus for a custom flavour, such as mixing oranges with tangelos.
If you’re in a pinch, you could also use purchased, unsweetened orange juice. The colour of your cheesecake will vary a bit, depending on the colour of the juice.
Making this Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake is super simple. Start by making the crust. Add all of the crust ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well-mixed and crumbly. Then spoon the crust into a 7-inch springform pan distributing it evenly, and bake it for 6-7 minutes at 350F.
While your crust is baking, juice your oranges and assemble your ingredients. After that it’s just a matter of putting all of the ingredients in your blender. Blend on high for one minute and then scrape down the sides. Repeat for one or two more rounds of blending, until the mixture is thick and creamy. Then pour it into your prepared pan and pop it into the oven at 325F for about 40-45 minutes. It should feel a little bit springy to the touch. Since this recipe contains no eggs, there is no real harm in undercooking the cheesecake, but the filling will be softer if it’s undercooked.
These cheesecake really doesn’t need any garnishes, but for the photographs we drizzled ours with some No Cook Blood Orange Syrup that we made with the orange rinds.
Visual Guide to Making Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake
Cooking Geekery for People Curious About Baked Vegan Cheesecakes Made with Aquafaba
This is the second vegan cheesecake on not not nutritious. The first one we created, Blend and Bake Vegan Lemon Cheesecake, is a similar recipe in that it uses aquafaba, along with almond flour, oil, and tapioca flour. For that first recipe, we experimented with both whipped and unwhipped aquafaba, which you can read more about here. But spoiler alert: unwhipped aquafaba was the winner! In that recipe, we used chickpeas to help provide some of the body that would normally come from cream cheese, or their common vegan replacement, soaked and blended cashews. For this Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake recipe, we decided to try swapping out the chickpeas with cooked carrots. We had to do a little bit of tweaking to get the proportions right, but the result is a rich, creamy, indulgent baked cheesecake that’s made from 100% plants!
Other Recipe Ideas for Orange and/or Carrot Lovers
- Blood Orange Breakfast Salad (Vegan or Vegetarian)
- Bibb Lettuce Salad with Orange and Cumin Dressing
- Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Ginger Brown Butter Sauce (Vegan or Vegetarian)
- Roasted Carrot Soup (Vegan or Vegetarian)
Using Up Your Chickpeas
So you’ve opened up a can of chickpeas to make this recipe. Use your leftover chickpeas with these recipes:
- 15-minute Thai Chickpea Curry (Vegan or with Pork)
- Vegan Curry Maple Chickpea Cakes (these “cakes” are great for brunch, lunch, or dinner)
- 3-ingredient Sun-dried Tomato Hummus (Vegan)
Eating Together Made Easy
This recipe is 100% plant-based, so it’s suitable for eaters of all types. If you aren’t vegan you can replace the vegan white chocolate with regular white chocolate.
Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake (Vegan)
For the crust
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons margarine
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the cheesecake filling
- 3/4 cup cooked carrots
- 1 cup blood orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange rind
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 9 tablespoons sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)
- 9 tablespoons aquafaba (this is the egg substitute. It isliquid from canned or cooked chickpeas)
- 1 1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips (or substitute cocoa butter and white sugar, see Recipe Notes)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
Make the crust:
- Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until well-combined and crumbly-looking.
- Press into a 7-inch springform pan, distributing evenly.
- Bake at 350F for about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the filling
- Add all of the cheesecake ingredients to the blender. Blend on high for one minute and then scra
- Blend on high for one minute and then scrape down the sides.
- Repeat blending and scraping 1 or 2 more minutes, until the mixture is thick and creamy,
- Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 325F for about 40-45 minutes, until it’s slightly springy to the touch.
- Let cool before removing from the pan.
Substitutions for Blood OrangesIf you cannot find blood oranges you can substitute with any kind of orange or similar citrus such as tangerines, mandarins, tangelos, or a mix of these. Pick the freshest, juiciest fruit you can find. If no oranges are available you could use purchased unsweetened orange juice, although the final flavour will be dependent on the quality of the juice.
Substitution for White Chocolate ChipsIf you cannot find vegan white chocolate chips, you can substitute with 3/4 cup of cocoa butter and 3/4 of a cup of white sugar.
Storing the CheesecakeThe cheesecake will keep well in the fridge for at least 2-3 days and even longer. It will get a bit more firmer and drier over time.
Nutritional InformationNutritional information is an estimate only.
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