Look at this creamy, dreamy, baked cheesecake! Can you believe that this baby is 100% plants?
[Editorial Note: Recipe edited December 12, 2019, to reduce quantity of water.]
You’re going to want to make this for an audience, so you can impress them with your alchemy. Skeptical witnesses will be mooing about the seemingly random array of items that you’re throwing into the blender.
- Coconut oil.
- Almond flour.
- A dash of tapioca flour.
- The alchemical-unto-itself aquafaba!
- Lemon. Juice and rind.
- Cane sugar.
- Cocoa butter.
As you toss each item in with a flourish, explain to your onlookers that there’s a method to the madness. The first four ingredients combine to replicate cream cheese. The chickpeas and liquid replace the eggs and add body. The cocoa butter and cane sugar add the creamy mouthfeel and sweet taste.And the lemon ties it all together, the perfect mediator.
I’m betting that when that blender quits a-twirling, there’ll be some fingers lined up for a taste!
You and your impressed onlookers can enjoy this straight up or topped with Triple Berry Sauce, a jammy, slightly sweet combo of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, with a hint of orange. Yum.
Other Sweet Recipes with Aquafaba
- Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake (Vegan)
- 1-Bowl Peanut Butter Cookies (Vegan and GF)
- Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lemon Pistachio and White Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan or Vegetarian)
Eating Together Made Easy
This lemon cheesecake is 100% vegan, so it works for eaters of all types.
If you aren’t vegan but are just looking to reduce your consumption of animal products, you can replace the cocoa butter and sugar with white chocolate chips. (See Recipe Notes for proportions.) White chocolate chips are usually a bit cheaper and easier to find but also contain some milk. So instead of having your typical dairy and egg-laden cheesecake, you’re only having a teensy amount of dairy, while still enjoying a creamy sweet treat. I’d say that’s a win.
Blend and Bake Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
- 9 tablespoons melted coconut oil (Use flavourless oil and melt before measuring.)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour (Ground skinless blanched almonds)
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon rind
- 3/4 cup water* (Start with this amount and add more by the tablespoon if needed for your blender.)
- 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, unsalted
- 9 tablespoons aquafaba (See recipe note)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa butter (Yes, this is vegan)
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
Coconut Lemon Crust
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon lemon rind
- Make the crust: Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until crumbly and well-combined.Line your springform pan with parchment paper.Press a scant 1/4 cup of crust mixture into each pan.Bake at 350F for 6-7 minutes or until the edge of the crust is just starting to brown. Turn the oven down to 325F for the next step.
- Make the filling:Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute then scrape down the sides.Repeat 3-5 more times, until the mixture is quite thick and creamy. It will be the consistency of a very thick cream soup. Pour into prepared pans.Bake at 325F for 35 minutes. The top will be slightly brown and the centre should be firm with a bit of spring. (If you are using only 1 pan, this will take longer to bake. Start checking around 45 minutes, but it may take 50 or 60 minutes.) Let cool before removing from the pan.
- Enjoy topped with Triple Berry Sauce or your favourite fruit sauce. The luscious lemon filling would also pair well with cherries, strawberries, mango, or even pineapple!
Replacement for Vegetarians/Reducetarians/FlexitariansIf you are vegetarian or reducetarian, you can replace the 3/4 cup cocoa butter AND 3/4 cup of cane sugar with 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips. If you have a mixed crowd and want to make both a vegan and vegetarian/reducetarian versions, you can leave the cocoa butter and sugar out of the blender. This recipe makes three 4 1/2 inch cheesecakes, so you can easily make 1 vegan and 2 vegetarian/reducetarian, or vice versa. To do this, blend the filling as in the instructions and then per cheesecake, combine 1/3rd of the filling mixture, with either:
- vegan – 1/4 cup melted cocoa butter and 1/4 cup cane sugar
- vegetarian/reducetarian – 1/2 cup melted white chocolate chips
AquafabaPlease see post, Aquafaba: An Easy Vegan Egg Replacer.
Nutrition InformationNutrition information is an estimate, based on each serving being about 1/3rd of a 4 inch pan. This is a rich dessert, so this is a generous serving. It is based on using white chocolate chips, not cocoa butter.
Some Cooking Geekery and Thank Yous!
I was inspired to use chickpeas in the filling by this recipe from a Virtual Vegan. Her recipe uses chickpeas but not the liquid.
I make a lot of recipes with aquafaba and I get a lot of good advice and inspiration from the fabulous Aquafaba (Vegan Meringues Hits and Misses) Facebook group.
When I was developing this I did four different tests. While keeping every other ingredient constant, I made one version with just chickpeas, one with chickpeas and aquafaba, and a third one with chickpeas and whipped aquafaba. Here’s a pic:
They were all good. Both aquafaba versions rose nicely in the oven, giving that look of a true baked cheesecake. The version with the whipped aquafaba fell somewhat though and since it was more work, with a less positive result, I went with the unwhipped aquafaba for this recipe.
I was also curious how the recipe would work out if I used soaked cashews instead of almond flour. (I always have almond flour on hand for my Mother Mix.) I tried the soaked cashews with the chickpea and aquafaba combination. This version did not get thick and creamy in the blender and did not firm up in the oven. It was more like a lemon pudding. Tasty, but not what I was going for!
This looks amaze!!! You blow my mind woman!
Thanks Ange!! I’ll make some next time we get to see each other!
[…] And last, but definitely not least, this is a perfect topping for my Blend and Bake Lemon Cheezecake. […]
help! I tried to make this and the batter was incredibly runny. even after i added approximately 1/2 cup more of tapioca flour it was barely the consistency of cake batter. It made a mild little tart, but nothing like the consistency of your photo, or cheesecake. I reviewed the measurements and didn’t see where I made an error (though it’s possible). Has anyone else tried this – the main version of the recipe – with success?
Hi! It sounds like it just needs more blending. It takes a total of 5 or 6 minutes on high speed in the blender to get to the thick cream-cheese like consistency. You blend for a minute, then scrape down the sides and then repeat 4 or 5 more times. You should not need to add additional tapioca flour. Do you think it had enough time in the blender?
Hi. Where do you buy cocoa butter? Could you post a link or picture of the product? I live in Australia so finding the same product will require a little exploration. Your help would be gratefully appreciated.
Hi Lucy – I can’t easily include a link here but I’ve sent you an email with a link to a place where you can purchase it in Australia. Hope this helps!
I did 5 minutes of blending, then more after adding the extra tapioca flour. The consistency was like cream rather than cream cheese at 5 minutes.
I am really not sure what could have happened. That’s a lot of tapioca flour! Even after the first 1 minute of blending it should be thicker than cream, between the quantity of almond flour, chickpeas, and cocoa butter. I use a Blendtec blender for testing. What type of blender are you using? Was the mixture quite warm after all of the blending was done? I am so sorry that this did not turn out for you. I have made this recipe many times with success.
Looks divine and I’ve been meaning to make it for so be time now. Just wondering since I don’t have the small pans if it can be made in one larger pan. And if so, how much more baking time would you recommend?
Thank you! You can bake it in a 7 inch pan and it will need about 45 minutes baking time.
I ran into the same problems as Soleil. My mix was more like a thick cream soup than cream cheese when I blended it. I even used a VitaMix for over 6 minutes. It took 1 hour to bake instead of 30 minutes and they were still a bit soft, but after chilling I was actually able to slice them and they were firm enough to stand up on their own! Have you ever tried using less water in this recipe?
Bottom line: This is one of the best tasting vegan “cheesecakes” I’ve ever had.
Hi Judy – Thank you very much for your feedback. I will try the recipe with less water, and in the meantime will add a note about using less and adding in if necessary for the blender. Perhaps a thick cream soup is a more appropriate description than cream cheese, as well. I’m happy to hear in the end though that this was one of the best testing vegan cheesecakes you’ve had!
Thanks for your feedback Sylvia. I should also clarify that I used the white chocolate chip variation and for any other readers, I also substituted Cannellini beans ( white kidney beans) for the chick peas because of their mild neutral flavor, but I definitely used the recommended aquafaba.
I have used aquafaba in the past and used a reduced version in this recipe just to make sure everything held together. Still getting so many compliments on this cake! Thank you!
Thank you Judy! So happy to hear it was a hit!
Could this be made but free? Would spelt flour work?
Hi – I haven’t tried it with other flours, so I’m not sure how it would turn out. If you have a small springform pan, (4 1/2 inch size), you could try dividing the recipe in 3 and make a tester batch with spelt flour. If you do, let me know how it goes!
Hi, this looks so amazing! Could I replace the cocoa butter with anything else vegan (plant fat, vegan butter?) because it’s really hard to get here… Same for the tapioca starch: would corn starch work, too?
Thanks Anna! If you can find vegan white chocolate chips, you can replace the cocoa butter and sugar with those. So you would use 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips instead of the cocoa butter and sugar. I am not sure about a replacement for the tapioca starch/flour – I have not tried it with corn starch but it could possibly work. If you have smaller springform pans – equivalent to 4 1/2 inches – you could do a test version using 1/3 of the recipe. That’s really the only way to know for sure. If you do try it, I would love to hear the result.