When a person makes a decision to take on a plant based diet, they often think they will never have certain dishes ever again – cheesecake was one of mine. After being asked to make a cheesecake for the holidays, I started looking online for various recipes. I knew it could be done – I just thought it was going to be extremely complicated.
I found several recipes and many were ok, some were complete taste bud (and structural) disasters. This recipe is a series of trial and error for ingredients, measurements, and cooking time. I did take inspiration from several different places and eventually figuring out the right combination for our taste preferences.
Its safe to call out that this is NOT a whole food, plant-based recipe. Only plant-based this time.
Vegan Baked Cheesecake
A recipe by Willowbrook Farms Animal Sanctuary President, Crystal Porter
Basic Crust Ingredients
- 1 pack of graham crackers, vegan
- 6 T butter, vegan
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup coconut cream, including some of the liquid from the can
- 8 ounces cream cheese, vegan
- 1 T arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 T melted coconut oil, refined
- 1.5 T lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350′ F
- Soften the cashews by soaking in boiling hot water for 1 hour (or longer)
- Line a spring form pan with aluminum foil
- Place a parchment paper ring into the spring form pan
- Make the Crust
- Break the graham crackers down to a fine powder
- Add the sugar and melted butter
- Add the mixture to the prepared spring form pan
- Pack the mixture down over the entire base of the pan to make a solid crust for the cheesecake
- Set the pan off to the side
- Make the Filling
- Add all the filling ingredients to a high speed blender
- Blend until smooth
- Pour over the prepared pan with the crust
- Make the cheesecake
- Tap the spring form pan, after all ingredients have been added, on the counter to get air bubbles out
- Turn the oven temperature down to 325′ F
- Bake the cheesecake at 325′ F for 50 minutes (do NOT open the oven door during the bake time)
- After 50 minutes, turn the oven off without removing the cheesecake. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes in the oven (do not open the door during this process)
- After the 10 minutes are up, remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes
- Release the spring form pan to remove the cheesecake and use the parchment paper to move it to a plate
- Refrigerate until the cheesecake is fully cooled
Once cooled in the refrigerator, this cheesecake can “survive well” on the counter. It keeps its consistency well, although we keep it in the refrigerator for as long as it can survive consumption.
It tastes great with no toppings, but we like to top with fresh fruit as well as canned pie filling fruits.
If you are interested in watching a video on TikTok of the general process of this recipe, click here.