Traditional cheesecake is SO rich, and while I’m not opposed to eating it on occasion I was pretty darned excited to create a no-fuss baked vegan cheesecake out of simple ingredients that is a total doppelgänger for the real deal!
If you’ve ever made a baked cheesecake before you’ll know that it is a bit high maintenance. Done properly, you typically need a water bath to bake it in, and half of the time it ends up splitting and being over or under baked. Sigh, no thanks. The older and busier I get the less I want to make things that require that much TLC.
But on a more important note, creating desserts that are healthy AND delicious is such a rewarding challenge for me. There are a few things that hit the priority list when I create a recipe. I always try to use the lowest number of ingredients possible, include ingredients that you would normally have in your fridge (or be able to easily source at a regular grocery store) and I try to use the least amount of sugar and other ‘sometimes foods’ as possible to make it as nutritious yet delicious as possible. Because something can be as healthy as you want but if it doesn’t taste good, nobody will eat it! Am I right?
While a traditional cheesecake can be a little finicky and require baking in a water-bath, this cheesecake (inspired by Lauren Toyota’s Hot for Food Cookbook) was a dead ringer for the real deal and so much simpler to make. In fact, this cheesecake had guests fighting over the last piece! It was so easy to make and made for the perfect dessert for our dinner party since I was able to make it the day before. I LOVE things I can make ahead.
We have a cherry tree in our yard so at this time of year we always on the hunt for new cherry recipes. Cherries are super nutritious and are filled with fibre, potassium, vitamin C & E and antioxidants. I rounded up all my favourite cherry recipes in last week’s newsletter. In case you missed it I included these Okanagan Cherry Oat Bars, this Cherry Kale Salad, and this yummy Cherry Peach Salsa.
The Rum Cherry Filling is the same I use for my Black Forest Black Bean Brownies and it’s so delicious I didn’t change a thing! If you don’t have cherries you could substitute blueberries or another summer fruit (you will likely want to leave out the rum in this case). If you’re looking to make it without the alcohol just substitute it for water. To make this recipe gluten free you can substitute gluten free graham crackers in the crust!
Vegan Baked Cheesecake
This super simple and healthy vegan 'cheesecake' is so much healthier than the traditional version with zero taste compromise!
- 1 tablespoon sugar or coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cups soft tofu (300 grams)
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked)*
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 5 cups fresh cherries (or other berries)
- 1/4 cup sugar or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water, divided
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- coconut whip to serve (optional)
Make the Crust
Pre-heat the oven to 325 F and grease the springform pan (spray or brush with oil).
In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the crust ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer the mixture into a 7" springform pan and evenly pat down firmly with your fingers or a flat glass.
Make the Cheesecake Filling
In a blender, combine all the cheesecake filling ingredients and blend on high until smooth, approximately 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour into the springform pan over the crust.
Bake for approximately 60 minutes until it is golden in colour and the filling is set (doesn't jiggle when you shake it). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile make the Cherry Rum Sauce
Once the cheesecake has cooled, top with cherry rum sauce and serve!
Cherry Rum Sauce
In a medium saucepan combine the cherries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat until the cherries soften and the sugar dissolves, approximately 10-15 minutes. Add the rum and stir.
In a cup, stir together the corn starch and water until the corn starch is dissolved and smooth. Slowly drizzle it into the cherries while stirring. Continue to cook on medium heat until the cherries thicken and look clear not cloudy, approximately 2 minutes. Set aside.
*soak cashews overnight in water or for 20 minutes in boiling water