If you’ve seen my vegan white chocolate & rhubarb cheesecake recipe then you’ll know that I am a BIG fan of baked cheesecakes. My partner (who really isn’t much of a baker) even baked me one on our first date, and I’ve stayed with him ever since – lucky guy.
Getting a baked vegan cheesecake recipe right is really hard. I want to be reminded of the yummy tanginess of a traditional New York cheesecake, but so many vegan cheesecakes just taste like nuts. Or just healthy versions of cheesecakes.
I’m not sure when or why cheesecakes started to become so healthy, but it seems that all you can find nowadays is fruity raw cheesecakes set on top of a gluten-free nut base.
I may be vegan, but when I eat treats I want it to be a treat. Not a healthy version that you are supposedly allowed to eat every day of the week. And a treat is exactly what this baked vegan cheesecake recipe is. Enjoy it and come back to it anytime you get a pesky cheesecake craving.
What is a baked cheesecake?
A baked cheesecake is a dessert that is made up of a biscuit base with a thick yet fluffy cheese cake mix on top. What sets it apart from a non-baked cheesecake is the fact that it includes ingredients that need to be cooked, and because of this it ends up with a firmer more cake-like filling and a really decadent rich flavour.
The most famous style of baked cheesecake is a New York cheesecake which relies heavily on cream cheese and lemon to create its tangy flavour profile.
What is a baked cheesecake made with?
Traditionally, you’ll find a baked cheesecake to be made using cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon, and flour. On the base, you’ll find a mix of butter and biscuit crumbs that have been spread out evenly on the base and baked for a while before the cream cheese mix is added on top.
Obviously, quite a few of these ingredients aren’t suitable for vegans, so it has been quite the task of finding a really effective method of veganising this. But I do believe I have achieved something worth shouting about.
How do you veganise a baked cheesecake?
Many vegan cheesecake recipes are cold set, often using coconut oil. I always find these styles of vegan cheesecake very ‘vegan’ and too healthy tasting. That isn’t to say that they aren’t tasty. Just not the kind of cheesecake I go for! And they definitely wouldn’t bake very well in the oven. I want a baked vegan cheesecake, just like the non-vegan ones you get in New York.
So how do you make a baked cheesecake with just vegan ingredients?
Well, first you’ll want to chuck that jar of coconut oil in the bin. No just kidding, you can keep it and use it to cook loads of tasty Asian food.
A good baked cheesecake has a sort of tanginess to it, because of the cream cheese. And guess what, we now have many different vegan brands selling their variation of cream cheese. And some of them have a great tang! So get your hands on a great vegan cream cheese and a packet of silken tofu (which has magical binding abilities) and you have the beginnings of an awesome baked vegan cheesecake mix!
How do you make a baked vegan cheesecake?
Getting a baked vegan cheesecake right is an art. No, just kidding. It is really simple, but it does require just a little bit of patience.
1. Make the baked vegan cheesecake base
I have many fond childhood memories of bashing up biscuits for a cheesecake base. We’d put all the biscuits inside a bag and bash them with a rolling pin. It is so satisfying. This is exactly what I want you to do here, smash those biscuits to a fine crumb and let out all that pent-up anger.
Or, if you are a fun sponge you could just blitz them up in a food processor.
Mix with melted butter and spread into the base of a greased 20cm springform tin and bake for about 10 minutes. Then leave this to cool as you work on the vegan cheesecake magic.
2. Make the vegan cheesecake mix
This bit is really simple. Blend all of the cheesecake mix ingredients which includes the vegan cream cheese and tofu in a high-speed blender, like this Vitamix, until really nice and smooth. And when I say smooth, I mean smooth. The smoothest smooth you could imagine. You may struggle to achieve this if you haven’t got a good blender. If this is the case then I am sorry, you really need to get your hands on one. Either buy one on your partner/best friend/parents’ credit card and hope they don’t notice, or just steal your mate’s one.
3. Leave the baked vegan cheesecake to cool
The first cooling period starts in the oven. Just turn off the heat and leave it inside the oven for a few hours. This way the mix will set nicely.
Once it has cooled, wrap it up and keep it in the fridge for at least a few more hours.
Or, if you are like me, serve it up as soon as it is cool enough to slice. But seriously, I’d still recommend leaving it to set and cool properly because the texture gets even better. I’m just greedy.
Baked vegan cheesecake tips
Read these helpful baked vegan cheesecake tips so you can get a beautifully set cheesecake that’ll fool all your non-vegan mates.
Bake the vegan cheesecake in the right tin
Baking cakes can get messy if you aren’t prepared with the right kind of equipment and the correct use of it.
A springform tin is best for cheesecakes as it opens up around the sides to release the cake. Leaving the base on the bottom disc.
You can make your life even easier by placing a sheet of baking paper over the top of the tin base and then sealing the sides of the springform tin around it, so the excess baking paper will be sticking out of the edges.
Get the cheesecake timings just right
Just like you would with a non-vegan baked New York cheesecake, you should begin the bake with a hot oven before lowering the heat. And then leave it to cool in the oven for a few hours so that it sets ready to be taken out of the tin. Therefore, I would recommend cooking this baked vegan cheesecake a day ahead to be enjoyed the next, or in the morning so that it can be eaten in the evening.
Baked vegan cheesecake toppings
I recommend eating your baked vegan cheesecake with a fruit coulis or some fresh berries, along with some Oatly cream.
However, it is incredibly tasty on its own. So you don’t NEED to serve it with anything.
Baked vegan cheesecake recipe
- Heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4.
- Line the base of a springform cake tin by putting a piece of baking paper or foil on top of the tin base and then clipping the side on so the paper or foil is trapped and any excess sticks out of the bottom.
- For the crust, melt the plant-based butter in a medium saucepan. Bash or blitz the ginger biscuits into a crumb. Stir in the biscuit crumbs into the melted butter until fully incorporated.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the lined tin and bake for 10 minutes.
- Leave the based to cool on a wire rack while preparing the cheesecake mix.
- Increase the oven temperature to fan 220C/ 200C fan/ gas 7.
- Add all of the cheesecake mix ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
- Grease the sides of the springform tin with plant-based butter and put on a baking tray. Pour the filling into the tin.
- Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
- Reduce then oven temperature down to 110C/ 90C fan/ gas ¼ and bake for around 45 more minutes.
- The cheesecake should give a little wobble if you shake it.
- Turn off the oven leave the cheesecake in there with the door slightly ajar to cool for at least 2 hours.
- Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from the tin. Unlock the side of the tin and then slide the cheesecake out onto a plate. I use a metal spatula and palette knife to help me move cakes over.
- Wrap the cheesecake and then stick in the fridge for a few more hours until cool.
- Slice and eat!