I am in love with this no bake vegan lemon “cheese”cake! It is rich yet tastes refreshing and light, and my 10 friends (and wonderful taste testers) absolutely LOVED this dessert. No one even guessed it wasn’t made with cream cheese! You can’t get any better than that.
I love my no bake pumpkin cheesecake but I wanted a cheesecake for those who are vegetarian, or vegan. I have to say, this recipe is absolutely amazing. The base of the cheesecake filling is cashews. You wouldn’t think so but once blended it makes for an amazing creamy substitute for dairy. Normally the taste of the cashews does come through a bit, however, the lemon will be what you taste this time around. Along with tasting decadent, you’re giving your body a big boost in copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, all without spiking your blood sugar.
In my first attempt at this recipe, I used the exact same crust as my pumpkin cheesecake and it completely crumbled. The cheesecake filling didn’t soak into the crust. So when it frozen and ready to serve, the crust just fell off the bottom. Now, many of us like a flaky crust but this was a bit too much. So second time around I added a couple more dates the second time around and it turned out perfect. Whew!
So for this crust, you use 1 cup almond flour, 10 dates with the pits removed, and 1/8 tsp cinnamon into your food processor and pulse until well mixed and somewhat sticking together. Then pour into your 9 inch springform pan, use your fingers and flatten evenly along the bottom.
For the cheesecake filling I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and what is more simple than tossing everything into a blender? You will need 3 cups of raw cashews, 3.4 cup maple syrup (honey works as well but isn’t vegan), 1/2 cup lemon juice (unsweetened!), 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup coconut milk (or water), 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, ans 1/2 tsp salt. Blend on high until smooth. Pour on top of your crust and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top. It will freeze into whatever form you place it in the freezer in.
Once smooth, over the top of your pan with plastic wrap or foil, and place in the freezer. You will want to let it freeze for at least 3 hours but overnight is best. I had left mine in the freeze for just one hour before photographing it. I found that it started softening quickly after about 30 minutes. If you’re making this for a party that won’t be good! However, when frozen overnight, it stayed solid for well over an hour before needing to be placed in the fridge or freezer again. Just take out of the freezer about 15 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.
I found one slice to be completely satisfying. I added my strawberry chia seed jelly on top and it was ah-mazing. It’s not necessary but strawberry and lemon just go together and it is definitely worth the extra step. You can find that recipe here.
No Bake Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
- 1 cup almond flour
- 10 dates depitted
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- "Cheesecake" Filling
- 3 cups raw cashews
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey (not vegan)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In your food processor combine almond flour, de-seeded dates, and cinnamon. Blend for 30 seconds. Pour into your springform pan and press down evenly across the bottom to form the crust.
- In your high speed blender, add in cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk (or water), vanilla extract, salt, and maple syrup. Blend until completely smooth. Add liquid 1 tablespoon at a time if needed.
- Once smooth pour in the middle of your pan on top of the crust. Smooth out evenly.
- Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and place in your freezer for at least 3 hours. Overnight is best for the firmest texture and slower softening.