These little vegan cheesecakes hit the spot. High in protein, low in fat, low in sugar (no refined of course!), a good hit of fibre, NUT FREE, gluten-free, and baked so they have that texture like a traditional New York cheesecake without the nasties. Best of all you can pop them in small moulds and mix and match flavours like I’ve done here.
This recipe came about from a serious craving for something sweet but healthy.. and a love for cheesecake (but not for dairy products or refined sugars like the typical cheesecakes). So what are the key ingredients here? A firm organic tofu for the main part mixed with a few goodies, ground flaxseed/linseed for the base, and the two best real food “jams” I have ever come across for toppings and mixed through for sweetness.
Now tofu is a controversial ingredient for some, however as an occasional treat it can be a good diet add-in as it is loaded with protein which is useful for vegetarians and vegans (and led me to rationalise eating cheesecake for dinner) but make sure to get an organic tofu so you don’t have any GMO products. And I wanted to do up a “baked” style cheesecake that was nut-free (which I also have a nut-free version made from shredded coconut here and a choc-mint cashew one in my cookbook here) to provide those nut-allergen folks with a clean and healthy alternative when they want a cheesecake.
And I cannot stress this enough here – this is one ridiculously simple recipe. Very few dirty dishes. Loads of flavour. And lots of happy faces around the house. Plus from start to eating it was around 2 hours maximum.
This recipe makes 6 perfect sized cheesecakes in mini flan tins (9.9cmx2cms; however if you don’t care to mix and match flavours you can make one big cheesecake in a typical 20cm quiche/cake tin with removable base just add an extra 5-10 minutes cooking time to cook through to the middle).
Ingredients for the base:
1/2 cup ground flaxseed/linseed
1 Tbsp. of melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. Buko Organic Coconut Jam slightly melted by placing the jar in a bowl filled with hot water to soften (if you can’t get a hold of this you can try swapping this throughout the recipe for rice malt syrup/maple syrup/raw organic honey – note using honey for non-vegans and opt for the raw kind ) – this jam is made only from organic coconut milk and nectar and has a beautiful caramel flavour (perfect for eating by the spoonful… which I am guilty of!)
Ingredients for the filling:
1 x 450g packet of organic tofu drained (a firm one gives the best results)
3 Tbsp. of baobab powder (for a lemon kick and perfect consistency)
Juice of one lemon (can add the zest of one lemon for a stronger lemon flavour)
5 Tbsp. of Buko Coconut Jam melted (as above; if swapping this, use one of the sweeteners mentioned above but use 4 Tbsp. of sweetness and 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil)
Pinch of sea salt
Add ins for:
Plain New York Style – add nothing, just bake as is.
Banoffee Pie – after cooking spread a generous layer of Buko Coconut Jam on top (1-2Tbsp) and add 1/3 of a sliced banana. Because the jam tastes just like a caramel sauce (but healthy!) this makes the perfect banoffee pie cheesecake. You could even bake this topped on top, however I opted for raw banana over cooked.
Caramel Swirl – 1 generous Tbsp. of Buko coconut jam swirled through the cheesecake before baking
Caramel Drop – 1 generous Tbsp. of Buko coconut jam smooshed in to the middle of one of the cheesecakes before baking
Cacao Chip – 1/2-1 Tbsp. of cacao nibs pressed through the cheesecake (bonus tip add this to the caramel swirl even).
Blueberry – this is the second jam I mentioned, the brand is The Fruit Tree and is made with 100% organic fruit and it is phenomenal (if you cant find it you could sub it with a homemade alternative of pureed berries and cooked with a little extra sweetness if needed). This jam however is beautiful and has the perfect amount of sweetness and jam like consistency, and again it is one to just eat by the spoonful. Simply spoon 1 Tbsp. on to the cheesecake and swirl through, then bonus points after cooking slather another spoon on for extra blueberry goodness.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- In a bowl combine the base ingredients until a crust type base is formed. Get your mini tins (or large tin) and add a little strip of baking paper for easy removal. Spoon the base in and press down with fingers – I also tested this recipe without a base in one tin and it came right out and perfectly shaped… in case you aren’t big on bases 😉
- Place in to the oven and bake for 10 minutes while making the filling.
- In a blender/food processor/nutribullet place all of the filling ingredients and blend till smooth. This may require stopping and scrapping a couple times. The end result is a deliciously smooth and tasty cheesecake base – test if you want to add any zest for a more lemony tang or even a sprinkle of cinnamon or tsp of vanilla extract – it’s your cheesecake do what you like you wonderful human.
- Remove the bases and spoon in the filling until filled.
- Add any toppings/fillings as above (get creative and find other options too!) and then place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden and firm to touch.
- Remove from the oven and remove from tins after 10 minutes. Leave to cool and then place in the fridge for at least one hour to chill before eating. Remember add any extras goodies on top here and have fun decorating!
I have to say taste testing them all is pretty good. They go exactly like a baked New York cheesecake with that perfect texture and consistency that holds together wonderfully!
I love them all, but the Banoffee (with a little of that blueberry jam scooped on after because I’m very indecisive when it comes to picking my desserts) made for my favourite combination.
The beautiful Buko Coconut Jam and The Fruit Tree Blueberry jam I got from BuyWholefoodsOnline.co.uk and they have a special 10% off code (‘catelliott10’) if you ever want to get a stack of goodies this is where I get all my organic supplies (from essential oils to quinoa and everything in between).
After more real food recipes and healthy living, have a look here!
So much love and happy eating vibes to you,