About fourteen years ago, we shared this vegan lemon cheesecake in two spots on our website – one showcasing the original recipe and one for making mini cheesecakes. Today, we’re merging both desserts into one recipe, and updating this post! It’s a timeless baked cheesecake recipe that’s adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking (now in it’s second edition) by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Classic Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Full Size and Mini Options
Our friend Gary, who ran the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale for many years, adapted Colleen’s recipe to make mini cheesecakes that could be sold at a bake sale or gifted to friends and loved ones. Her recipe makes one big vegan lemon cheesecake or 12 to 15 mini cheesecakes.
Keep in mind, when Colleen published the first edition of The Joy of Vegan Baking, most dairy alternative companies didn’t even exist! It was 2007, and Daiya, Miyoko’s, Treeline, Violife, Kite Hill, and many other dairy-free cream cheese makers had yet to pop up. She likely tested this recipe with Tofutti, a mainstay in the “olden dairy-free days.” You can get varying results, depending on the brand and type you use. For desserts, we find Daiya performs very well, but your favorite brand will most likely yield a vegan lemon cheesecake that you’ll enjoy.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to pick the graham crackers, buttery spread, and cream cheese alternative that suit your dietary needs.
- 15 vegan graham cracker sheets (gluten-free, if needed)
- 5 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1½ tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (equivalent of 3 eggs)
- 3 (8-ounce) packages dairy-free cream cheese alternative, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. This should make about 1½ cups of crumbs.
- Add the melted buttery spread and sugar, and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of you prepared pan. Use the bottom of a flat drinking cup to gently press the crumbs into place.
- Bake the crust for 12 to 14 minutes, or until it is lightly browned and firm.
- Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.
- Add the water and egg replacer to a large mixing bowl. Whip with a whisk or mixer for about 2 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
- Add the cream cheese and mix until creamy. Beat in the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
- Scrape the batter into your baked crust and smooth the top.
- Bake until the center barely jiggles when the pan is tapped and the top is puffed and golden, about 1 hour.
- Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (preferably 24 hours) before serving.