Classic Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with Full Size and Mini Options

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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.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Recipe with Full Size and Mini Options - dairy-free and egg-free classic, that can be made gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free

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.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Recipe with Full Size and Mini Options - dairy-free and egg-free classic, that can be made gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free

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.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe is adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick Goudreau.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 servings (9-inch cheesecake)
Ingredients
Graham Crust
  • 15 vegan graham cracker sheets (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 5 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Filling
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Graham Crust
  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. This should make about 1½ cups of crumbs.
  3. Add the melted buttery spread and sugar, and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake the crust for 12 to 14 minutes, or until it is lightly browned and firm.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.
Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Filling
  1. 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.
  2. Add the cream cheese and mix until creamy. Beat in the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  3. Scrape the batter into your baked crust and smooth the top.
  4. Bake until the center barely jiggles when the pan is tapped and the top is puffed and golden, about 1 hour.
  5. 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.
Notes
Mini Cheesecakes Option: Place 12 to 15 mini graham cracker pie crusts (Keebler are vegan) on one or more shallow baking pans. (Don’t remove the crusts from their foil wrappers.) Fill the crusts right up to the top with the cheesecake filling and smooth it out. Bake the mini cheesecakes for about 18 minutes, or until the center barely jiggle when an individual pie is tapped. After a few minutes of cooling, while the pies are still warm, press a few berries into the top of each mini cheesecake. Cool and refrigerate as directed in the recipe above.

More Vegan Cheesecake Desserts

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The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe (dairy-free, egg-free, and plant-based)

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Raw Blueberry New York Cheesecake

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan) from Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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