This vegan tofu cheesecake recipe was originally shared with us by Chef Mark Reinfeld, from his cookbook Vegan World Fusion Cuisine: Over 200 award-winning recipes. That was over 15 years ago, so we thought this post could use big update. We’ve added substitution options, nutrition facts, and more. But it’s still his classic, popular recipe, complete with chocolate option and all. Unlike many other dairy-free cheesecake recipes, this one uses healthy, whole food ingredients. We thought it was a perfect treat to re-share in Veganuary, and before Valentine’s Day.
Chef Mark Reinfeld’s Vegan Tofu Cheesecake with Chocolate Option
Mark uses very wholesome ingredients in his recipe to meet with a variety of dietary needs and desires. But it’s possible that some of the ingredients might not be regulars in your pantry. So I’ve included substitution options and notes below.
- Spelt Flour – You can use whole wheat flour, or even all-purpose flour. The recipe might work well with a gluten-free flour blend or oat flour, but it hasn’t been tested. If using gluten-free flour, I would press it only into the base. It will be a little more crumbly.
- Sucanat – This is technically a brand or specific type of evaporated cane juice, or unrefined cane sugar. You can substitute turbinado sugar. If you opt to substitute regular cane sugar, you might need to reduce the amount. Start with 2/3 cup in the filling, taste test, and add more to taste.
- Arrowroot Starch – Mark keeps things corn free, but you can technically substitute cornstarch without a problem. Tapioca starch is also a good alternative for this recipe.
- Maple Syrup – Agave nectar is a great alternative that works well with thse flavos.
- Apple Juice – This just adds a little sweetness to the crust. In a pinch, you can just use water or dairy-free milk beverage.
- Tofu – Mark uses regular firm tofu. If you opt for silken tofu, I recommend using extra-firm silken tofu.
- Nutritional Yeast – This is one of those odd ingredients that’s difficult to substitute. I recommend having it any dairy-free kitchen because it is a versatile naturally cheesy seasoning. You can try omitting it, or just add a little white miso paste to taste – start with 1/2 teaspoon.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Tofu Cheesecake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, refined sugar-free, and vegetarian.
- 2 cups spelt flour (can sub wheat flour)
- ¼ cup sucanat (unrefined whole cane sugar)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄3 cup oil
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon apple juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, alcohol-free
- 2 pounds firm tofu
- 1 cup sucanat (unrefined whole cane sugar)
- ½ cup dairy-free milk beverage
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1⁄3 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 ½ tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 2 tablespoon vanilla extract, alcohol free
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- For the crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, starch, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, apple juice, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix well.
- Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan, or into the bottom and up the sides.
- Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- For the filling, place the tofu, sugar, milk beverage, maple syrup, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, starch, vanilla, and salt in a large blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the filling on top of the crust and even it out.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour, or until the top turns a golden brown and center does not jiggle too much.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before releasing from the spring form pan to cut.