Gluten Free Vegan Lemon Cheesecake

A couple weeks back, I threw it out to you guys on my Insta-stories what should be the next dessert recipe that I make a 'healthified' version. Yeah yeah, I know healthified isn't a word, but I still love it. ;) 

There were a bunch of different requests, but cheesecake came back as a definite winner. I happen to already have this peach & raspberry cheesecake, which is deeeelish and sooo good if the peaches and raspberries are in season, so I thought I'd take a different approach and make a lemon cheesecake.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • ‍I tried the crust two different ways and liked both - so I will give you both options below. Option 1 (the raw crust) is quicker, and more decadent, and probably what I would recommend. The coconut crust is good too, but much less sweet. If you have a specific crust recipe you like, go for it. I wanted mine to be grain free - both of which these options are.
  • If you use crust number #2, there is only 1/4 cup +1 TBSP of natural sugars in the entire recipe. That means, it might not feel as sweet as your typical cheesecake. That's ok!! It's still soooo good from the lemon, and frankly, a heck of a lot better for you!
  • Taste the filling once you've blended it - you can always adjust the sweetness or the amount of lemon in there.
  • I found the consistency best when it had been refrigerated overnight!

Prep Time:

15 min (+1 hour soaking cashews)

Cook Time:

20 min

Total Time:

35 min

Serves:

8

Ingredients

Crust Option #1:

  • 2 cups almonds (or 1 cup almonds + 1 cup walnuts)
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates

Crust Option #2:

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4-5 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP coconut sugar (or cane sugar)

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour and then drained
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk/cream (the thick stuff from a can)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (~3-4 large lemons)
  • 2 heaping TBSP lemon zest (~2-3 large lemons)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP tapioca starch or corn starch
  • Optional topping: 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions

  1. Start soaking the cashews.
  2. Choose which crust you are going to make.
  3. If making crust #1, place all ingredients in food processor and blend until the dough sticks together. Press out into a cheesecake pan and leave in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. If making crust #2, melt the coconut oil and mix all ingredients together. Spread into a cheesecake pan and place in fridge for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Then, while crust is in the freezer or the fridge, preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Drain the cashews and place all of the filling ingredients together in a blender, except the 1/4 cup of coconut flakes which is a topping.
  7. Blend all of the filling ingredients until very smooth.
  8. Pour the filling ingredients on top of the crust.
  9. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or just until the edges are browning. The centre might be a bit jiggly, but shouldn't be runny or liquid.
  10. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
  11. Let it cool fully (ideally place in the fridge overnight before serving).
  12. Enjoy!!

*Parts of this recipe are adapted from Minimalist Baker.

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