I’ve got an extreme soft spot for any lemon flavored dessert. Seriously, if you put a brownie or a lemon bar in front of me, I will grab the lemon bar every time and then proceed to eat the entire pan of them before I even consider the brownie. I love the tang and freshness of lemon in desserts. It brings such a lightness because of the acidity. Combine cheesecake and lemon and you’ve got the ultimate dessert for my birthday, which by the way, is today. Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to meeeeee, Happy Birthday to me.
This slice of heaven brings me so much joy on the day I turn 31. It’s so hard for me to believe that I’m officially in my early thirties. There is still so much I want to accomplish in my life and so many places I want to see, I certainly hope I don’t run out of time. I better really get after it. Ugh, life goes too fast.
I digress. This whole me making a Lemon Cheesecake for my birthday is something I’ve never done. I’ve never made a Lemon Cheesecake vegan or non-vegan, and I have never made my own birthday dessert. Growing up I always asked my mom to make me something special. I would scour through all her cookbooks and find the most fabulous dessert, or so I thought, and she would make it for me. It was usually some extravagant layer cake out of one of Martha Stewarts cookbooks. They were always fabulous and we always had dessert as a family. It’s one of those things I always cherished from childhood.
Today, even though I made my own dessert, my mom and I were still able to share it. She came over and I made lunch, we drank a bottle of wine, and finished off the meal by splitting a piece of this. I didn’t tell her I was making dessert, and since this was my first time, when she took a bite I asked, “is it good” and then proceeded to take a bite myself. SWOON. Eyes roll in the back of your head, swoon.
It’s lighter than traditional cheesecake, which I like. If you prefer something more heavy, just have 2 pieces. The other great thing about this recipe is that its baked. You’re probably asking yourself, why wouldn’t you bake a cheesecake? Well, many non-dairy cheesecakes are raw. Therefore they are put in the refrigerator or freezer to firm up. Once taken out of that environment, they soften. Sometimes a bit too much. This bad boy can sit out all day and be just fine.
So, without further adieu, I give you, my Vegan Lemon Cheesecake.
The base is a combination of almonds, sugar, coconut, and coconut oil to bind it together. If you’re not a coconut flake fan, go ahead and omit that, but I would add more almonds. I just love coconut and I feel it gives this cake a more tropical feel.
As with most non-dairy cheesecakes, the base of the filling is cashews. Cashews when soaked and blended create this extremely creamy consistency. Many flavors can be added into this cashew base to create either sweet or savory foods depending on what you’re going for. In this recipe, we add lemon juice for the lemon flavor, maple syrup for sweetness, coconut yogurt for that extra cheesecake like tang, and the coconut cream for added fat and creaminess. I used arrow root starch as my thickener. This will help the cheesecake set as it bakes.
After the crust has baked and the filling is made, add the filling to the pan and bake for an hour until the cheesecake is just set and barely jiggly in the center. Once it cools completely, it should be all set up.
Serve this slice of heaven topped with coconut whipped cream or stewed blueberries.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to comment and tag me on Instagram and Facebook @plantiful_grub. I hope you all love this delicious dessert. Enjoy.