Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake
- 2 cups (200g) plain sweet cookies
- ⅓ cup (75g) vegan butter, margarine or coconut oil, melted
- 2 cups (480g) vegan cream cheese (2 x tubs) room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) cane sugar, or light-coloured sweetener of choice
- 3 tbsp (45g) melted coconut oil or cacao butter, or 2 tsp agar powder*
- 3 tbsp (45g) lemon juice and zest, or to taste (around ½ lemon)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
- 3 cups (360g) fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 cup (240g) canned coconut cream, thick part only
- ¼ cup (30g) corn flour or corn starch
- 1 tsp beetroot powder, to colour if ndeed
- 1 cup (120g) fresh strawberries stems removed (you can even sub half with raspberries as they tend to be more vibrant)
- 1 tbsp corn flour or corn starch
To make the crust:
- Add the cookies to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of a 20 cm (8 inch) lined cake tin. Set aside.
To make the filling:
- Add the cream cheese, sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice/zest and vanilla extract to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add the strawberries and a dash of water to a medium-size saucepan over high heat. Simmer and mash with a fork or stick blender to help the strawberries break down. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to around ½ cup, heaped (~180g). It should be the texture of tomato pasta sauce.
- Add the coconut cream and corn starch/flour to the saucepan and whisk thoroughly. Bring it to a gentle boil for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens up. The mixture may seperate which is normal!
- Add the strawberry mixture to your food processor/blender and blend until as smooth as possible. If desired, add beetroot powder to colour. Pour the cheesecake filling into your cake tin and smooth the top. Chill the cheesecake the fridge for 4 hours or until set.
- Add most of the strawberries and all the corn flour/starch to a small saucepan over high heat. Mash the strawberries with a fork or stick blender. Stir until thickened to a jam-like consistency. Sweeten if desired.
- Just before serving, top the cheesecake with the strawberry compote and reserved strawberries. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
- no bake
- nut free
- date free
- creamy and mousse-like
- perfect for Summer days, Valentine's Day or when you're craving strawberries!
Graham cracker crustI wanted this vegan strawberry cheesecake to be indulgent and as close as possible to a classic unbaked cheesecake. So, I made a classic buttery graham cracker crust using common ingredients including:
- Vegan-friendly sweet cookies
- Melted vegan butter or melted coconut oil
- Sweetener, if desired (I thought it was sweet enough)
Filling for the vegan strawberry cheesecakeLots of baked and no bake vegan cheesecakes rely on cashews or other nuts to make them creamy. This time, I really wanted to make a vegan cheesecake with NO cashews (and no need for a high-powered blender)! I used:
- Vegan cream cheese for that classic cheesecake taste and texture.
- Canned coconut cream which provides structure to the cheesecake.
- A LOT of strawberries because I wanted the cheesecake to be packed with strawberry flavour.
- Sugar because it's a dessert!
- Lemon juice, to add tartness to the cheesecake.
- Cornstarch/flour, a thickening agent which helps maintain the creaminess of a cheesecake. Also minimises the amount of coconut oil or agar.
- Coconut oil (or agar powder) to help the cheesecake really set.
- A little beetroot powder for extra colour. This is optional but it will make the cheesecake a show stopper!
I PACKED this cheesecake with strawberries!Now, this is the best vegan strawberry cheesecake because it's brimming with strawberries... 4 cups including the topping! To get an intense strawberry flavour, I created a strawberry reduction on the stovetop. We start with 360g strawberries which need to be reduced to 180g. The final texture should be similar to tomato pasta sauce!
- reduces their water content thereby intensifying their flavour
- makes the cheeseecake more CREAMY without tasteless thickeners
- means we can avoid artificial strawberry flavouring.
Setting the cheesecakeSince this vegan strawberry cheesecake is no bake, we need to set it in other ways. I used double thickening/setting agents (cornstarch and coconut oil) because:
- A cheesecake set with only cornflour is more like a wobbly pudding/custard. Adding too much will give the cheesecake a powdery mouthfeel.
- Alternatively, a cheesecake set with only coconut oil can have a firm mouthfeel tastes VERY coconutty and can have an overly firm mouthfeel.