Thursday, January 19, 2012

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Cheesecake

I had a friend who hated cheesecake. I think he was the only person I have ever met with such an alien aversion.  As evidenced by the numerous vegan cheesecake recipes, there are many enjoying a dairy-free diet who still bemoan the loss of this sumptuous dessert.  Every vegan cheesecake recipe I have ever found, though, calls for vegan cream cheese (all soy-based) and/or tofu. What was our soy-free family to do? Once I started making the no-soy tofu, the wheels started turning--I knew this was the key ingredient to making a non soy-based vegan cheesecake.  I finally put my plan into action yesterday during nap time, to great results.  I took one bite after dinner and incredulously exclaimed, "It worked!"  When Sawyer tried some last night, he was like, "What IS this?"  I guess he couldn't believe that there was a whole category of dessert to which he had never before been introduced.

This cheesecake is certainly not as rich as the original, but it is deliciously creamy with an awesome similarity in taste. As an added bonus, it is not terrible for you like dairy-based cheesecake is. The one improvement that certainly needs to be made is that the filling should be a bit firmer. Some agar powder would probably fix this, and I will post an update once I give that a try.  The top of the cheesecake cracked, but this has happened to me with every cheesecake I have ever made.  My solution for that is to just put fruit on top and pretend all is well.


For crust:
One sleeve graham crackers (about 1 1/2 cups when ground into crumbs)
2 Tbsp. agave or other liquid sweetener
1/4 cup canola oil

For filling:
2 cups no-soy tofu
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp. agave
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. tapioca starch (could sub arrowroot, or cornstarch if no corn allergy)
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Prepare crust by pulsing graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add the oil and agave and pulse until evenly moistened. Oil a 9 inch round pie pan and press the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
2. Rinse out the food processor and then add all of the filling ingredients to the bowl. Puree until completely smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The pie will be pretty much set, with a bit of a jiggle still in it. Cool on a wire rack for about an hour, and then transfer to the fridge to completely cool (at least a few hours) before serving. 

The other big development around here is that Abiline is learning to count to ten. Behold, the cuteness:


  1. Yum! Maybe a healthier cheesecake means we can eat it more often? One trick that I've tried that seems to help with the cracking-after baking to the desired time, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for a couple of hours before transferring to fridge. But, covering it with delicious stuff also solves the problem!

  2. I bet you could just mix all this up and eat it cold...

  3. Do you think it would be possible to make this with 2 cups of cooked white beans?

    1. I really don't think so, as the beans would never be as smooth as the tofu made with bean flour. If you have a vitamix, it may work, as I have hears that those can really get a smooth texture where a food processor couldn't.

  4. Ok, So I used 2 cans of butter beans in this recipe and it turned out beautifully with the texture! I also used 100% extra virgin coconut oil instead of canola which I believe also contributed in the texture as well as a very pleasant taste. I used 3/4 a cup of organic raw cane sugar and baked it 40 minutes instead of 30. It turned out amazing and the taste was VERY GOOD! The only thing about the taste however was that it didn't taste like cheesecake but instead it tasted more like a lemon type pie with the texture and consistency of a very smooth but pleasantly firm cheesecake which was equally delicious. Maybe it would taste more like cheesecake without any lemon juice? Is there a better choice of bean I could have used?

    1. I haven't tried it with just canned beans, so I don't know if there is a better kind, but I am thrilled it worked for you! I have used the coconut oil before, too, and wasn't sure whether it was an improvement or not, so I appreciate your input. I am excited to try the pie with straight beans as well!

  5. Ok so I have a big question for you. How would go about making a pumpkin cheesecake based on this recipe? I've been tinkering with the idea but haven't really come to a sound conclusion and you seem more knowledgeable on cooking then myself.