Armed with a tofu cheesecake recipe, vegans no longer need to suffer without the delights of one of the world's most splendid desserts!
Yes, vegan tofu cheesecake is here, and in our opinion, it's good enough to stay. You might be wondering how a notoriously creamy, dairy-filled dessert could ever be baked vegan-style (and if it's any good!) We've tried countless recipes and narrowed it down to this simple yet delectable tofu cake. We can vouch for its authenticity.
Press and drain your tofu, prepare your sugar, and crumble those crackers. It's time to prepare a baked tofu cheesecake.
How to prepare Tofu Cheesecake
One 9-inch vegan tofu cheesecake
- 24 oz of extra firm tofu
- 1 c of white sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 /4 c of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 c of Graham cracker crumbs
- While preparing a 9-inch baking tray, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Use a tofu press to press and drain your extra firm tofu.
- Crumble the pressed tofu into small pieces in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the tofu with sugar, vanilla extract, salt, vegetable oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Move everything over into a food processor and blend everything well.
- Place your Graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the baking tray to form the layer of crust.
- Pour the blended vegan cheesecake mixture into the baking tray and allow it to settle.
- Smooth out the top layer of the mixture with a spatula or spoon.
- Place the cheesecake into the centre of your preheated oven and leave it to bake for a minimum of 20 min.
- When the top is beginning to brown, remove the baked vegan cheesecake and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
- Once the cheesecake is chilled, it's time to serve it to your hungry friends and family!
Tofu cheesecake tips and FAQ's
It's such a simple recipe, and with a tofu press and food processor, it really doesn't take long to prepare and bake this decadent vegan cheesecake with just a few simple ingredients.
To make your vegan-friendly dessert even tastier, we've compiled our best cheesecake cooking tips and the answers to commonly asked questions. Keep reading to perfect your tofu cheesecake recipe!
Is tofu vegan?
Just to confirm (before you start baking your cheesecake), yes, tofu is vegan, and yes, this recipe is totally vegan-friendly. Dairy products were not used in the making of our baked tofu cheesecake.
Tofu is a classic Asian ingredient that's slowly becoming more popular in other parts of the world, too, particularly as a vegan-friendly ingredient. In this case, it makes for a new and excellent substitute for traditional cheesecake ingredients such as ricotta cheese, buttery biscuit bases, and thick cream.
In fact, tofu is actually made in a similar way to cheese products. Bean curds are separated using a similar coagulation process, before being pressed into compressed blocks of tofu. Perhaps that's why when blended with a few other ingredients; we get such a creamy finish from the tofu.
Should I press the tofu before making a tofu cheesecake?
Tofu is ordinarily sold in large blocks when you buy it in the shops. Tofu comes in several distinct varieties, ranging from soft to extra firm. Our eggless cheesecake requires extra firm tofu because this tofu has the lowest water content. Moisture has essentially been pressed out of the tofu during the compression process when it's produced.
Baked vegan cheesecake tastes better without the moisture, which would dilute the rest of the flavours present in the mixture. That's why extra firm tofu is the best option. However, extra firm tofu still has plenty of moisture present inside it. To get rid of that excess liquid, we need to drain the tofu before crumbling it.
We press tofu to drain it. This process squeezes the remaining liquid out of the tofu. We can do this using a chopping board, or even just our hands, but the most effective and mess-free method is with the help of a tofu press. This helps to squeeze out the liquid and press the tofu much more efficiently than doing it by hand ever could.
Can I add toppings to my tofu cheesecake?
You'll notice that our tofu cheesecake recipe is slightly plain. We did that deliberately because we want you to add the toppings you love the most.
Our vanilla and lemon-flavoured base taste fantastic on its own, but you can liven it up with fresh toppings of your choice. It's a great vegan cheesecake, no cashews of course, but you can add these yourself. In fact, nuts can be a great addition. Try macadamia or walnuts for a lovely crunchy finish.
We also love adding slices of fresh lemon or orange to the top to complement the lemony tang it already has. Try a mix of blueberries and strawberries for a zesty and fruitier finish. Drizzle with a layer of vegan chocolate to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Can I change flavours too?
Lemon and vanilla are two classic flavours that feature in many firm tofu dessert recipes. The tastes aren't overpowering, and they complement many delicious toppings as well. But you can easily switch these ingredients out for other flavours if you're not a fan.
You can blend vegan or dark chocolate into the mixture for a deep and rich chocolatey base. Add cinnamon and brown sugar, mix in peanut butter, or go for a strawberry base. It's entirely up to you, and you can use our tofu cheesecake recipe as a fantastic starting point for many other delicious cheesecake flavours.
What's the optimal baking time for a tofu cheesecake?
Remember to preheat your oven to 350° if you want the best baking conditions. Once you've placed your cheesecake in the oven, leave it there to bake for at least 20 minutes. This is the minimal time needed to bake through. If you see that it's not quite finished baking or overcooked, adjust your cook time accordingly.
However, it all depends on personal preference. If you enjoy your cheesecake a little bit wobbly and with a soft centre, then take it out around the 20-minute mark. If you're lean more towards a firmer middle and darker finish to the top, leave it in for a few more minutes. Be sure to check on it every 2-4 minutes beyond this.
For tofu cheesecake, any longer than 30 minutes will be unnecessary.
You'll notice how tofu cheesecake cooks considerably quicker than standard cheesecakes. If you have learned how to bake cheesecake using traditional ingredients, throw these baking times straight out of the window. Traditional non-vegan cheesecakes take at least 45 minutes, if not longer to bake through.
How to know when cheesecake is done?
While 20 to 30 minutes is the optimal time for baking a tofu cheesecake, if you're not used to these ingredients, it can take a little guesswork at first to know when it's baked through to perfection.
The easiest and most efficient test is what's known as the wobble test. This is the same test you can use on traditional, dairy cheesecakes too. When you think it's ready, simply open the oven and give the baking tray a wobble. If it's baked through, it's going to have a firm wobble. If it's not baked through, it's going to be liquidy, giving it less of a wobble and more of a slushy look.
It takes a few attempts to get it absolutely right if you're new to baking tofu cheesecakes.
How long does a tofu cheesecake take to set?
Once your tofu cheesecake has baked through, the work isn't over yet. It still takes time for the cheesecake to set before it's ready to be eaten.
For the best results, prepare your cheesecake the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. This leaves plenty of time for the tofu cheesecake to set in its shape for a tastier, more authentic finish. The longer you can leave it, the more time the ingredients have to blend together and impart their flavours on one another, and particularly onto the tofu.
As a minimum, you should be letting your tofu cheesecake set for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, if you can't spare an entire 24 hours before eating it. Remember to cover the cheesecake when you set it in the fridge.
How long does cheesecake last?
Baked tofu cheesecake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This allows you to serve it up with that fresh taste and firm texture. After this, it might start to sag.
However, because there are no dairy ingredients in the tofu cheesecake, you can really leave it in the refrigerator for longer than four days if you need to; it will still be perfectly safe to eat, it just won't be as fresh tasting.
If you have any leftovers, that gives you a few days to finish them off. Enjoy tofu cheesecake all week if you'd like! Unfortunately, tofu products never freeze well. While it is possible, tofu tends to freeze solidly together, and when you thaw tofu, it's going to have lost any creamy texture it had before.
Tofu cheesecake is supposed to have that creamy cheesecake look, texture, and taste, so freezing and thawing defeat the purpose of this.
In short, we don't recommend freezing tofu cheesecake.
Is tofu cheesecake just for vegans?
Tofu cheesecake is not just for vegans; it's for anyone with a love of cheesecakes and delicious desserts. It might be lacking in dairy products and free from actual cheese, but you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how delicious a tofu cheesecake is.
The tofu replicates the creamy texture, and you can add on as many different toppings as you like.
It's a unique recipe, but it's certainly not just vegans who will enjoy baking a tofu cheesecake.
Is tofu cheesecake really a thing?
Okay, so you've made it to the end of our recipe, and we understand it's novel, and it's new. Shouldn't cheesecake be full of dairy products? How is it vegan? If you're still wondering if tofu cheesecake is actually a thing, then don't just trust our judgment; give it a try!
Don't be afraid to change up your standard dessert baking style! While you may not actually live the vegan lifestyle, this recipe is one to add to your cookbook.
Vegans should never have to suffer without a slice of cheesecake, and tofu just made that possible. Give it a go; you'll be more than surprised at how authentic a dairy-free cheesecake can be!
Tofu cheesecake final word
Although tofu cheesecake may be a new take on a treasured classic, this recipe is bound to inspire you to step out of the box and find new ways to innovate classic recipes.
If you liked this recipe be sure to check out our blog for other ideas to liven up your tofu adventure!