Tag Archives: cheesecake

Cherry Cheezecake

Vegan Cherry Cheezecake

Yesterday was my daughter’s 17th birthday.  For her annual birthday dessert, she had a hankering for cheesecake.

When she was a little girl, she had a lot of issues with lactose. Over the years, she acclimated and did just fine with a variety of dairy. Unfortunately, over the last year or so, the lactose intolerance has re-asserted itself.

Lactaid works great for minimum dairy intake, but for things like pizza or cheesecake? Not so much.

So, no lactose and a request for cheesecake?

Thanks to Google and a simple vegan recipe found on allrecipes.com …absolutely!

I altered several things, based on both what my daughter was hoping for, as well as my previous experience making cheesecake.

My notes are in italics.

Vegan Cherry Cheezecake

(original recipe from allrecipes.com)


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used a package of chocolate Newman-Os with the filling removed)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (I used agave syrup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Press into a 9 inch pie tin (I used a springform pan). Bake for 5 minutes.

Before preheating oven prepare a 9″ springform pan by lining the sides and bottom with parchment paper and then covering the bottom with aluminum foil. 

  • 1 (8 ounce) package firm silken tofu
  • 1 (8 ounce) container nondairy cream cheese (I used Toffuti)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (I used Splenda, but I might try Stevia next time)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch ( +1 TBS because I didn’t use confectioners’ sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk (substituted almond milk)
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling (low-sugar)


In a blender (I used my food processor), combine tofu, vegan cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, and confectioners’ sugar. Dissolve cornstarch in soy milk, and add to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until set. (It took an additional 15 minutes for mine to set.)

Cool on a wire rack, and then chill for several hours.

Invert onto a plate, and then invert again onto a serving platter. Pour cherry pie filling over the top, and serve.

If you use a springform pan like I did, you will not need to invert the cheesecake, just remove the outside of the pan and then slide onto a plate. I sliced the entire cheesecake into servings and then added the cherries on top of each piece. The leftover cherries and cheesecake were stored separately in the fridge.

The Verdict

If were to do this again, I’d stick with the graham crackers (maybe chocolate graham crackers!). The cookies had a much stronger flavor that I anticipated which overwhelmed the delicate cheesecake flavor.

Other than the slightly strong flavor of the crust, this was a nice substitute for “real” cheesecake. It had a lovely smooth texture and tasted the way my taste buds expected it to, which is 3/4 of the battle!

I used my food processor, which made quick work of creaming together the ingredients.

I’d definitely try the recipe again, possibly doubling the filling and using it as the base for something similar to the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake that my family loves so much.

I’m on the lookout for more lactose-free recipes. If you have any favorites, please do share!

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Recipe Review: White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Elena's Birthday Cheesecake

I love trying out recipes and crafts I find online and it just occurred to me that I’ve never shared any of those with you.  Hmm, it’s about time!

If you like cheesecake, but you’ve never made one before, this is a FANTABULOUS recipe to start with.  The recipe includes minutely detailed step-by-step details.  Cheesecakes take a bit of patience and a springform pan.  Follow each and every direction and your cheesecake will come out perfectly.

You’ll find my comments in italics.

I’m trying out using larger photos in my posts.  Let me know if you like that and I’ll keep it up!

White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
clone of a Cheesecake Factory recipe
found at Top Secret Copy Cat Recipes


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (filling removed) or 20 crumbled Oreo sandwhich cookies (filling removed)
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted I used real butter


  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves I used low-sugar preservses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature use real cream cheese, not lowfat or fatfree or your cheesecake won’t set properly
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks I used white chocolate chips


  • 2 ounces shaved white chocolate (optional) I used white chocolate chips
  • whipped cream (optional) Redi Whip works, too

Before preheating oven: prepare a 9″ springform pan by lining the sides and bottom with parchment paper and then covering the bottom with aluminum foil.  This step comes later in the recipe, but it takes a little bit to get it just right and I found that my oven was on for a silly amount of time while I wrangled with the parchment paper.

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats.

I used a large Pyrex baking dish.  Whatever you use, test it first to make sure the springform pan fits inside with a little room to spare.

3. This will be your water bath.

4. Combine the raspberry preserves with 1/4 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl.

5. Heat for 1 1/2 minutes on high in your microwave.

6. Stir until smooth.

7. Strain to remove the raspberry seeds, and discard seeds.

8. Allow strained preserves to cool, then put the bowl in the refrigerator until later.

9. Measure 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs OR crush 20 Oreo cookie wafers (with the filling scraped out– in a resealable plastic bag) into a medium bowl.

If using Oreos, you want 20 sandwich cookies or 40 wafers.  Now, what to do with all that Oreo filling?

10. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine.

I used real butter.

11. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper.

12. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.

I didn’t do the 2/3 part, ’cause I like my crust just on the bottom.

13. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake in the water bath and prevent it from leaking.

14. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

15. Use an electric mixer to combine the softened cream cheese with the sugar, room temperature sour cream, and vanilla.

You don’t have to use a stand mixer, but if you have one, it makes the work much easier.  You could also use a large food processor.

16. Mix on the lowest setting for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.
17. You don’t want to beat too much air into the mixture, or it will fall and be grainy.

18. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

19. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture.

20. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.

21. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust.

I chose to use white chocolate chips.

22. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust.

23. Drizzle the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling.

24. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese.

25. Just a couple passes is fine, you don’t want to blend the raspberry and cream cheese together too much.

26. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.

27. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven.

Be very careful here.  By this point, the oven is hot and the water is HOT.  If much of the water evaporates while you’re making the cheesecake, add a more and close the oven for about five minutes before adding your cheescake.

28. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color.

Leave the oven door closed for at least 30 minutes.  The water bath helps keep the humidity in the oven high which will help the cheesecake cook evenly and will help to minimize cracking.

29. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool on a cooling rack.

Again, work carefully.  You’re going to have hot water dripping from the bottom.  I put a towel under my cooling rack for just that reason.

30. When the cheesecake is completely cool, cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to sit overnight.

Don’t be tempted to remove the springform pain for at least a couple of hours.  The cake will shrink as it cools and will pull away from the sides.  As long as you’ve used parchment all the way around, the cake will come out perfectly once it’s cooled.  It can take four hours or more for a cheesecake of this size to cool enough to go in the fridge.  Don’t be tempted to put it in too early, or you’ll end up with condensation all over your cake!

31. Before serving, sprinkle the entire top surface of cheesecake with 2 ounces of shaved white chocolate.

White chocolate chips!

32. To serve, slice the cheesecake into 12 equal portions.

33. Apply a pile of fresh whipped cream to the top of each slice and serve.

I like to add the whipped cream to the individual slices.  Not everyone wants it and it also ensures you have lovely stacked whipped cream and an not oozy deflated whipped cream.

Makes: 12 servings

Optional: if the birthday girl has the flu, put birthday candles in the bottom of a paper plate with holes punched in.

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