Creamy, no-bake mini vegan lemon cheesecake bites that contain no gluten, no tofu, no vegan cream cheese, no dairy, no eggs, and no cashews.
Enjoy this delicious and easy vegan dessert by topping them with dairy-free whipped cream, a homemade berry sauce, or enjoy them plain, they’re delicious either way!
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that back in my pre-vegan days, cheesecake was one of my favourite desserts.
So naturally, I have several mini no-bake versions on this site. These gluten-free AND vegan lemon cheesecake bites are the latest addition to the collection.
Here are the others:
This latest recipe is just like the others: creamy, easy-to-make, individual serving sized, made without cashews, and so, SO good.
Keep reading and I'll tell you (and show you!) how to make them.
Ingredients You'll Need for the Base
There are two groups of ingredients you'll need to make these: the base ingredients and the filling ingredients. The first step is to make the base crust.
Cheesecake crusts usually consist of graham crackers or a date + nut mixture, but I came up with my own base when I created my first vegan cheesecake recipe.
For this base, you'll need rolled oats, dry, unsoaked raw almonds, coconut sugar, shredded coconut, and coconut oil.
We'll go over the ingredients for the filling below.
Coconut Sugar - Brown sugar can be used in its place.
Coconut Oil - Coconut oil must be used since it hardens when chilled. This is what keeps the bases from crumbling apart. Either refined or unrefined coconut oil can be used, if you use unrefined, there will be a slight coconut taste.
Almonds - I have not used any other nut to make the base for this recipe, so while I do think that other nuts or even seeds will work, I can't guarantee it.
How to Make the Base
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
To make the base, place the rolled oats, almonds, and coconut sugar in a high-speed blender and blend until the almonds and oats have broken down. You want to make sure that there are no big chunks of almonds or oats left.
Once the mixture has been broken down, add in the shredded coconut and coconut oil and pulse until everything has combined.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups and press it in until it's packed down and no loose parts remain. (see pictures below). You can use a piece of parchment paper to press the bases down into the muffin cups to make it easy.
Place the muffin pan in the freezer for at least 15-minutes so the bases can firm up while you make the filling.
Ingredients You'll Need for the Filling
To make the filling, you'll need six ingredients: blanched almonds that have been soaked for AT LEAST 24 hours, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil, canned coconut milk, and vanilla.
Coconut Sugar - Brown sugar can be used in its place.
Coconut Oil - Coconut oil must be used since it hardens when chilled. This is what firms the cheesecakes up as they are chilling. Either refined or unrefined coconut oil can be used, if you use unrefined, there will be a slight coconut taste in the finished cheesecake which is pleasant if you like coconut flavour!
Soaked Blanched Almonds - I have not used any other nut to make the filling for this recipe, so I'm unsure of how others would work. (Note: If you can't find blanched almonds, almonds with the skins still on will work, but you'll need to remove the skins before making the recipe, details about that are in the recipe notes.)
Maple Syrup - I have not used another sweetener for this recipe so I'm not sure how well others would work.
How to Make the Filling
Add all of the filling ingredients to your high-speed blender and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It will take a minute or two and you may need to use the tamper to keep it moving.
IMPORTANT: You MUST use a high-speed blender for this step. A food processor or regular blender is not powerful enough and you run the risk of damaging them. They are not powerful enough to blend the filling to the smooth and creamy consistency needed.
Once the filling has been blended, remove the chilled bases from the freezer and divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
Smooth out the tops and place them back into the freezer for at least an hour for them to firm up.
How to Serve Them
Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving so they can thaw a little, once the time has passed, garnish and serve.
As you can see from the pictures, I LOVE topping them with cherry sauce but you can also use any of the following:
Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer where they will keep for about two weeks.
Expert Tips for Success
- Blend the base ingredients very well so there are no longer any large pieces of almonds or oats. Leaving big pieces will make the base crumbly.
- Don't skip soaking the almonds. The almonds for the filling must be soaked to blend properly. The almonds for the base do NOT need to be soaked.
- Don't skip chilling the cheesecakes before serving, they will be too soft to serve if they are not chilled.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results and read it thoroughly before starting.
Cheesecake made the classic way, with eggs and dairy, is not suitable for vegans but there are so many vegan versions out there (like this recipe!). Making (or buying) a cheesecake made from only vegan ingredients will be suitable for vegans to eat since it will be eggless and free from any dairy.
The filling is usually made from cashew nuts, tofu, or vegan cream cheese, but there are other ways to make it without having to use any of those ingredients. This recipe relies on almonds as the main filling ingredient.
Yes, just use a small springform pan instead of a muffin pan. The larger the pan, the thinner your slices will be, so keep that in mind. Slice the cheesecake while it's still solid from being in the freezer, it will not slice well once it has thawed.
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You may also like these other simple vegan gluten-free desserts:
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Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
For the base:
For the cheesecake:
- Add 12 muffin cups to a muffin pan.
To make the base:
- Add the rolled oats, almonds, and coconut sugar to a food processor or a high speed blender.
- Blend until the almonds and oats have broken down.
- Add the shredded coconut and the coconut oil.
- Pulse until everything has combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups and press it down until it is packed down and no loose parts remain. (see picture above)
- Place the muffin pan in the freezer for the bases to firm up. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
To make the cheesecake:
- Add the almonds, coconut milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla to a high speed blender.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You may need to use your blender's tamper to keep it going.
- Remove the chilled bases from the freezer and divide the cheesecake mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Smooth out the tops and place back into the freezer for at least two hours for them to firm up.
- Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving so they can thaw a bit. Garnish and serve.
- Please read all of the helpful info above and below before making this recipe to ensure success.
- The almonds MUST be soaked for at least 24 hours before you start to make this recipe so they are soft enough to blend. I place them in a container with the water, cover, and then refrigerate for 24 hours.
- A high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) MUST be used for the cheesecake part of the recipe. If one is not used, the almonds will not break down properly and you run the risk of overheating/damaging your regular blender.
- Use only whole, raw, unsalted almonds for this recipe, NOT slivered, sliced, or roasted almonds.
- Blanched almonds come with the skins off to make things a bit easier for you, but if you cannot find them, you can also use almonds with the skins on BUT, be sure to peel the skins after they have been soaked. This step is a little time consuming, so be sure to factor this into your prep time. To make it easier, soak the almonds in hot water for 15-20 minutes before peeling and the almond skins will slide right off.
- Full fat coconut milk will give you a creamier cheesecake.
- When pressing the base down into the muffin cups, I like to use a piece of parchment paper to make it easier, see the picture above.
- Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer where they will keep for about two weeks.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 cheesecake made using the recipe as written and without the optional garnishes. Nutrition info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.