This version of New York-style cheesecake is creamy and rich but also light and fluffy. Vegan cream cheese and sour cream easily stand-in for the conventional versions. The key is to bake the cheesecake in a hot water bath so that it cooks slowly and doesn’t crack.
New York Style Cheesecake [Vegan]
For the Crust:
- 2 cups (500 mL) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) sea salt
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) melted vegan butter
For the Filling:
- 6 cups (1.5 L) store-bought vegan cream cheese (see Tip)
- 1 cup (250 mL) store-bought vegan sour cream (see Tip)
- 1 cup (250 mL) cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) sea salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) melted vegan butter
To Make the Cheesecake:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- To make the crust In a medium bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix until well combined. Place the crust in a 10-inch (3 L) springform pan. Using the back of a measuring cup, press the crust into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
To Make the Filling:
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, cornstarch, and salt. Start at the lowest speed and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually increase the speed every minute or so, until you reach the highest speed and everything is well incorporated. Return the machine to the lowest speed and add the flour and melted butter.
- Gradually increase the speed again until combined.
- Pour the filling into the prepared graham cracker crust and tap the pan on a surface to remove any air bubbles. Place the springform pan in a deep roasting pan and add enough hot water so it reaches halfway up the cake. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the sides are slightly firm but the cake is still jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving, about 3 hours or overnight. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.
TIP Store-bought vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream generally contain stabilizers and/or starches or gums. These help the cheesecake hold its shape and prevent it from cracking during the long cooking time. VARIATION strawberry cheesecake Topping In a pot, combine 2 cups(500mL) sliced fresh strawberries, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture is thick, 10 to 12 minutes. Once the cheese- cake has been baked and has cooled completely, pour the strawberry mixture over top and refrigerate until set.