Recipes, Sweet

BAKED LEMON DELICIOUS CHEESECAKE | wholefood, plant-based & easy

It's all in the name: lemon & delicious...yes please! 

Growing up, we had regular Sunday lunches with my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. I have very fond memories of those days. A more traditional lemon delicious was a regular dessert at these gatherings and it was my absolute favourite! The more lemony the better in my books. 

This recipe came about while I was experimenting with a baked cheesecake but I felt the original result lacked 'oomf'. We had a lemon tree bursting with fruit so I poured 300% more fresh lemon juice in and voila...DELICIOUS! 

One of the wonderful things about this recipe is that you can totally make it your own, so be sure to check out the 'cooks notes' for some tasty ideas, additions, options and swaps! As with all of the recipes I share here, I have created a video to go alongside the step by step images, both shared below. Enjoy that lemony awesomeness, legends!

x Harry 
Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time: 40 minutes 
Difficulty: Easy 
Equipment: High speed blender, food processor, spring form cake tin (23cm approx. diameter)  
1 1/2 (140 g) cups oats 
1 1/2 (150 g) cups almond meal 
1/2 cup (30 g) shredded coconut 
1 tablespoon lemon zest 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds & 3 tablespoons water) 
2 (40 ml) tablespoons maple syrup

2 cups (270 g) cashews 
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coconut cream 
1 cup (250 ml) fresh lemon juice (about 4 - 6 lemons)
1/2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon fine lemon zest 
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius fan-forced (200 degrees celsius for conventional). 

Pour boiling water over the cashews and leave to soak while you prepare the crust.
To make your flax egg, combine flax seeds and water and mix well. Set aside. 
Add the oats to your food processor and blend until a flour has formed. Add almond meal, shredded coconut, 
lemon zest and salt and mix to combine. 
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl along with the flax mixture and maple syrup and mix until well combined. You may need roll up your sleeves and use your hands for this part. 
Line the base of your cake tin with baking paper.

Lay down a silicone baking mat or cover a chopping board in compostable wrap. Add the base mixture and then a layer of wrap or another silicone sheet on top. Using a rolling pin, roll out the base evenly. To nestle it into your cake tin, place the cake tin base on top and slice around. Flip and reassemble cake tin with the base, ensuring you have compostable wrap between your base and the cake tin for easy removal when cooked. 

Place in the oven for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling. 
To make the filling, drain and rinse the cashews and add to the blender with all of the other filling ingredients. Blend until super smooth and creamy. 
Once the base is cooked, pour the filling over the crust and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes. After this time, check that the top has browned very slightly and the mixture is still a tiny little jelly-like when jiggled. 
Once cooked, leave to cool fully before slicing. This cheesecake is perfectly enjoyed straight away. If there is any left then it will store in the refrigerator for up to one week. 

Don't forget to check out the cooks notes below! 

Lemon intensity: Or as I like to call it lemony-ness. I did a little poll on instagram to get a gauge for how you guys feel about the intensity of the lemon flavour in desserts. A large amount of lemon was the clear winner, however I appreciate that this is not for everyone. This recipe is based on my personal preference (ie. extra lemony-ness). The good news is you can adjust accordingly! A little less lemon juice in the filling will achieve a more subtle flavour and further reduction will achieve more of a classic New York cheesecake vibe. 
Lemon Zest: I would avoid using store bought lemons (that are super shiny and likely coated in wax) for zest. Home grown, neighbour grown and farmers markets are all great places to find untampered lemons! If you cannot source these, you can totally skip the zest. It will not ruin the recipe, it just won't have that extra kick.
Another good tip with home grown lemons is, once picked, leave them for a couple of weeks. The end result will be a much juicier lemon! 
Storage: As I mention in the method, this cake is best served fresh once cooled but will store for a week in the fridge. 
Toppings: A shorter list would probably be 'what not to top with'. The sky is the limit here. But these are some of my favourites: dehydrated lemon slices, fresh lemon slices, fresh berries, freshly sliced figs, stewed berries, chia jam, coconut or enjoy simply as is.
Sweetness: I just cannot go past maple syrup as a sweetener for this recipe. It helps bind the base and is super smooth so it's perfect for the filling too! Some options would be to replace the maple in the base with the same amount of coconut oil or date paste. For the filling, although I have not tried this, you could switch the maple with soaked dates or coconut sugar. As you can see, wholefood sources of sweetness are my favourite, but you do you! 
Oil: Not considered a wholefood by many, I am not against a little oil where absolutely needed. For me it's more the source of the oil. For baking I would go for coconut as it is heat stable. I like to keep it to a minimum for Frase and I but we do have it from time to time. I also love olive oil and I generally use this for lower temperature food prep like drizzling on a soup, dip or salad. Adding a little to the base, either instead of the maple or as well, will increase the flavour and crunch but again, you do you! My goals are always eating foods closer to their whole source and progress over perfection.
Coconut cream: This element is pretty crucial as it provides the fat, binding capabilities and creaminess to the baked cheesecake. I have found it interesting to learn that coconut cream consistency varies a lot between each brands. The best performing I have found is the 'Ayam' brand.  

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