Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lemon Coconut Cheesecake

leaves and flours vegan Lemon Coconut Cheesecake

There might be green grass & tulips now, but I made this spring-inspired cheesecake in the dead of winter. I made it on a bitter, cold day when we had run out of oil and were waiting for the tank to be refilled. I really needed an excuse to turn the oven on & wish for warmer days. There's not much of a sunnier combination than lemon and coconut, so that is what I went with. I tweaked the recipe from my soy nog cheesecake to incorporate those flavors. And just for the record, if you have never had the pleasure of living in a house heated by oil consider yourself lucky. Our giant, old house in DC requires thousands of dollars of oil to make it through the winter. And that's not toasty warm, it's just tolerably chilly & with the windows wrapped to keep out the drafts.
Luckily worrying about heat is over, since it finally hit 70 degrees this week. I opened the windows. I broke out my shorts. I wore a skirt without tights. It was magical. I even braved the crowds to see the cherry blossoms in peak bloom for the first time. I snuck onto an empty lot a few blocks away and picked a ridiculous amount of daffodils to fill a few milk bottles. I am starting to see lilies in bouquets at the grocery store, so I know May is rapidly approaching. My favorite flowers are the lilies that bloomed in my mother's garden. They always opened up right around my birthday, my favorite time of the year. Not just because it's my birthday, but because May is the most beautiful month of the year. So here's to cheesecakes and flowers and perfect spring afternoons.

leaves and flours vegan Lemon Coconut Cheesecake leaves and flours vegan Lemon Coconut Cheesecake

Lemon Coconut Cheesecake
makes one 10" cheesecake

9 ounces lemon cookies (I used Back to Nature's California Lemon)
4 ounces shredded or flaked coconut
1/2 cup shortening

Crush the cookies & coconut to crumbs in a food processor. While those are being pulsed, melt the shortening. Pour over the cookie crumbs and mix until fully incorporated. If the cookie crumbs still aren't wet enough to hold together when you squeeze it in your hands, then add another tablespoon or two of shortening. Press into the bottom and up the sides of your springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoon EnerG Egg Replacer
28 oz Tofutti cream cheese (3 1/2 tubs)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup sugar
scraping of one vanilla bean
zest of one lemon

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the coconut milk and whisk in the egg replacer. Allow to slightly cool & thicken for several minutes. Meanwhile in the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all the remaining ingredients. Add coconut milk and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour into to springform pan, smoothing the top of the cheesecake. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is only slightly wiggly but appears firm. Allow to cool overnight. I topped it with coconut whip, additional lemon cookies, and tons of toasted coconut flakes.

leaves and flours vegan Lemon Coconut Cheesecake


  1. this looks so delicious. I'm suddenly hungry!!

  2. That looks amazing! And I can totally imagine to eat it in summer. My parents live in a house heated by oil. The ouse is over a hundred years oild and there's no way to update it with a central heating. I lived there my whole childhood and I know how many warm sweaters it takes:)

  3. Baking is definitely my favorite way to warm the house, and since it's still a bit cool around here, I would be delighted to have such a delicious cheesecake come out of the heating efforts! Lovely presentation, bright, zesty flavors; sounds like a sure hit to me.

  4. i have no idea what heating a house with oil is like. but i could recognize those shannon swirls anywhere. see you in 15 days.

  5. I love foods that take me down memory lane and what a sweet memory this is for you. Great combination of flavors!