Delicious soft mock coconut cheesecake. This VEGAN coconut cake has a creamy texture like real cheesecake and is full of coconut flavor.
Last weekend I enjoyed the gorgeous weather in The Netherlands with a couple of my friends. For one day, we were the country with the highest temperature in Europe! We had more heat than Spain. Can you believe it? I still can’t. Everyone had to load up on sunscreen. Including us. Although I hate that sticky sunscreen-feel, I’d choose it any day over risking skin cancer. Anyway, me and my friends had a simple lunch, strolled around Amersfoort on my high heels (=_=) and -ofcourse- we didn’t skip the ice cream (⇒ yoghurt!). It was lovely. What were you guys up to?
In addition to enjoying the weather, I also made this delicious mock cheesecake last weekend for my dad’s girlfriend. Now, I already have a few real cheesecake recipes in my index, but as my dad’s gf doesn’t eat dairy, I had to run tests for a vegan style cheesecake. I wanted to re-create that creamy soft cheesecake texture without cream cheese or whipping cream. And my efforts paid off: By mixing two secret ingredients (okay, not that secret as I’m sharing it today…), I turned two cans of coconut milk into a creamy but firm cheesecake. Just like real no-bake cheesecakes. This cheesecake is so creamy, sweet and full of coconut flavor. You won’t even miss the cream cheese. And did I mention, there’s toasted coconut involved too?
For this cheesecake, I went for a mildly sweet cheesecake base made of digestive biscuits (or graham crackers). My go-to cheesecake base is made from Oreos, but I felt like Oreos would overpower the coconut flavor too much. The cheesecake base is super simple to make. Generally, you just need some kind of biscuit/cookie, sugar and butter for cheesecake bases. In this case I used digestive biscuit and margarine (imitation butter) instead of butter to keep this recipe dairy-free (vegan). If you don’t “have” to make this cake vegan, you can easily substitute the latter with butter. Don’t use coconut fat though, because coconut fat melts too fast at room temperature, which means the base won’t be firm enough.
To make the cheesecake mixture, I used two cans of coconut milk. I used full fat coconut milk for extra creaminess, but I won’t haunt you if you opt for low fat coconut milk. Promise 😉 To create a cheesecake texture, I used agar-agar and corn starch. Yes, a combination. During testing, I found that using just agar-agar to firm up the mixture, resulted in a firm, but jello-like texture. Because real cheesecake is soft and creamy (ohyeahh!), I added corn starch to soften the jello texture. Results? Creamy and soft but firm coconut mock cheesecake. Exactly like it’s supposed to be. And 100% suitable for vegans!
- 150 g digestive biscuits
- 75 g margarine*
- 35 g brown sugar
- 800 mL coconut milk**
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 50 g corn starch
- 10 g agar-agar powder
- toasted coconut, for decorating (optional)
- Line a 22 cm cheesecake pan with baking paper. Set aside.
- In a zip-loc, smash the digestive biscuits to fine crumbs.
- In a bowl, mix the crumbs, brown sugar and margarine until evenly mixed.
- Transfer the crumb mixture to the cheesecake pan and press the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Let the base set in the fridge.
- In a medium pan, mix the coconut milk, sugar, corn starch and agar-agar until mixed evenly.
- Place the mixture on medium-high heat and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. The mixture has to boil in order to dissolve the agar-agar. Keep stirring to prevent lumps.
- Remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring to let the mixture cool slightly.
- Pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base. Shake the pan lightly to even out the coconut mixture.
- Top the cake with toasted coconut.
- Let the cake set for 4 hours in the fridge or until completely firm.
- *you can use butter if you don't eat vegan
- **I used full fat. You can use low fat, but the cheesecake will be less creamy.