Cheesecake is probably my all-time favorite dessert and one of the few things I really missed being dairy-free. I was determined to create a dairy-free version of the delicious, dense and creamy cheesecake that I actually enjoy as much as the real thing, and this recipe doesn't disappoint. I had to seek out a couple dairy and gluten-free products to make it work (and be warned, they aren't cheap), but I found some winners and I encourage you to use the same brands I did for the best results.
This is my paleo version of my earlier recipe using a grain-free crust and with a few tweaks and improvements on my original recipe. I hope you'll it as much as I do!
2 cups Purely Elizabeth Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola (Simple Mills Crunchy Cinnamon Cookies work well too and are also grain-free)
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
1 tsp Coconut Oil (to grease the springform pan)
4 packages Kite Hill Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread
1 1/2 cups Maple Sugar
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
3/4 cup Organic Coconut Cream, Full Fat (I recommend Native Forest or Natural Value brands)
4 Eggs, Organic And Pasture-Raised
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Limoncello (Italian lemon liquer)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract, Organic
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest (finely grated)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
- For the crust: In a food processor, grind the grain-free granola and/or cookiee into a fine, graham flour-like texture.
- In a mixing bowl combine ground granola with 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more coconut oil.
- Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan with coconut oil. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides, making sure you don't leave any cracks.
- In an electric mixer, beat the non-dairy cream cheese on medium speed, gradually adding in the maple sugar and coconut flour and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down after each addition. (If you don’t scrape down the bowl after each egg, you may end up with cream cheese lumps).
- Add coconut cream, zest, lemon juice, limoncello and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake at 450° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200° (leave oven door open until oven temp reduces).
- Bake until cheesecake perimeter is set but center jiggles ever so slightly when pan is tapped (it should be firmer than regular cheesecake at this stage), about 1 hour. Turn off heat and leave oven door ajar for 1 hour longer. This gradual cooling will prevent the top from cracking.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. (Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.) Serve topped with fresh, organic berries or other fruit if desired.