Monday, September 20, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : New York Cheesecake - Pleasecake

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I grew up with New York Cheesecake. Big, thick, virtually crust-less slices of dreamy creamy cheesecake. I could never finish a slice alone, and suspect they were always secretly intended to share. I've always had these romantic ideas of this dream date: two people splitting a huge slice of NY Cheesecake in a place like Carnegie's at like 3 am, after seeing a show or a night of wandering the city. I've never done that, but I have walked through NYC at 3 am and seen this scene a dozen times. By the time I was wandering the city with the love of my life, I was vegan. This isn't Carnegie Cheesecake, but to be honest, it's been so long since I've had it that I don't think even Carnegie's is really what I remember it to be.

But this "cheesecake" is better. It's vegan, and I can share with the love of my life anywhere I want. I didn't even realize how much I missed this cheesecake till I took these pictures. Funny... I'm 35, married to the most amazing man, and can finally have my childhood dream date.

New York Cheesecake (or Pleasecake; there's no cheese in there)
  • 1 Cup Flour (don't use self rising flour for this recipe)
  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 1/4 Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Applesauce

  • 5 Packages Vegan Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour (don't use self rising flour for this recipe either)
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Peel (grated)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Peel (grated)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoon Applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoon EnerG Egg Replacer
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Sour Cream
  • Vegetable Shortening to grease the Springform Pan

Heat oven to 400.

Lightly grease 9-inch springforn pan with vegetable shortening.

In a bowl, mix the Crust Ingredients with a fork until dough forms; gather into a ball. Betty says press 1/3 of the Dough evenly on the bottom of the pan. I ended up using 1/2 of the dough. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until light golden brown; cool. Assemble bottom and side of the pan; secure side. Press remaining dough 2 inches up side of the pan.

Heat oven to 475.

In a bowl, beat Vegan Cream Cheese, 1 3/4 Cups Sugar, 3 Tablespoons Flour, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel and Salt with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth. Beat in Applesauce, Egg Replacer and Vegan Sour Cream on a low speed until well blended.

Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 200. Bake for an additional 1 hour - no longer. Cheesecake may not appear done, but if a small area in the center seems soft it will become solid when it cools. Don't do the toothpick/bamboo skewer test. Turn off oven, leave Cheesecake in the oven 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool in a pan on a wire rack away from drafts 30 minutes.

Without releasing or removing side of the pan, run a metal spatula or a butter knife carefully along the side of the Cheesecake to loosen. Refrigerate uncovered overnight at least 9 hours but no longer than 48.

Run metal spatula or butter knife carefully around the side of the Cheesecake to loosen again. Remove the side of the pan. Leave the Cheesecake on the bottom to serve.

I was going to make Raspberry Sauce to top this, but I hate adding sugar to fruit. So I just topped of this slice with some Blueberries and Raspberries. The juice soaked into the Cheesecale in a way a sauce wouldn't, but I loved it. If you want something a bit more saucy, Betty's Raspberry Sauce is already vegan and very simple to put together.

Betty's Raspberry Sauce (kinda)
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice (this isn't in Betty's recipe, but I would recommend it to brighten the raspberries)
  • 1 1/2 Frozen Raspberries (defrosted and undrained)
In a saucepan, mix Sugar and Cornstarch. Stir in Water and Raspberries. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute.

You can serve this warm or cool; I recommend cool for Cheesecake.

This post is getting a little long, but later this week I'm going to post some Cheesecake Tips in Frequently Asked Questions, so please check back around Wednesday. So exciting!


  1. I never liked cheesecake as a non-vegan, but Vegan Treats has since changed my mind.

    But this, THIS cheesecake really does look like the NY cheesecake I've always watched my dad devour. Incredible!

  2. I actually got to try the real deal made by Mrs. Meet the Shannons...I must say that The Cheesecake Factory would be foolish not to lock down this culinary mastermind into a multi year deal and replace all of their existing flavors with vegan varieties.

  3. This tastes AMAZING! It's creamy, the crust is perfect, and I love how the lemon/orange zest adds a pop of tartness. Thanks! :)

  4. This was just awesome this morning, thank you so much Annie, you're such an inspiration

  5. Just want to say....LOVED IT! It was so good! Cheesecake is something I'd been missing since I went vegan. Thanks for restoring hope that it's not something I have to give up :)

  6. We made this twice for Sukkot guests. A great success. Since I love lemon I added the juice of a lemon and when i didn't have orange zest, left it out. Even when I forgot to leave it in the oven for the 1/2 hour it was only a little wet at the center. Best vegan cheesecake I've tried and I've tried plenty. Thanks!! This is definitely a keeper.

  7. How much cream "chesse" is that please in cups or ounces.

  8. Well most vegan cream cheese comes in 8oz packages and 8 Liquid ozs = 1 US Cup. SO - around 5 Cups seems right.

  9. That cake looks mouth watering, thank you for sharing how it's made.