Monday, March 12, 2012

Vegan Irish Coffee Cheesecake with a Shortbread Crust

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Almost 3 years ago, I became newly Irish-ed. See I wasn't born a Shannon. I married one. But somewhere deep down, maybe I always knew in my Mediterranean blood that I was meant to be Irish. Not to brag but I can do wonders with a potato. I adore green, plaid, cute fuzzy haired sheep and castles combined with overcast days.  Boil me a cabbage and I'll smile like you've just made me ice cream. But sadly I am still only faux Irish. So heading into St.Patrick's day, I thought it would make sense to start with a faux Irish treat. 

Traditional Irish Coffee is actually a cocktail of sorts made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and cream. We took those key ingredients and flavors and transformed them into pretty much the ultimate adult dessert. This vegan cheesecake also has a "buttery" shortbread crust that does more than just hold the cheesecake together. It completes it. It is also probably one of the easiest - yet extremely impressive - vegan treats you could make to impressive even the meatiest eater. Sadly though like its dairy ridden cousin, this cheesecake takes awhile to set. So we should get started. 

Bain taitneamh as do bhéil!

Vegan Irish Coffee Cheesecake with a Shortbread Crust 

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Applesauce
  • 5 8oz Packages Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Hazelnut Meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Pink Himalayan Salt 
  • 4 Tablespoons Applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons EnerG Egg Replacer (just the powder not made per instructions on the package)  
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan Sour Cream 
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Coffee Powder
  • 4 teaspoons Whiskey 
  • Vegetable Shortening to grease your pan
  • Chocolate Sprinkles or Shaved Chocolate to sprinkle over the top
Heat oven to 400. 

Lightly grease 9-inch springforn pan with Vegetable Shortening.

In a bowl, mix the Crust Ingredients with a fork until it makes very small  - almost sandy - pebbles. Press your sandy pebbles into your springform pan in an even layer. Try to create a shallow bowl with the dough by gently pressing the dough up on the side a little. Put your pan in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes or until light golden brown; cool. 

Heat oven to 475.

In your largest mixing bowl, blend Vegan Cream Cheese, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Flour, Hazelnut Meal and Salt with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth. Then mix in Applesauce, Egg Replacer, Vegan Sour Cream and Flaxseed on a low speed until well blended.

Now use your measuring cup to separate out 1 1/2 Cups of the Cream Cheese mix. Put it in another bowl and set it aside. In the large mixing bowl, blend Cocoa Powder and Coffee Powder into the larger portion of Vegan Cream Cheese until it is completely mixed. In the smaller portion whisk in your Whiskey. 

Now pour your Coffee Cream Cheese mix into the springform pan and use a spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Then pour the Whiskey Cream Cheese over the top of the Coffee layer. Use your spatula to smooth it out into an even layer and if you're feeling fancy - swirly it a bit to create a lovely pattern like those you see on the top of schamncy coffees. Once your cake has an even top. 

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... but don't forget the Shaved Chocolate or Sprinkles. I'm not trying to be bossy here but really - who doesn't love  a well-dressed cheesecake? 


  1. An a real Irish person (well, I'm at least a fourth Irish, so that counts, right?), I totally approve of this dessert. YUM!

  2. Cheesecake and whiskey...a match made in vegan heaven!

  3. holy crap, this looks amazing. Do you think this can be made if one doesn't have an electric mixer?

  4. This looks fine and we are fine with whiskey, but we often have guests who are not. Can you suggest a substitute? By the way, we have found that pomegranate concentrate (some times with a little lemon juice added) makes a fine substitute in many recipes that call for red wine.

  5. Wow, Annie, this sounds absolutely amazing!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us and all the specific instructions are just wonderful, in my book. :)

  6. Sorry I'm just now seeing these questions!

    Yes! I think you could make with by quickly whisking together the ingredients by hand. I actually didn't own an electric mixer until we got married and whisked and mashed my ingredients by hand for years. It's not as creamy but it does work. I would encourage you to get an electric mixer though. I've seen some on sale for around $30 and I use mine all the time. :)

    Whiskey! The Whiskey flavor in this cheesecake is very slight so I think you could just replace it with vanilla extract and have a "latte" cheesecake. There are also alcohol flavored extracts out there. I use a "Rum" extract all the time. I hope that helps and thanks for the tip on replacing red wine. :)

  7. This sounds fantastic and I can't wait to try! Thank you for posting this for us kind of Irish people. I'm not born Irish but I LOVE everything about Ireland and the people there too. Wish I lived there! Cheers!!