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Sunday, 30 May 2021

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Vegan + gluten-free lemon cheesecake bars, with a simple biscuit base, whipped dairy-free cream cheese filling with a homemade lemon curd and poppy seed swirl. These bars will have you swooning!

They are easy to make, require no baking and are ultra refreshing, perfect for summer.

Lemon is one of those flavours which I’m sure everybody loves, wether it be in Cupcakes, Cheesecakes or on-top of pancakes.  Lemon makes everything better in my opinion.

These lemon bars have a 2 ingredient base consisting of dairy-free butter and plain biscuits. I used Sainsburys own 'Free From' gluten-free digestives. Obviously, if you don't mind them containing gluten, you can use any plain digestive biscuit, just make sure they're vegan.

I like to use digestive biscuits when making cheesecake's as they grind very fine and can compact easy (when it comes to no bake, this is crucial). The last thing you want is for the base to crumble away, trust me.. its a nightmare when it happens- haha! 


I had such a overwhelming positive reaction to my No-Bake Raspberry Ripple cheesecake Bars, I wanted to create a similar kind of recipe, using only dairy-free cream and cream cheese for the cheesecake filling. As these bars don’t contain anything like cashew nuts, tofu etc like my “usual” no-bake cheesecakes, these bars are very light, they’re like eating a cloud *a very scrumptious cloud* at that!

My lemon curd is a winner! It’s so easy to make and is thick, creamy and glossy. I mixed in some poppy seeds to give it a little bit of crunch. I also love how the seeds shine through the curd giving the top of these bars extra ‘pazazz’.

If you love refreshing, fruity and zingy desserts, this one is for you! These bars are super easy to make and are extremely light and fresh.

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Jot these ingredients down for your next shopping trip:
  • Cornflour
  • Dairy-free butter / margarine
  • Caster sugar
  • Lemons
  • Vegan condensed milk
  • Turmeric
  • Poppy seeds
  • Digestive biscuits
  • Dairy-free whipping cream (see notes*)
  • Dairy-free cream cheese
  • Icing sugar
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Looking for more lemon recipes? Look no further:

Notes*
What vegan double cream to use?
My favourite dairy-free double cream / whipping cream is Elmlea Plant Based Alternative. It makes the cheesecake filling thick and ultra creamy. Something like coconut cream or a vegan single cream will be too runny and won't set, even if its in the fridge overnight. 

What condensed milk should I use?
My two favourites are Natures Charm Coconut Condensed Milk and Carnation Oat based condensed milk. Both are vegan and can be found in supermarkets and online. 

Preparation: 5 minutes
Chilling time: Overnight
Serves: 10
Level: Easy

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Ingredients for the lemon curd
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour + 1 tablespoon of water
  • 35g of dairy-free butter / margarine
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 50ml of lemon juice
  • 30g of vegan condensed milk (see notes*)
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds (optional)

Ingredients for the base
  • 200g of digestive biscuits
  • 100g of dairy-free butter / margarine

Ingredients for the cheesecake filling
  • 160g of vegan whipping cream (see notes*)
  • 150g of dairy-free cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
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Method (lemon curd)
1. In a small bowl, add in the corn flour and water. Stir together into thick paste.
Add the cornflour paste, dairy-free butter, sugar, lemon juice, condensed milk and a pinch of turmeric into a medium sized saucepan.

2. Place the saucepan on the hob and heat over low / medium, stirring constantly, preferably with a whisk to help break up any lumps. After around 5-8 minutes the lemon curd will thicken. If the curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk. 
Stir in the poppy seeds (optional).
Pour the curd into a heat proof jar or bowl, cover and place aside to cool down. 

You can either put it in the fridge or keep it at room temperature to cool. Before you use it, give it a good stir as it will have thickened.

Method (base)
1. Line an 9x9" rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper. Allow the paper to hang either side of the tin, this makes it easter for lifting out the cheesecake.

2. Place the biscuits into a food processor/blender and whizz up until crumbly, but not too fine.

3. Melt the dairy-free butter/margarine in a small saucepan over the hob.

4. In a bowl, add in the crushed biscuits and pour over the melted butter and mix until like wet sand. You want it to hold its shape.
Press the mixture into the lined cake tin, making sure to compact it in using a spoon or clean hands. The more compact it is, the less likely it will crumble.
Place into the freezer whilst you make the filling.

Method (cheesecake filling)
1. In a medium sized bowl, add in the dairy-free whipping cream and cream cheese. Whip on high speed until thick. This will take around 5 minutes. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, but a hand wick will work great too! See notes to find the best whipping cream for this recipe.

2. Sift in the icing sugar and whip to combine. The cheesecake should be thick and creamy.

3. Spread some of the cooled down lemon curd over the base. Spread out using the back of a spoon or off set spatula. Pour half of the cheesecake filling onto a level off with a off set spatula. Continue to layer the cheesecake with the cream and curd. Once you get to the top, try to get the top as flat / smooth as possible.  Add some of the curd on-top of the cheesecake and swirl around using a tooth pick or skewer. Sprinkle over some more poppy seeds (optional).

4. Transfer into the fridge and allow to set overnight. To speed things up you can place it into the freezer for around 3-4 hours.

Once set, using the grease proof paper, lift the cheesecake out of the tin and slice with a sharp knife into squares. Decorate with fresh lemon slices and a dusting of icing sugar (optional).

To store:
Keep store in the fridge. Best eaten within a few days of making.




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