I know it’s the middle of winter and apples are technically a “fall fruit” but as far as I’m concerned, cheesecake is in season year round so vegan apple cheesecake it is! These vegan apple cheesecake bars are so rich and creamy, with a tofu based filling, an (addicting) salty pretzel crust and cinnamon brown sugar apples on top, it’s the perfect dessert for any time of year!
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making the perfect vegan cheesecake, and I’ve found that extra firm tofu really does the trick. I’ve seen a few recipes that use silken or firm, but these tend to just turn to pudding at room temperature. Extra firm gives it a really nice smooth, creamy texture and it also holds its shape out of the fridge. This is why it’s also important to get was much moisture as possible out of the tofu before you blend it up.
I like to use a food processor to blend the filling for the vegan apple cheesecake, just because it helps to work out some of the clumps from the tofu, but a high speed blender, like a Vitamix will work too. You’ll probably need to blend it longer than you think— at least 2 minutes, in order to get rid of that grainy texture.
Vegan Apple Cheesecake Pretzel BarsCourse: Dessert, VeganDifficulty: Easy
These vegan apple cheesecake bars have a creamy tofu filling, a crisp pretzel crust and a cinnamon brown sugar apple filling. Vegan, nut free and easy to make, they’re the perfect fall or winter dessert!
- For the pretzel crust
2 cups pretzels
5 graham cracker sheets
6 tbsp vegan butter, softened
- For the filling
1 14 oz block extra firm tofu, drained
7 oz vegan cream cheese (I like Violife)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the apples
3 medium apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tbsp vegan butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325 F and press a sheet of tin foil into an 8×8 baking dish, making sure to leave a few inches on the sides so you can lift it out later.
- In the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender, pulse together graham crackers, pretzels and butter until well combined. The mixture should be course and sand-like. Press into the prepared baking dish.
- To make the filling, wrap the tofu in paper towels or a cheese cloth and squeeze out any moisture as best you can. Wipe out the food processor and add tofu, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Blend until very smooth—about 2 minutes. Pour the filling over the crust and use a spatula to smooth. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
- While the cheesecake bakes, make the apple topping. In a large skillet, melt vegan butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir in apples and cinnamon. Cook over medium-low heat until the apples are soft and the caramelized—about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake base from the oven, it’s ok if it’s a little jiggly in the center. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before spooning over apples. Refrigerate for at least 3 hrs and serve chilled.