These vegan lemon blueberry cheesecake bars are the perfect summer treat, with a creamy tofu based lemon filling, sweet blueberry topping and a graham cracker crust. Made with simple ingredients and easy to make!
What You’ll Need to Make Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Blueberries: For this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen blueberries to make the topping. I like using frozen, wild blueberries which are smaller and sweeter.
Granulated Sugar: you’ll need granulated sugar for both the blueberry topping and the cheesecake filling. These cheesecake bars aren’t too sweet so the flavor of the lemon and natural sweetness from the blueberries really comes through.
Graham crackers: for the crust, you’ll need any brand of vegan graham crackers. If you avoid honey, make sure you check the ingredients list to ensure they’re free of any animal products. I like to use Nabisco or the Whole Foods brand.
Vegan Butter: you’ll need vegan butter as a main ingredient for the crust and also to grease the pan. I always use Earth Balance, but other brands work too. Make sure to melt the butter in the microwave or over the stove before adding it to the crust mixture.
Extra Firm Tofu: this is kind of my secret weapon when it comes to vegan cheesecake. Extra firm tofu is the perfect base because it’s solid at room temperature and becomes super thick and creamy when blended. It’s also nut free! Make sure you buy extra firm not firm or silken for the best texture.
Vegan Cream Cheese: in addition to tofu, I like to use vegan cream cheese to get that tangy cheesecake flavor. I’ve tried a lot of vegan cream cheeses over the years, however my favorite has to be either Daiya or Violife, both of which are coconut based. Whatever brand you choose, just make sure it’s unflavored.
Lemons: you’ll need lots of fresh lemons for these vegan lemon blueberry cheesecake bars! Both juice and zest go in the cheesecake filling for extra tartness and tang.
(Full Ingredient list and amounts written in recipe card below)
How to Make Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
Step 1: make the blueberry topping: I like to make the blueberry jam/compote thing (not sure what to call it) first so it has time to cool off before I add it to the cheesecake. It’s super simple. Just add your blueberries, sugar and a little water to a small sauce pan and bring that to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes until the blueberries had released their liquid and begun to thicken. Set the pan aside to cool or store in the fridge until ready to use.
Step 2: prepare the pan: I use an 8×8 square baking dish to make these bars. Use vegan butter to first grease the bottom then press the two down sheets of parchment so they stick. This will make the bars easy to remove once they’ve chilled.
Step 3: make the crust: this one is also pretty simple, just blend up some graham crackers, melted vegan butter and a couple tablespoons of flour in a food processor until the mixture is finely ground. It should resemble wet sand. Press the mixture into the baking dish using the back of a measuring cup for an even layer. You’ll want to pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes before adding the filling to ensure the bars don’t end up soggy.
Step 4: make the cheesecake filling: start by wrapping your block of tofu in a few sheets of paper towel and squeezing out as much liquid as you can. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and add in the tofu, cream cheese, lemon juice, zest and sugar. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Step 5: assemble and bake: pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and smooth with a spatula. Add on dollops of the cooled blueberry compote and swirl it around with a spoon. It’s ok if you don’t use it all. Bake the cheesecake bars for about 50-55 minutes or until the edges have set but the middle is still a little jiggly. Let the cheesecake bars cool at room temperature for a few hours before transferring to the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours. Serve chilled and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- If using tofu packed in water, it’s important that you get as much liquid out as possible so the cheesecake firms up properly while it cools. This can be done by squeezing the water out with paper towels or pressing for a few hours.
- To make these bars gluten free, use gluten free graham crackers and replace the all purpose flour with oat flour.
- For clean, even slices, run a knife under hot water and dry with a towel before making each cut.
More Vegan Desserts to Try:
- Blueberry thyme cobbler
- Maple brown sugar coffee cake
- Blueberry cardamom pull apart bread
- Apple cheesecake bars