CARROT CAKE PROTEIN CHEESECAKE (VEGAN)
This Carrot Cake Protein Cheesecake could be the best vegan dessert I’ve ever made! It was one of those things that after I made it, I knew it couldn’t get any better. Now I can die happy knowing I’ve made the perfect healthy version of my favorite dessert (kind of like when I finally perfected protein brownies). What makes it SO perfect? Think moist spiced carrot cake with brown sugar and coconut swirled into creamy, tangy, lightly sweet cheesecake. Oh, and no dairy, no added sugar, no gluten, high in protein, while relatively low in fat, carbs, and calories.
For reference, one slice of my carrot cake (1/8th of a 9″ cake) has only 302 calories, under 14 grams of fat, 29g carbs, 7 grams of sugar, and 18 grams of protein! Compare that to the classic version (1/10th of a 9″ cake): 644 calories, 39 grams of fat, 67g carbs, 52 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein. Amazing, right?
For the tofu cheesecake
The cheesecake was the tricky part. I didn’t want to do a cashew-based cheesecake because they are very high in calories and fat and I wanted this to be calorie-friendly (read: I wanted a big ass slice)! So, I used my vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cheesecake as the starting point, and got to work testing. The key to making awesome tofu cheesecake is rinsing the crumbled tofu thoroughly, then pressing all the water out! I like to do this in a fine colander, but a sieve or strainer should work, too.
I then blended the tofu with just one cup of soaked raw cashews, plus some lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for a little “tang.” I also added an entire teaspoon of salt to mimic the flavor of cream cheese (trust me, it’s needed). Now, if you leave out the calorie-free sweetener, dairy free yogurt, and vanilla extract, you’ve got yourself some bomb vegan cream cheese (try adding a tablespoon or two of Everything Bagel seasoning or nutritional yeast).
For the protein carrot cake
For the carrot cake, I combined gluten-free baking flour, brown sugar alternative (can use any calorie-free sweetener that measures 1:1 like sugar), and unsweetened shredded coconut. I also added about three-quarter cup of LIV Body’s NEW Snickerdoodle Lean Vegan Protein (use code NOEXCUSES for 20% off). If you don’t have protein powder, feel free to substitute three quarter cup more gluten-free baking flour, and reduce the coconut milk to half a cup or so.
I used two tablespoons of ground flaxseed as a binder. You can also sub two whole eggs and reduce the milk by half a cup, or use an equivalent amount of egg replacer. The only other ingredients are baking powder, warm spices (can sub one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice), unsweetened applesauce (can sub up to half avocado oil), and shredded carrots.
For the toasted coconut frosting
Now, I hate to admit this, but I over-baked my cheesecake by about 5 minutes, which made it crack on top and look kind of ugly! So I combined half a cup of powdered sweetener with two tablespoons of unsweetened coconut milk and one tablespoon of vegan buttery spread for yummy vegan icing. Then, I added some toasted coconut because why not?! Of course, that’s all optional and if you bake it the time suggested you won’t need to cover up an ugly cracked top LOL.
Here’s the printable recipe for this VEGAN Carrot Cake Protein Cheesecake! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try it 🙂
This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.
Carrot Cake Protein Cheesecake (Vegan)
- 14 oz. extra firm tofu rinsed and pressed
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
- 5.3 oz. dairy free plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup calorie-free sweetener I used a monk fruit blend that measures 1:1 like sugar
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (130g) gluten-free baking flour*
- 80 g vegan protein powder* I used LIV Body brand in Snickerdoodle, use code NOEXCUSES for 20% off
- 1 cup brown sugar alternative* I used a monk fruit blend that measures 1:1 like sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut optional
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed*
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon*
- 3/4 tsp. ground ginger*
- 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg*
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves* optional
- 1/4 tsp. salt optional
- 2 cups shredded carrot
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice
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