Mango Cheesecake, Vegan

Mango Cheesecake
When I first started writing Holy Cow! almost 20 months ago, I was thinking of it as a recipe log for myself. I was always creating dishes and even if I loved something, I’d soon enough forget how I’d made it. Sometimes friends with whom I’d shared a recipe at some time or the other would serve it to me down the road and I’d go incredulously, “That’s my recipe? Really? Can I have it please?”So finally, tired of my own forgetfulness, I decided to start this, a food blog, where I could log all of my recipes as I created them. Because my blog began not long after I had become a vegan, it also turned into a diary of my views on animal rights and the world in general. I wasn’t sure anyone else would be interested in what I wrote, but it was an extraordinarily liberating feeling to write anything I wanted to and put it out there for anyone who cared to see. Not least because as a journalist, I’ve always had an editor, often ones who don’t know what they’re doing, telling me what’s acceptable and what’s not. But here I can say anything I please without worrying about pleasing anyone.But what I came to love even more over time was that there are people out there who were interested in what I wrote, and in my recipes. Folks who shared my views on a kinder, gentler world where every living creature can co-exist. Although I haven’t met most of you in person, I can honestly say I am more comfortable chatting with you than I sometimes am with people I’ve known for a long time.So in appreciation of the joy you bring to me, I wanted to share with you this– one of my most prized recipes ever and one I am prouder of than almost anything else I’ve ever created. My Mango Cheesecake.I’ve always been a cheesecake fan, and the availability of vegan cream cheese and sour cream like the Tofutti brand(I even find it in my local Giant supermarket) makes it really, really easy to have my vegan cheesecake and eat it too.

I use mango pulp that I buy in cans from the Indian grocery store. If you live in an urban area, you are almost certain to have an Indian grocery store somewhere near you where you can find mango pulp. It’s important to use this because the sweetness and flavor of the Indian mango is vastly different from the flavor of the mangoes you find here in the United States and it makes all the difference.

I use only one spice in this cheesecake and it is a perfect match for mango: cardamom. Mango and cardamom are, like rosemary and potatoes or basil and tomatoes, a match made in tastebud heaven. Together, they take this cheesecake from simply delicious to absolutely sublime.

You can leave out the vegan sour cream topping, but I think it adds that final wow! to an already amazing cake.

I made this cheesecake for friends who came over for dinner this past weekend and didn’t have a chance to take a picture before we cut in, so I don’t have any pictures of the full cake.

Desi, who’s quite likely my worst critic when it comes to my cooking, is not a cheesecake fan despite his sweet tooth. But even he can’t have enough of this cheesecake, and says it’s the best he’s ever tasted.

Good enough for me!
Vegan Mango Cheesecake

Mango Cheesecake, Vegan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mango Cheesecake
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • For the nut crust:
  • 2 cups walnuts (can use pecans)
  • 2 tbsp vegan "butter" like Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the mango filling:
  • 16 ounces vegan "cream cheese" (I used Tofutti's Better-than-cream-cheese)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 12 ounces of silken firm tofu
  • 3 tsp egg replacer powder
  • 1 cup canned mango puree (I used the Kesar brand)
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream (again, I used Tofutti)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  1. Make the crust:
  2. In a food processor, process the nuts until they resemble crumbs. Add the "butter", oil, sugar and salt and process briefly until the mixture comes together.
  3. Pat the crust into the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the crust for 10 minutes until it starts to brown and becomes quite firm. Set aside to cool completely. It will be soft to the touch when you pull it out of the oven but will firm up as it cools.
  5. Make the mango filling:
  6. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and cardamom and beat until everything's well-blended.
  7. Whip the tofu and egg replacer in a food processor or blender.
  8. Add the tofu to the cream cheese in three portions, beating well after each addition.
  9. Add the mango puree and mix everything well.
  10. Pour the filling into the crust.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a loaf pan or any other pan filled with water in the oven.
  12. Slide the springform pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
  13. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes.
  14. Turn the heat down to 325 degrees F and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
  15. When the cheesecake is done, the sides will be set and puffy but the center will still jiggle when tapped.
  16. Make the topping:
  17. Whip the topping ingredients together until just blended.
  18. Pour on the cheesecake as soon as it comes out of the oven, and tilt the pan slightly to make sure it coats the top of the cake evenly.
  19. Place the cheesecake back in the oven and bake another 15 minutes.
  20. Remove the cheesecake to a rack and cool completely. Unmold by running a knife around the edge, and then release the springform top.
  21. Chill the cheesecake thoroughly before serving.
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    OMG Vaishali.. That cheesecake looks soooo delicious and its VEGAN.. yummmmmmm. I have to got to try it. Btw you dont bake the cake in the waterbath but have a pan with water along with the cake.. right???

  2. says

    Nithya, thanks!

    Pavani, you’re right– I don’t cook it in a waterbath, but the pan with the water, placed on a lower rung or even next to the cheesecake pan, does a great job of preventing the cheesecake from developing that dreaded crack :)

  3. says

    You will not believe me I was going to email you and request to put this recipe. I was 1000% sure that you have tried it :) What a telepathy!

    I really cant thank you enough.

  4. says

    I am born and brought up a non veggie and am not apologetic about it. And that does not mean that I am insensitive to living beings.

    And I love your blog and am going to keep visiting here for a very long time. Absolutely love all your recipes.
    And your blog is all yours to speak your mind Vaishali … and I love all your writeups. :-)
    That’s one great looking cake! :-) Congrats on completeing 20 months … just a few more months to the big two! :-)

  5. says

    This looks just amazing … can’t wait to try it!!

    Vaishali .. you are so right .. through all these food blogs, I feel like I know people who I have never met so much more than the people I do know since ages. I have quoted you and spoken about you a million times to my family and friends .. as if you were my next door neighbor!! :) Thank for this awesome recipe and even more awesome blog!!

  6. says

    I do not like cheese, & least of all in desserts.. & i have to admit that I hate cheesecake like nothing else;-) But I think i could eat a non cheese cheese cake..

    Vaishali, your blog is beautiful, not just for the rocking recipes, for for just being you that you are here…

  7. says

    What a delicious dessert, Vaishali!
    I agree with you- mango and cardamom are just meant to be.:)
    I’m so glad that we at least get the canned mango pulp in the Indian stores especially since the mangoes here are such a HUGE disappointment and taste/ smell nothing like the ones back home.
    I cannot believe that I sometimes have to add sugar/jaggery to some of the mango dishes I make here to sweeten it up!

  8. says

    Mints, you know what they say about great minds! :) Glad you can use the recipe.

    Sharmila, thanks for your thoughtful words. And yes– I’m almost two!:) It really is amazing how time flies by.

    Gayathri– you are very kind. Glad you think of me as a neighbor– I guess all of us bloggers out there in cyberspace are sort of neighbors, brought together by our common interests :)

    Shantee, Gita, Pavithra, Mallugirl, Jaya, Thanks, ladies.

    Soma, Thanks for your lovely words.And yes, you gotta try this non-cheese cheeecake! It just might convert you :)

    Divya, thanks!

  9. says

    TBC, Thanks. And you’re right– the mangoes here are just no match. I sometimes buy the champagne mangoes because they are halfway good, but even so they are nothing compared to the Indian stuff.

  10. says

    I am giving you a big hug right now. Mango cheesecake is something I use to eat when I wasnt a vegan back home and now you have veganized it. Thank you so much. My husband cannot stand cheesecake so I will be eating this alone and taking long runs on the beach in the evening:)
    I am forgetful too but thanks to my blog when I am scratching my head what to eat I can go back and I can get a recipe.I cannot wait to try this but I have a habit of eating ripe mangoes

  11. says

    Fantastic cheesecake, and amazingly enough you managed to make even this vegan, hats off to you !

    I smiled when I saw the reason for your blog,one of the reasons of my blog was that I kept forgetting what I created and when R wanted something I made in the past I could not remember what I put into it :-)

  12. says

    I don’t have a sweet tooth (you won’t believe it looking at my blog), but I love cheesecakes.
    And this one here absol;utely delightful because it’s mango, another favourite.

  13. says

    We had a heavenly mango cheesecake on our vacation too – in fact, it was one of my recipes to recreate at home! Thanks for serving up a great recipe for it though. Can’t wait to try it out.

  14. Ambica says

    A quick clarification. Which egg replacer did you use in the recipe? I have the Ener-G and also something local from Bob’s Red Mill. Do you have to mix it with water or just add directly?

  15. says

    Hi Vaishali,

    I love reading your blog and really apreciate your effort for the innovative dishes that you come up with. Your Mango Cheesecake looks soooo delicious.I was just wondering if it is possible to use aluminium cake tin or a pyrex glass bowl for making this rather then a springform? I dont have it and dont want to buy it either.

  16. says

    Shailly, Thanks for your kind words :)
    You could used a regular cake tin and it would bake fine, although you won’t be able to unmold it because a cheesecake is too delicate to be turned upside-down and unmolded, as you could a regular cake. You can simply cut slices right in the cake tin and then scoop them out. It might not be as pretty but it would still taste great.
    Another suggestion is to somehow create a “cradle” for your cheesecake– this might be easier with a square cake tin. You can fold a piece of aluminum foil long enough to form a slight overhang on either side of the pan. Pat in your crust and prepare the cheesecake, and then, once it’s ready to be unmolded, lift up the overhanging aluminum “handles” to lift out the cheesecake. I am not sure if this will work because I haven’t tried it, but it’s just a suggestion — it works very well for brownies, for instance. >)

  17. says

    Thanks so much Vaishali for your reply:)Will definitely let you know my experience once i try this out. Thank you once again! Keep up your good work!

  18. says

    Vaishali, I just tried making this and boy it was good.

    AMAZING!!!! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I tried with the topping and all. I did put water with it as you have suggested but still got cracked top and jiggly centre. But I guess that needs bit of getting used to making it.

    I am going to make it often now 😉

  19. says

    Mints, Thanks for your feedback on the mango cheesecake– glad you liked it.
    I wonder what may have gone wrong re the cracked top– the water bath always prevents that from happening. One possibility is the oven temperature could have been too high. Ovens are almost always temperamental and it is possible that even if your temperature reading was perfect, your oven may be getting hotter than mine. That would also explain why the center didn’t cook.
    A solution might be to keep the temperature slightly lower, about 15-25 degrees or so.
    Better luck next time! :)

  20. Anonymous says

    Love this Cheesecake recipe- it turned out excellent! Just had a suggestion that probably could be tried where available- substituting pureed frozen mango slices from Trader Joe’s which is from India -this would eliminate the canned taste of mango puree in tins

  21. says

    Vaishali, I was a happy receipient of this cheesecake made by Mints. One word – unbelievable. One couldn’t tell it is vegan, and it was just amazingly delicious. It feels so rich that a tiny sliver is enough!

  22. Krista says

    This was my first attempt at making a vegan (or any) cheesecake. I bought a new springform pan and all the ingredients and went to bake it today. It started off bad, when I accidently made walnut butter when I processed it, but I continued on anyway. I baked it 10 mins, didnt seem to firm up, so I kept baking it longer (big mistake). Then I mixed the filling, which went well. I used egg replacer (but a different brand than the ener g one) So I put that in the over, baked it for the hour, still was giggly, so kept baking it longer, to the point where the crust was totally black, and the filling was still very running, pulled it out and gave up, so I put it on the cooling rack, which i decided to lift up for a second to see if the crust was really that burnt, well somehow the pan slid off the rack, flew onto the counter and all the filling ended up all over the wall and toaster… total mess! I scooped up whatever filling I could and put it back in the pan. The filling and topping ended up being mixed into one big mess, The I ran to the store and got a premade graham cracker crust, and poured the filling into that. It’s currently chilling outside (its like -40 out), so I’m hoping that after all this mess, it ends up tasting somewhat good. I really hope to try this recipe again and make it right. I don’t get why the filling didnt set up though…

  23. says

    Krista, a cheesecake center has to be jiggly when it’s done– it’s in the recipe. The cake continues to set and firm up as it stands. If your cake remained runny, it was perhaps because something was off with the ingredients. Maybe you used mango puree with a different consistency? Since you used a different egg replacer did you make sure you used it per the instructions on the package? Anyway, baking a cake until the top is black is an absolute no-no.
    You said this was your first time trying a cheesecake. I would advise that as a new baker you follow every instruction to the letter or the chance of something going wrong is huge. Baking is all about science and getting your proportions and ingredients just right.

  24. says

    hi vaishali ,

    i live in india and really want to try this some quick questions , i am not completly vegan , just do not eat eggs.

    1) we dnt get egg replacement powder here? what can i use?

    2) butter – can i use margerine or amul butter ( which is a little salted)

    3 ) mango – i want to use fresh alphonso – is it possible , and at what consistency.

    4) we do not get readymade sour cream here , so can i make it with curd and lemon.

    5) whats the waterbath thing ?

    thanks a ton ?

  25. says

    Hi Avantika, Cornstarch or arrowroot powder would work as fairly decent though not perfect egg substitutes in most recipes requiring egg substitute powder.
    Margarine would be a fine substitute for butter in any vegan recipe.
    If you’re using fresh mangoes, puree them first and you should have a consistency similar to that of tinned mango puree.
    Yogurt and lemon would not work as a sour cream substitute. If you don’t have access to sour cream, just leave out the topping. The cheesecake would still be delicious.
    A water bath is a pan filled with water that you place the cake pan in. Cheesecakes have a tendency to dry at the top when baked and crack down the middle, but a water bath keeps that from happening by creating a moist atmosphere around the cake. To make a water bath, place the cheesecake pan inside a wider, shallower pan, then fill the outside pan with enough water so it comes about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Place it in the oven, being careful not to splash the water into the cheesecake batter.

  26. Laura says

    I don’t have egg replacer (can’t found it in my city). What can use instead? Thanks!!! I’m frontera Costa Rica. Love your blog!

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