Home cakes and tarts Blueberry Speculoos Streusel Cheesecake

Blueberry Speculoos Streusel Cheesecake

by Mihl
vegan blueberry cheesecake


German cheesecakes are different from Northern American cheesecakes. Traditionally we don’t use cream cheese or ricotta as a filling  but cream and quark. Quark is a kind of fresh curd cheese that is available in many different varieties and used for different purposes. In German, tofu is sometimes called Sojaquark (soy curd). This might be the reason why many vegan cheesecake recipes used to call for tofu or silken tofu. Unfortunately, I never found a tofu cheesecake that I liked.  Apparently some other people thought so too, so someone came up with the idea of using strained yoghurt instead of tofu. Cream cheese is not really an option as it is very hard to find in most places (you can order tofutti online).

When I made my first cheesecake, I used a mixture of yoghurt  and soyatoo whipped cream. Since soyatoo is not accessible to everyone and since it has a very prominent taste, I wanted to try something with easier to find and more neutral tasting ingredients.

I still think that using soy yoghurt is a great alternative both to tofu and cream cheese. What I do not like so much is the straining process. It is messy and takes long. But it is also easy to avoid, if you find a different way to thicken your yoghurt. Nuts, especially cashews, are great for this. They have a neutral taste and add creaminess and texture.

When I thought about developing a new cake recipe, I wanted to make a speculoos blueberry streusel cake. Speculoos cookies are fantastic Belgian spice cookies with hint of caramel and I have talked so much about them before that this blog could be renamed into speculoos are my motor. I wanted to make a speculoos crust with commercial speculoos cookies, but then they also might not be available to everyone. So I searched for a traditional speculoos cookie recipe online and decided to use the dough for my crust. And then my head kept spinning and spinning and I finally had a blueberry speculoos streusel cheesecake in my mind.

Now you may wonder why I come up with such a complicated and flamboyant sounding recipe. Well, the answer is simple. Because I don’t use butter. Whenever I have to take a cake to a bunch of omnis, I like to make something they never have heard of before. To be fair, most omnis like my cakes and they don’t have any prejudices against vegans and their food. But some do. If you tell them you didn’t use butter in your cake and there might be some soy or tofu involved, they won’t even taste it. Not one bite. But if you come up with something that sounds complicated and non-traditional, they are distracted and will most likely ask you where you got the idea for such a cake, instead of asking how a cake without butter could possibly be tasty. They get curious and eventually try the cake.

Now that you know my (not so) secret (anymore) camouflage technique about how to deal with sceptical omnis, I will finally move on to the cake recipe.

Blueberry Speculoos Streusel Cheesecake (makes 1 20 cm/8 inch cake)

For the Crust:

I used this recipe and halved it. This is the English translation but since the cup measurements are off, I repost the recipe with my slight modifications.

125 g ( 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) muscovado sugar 125 g ( 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) refined coconut oil or margarine, softened 2 tablespoons cold water 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon speculoos spice mix (cloves, nutmeg, ginger, anise) or Lebkuchen spice mix 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 175 g (1 1/3 cups) flour

Cream together sugar, fat, and water until light and fluffy. Add spices, salt, baking powder and half of the flour. Beat with a hand-held blender until the dough comes together. Add remaining flour and beat again until a dough forms. Shape 2/3 of the dough into a flat disk. Wrap both the disk and the remaining piece of dough into foil. Refrigerate for an hour.

For the filling:

100 g (3/4 cup) raw cashews 250 g (1 cup) plain soy yoghurt 60 ml (1/4 cup) coconut milk 30 g (1/4 cup) cornstarch 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

200 g frozen blueberries 2 tablespoons flour

Combine cashews and soy yoghurt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process again. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round springform pan with oil. Press crust disk into the sides and bottom of the pan. Use the remaining dough to make the streusel topping by tearing it apart and shaping it into crumbs. Set the crumbs aside.

Pour the filling into the cake pan. Evenly coat the frozen berries with flour and pour over the filling. Sprinkle with dough crumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. Let cool completely before serving.


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ian October 4, 2014 - 19:31

This is a really great recipe. I’ve made it two weeks in a row.

I’ve not got the “cheesecake” part to be the right consistency, both times it’s been a bit sloppy. Maybe I just need to cook it for a bit longer. Still tastes great though :)

Mihl October 4, 2014 - 19:55

Thanks, Ian!

Tina March 23, 2014 - 11:23

Fantastischer Kuchen! Ich habe alle Zutaten halbiert und in einer 16cm Rundform gebacken. Statt Spekulatiusgewürz habe ich Pumpkin-Pie-Spice verwendet, weil’s noch da war – ist ja auch ähnlich. Ein klein bisschen Zesten von der halben ausgepressten Zitrone noch mit in die Fülle…hmmmmm… Und meine omnivoren Eltern konnten gar nicht genug bekommen – ganz großes Kino! Herzlichen Dank für das tolle Rezept!!!

Mihl March 23, 2014 - 14:31

Super, danke für Deine Rückmeldung!

Nora February 28, 2014 - 22:16

Hmm das ist wohl wahr. Aber wäre das nicht mal interessant das mal auszuprobieren??
Ich bin so angetan von diesem Rezept und dem Gedanken das sich der speculoos Geschmack darin befindet das ich das einfach mal unauffällig untermischen werde

Nora February 27, 2014 - 14:13

Ich wollte bei diesem Rezept gern wissen ob ich die speculoos Creme anstelle der würzmischung nehmen kann. Wenn ja wie viel davon?
Liebste Grüße aus nrw

Mihl February 27, 2014 - 14:38

Nein, das kann man leider nicht machen. Die Creme eignet sich glaube ich nicht als Würzmittel. Oder man müsste so viel nehmen, dass man gleich ein anderes Rezept hätte. Aber Du kannst die Gewürzmischung ja weglassen und statt dessen etwas mehr Zimt reintun (oder Muskat, Nelken, wenn Du das da hast.)

Nora February 26, 2014 - 10:38

Die dulce de leche ist schon mal sehr sehr gut geworden! Ich hab nur immer wieder (alle fünf Minuten) ein Stück Brötchen reingedippt sodass am Ende nur noch wenig übrig war

Mihl February 26, 2014 - 11:01

Na, das freut mich aber!
Ja, das Problem, dass nur noch wenig übrig ist, kenne ich auch. Aber für dieses Rezept brauchtest Du sie ja eh nicht, oder? Da musste sie ja weg. ;)

Nora February 16, 2014 - 21:40

Einfach nur genialer Blog. Ganz große klasse
Eine frage zu dem Rezept.
Falls ich den Joghurt abtropfen lasse, kann ich die cashew Nüsse weglassen?
Reicht Speisestärke um eine gute Konsistenz zu erhalten oder kann ich z.b Sojamehl verwenden?
Liebste Grüße und tausend dank für den Blog

Mihl February 16, 2014 - 21:49

Hallo Nora,
vielen Dank für das Kompliment:)
Ich denke, Du kannst die Nüsse auch weglassen. Speisestärke reicht auf jeden Fall, die Frage ist nur, ob man die Menge anpassen muss oder die Backzeit eventuell verlängern. Aber ich habe auch schon Käsekuchen mit Joghurt und Stärke gemacht, da war das kein Problem.

katherine March 5, 2013 - 16:52

can this cake be frozen

Mihl March 7, 2013 - 11:55

I wouldn’t recommend it. It will probably change the texture of the filling. But I haven’t tried it.

Raff_the_Math February 15, 2012 - 23:37

Ok, habs erstmal auf deutsch durchgelesen, und jetzt die ersten 3 Absätze vom Englischen – hat sich gelohnt! :D

Chef Mark Rasmussen April 19, 2011 - 18:38

Tasty looking recipe. Great ingredients!

nooks April 13, 2011 - 18:56

This looks so divine I just have to try it out!
But how would you advice to proceed with the crust If I already have speculoos cookies, and don’t feel like making the dough from scratch?

Thanks for the awesome blog!

mihl April 13, 2011 - 19:08

You could make a cookie crust. Here is a simple recipe for one.

Jesse @Happy Go Lucky Vegan April 10, 2011 - 20:39

Wow- what a uniquely awesome recipe. I’ve never heard of speculoos, but now I’m eager to try.

BlessedMama April 9, 2011 - 17:14

That looks so fabulous, and a complicated recipe doesn’t turn me off at all. Sometimes I like to roll up my sleeves and dip into something that takes more than thirty minutes to make.

Lora April 9, 2011 - 16:28

What a great idea to combine streusel and speculoos. Wow. It look fantastic. Would love a bite. Now,

Ricki April 8, 2011 - 16:02

You are so sneaky–and I’m so glad it worked!! This is a stunning cheesecake. We have quark here in Canada (dairy kind), which I’ve tasted before, and to me it just tasted like yogurt. So using yogurt makes total sense. And it’s such a beautiful looking cake!

Jessica April 8, 2011 - 04:57

This made my mouth water! GORGEOUS. Streusel AND cheesecake?! I’m sold. Two of my very favorite things. :D

Teddy April 8, 2011 - 04:47

This recipe is AWESOME, truly awesome. I had always shied away from “vegan cheesecake” but now I have NO REASON AT ALL TO.

vegansmarties April 7, 2011 - 11:12

Hm, sieht total lecker aus :-D

JoLynn-dreaminitvegan April 6, 2011 - 23:35

I’m back in blog land and I go to your blog and see this amazing “cheesecake”! I’m totally drooling right now for this.
You got me convinced to try soy yogurt my next go around in making a “cheesecake”. I’ll let you know what the family and I think.

Kerstin Decker April 5, 2011 - 23:25

I made this speculoose blueberry cake, but do not like coconut much, ( it’s too overpowering, so I used almond milk and that tasted very good. Oatmilk wouldd be another source, Kerstin

mihl April 6, 2011 - 08:15

It’s only four tablespoons of coconut milk and to be honest, we couldn’t taste it at all. Almond milk sounds like a great alternative. Soy creamer would also be good as the coconut milk serves as a cream substitute. Oat milk might change the texture as it’s usually pretty “thin”.

andreadevon April 5, 2011 - 19:57

mihl, this looks so freakin’ fantastic… and thank you for making your own speculoos crust, because these cookies do not exist here on my island! I love the idea of the yogurt mixed with cashews…. looks delicious :) can’t wait to try it!

Amey April 5, 2011 - 18:41

whoa, Mihl, this sounds totally amazing. also, I love your analysis on the idea of bringing something exotic and non-traditional to befuddle the omnis into having an open mind. I think I have been doing the same thing all these years, without realizing it. You are awesome!

Keri - I Eat Trees April 5, 2011 - 05:44

Yum! Your cheesecake looks fantastic!!

lazysmurf April 4, 2011 - 21:45

it looks so beautiful! I wish I had one!

kala April 4, 2011 - 20:24

That looks so yummy!

Hannah (BitterSweet) April 4, 2011 - 18:45

This sounds incredible, and like a refreshing change of pace from my typical tofutti cream cheese-based cheesecakes. Streusel topping really does make everything better, though! ;)

t April 4, 2011 - 16:12

Oh mein gott, that looks amazing! I have a store nearby that actually sells vegan quark, but I haven’t tried it yet. Those German cheesecakes are always so tempting though… will have to give this a try!

mihl April 4, 2011 - 16:26

If it’s the heirler brand, I wouldn’t recommend it. The savoury quark is okay but the sweet version is nasty.

Morgan April 4, 2011 - 14:56

Wow! This looks divine!!!!!!

phoenix April 4, 2011 - 12:34

Mihl, that sounds divine! I’m still on the quest for the perfect not-cheesecake (and being from Austria I never really understood cheesecakes made with cream cheese), and your recipe looks like a winner!

Christina @ http://greytveganlife.wordpress.com/ April 4, 2011 - 05:30

I am practically drooling here! That cake is simply beautiful (I love the idea and the reasoning behind it). I adore vegan cheescake myself, but I would love to be less reliant on Tofutti cream cheese. The yogurt and cashews together is a great idea.

veggiegrettie April 4, 2011 - 03:26

What a gorgeous cheesecake… I can’t wait to try it!

christine [the sugar apothecary] April 4, 2011 - 02:19

That cheesecake filling combination sounds perfect! I can only imagine how amazing the crust must be… Sounds great.

Jakethy April 4, 2011 - 01:59

Wow, that first photo really got our attention – it looks soooo good!! My tiny plastic co-writers and I recently defeated an ominous streusel in a date-pecan coffee cake, so we’re feeling brave enough to give this a try. That sounds like a good tactic to get any non vegans to find out how delicious it is. We can’t wait to take a crack at this!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day April 3, 2011 - 22:33

This looks absolutely perfect

Jes April 3, 2011 - 20:35

The cashews & yogurt sound really interesting for making a cheesecake, I’m definitely going to have to try it out soon. And the blueberry-speculos mix is fantastic! Mmm!

Nicole April 3, 2011 - 19:02

Wow! That looks great and maybe it’s healthier too!

Vic (The Life) April 3, 2011 - 18:02

Whoa! That looks soooo good!


Monika K April 3, 2011 - 18:20

Your picture looked so elegant that I thought, “Man, there’s no way I can make this…but wait, I have all of these ingredients in my pantry right now!”

Also, your chocolate coffee rum cookies continue to be a huge crowd pleaser at my house – thanks for posting such great recipes!

mihl April 3, 2011 - 18:50

Monika! I didn’t know you had a new blog. So awesome to see you back.

My Grandparents' Kitchen April 3, 2011 - 16:21

Looks heavenly!

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. ”
-Calvin Trillin

Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide April 3, 2011 - 14:22

Great post. I think I can find all these ingredients at Whole Foods grocery. I’m interested in trying it because I love ricotta, but am not in love with other cheesecakes that have different consistencies. This looks perfect.

mihl April 3, 2011 - 13:02

Raw cheesecake with fermented cheese sounds really awesome and special! I bet it will add a lot of flavour.

veganlisa April 3, 2011 - 12:59

Fantastic! I love your reasons behind the recipe and I agree, they will be so distracted by that beautiful slice that they’ll forget all about asking for ingredient details.

I’ve been working with making my own fermented cashew cream cheese (cashews blended with probiotic and left overnight) that I plan to use in raw cheesecakes soon. I find cashews add the perfect textures without the scary taste stereotypes of tofu.

Thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe.

whatsaysyou April 3, 2011 - 12:42

This looks so yummy. Can I have a slice please? :p

Kiersten April 3, 2011 - 12:34

That looks beautiful! You know, everyone talks about speculoos so often that it’s making me wish I could find them here! They sound yummy. I really need to get over my weird relationship with “cheesecake” and try making a vegan one. I was never a huge fan when I was an omni and for some reason I haven’t been brave enough to try a vegan one yet.

mihl April 3, 2011 - 13:02

You can make your own using the recipe for the crust.

I totally understand your feelings about cheesecake. I had so many bad ones prevegan, that at first I never really felt the urge to make a vegan version.

Allysia April 3, 2011 - 12:30

Wow, this looks stunning! I love the idea of using soy yogurt and cashews as a base – all I’ve ever done is use Tofutti. Tastes awesome, but not very economical.

And I want to tell you that you turned me on to speculoos cookies, way back in the day! I made them for Christmas a couple years back and they had such a yummy spicy flavor. Here in Saskatchewan I’ve never come across any such cookie so I just had to make them!

mihl April 3, 2011 - 13:00

It is really great to know that they now found their way to Canada!

Comments are closed.

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