As the weather heats up, it’s a great time to cool down with a sweet and creamy treat straight from the freezer. These Cherry Lime “Freezcakes” are the perfect summer treat that require just about 5 store bought ingredients, a night in the freezer, and next to zero effort to pull-off.
This past holiday season, Ben’s mom, Chris, made the family a “cheesecake” that, due to its full dairy content, I chose not to partake in. But hearing that it was Ben’s favorite childhood dessert, I knew that I needed to find a way to veganize it.
The base of Chris’ cheesecake is made using just 4 ingredients: cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Obviously the last two ingredients are already vegan, but thanks to the magic of plant-based innovation, the first two ingredients were’t difficult to source vegan versions of.
Vegans in 2020 have it pretty good. There are so many amazing vegan meats on the market, and so many tasty vegan cheeses that seem to get better and better by the day. If you have access to well-stocked grocery stores, there’s really no (legitimate) excuse why you can’t buy the vegan version of anything.
Chris shared the recipe with me, and I made it pretty much exactly as she directed, having to make a slight adjustment with the sweetened condensed coconut milk due to a difference in can sizes.
The original recipe called for ⅓ cup lemon juice, which wasn’t necessarily supposed to read as lemony, but was supposed to amp up the “cheesecake” flavor. It’s not not lemony, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a lemon dessert.
For the crust, I just bought a premade graham cracker crust, that happened to be accidentally vegan. I whipped together the filling ingredients, filled the crust, and refrigerated it for about 4 hours before giving it a taste.
According to Ben, the connoisseur of this dessert, the flavor was pretty much spot on. The only difference was in the texture. For some reason, my veganized version didn’t have the body as the original. The texture was somewhere between runny whipped cream and pudding. It was not altogether unpleasant, but it wasn’t necessarily the texture you would want in a pie.
On a whim, I decided to throw the pie in the freezer to see what would happen. I forgot about it until the next afternoon, but when I finally did get around to trying a slice if it, I fell in love with the texture it had coming directly out of the freezer.
Whether it’s the fat content or the sugar content, whatever it is, it’s not freezing completely, and it has a slight ice cream texture, but like the perfect ice cream texture. I fed a slice to Ben, the authority in this situation, and he agreed that the frozen version was pretty much perfect.
And because I can’t leave things alone, I decided to play with flavors a bit. Ben loves all things mint chip, so I decided to try making a mint chip version using mint extract and flavored Oreos for the crust. I loved what came out of the freezer, with the exception of maybe too much lemon juice (see VARIATIONS) below.
Going fully rogue, I decided to make a cupcake version using fresh lime juice, lime zest, and a Golden Oreo crust. Thes cupcakes turned out to be our favorite, especially when they were served with canned cherry pie filling draped over the top.
Check out the video below to see just how easy this no-bake treat is to make, and then scroll down for the full recipe which contains instructions for both cupcakes and a full pie. It’s a choose your own adventure.
- Limes – Fresh lime juice is best for this recipe. I’m sure that you could use pre-squeezed juice instead, but then you wouldn’t have the zest, so you would be missing out on a major flavor opportunity. Just get fresh limes.
- Golden Oreos – Oreos are a magical ingredient in this dessert because they have everything you need for the crust built right in. I prefer Golden Oreos for this particular flavor of Freezecake, but since Oreo seems to release a new flavor of cookie each week, why not experiment a bit with other flavor combinations.
- Vegan cream cheese – When testing this recipe, I used Miyoko’s vegan cream cheese because it was on sale at Sprouts at the time. Pretty much any vegan cream cheese will do, though. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, theirs is the most economical, and one of the more convincing vegan cream cheeses on the market.
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk – This will be the most difficult ingredient for you to source, but it can’t really be substituted with anything else. I used Nature’s Charm brand for all of my tests, and that’s the brand I would suggest getting. Check stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Natural Grocers. It’s also available online.
- Vanilla extract – Admittedly I forgot to put this ingredient in when filming the video, and I didn’t really notice a ton of difference. If you’ve got it, use it.
- Cherry pie filling – I love the combination of cherry and lime, so I think that cherry pie filling is the perfect topping for this dessert. You could definitely use other flavors of pie fillings, or even fresh fruit. If I would have had some coconut whipped cream at home when testing and filming this recipe, that would have definitely gone on top as well.
- Orange Creamsicle – Replace the lime zest and juice with orange zest and juice and there you go. Done.
- Mint Chip – Use 3 tablespoons lemon juice in place of the lime juice, and then add 1 teaspoon mint extract. Add a bit of grated dark chocolate or a few vegan chocolate chips to the filling. Replace the Golden Oreos with mint flavored or traditional Oreos.
Easy Vegan Cherry Lime “Freezecake”
This quick and easy vegan summertime treat requires just a few store-bought ingredients, and night in the freezer.
- 14 to 20 Golden Oreos
- 1 package (8 oz) vegan cream cheese
- 1 can (11.25 oz) sweetened condensed coconut milk*
- zest from 1 lime
- ⅓ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
- cherry pie filling
- chipped coconut cream (about 2 limes)
First, decide if you want to make 12 cupcake-sized "freezecakes", or one pie-sized "freezecake"
In a food processor, pulse about 14 Oreos into a fine, sandy consistency. Measure 1 slightly heaping tablespoon of Oreo crumbs into the bottom of 12 lined muffin cups. Press down firmly and evenly to form a firm crust at the bottom of each cup.
In a food processor, pulse about 20 Oreos into a fine, sandy consistency. Dump the Oreo crumbs into your pie plate and distribute them evenly around the sides and bottom. Use the back of a measuring cup to help press the crumbs into a firm crust.
In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, add the vegan cream cheese, and mix just until softened. Add sweetened condensed coconut milk, and blend until incorporated. Add zest and juice, and blend for about 30 seconds until fully incorporated, and slightly fluffier than what you started with.
Fill your pie or each muffin cup to the top. Place on a flat surface in the freezer and allow to freeze for at least 6 hours.
Serve right out of the freezer with cherry pie filling and whipped coconut cream.
- I use Nature’s Charm brand sweetened condensed coconut milk.