Flourless and Fancy-Free

Never has it been accused of being a particularly fun occasion, but Passover can be an especially loathsome event for those who already must seek alternatives to mainstream fare. After one dreadful and nearly deadly week of subsisting on nothing but cardboard incarnate matzo smothered in sticky peanut butter many years ago, the ritual simply became too much for me to bear.

Yes, I’m a bad Jew, and I don’t observe Passover beyond the initial sedar. I now know that there are plenty of good eats to be had for Jewish vegans during this period of repentance… But not so much here. That isn’t to say that it’s a meaningless date to me in the least, and I do at least try not to tempt my slightly more pious family with my typical barrage of wheat-filled baked goods. At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of favoring health, rather than adhering to a tradition that doesn’t quite resonate with me, and to each their own.

To that end, it was a matter of luck that one of the most recent recipes that ended up being cut from Vegan Desserts fits perfectly into the requirements for this wheat-free holiday;  The fact that it happens to be delicious for the remaining 51 weeks of the year is an added bonus.  Combining simple but pleasing flavors, easy to whip up, and the perfect size to feed a small dinner party, the recipe could also be doubled to accommodate a larger crowd… Or so that you can freeze leftover mini cheesecakes to snack on throughout the week.

Being a light drinker myself, I could have easily gone years without even knowing about the astringent citrus liqueur known as limoncello, had it not been for a friend’s request to make something with it. After doing a bit of research, through both reading and tasting, it turned out to be a whole lot like concentrated lemon juice with an extra kick. To allow this spirit to shine, a blank canvas like cheesecake seemed to be an excellent fit, and by making it into small bites, you can enjoy a little burst of flavor whenever you please.

Yield: Makes 12 Cheesecake Bites

Limoncello Cheesecake Bites

Limoncello Cheesecake Bites

Consider these mini cheesecakes little bites of lemony sunshine. They're flourless and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy!


Almond Crust:

  • 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Tapioca Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil, Melted

Limoncello Filling:

  • 8 Ounces (1 Cup) Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch [Not Appropriate for Passover] or Potato Starch
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Limoncello
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly grease and flour 12 mini muffin cups.
  2. For the crust, simply combine all of the ingredients to form a moist but crumbly mixture, and firmly press 1 tablespoon of this into the bottom of each mini muffin cup. Stash the pan in your freezer while you assemble the filling.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, corn starch, and sugar in your stand mixer on low speed, or with a wide spatula, until smooth. Pour in the limoncello and vanilla, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Distribute the filling between all of your crust-lined cupcakes, and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Like a standard cheesecake, they will seem very loose when fresh out of the oven, but continue to firm up as they cool, so be careful not to over bake them. The cheesecake bites will puff significantly in the oven, but will fall as they cool.
  5. After chilling in the fridge for at least an hour, slip a thin paring knife down the sides of each cheesecake bite and use it as a lever to remove them. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.


46 thoughts on “Flourless and Fancy-Free

  1. Love your blog . Happy to add any interesting recipe for Passover to my repertoire. Just want to help you through Passover a bit by correcting your notion that the 8 days mark a period of repentance. In fact, Passover is a celebration of freedom, both historical, personal and metaphorical. Although the bitter herbs and salt water on the Seder plate are reminders of enslavement, the spirit is one of celebration, not repentance.

  2. This is gorgeous! I love lemoncello for cooking. In fact, that is about the only thing my bottle gets used. I love the idea of almond meal. What a delicious gluten free version.

  3. I know a lot of people who feel the same way as you do about Passover food. It’s better for you to remain healthy. I’m pretty sure whatever higher being there is, would want it that way.

    But thankfully there are also these delicious desserts that can be eaten year round without guilt! I love lemony treats and these look fabulous!

  4. Those are super cute! My fiance keeps talking about making his own Limoncello sometime soon. When he does, I’m going to steal some and make these!

  5. I love limoncello and have been wanting to bake with it forever, but I have been too lazy to make my own. Now I have a recipe and a reason to stop being a lazy lady. Hooray!

  6. These look so good and fresh. I think the lack of wheat is probably a bonus sometimes! Religious abstinence can sometimes force us to think in other ways that create something even more wonderful. That may not have been the intention, but… ;)

  7. These look delicious, I look forward to trying them. However, I do want to mention that, although they are gluten-free, they are not actually Kosher for Passover. Most Limoncello is made from vodka and almost all vodka is grain based, which means it falls into the same category as bread in terms of passover. Also, for many Jews of Eastern European descent the soy in the vegan cream cheese is something that is not eaten during Passover. I look forward to trying these once Passover is over, they do look delicious!

  8. Love it! Love limoncello!!! I remember having it for the first time Italy and feel in love. And the funny thing is just yesterday my BF made homemade limoncello well in the process the lemons and liquor are sitting in jar on our counter. now the process is to wait before adding the sugar my BF is so anxious for it now I tell him we have to wait to get the best results :)

  9. Oh Hannah! Passover or not, these look amazing! Almond and cheesecake and limoncello and mini-ness and yum! Well done you for moving beyond matzo and peanut butter, despite how good that also sounds to me right now…

  10. I never had limoncello and I don’t think I can get it here. Good to know your new book will have a solution to this problem!

  11. This one got cut from your new cookbook? I can’t even imagine how awesome the desserts that made it must be then! Thank you for the recipe! :)

    I *finally* wrote a My Sweet Vegan post today, it only took me forever!

  12. Every year I host a potluck dinner where everyone is asked to bring a lemon dish, from entrees to desserts to beverages and cocktails. Everything has to have a touch of lemons in it. I just know your homemade wheat-free limoncello recipe will be a big hit.

    1. Yes, I was actually going to suggest that! And since it’s been brought to my attention that limoncello is in fact NOT kosher for Passover (Doh!) I’ll amend the recipe to mention that asap. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Hannah, as usual you have made a dangerously covetous dessert. I’m sure that wasn’t your intention but I just can’t help it. Your gorgeous picture does nothing but make me desire it even more and I’m definitely going to try this out. I’m sure your liver thanks you for not drinking – mine is urging me to follow suit but while there is Limoncello cheesecake to be had in the world, its pleas remain unheeded.

    Thanks Hannah and take care

    Danny x

  14. […] her a week early, bringing with me some yummy vegan treats. Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers BitterSweet, I made vegan Limoncello Cheesecake Bites which turned out to be surprisingly easy, scrumptious, […]

  15. Can one substitute regular cream cheese for vegan cream cheese in this recipe for limoncello cheesecake bites?

  16. […] Flourless chocolate cake is a staple recipe that should be in any decent baker’s repertoire. While I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat, dying for a chance to make it, this certainly was a good excuse to perfect my own approach… And eat some over-the-top, decadent, rich chocolate cake in the process. […]

    1. Lemon juice could certainly work instead of limoncello, but it might be much more sour. I’d suggest increasing the sweetener just a tad to compensate.

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