Grandma's Cheesecake

Grandma is not a vegan: how a cheesecake recipe unites worlds

Isabella Cordesmeyer loves cheesecake. It reminds her of her beloved grandma, her family and her home country of Brazil. However, when friends or family come to visit, the BayWa food expert sometimes changes the recipe. Because, unlike grandma, some of her guests are vegan, cannot tolerate lactose or are allergic to gluten. She recommends two cheesecake recipes so that everyone gets a slice of the cake. 

  • Two cheesecakes and a candle

The classic, according to grandma's recipe

(for 4-6 people)

  • Whip 500 g cream cheese and 1/2 cup icing sugar in a mixer and chill.  
  • Crush 100 g butter biscuits in a blender, then mix with 75 g melted butter and a pinch of cinnamon.  
  • Press the biscuit and butter mixture into the base of a greased tin lined with baking paper (approx. 2 cm) and chill or bake for 10 minutes.  
  • Whip 250 g of cream until stiff (with cream stiffener) and mix with the cream cheese and sugar mixture.  
  • Then pour the mixture into the tin and chill for at least 6 hours.   
  • Boil the cranberries with 2 tbsp sugar and the juice of 1/2 lemon in a pan, then leave to cool.  
  • Garnish the cake with the berry sauce and enjoy. 
  • Isabella Cordesmeyer with two cakes in her kitchen

Grandma's cheesecake, modified for vegans and people with gluten or lactose intolerance

(for 4-6 people)

  • Puree 1 cup of pitted dates and set aside.  
  • Finely grind 1 cup of walnuts and mix with the dates. 
  • Grease a baking tin with avocado, canola or coconut oil and line with baking paper. 
  • Press the date and nut mixture into the base of the tin (approx. 2 cm high) and chill until firm.  
  • Soak 1 1/2 cups of cashews briefly, then mix with the juice of a large lemon, 1/3 cup of apple sauce, 2/3 cups of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Optionally add peanut butter for extra flavour. 
  • Pour the mixture into the mould and chill for 4-6 hours. 
  • Prepare the berry sauce as in the classic recipe and pour over the cheesecake. 
  • Cheesecake from above


Place two strips of baking paper crosswise in the tin. This makes it easier to lift the cake from the base of the tin onto the cake plate later on. 

Culinary arts, or: the Art of Cooking

Isabella is passionate about cooking, baking and eating. She says: "I'm a foodie." Even as a child, she spent time in the kitchen with grandma, experimenting with spices and ingredients. Inspired by this, she studied culinary arts. She later added a master's degree in business administration on top. Today, as a venture manager in the New Protein Solutions division at BayWa, she is able to combine both worlds: business and food.

When it comes to food, she makes a big distinction between cooking and baking. While she relies a lot on her instincts while cooking and estimates quantities by eye, she has to concentrate a little more when baking. Cooking is much more relaxed. Her dog, Charlie, probably agrees.

  • Isabella with dog Charlie

Do you have to be vegan to work for New Protein Solutions?

"No, you don't have to be vegan," Isabella says with a laugh. She herself is a pescetarian, which means she doesn't eat any animal products except fish. And her colleagues at New Protein Solutions are also very different from each other. "We are simply four kick-ass women with a passion for food."

What is New Protein Solutions?

New Protein Solutions is a business unit of BayWa AG. It focuses on trading in plant-based proteins, investing in start-ups that develop plant-based proteins or products and further development in the food sector. BayWa acts as a link between agriculture, food processing and food retail. 

Food security for ten billion people?

It's not about replacing animal products with plant-based ones. The aim is to broaden our food horizons in the interests of global food security. 

There are already over eight billion people in the world today. It is estimated that this figure will rise to around ten billion by 2050. With New Protein Solutions, BayWa is helping to feed these people. Isabella wants to do the same. That's why she came to BayWa in Germany – and, thanks to grandma's cheesecake, home and family are never far away.

  • Isabella Cordesmeyer cutting the cake