It’s November, which means it’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu! And why not start with the most important part of the meal — dessert! It’s imperative that there is a pumpkin dessert on your buffet, so let’s change things up from the traditional pumpkin pie and make this dreamy, vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake!
This pumpkin cheesecake is
The perfect holiday dessert!
Honestly, I’ve never been a huge fan of cheesecake, but this vegan pumpkin version is SO GOOD. I had 8 people taste-test it, and everyone gave it huge thumbs up! Nobody could tell that it’s made with vegan cream cheese, especially since the vegan versions are so good nowadays (see note in recipe for recommendations).
But before I get to the recipe, I’d like to share with you how happy I am that it’s November. I don’t know about your October, but mine was absolutely packed with events. It was a great month, but I started to miss my normal routine (including posting to the blog!). In case you’re interested, here are a few photos from October, which included a girls’ trip to the Magnolia Silos in Waco, a beautiful wedding in Guntersville, AL, seeing a Nashville friend (Russell Dickerson — buy his new album!) perform at the Lexington BBQ Festival, and of course, Halloween!
Okay, enough of that.
And now, what you’re really here for . . .
the Pumpkin Cheesecake!!!
This pumpkin cheesecake needs a few hours in the fridge to fully set, so I recommend making it a day or two in advance!
- 1½ cups rolled oats (GF if necessary)
- 1½ cups raw almonds
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ cup + 2 T. coconut sugar
- ½ cup Earth Balance or coconut oil, melted
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in warm water about 1 hr, drained
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese*
- 1 cup coconut cream (canned, usually in the Asian section or baking section of the grocery store)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned
- 2 T. arrowroot or corn starch
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 2 T. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1¼ cup + 2 T. pure maple syrup
- Optional: pumpkin seeds and ground cinnamon for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line or lightly grease a springform pan.
- In a food processor, pulse together the almonds and oats until a fine meal is formed. Add in the salt, coconut sugar, and Earth Balance and pulse until no dry crumbs remain and you achieve a loose dough. You should be able to squeeze the mixture between two fingers and form a dough instead of it crumbling. If too dry, add a bit more melted Earth Balance.
- Transfer crust dough to pan and press down, starting at the center and working towards the edges of the pan. Use a flat-bottomed glass to press firmly, allowing the crust to run about ⅔ up the inside edge (see photo). Bake at 350 for 15 min, then increase the oven temp to 375 and bake about 3 more mins until the edges are golden. Remove from oven and decrease oven temp to 325.
- Now make the filling. In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked cashews, vegan cream cheese, coconut cream, pumpkin puree, starch, vanilla, pumpkin spice, lemon juice, salt, and maple syrup until completely smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice for more tang, more maple syrup for more sweetness, or more pumpkin spice if desired.
- Pour filling into the pre-baked crust and spread evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hr 15 min to 1 hr 30 min (1:25 was perfect for my oven). The outside edges should appear dry and the center slightly jiggly when shaken, but not liquid (see photo).
- Allow to cool 30 mins, then transfer to the fridge to set, uncovered, at least 2 hours (overnight recommended).
- Top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and decorate with pumpkin seeds, slice, and serve!
This cheesecake is best 1-2 days after baking. Keep it in the fridge uncovered to prevent condensation until it's completely cool, then cover lightly with plastic wrap or foil. Lasts 4-5 days in the fridge.
I didn’t calculate the nutrition facts for this pumpkin cheesecake because I already know it’s high in fat and calories. Because it’s vegan and made with nuts and natural sugars, it’s more nutritious than traditional cheesecake. That doesn’t mean you should eat it all the time, which is why I recommend making it for holidays or events in which it will be shared by many people.
I promise you’ll love this holiday dessert!
Also try my Apple Sage Dressing with Miso Mushroom Gravy!