No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Date Crust

By Alissa | Last Updated: November 5, 2016

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Date Crust

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At some point along my journey of veganizing everything, I became the designated dessert provider among my friends and family. It gives me a place to pass of all of my dessert experiments, and I can always count on an unbiased opinion, especially since I’m usually feeding vegan and non-vegans alike. If the non-vegans gobble it up as readily as the vegans, I know I’ve got a hit.

Vegan cheesecake is a sure-fire hit. It’s never failed me yet, and oftentimes not only do non-vegans love it, they don’t even realize they’re eating vegan.

Blended up raw cashews are the key to creating a creamy, delicious dairy-free cheesecake. I’ve discovered one other secret over the years though, and this one is extra awesome: when it comes to vegan cheesecake, no-bake is the way to go. It not only makes life easier, but you end up with a richer, creamier cheesecake base. My theory is that baking dries out the cashew blend just a bit. With a no-bake vegan cheesecake, all you’ve got to do is incorporate a bit of coconut oil into the mixture and chill, so you’re actually adding some moisture, instead of taking it away. The coconut oil solidifies in the fridge, and when mixed up with the rest of your ingredients, you end up with something smooth and luscious and just the right consistency for cheesecake.

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Since we’re all gearing up for Thanksgiving, I made this particular cheesecake a vegan pumpkin cheesecake, which is easy once you’ve got the no-bake cashew cheesecake basics down – just add some pumpkin and spices. The no-bake thing kind of comes in handy here too, since Thanksgiving is a day when oven space tends to be at a premium. I made a simple nut crust out of pecans and dates, so the dessert is in-fact completely no-bake, and is suitable for any gluten-free loved ones you might be feeding as well. If you have a favorite crust recipe or prefer to go the premade route, feel free to do that.

Go to No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep Time:

4 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time:

4 hours, 20 minutes

Yield:

8

ingredients:

    For the pecan-date crust:

  • 1 ½ cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4 to 8 hours and drained
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For serving:

  • Coconut whipped cream
  • Ground cinnamon
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instructions:

  1. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Make the pecan-date crust first by placing all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Pulse until the pecans and dates are finely chopped. Press the mixture very firmly into the bottom of a the pan.
  3. Make the vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling by placing all ingredients into the food processor bowl, then blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling mixture over the crust and smooth out the top with a rubber scraper. Place the pan into the refrigerator and chill until set, about 4 hours, or freeze for about 1 hour.
  5. Slice and divide onto plates. Top each slice with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve.

notes:

You can substitute a premade crust or your favorite homemade crust for the pecan-date crust if you'd like. Prep time does not include soak time for the cashews.

About Alissa

Alissa Saenz crafts vegan recipes for her blog Connoisseurus Veg. When she’s not cooking and blogging about it, she’s probably engaging in some form of yoga, arts & crafts, or lawyering.

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Comments

“Pumpkin puree” – can you use just cooked pumpkin/butternut squash? Can’t buy canned pumpkin where I live. Is there a healthier substitute for the oil?

If you roast and then puree the pumpkin yourself that should work. The oil is what makes the cheesecake set, because it solidifies when you chill it. Have you cooked with agar before? It’s a vegan gelatin substitute. You might be able to get the recipe to work with that, I can’t say how much you’d need or exactly what changes to the process you’d need to make. I’d love to hear how it works out if you give it a try!

Do you think it will be the same with walnuts instead of cashews…. I would like to make it for thanksgiving…….. Thanks

Hi Meaza! In this application, walnuts would not be a great substitute, as it would likely alter the consistency and flavor of the finished dish.

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