Why choose between cheesecake or pumpkin pie when you can have the best of both worlds with this fusion recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake!
“I’m tired of pumpkin desserts.”–said no one, ever.
I know I can make pumpkin-flavored desserts at any time of the year, but there’s something just so…comfy…about the warm spices and the mellow, sweet pumpkin during the fall season.
Thus I present to you a rich, melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake paired with smooth pumpkin pie that you will want to add to your annual autumnal pumpkin smorgasbord.
I plan on making this cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year and I already know that it’s going to be a hit. And for me, any dessert that I can make a couple days in advance of Thanksgiving is always a hit.
Because the crust is nut-based and made without wheat flour, this vegan pumpkin pie cheesecake is also gluten-free.
- 1½ cups ground nuts (I used a mix of almond and pecan meal)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 large medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 1½ cups cooked, puréed pumpkin
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- pinch of clove
- ¾ cup unroasted cashews, soaked in warm water for 2 hours or more
- 14 oz or 400 g silken tofu
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare the crust by pulsing the nuts, coconut oil, dates, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until it forms a crumbly dough consistency.
- Press this date-nut paste into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan and set aside.
- Make the pumpkin pie layer by combining the pumpkin, non-dairy milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, and spices in a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, pour it out into a bowl, and set aside. Rinse off the blender jar.
- Now make the cheesecake layer by putting into the blender the cashews, tofu, sugar, water, coconut oil, lemon juice and zest, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth. Depending on your blender, this could take a few minutes.
- When completely smooth, pour this cheesecake mixture into the springform pan, over the crust. Then take the pumpkin pie mixture and use a large spoon to gently spoon this purée over the cheesecake layer, bit by bit. Alternatively, you can pour the filling onto the back of a large spoon that is hovering just over the cheesecake layer, moving it around so that you fill in any bald spots. If you just pour it over the cheesecake layer, you run the risk of it sinking through the cheesecake rather than forming a distinct layer on top.
- Place the pan onto a rimmed baking sheet (*this is important, see notes) and bake at 350°F for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, you will notice that the filling still seems a bit runny in the middle--that's okay. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes in the off, but still hot, oven, remove the pan and place on the counter to cool. When the cake has reached room temperature (2 hours or so), cover it and put it in the refrigerator to chill at least 6 hours. It's best, however, to make it the day before so it sets up perfectly.
-You can find silken tofu in the refrigerator case near the other tofus. Sometimes, it is also called soft tofu.
-If you prefer a more traditional crust, use 1½ cups crushed vegan graham crackers, animal crackers, vanilla biscuits, or digestive biscuits combined with 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a sprinkle of water to bring it all together. Press this into the pan and prebake for 10 minutes before you put in the fillings.
-This recipe is partially adapted from the blueberry cheesecake recipe in Vegan Pie in the Sky by Moskowitz and Romero.