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This Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake is a healthy, no-bake dessert that everyone is going to LOVE. A creamy cashew and coconut filling that is perfectly spiced with chai flavors, then poured over a nutty date crust. This pumpkin cheesecake is bursting with flavor, easy to make, and requires no oven!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Dates: Deglet Noor or Medjool dates hold together the healthy cheesecake crust while making it naturally sweet. If your dates have been refrigerated or are on the firmer side, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes before blending them up. This will help make them soft and plump again!
- Walnuts + Pumpkin seeds: We used a blend of raw walnuts and pumpkin seeds from Sunfood in the crust. For best results, use raw nuts and seeds. Roasted or flavored nuts and seeds will change the flavor of the cheesecake and are not recommended.
- Coconut oil: To let the pumpkin and chai flavors in the cheesecake filling shine, we opted for refined coconut oil. This means the coconut flavor in the oil is removed by steaming the coconut meat and makes it neutral tasting. If you don’t mind a coconut flavor in the filling, unrefined coconut oil will work too.
- Cashews: Instead of vegan cream cheese, we used raw cashews to make the cheesecake filling rich and creamy. Like the nuts and seeds used to make the crust, make sure to use raw cashews here!
- Coconut milk: Full-fat coconut milk adds another layer of rich creaminess to the cheesecake. For optimal results, we only recommend full-fat canned coconut milk. Lower-fat milks will make your filling too runny and difficult to set.
- Maple syrup: Lightly sweetens the pumpkin cheesecake filling without refined sugars. If preferred or needed, another liquid sweetener like agave will work, too.
- Pumpkin puree: Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Both are typically stocked near each other on shelves, but pumpkin puree is pure pumpkin, whereas pie filling has added sugars and is meant to fill a pie crust.
- Lemon juice: The acid that gives this pumpkin cheesecake filling the classic tangy flavor. We highly recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice – bottled lemon juice won’t achieve the same results.
- Vanilla: Optional, but enhances the flavors in the filling and adds depth.
- Spices: To make this vegan pumpkin cheesecake chai spiced, we used a simple blend of cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, sea salt, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. A small amount of black pepper is recommended as it increases the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. There is so little that you will not taste it!
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Prep the springform pan. For easy removal, line the bottom with a layer of parchment paper and spray the sides with coconut oil. Watch this quick tutorial to learn how to cut a sheet of parchment paper into a round that fits the bottom of your pan.
- Make the cheesecake crust. Add the dates to a food processor, then process until broken down into small pieces. Add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, refined coconut oil, and salt. Process until a uniform dough forms, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed.
- Press the crust into a springform pan. Transfer the crust mixture to the parchment-lined springform pan and gently press into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. It is okay if some of the crust comes up the sides as well. Place in the freezer as you prepare the filling.
- Make the cheesecake filling. Add the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, and spices to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Pour cheesecake filling into the crust. Use a spatula to spread it evenly. Tap the pan a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Set in the freezer. Place the cheesecake into the freezer until firm, about 4-6 hours.
- Remove from the springform pan. After 4-6 hours, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Gently remove the springform pan.
- Serve. Serve the cheesecake with vegan whipped cream, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, date syrup, and more as desired.
We wouldn’t recommend baking this vegan pumpkin cheesecake because the filling does not contain many thickeners to help it set. If you prefer a baked pumpkin dessert, try our vegan pumpkin pie, vegan pumpkin bread, or fluffy vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
This sounds like a blender problem. When blending nuts into a smooth, creamy base, it is important to use a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix. If you use a lower-powered blender or a blender, such as the Ninja, with blades that go up the stem, you will likely have difficulty making a completely smooth cheesecake filling. If you are committed to cooking vegan recipes from scratch, investing in a good blender is well worth the investment.
You may be able to make the crust in the blender with a bit of stopping and scraping until a uniform texture forms. Or, chop the crust ingredients super finely and combine in a bowl with a spatula.
Absolutely! Freezing this cheesecake is our favorite way to preserve leftovers. For best results, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, or place in a freezer-safe silicone bag or container to prevent freezer burn.
Since this cheesecake is stored in the freezer, leftovers will last for up to 3 months. You may even eat leftovers after 3 months, but the flavor and texture may be less fresh.
Tips and Tricks
- Fully shake/mix your coconut milk. If you open a can of coconut milk without shaking the can, you’ll notice there will be a thick, hard layer of coconut cream on the top. This is the richest, creamiest part of the milk, and when a can of coconut milk sits, the cream separates from the water. In order to get the best creamy milk, fully shake the can before opening to combine the cream and water.
- Quick soak the cashews. If you didn’t have time to soak your cashews the night before, cover them with boiling hot water and allow them to soak for 30-60 minutes. This will speed up the process and make them easier to blend into the vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling.
- Double-check your cashews are not flavored. Roasted or flavored cashews of any time will not work well here and can ruin the flavor of your vegan pumpkin cheesecake. Be careful, and make sure to use raw cashews!
More Vegan Pumpkin Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- Vegan Pumpkin Cream Horns
- Vegan Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Vegan Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Macaroons
- Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites with Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce
Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!