With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we are all looking for the perfect vegan treat to serve our families. Well, look no further! This vegan pumpkin cheesecake is a showstopper. Just last week I made this cheesecake for a friendsgiving event that I hosted. My guests consisted of a group of omni friends who were not usually fond of vegan food. After trying my cheesecake they said it was so good they had no idea it was vegan!
When I first started my transition I was lamenting not being able to eat my favorite dessert, cheesecake, ever again. Seriously, I was devastated! How would I celebrate my birthday properly if there was no cheesecake!? I almost caved, like many others, but thinking about where the ingredients came from made me even more sad than not eating cheesecake. And so I was determined to find the best vegan cheesecake recipes possible. There were so many out there, but none nearly as tasty as this one.
Made with Maxine’s Heavenly pumpkin pecan spice cookies, fresh pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and blended cashews, this is the perfect fall treat. Your family will be begging you for more!
Why You will Love This Cheesecake
This cheesecake is chock-full of fall flavors, it’s sweet, creamy, and so versatile! Decorate with fresh cranberries, cranberry sauce (trust me), cinnamon, toasted pecans, chocolate sauce, vegan whipped cream… whatever you want! This recipe is sure to WOW everyone. Heck, double up the recipe and make two!! If you end up with leftovers (which I highly doubt will happen), put them in the freezer to enjoy at a later date.
Now what you have been waiting for, the best Vegan Pumpin Cheesecake recipe EVER!!!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
For the Cookie Crust:
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs, about 6 cookies (I used Maxine’s Heavenly Pumpkin Pecan Spice cookies)
1/4 cup melted vegan butter (I use pure blends avocado oil butter)
For the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake:
1 1/2 cup raw cashews, softened
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh is preferred, but you can use canned puree, just don’t get pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (such as soy or almond, I decided to use coconut milk to make it extra creamy)
1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar, or coconut sugar.
1 tbsp corn starch, 2 tsp agar flakes, OR 1 tsp agar powder (I used agar powder).
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the sides and bottom of an 8-inch round baking dish or spring form pan (preferred) with vegan butter, then dust with flour. Tap the side of the pan to thoroughly cover it with flour. Make sure you get the sides as well! Dump any excess flour.
To Soften the Cashews:
Boil cashews for 10 minutes. OR soak the cashews for four hours or overnight. You want them to be nice and soft! Drain all the liquid before using.
To Make the Cookie Crust:
Crumble cookies, Maxine’s Heavenly are soft enough to do so with your fingers. In a small bowl, mix the cookie crumbs with the melted vegan butter. Pour the crumb mixture into the pan then spread evenly. The mixture may be soggy, but don’t worry. Just use a fork to spread it around. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the edges are lightly golden.
To Make the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake:
Add all the ingredients, EXCEPT THE NON-DAIRY MILK & AGAR POWDER, to a food processor or blender and blend until as smooth as possible. You may need to stop to scrape the sides. (If you have a cheap blender, you might have to wait until after the next step to blend.)
Once your mixture is blended, heat your non-dairy milk in a small saucepan until it’s at a simmer (small bubbles). Slowly add the agar powder, flakes OR corn starch (I prefer the agar powder), stirring the whole time. Simmer, continuing to whisk, until it has thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and pour into blender with cashew mixture. This is where you want to blend like crazy. We want that filling to be as smooth as possible!
Once it is silky smooth, pour the mixture over top of the cookie crust and spread evenly. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until the top is slightly golden brown and the edges begin to crack. Let the cheesecake cool on the counter then transfer to the fridge. Chill uncovered for at least 4 hours or overnight until it has set. I get the best results when I make the cheesecake the night before I plan on serving it.
Before serving, I like to top it with my homemade spiced cranberry sauce and coconut whipped cream. You can also sprinkle it with a little more cinnamon. Vegan chocolate sauce is also quite good on this cheesecake! Yum!
You can freeze this cheesecake batter for a delicious frozen treat. When freezing the batter, you can exclude the agar powder. Instead of baking the batter in a pie dish, you can place cookie crumbs and filling (you can even mix them together to make a cookies and cream ice cream bar) into a popsicle mold and put them dirextly in the freezer. If you do not have a popsicle mold, use an ice cube tray. First pour in batter, leaving a little room for cookie crumbs. Once you’ve covered the tops with cookies, cover with plastic wrap and then poke toothpicks or popsicle sticks through. Freeze for 2 hours. Drizzle with vegan chocolate sauce and enjoy!!
You can even freeze the batter in a tub, then scoop it out to make ice cream sandwiches.
The batter and cookies can also be used as a vegan yogurt topper!
This recipe was so simple, and so easy to make a beginner could do it!! As you can see, the batter can be used in many ways other than just as a cheesecake. I absolutely love this delicious and versatile vegan cheesecake recipe! I promise that even your non vegan friends and family members are going to go nuts over it. What’s not to like about it? Its sweet, creamy, filled with yummy fall flavors, and also quite nice to look at.
Thank you for checking out my recipe. Please feel free to ask questions and post pics after you have tried it out. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @theveganmom1