In all of the cashew cheesecake experimentation I’ve done so far on the blog, I haven’t touched on pumpkin yet. Things had to change!
These pumpkin cheesecakes were the first thing that came to mind when I thought of creating a simple-yet-decadent fall dessert.
I mean, who doesn’t love cheesecake? And pumpkin? And coconut whipped cream?
(If you’re raising your hand at this point, you can just leave.)
This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients and no special springform pans or gadgets.
If you have a blender, parchment paper (or cupcake liners), and ramekins (or muffin tins), you can master these decadent vegan cheesecakes!
I think you all are going to love these gems. They’re:
Not too sweet
These would make the perfect dessert for holiday parties and fall gatherings. They’re super versatile with the ability to be made in muffin tins for a single-serving size, ramekins for 3-4 small cheesecakes, or a round cake pan (or springform pan) for one large cheesecake to feed a crowd. Top with coconut whipped cream and brown sugar pecans (recipes below) for a finishing touch.
If you try this cheesecake, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 cup packed medjool dates (pitted // about 20 dates per 1 cup or 275 g // pitted before measuring)
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in very hot water for 1 hour)
- 1 lemon, juiced (1 lemon yields ~2 Tbsp or 30 ml )
- 1/3 cup light or full-fat coconut milk (or sub unsweetened almond milk)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (or sub melted coconut oil, though it will add coconut flavor)
- 1/2 cup grade A maple syrup* or light agave nectar (plus more to taste)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Cover cashews with boiling-hot water. Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 hour. Then drain thoroughly and set aside.
In the meantime, add dates to a blender and blend until small bits remain, or it forms a ball. Remove and set aside.
Add walnuts and salt to blender and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If too crumbly, add a few more dates. If too sticky, add more crushed walnuts. Set aside.
If using a springform pan, line with parchment paper. If using ramekins or muffin tins, cut parchment paper into circles the size of the base of your ramekins or muffin tins. Also, cut out two long strips of parchment paper per ramekin and lay them in an "X" shape at the base. Top with circle shape. This creates little tabs that make removing the cheesecakes easier to pop out once set. (For muffin tins, you can also just use cupcake liners.)
Divide crust evenly among ramekins or tins (or springform pan), and press down with fingers to evenly distribute. Use a small glass wrapped in parchment paper, or the back of a spoon, to press down firmly, allowing some crust to come up the sides. Set in freezer.
Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to blender with remaining filling ingredients and puree until very smooth - 2-3 minutes. If it has trouble blending add a touch more coconut milk (or almond milk). Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness as needed.
Divide filling evenly among the ramekins or tins (or pour into a parchment-lined springform pan). Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm - about 4-6 hours, depending on size of dish.
Once set, run a butter knife along the edge and gently remove by tugging on the tabs in an upward motion. They should pop right out. If they aren't quite set, pop them back in the freezer until firm. If using a springform pan, simply pop open and remove cheesecake.
Serve with a touch of coconut whipped cream and brown sugar pecans (optional | recipe links above).
Store leftovers in the freezer for 7-10 days, though best when enjoyed within the first 3-4 days. Let thaw at room temperature 15-20 minutes before serving for best texture.
*Grade A maple syrup is best in this recipe - I didn't prefer Grade B, as its flavor was a bit too intense and overwhelmed the pumpkin.
*Prep time includes soaking cashews and freezing.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated using medium-sized ramekins and does not include additional toppings.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 8 one-half mini cheesecake servings)
- Calories: 434
- Fat: 29.6g
- Saturated fat: 4g
- Sodium: 72mg
- Carbohydrates: 40.1g
- Fiber: 4.3g
- Sugar: 26.7g
- Protein: 9.6g