I once ran a half marathon then promptly headed to the Cheesecake Factory to order a fat slice of white chocolate macadamia cheesecake. It was apparently so worth it I did the exact same thing the following year.
Though I haven’t run a race since then, I still crave cheesecake immensely. So rich, sweet, and like custard and cake in one. What’s not to love? But my dairy days are long behind me so I set out to vegan-ize this bad boy. Mission seriously accomplished.
This recipe starts with a 2-ingredient graham cracker crust (my personal favorite crust). But to keep it gluten free, try my Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men for a slightly spicier deep, amber flavor. You really can’t lose either way.
While the crust is baking, prepare the two fillings in a blender and then swirl away. One hour in the oven and this gorgeous pie is transformed into a seriously legit vegan cheesecake. Jaws will drop – trust me on this one.
This pie is ridiculously close to actual cheesecake. It’s:
& Kind of amazing
I too was skeptical of whether or not a baked vegan cheesecake was a) possible, and b) capable of topping the glory that is 7 ingredient no-bake cheesecake. Turns out, yes to both (even though these little gems will always have a place in my heart).
While this pie would make the perfect Thanksgiving dessert alongside our classic Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie, I think it would be perfect year-round. With a few creative substitutions, I even think pumpkin could be substituted for other flavors (like blueberry or peanut butter!), and still be amazing. Yes, experimenting will ensue. Don’t you worry.
If you guys make this recipe, we’d love to know! Take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! Happy holiday baking, friends. Cheers!
Vegan Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
- 7 ounces vegan graham crackers or gingersnaps* (or other similar vegan cracker or cookie // 7 ounces yield ~1 3/4 cups ground)
- 5 Tbsp vegan butter (or sub coconut oil)
- 1 12.3 ounce package firm silken tofu* (gently pressed dry // I used Morinaga brand)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 heaping cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or brown sugar (or sub honey if not vegan)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Add graham crackers to food processor and mix until a fine meal is achieved (alternatively, smash with a rolling pin in a large freezer bag). Add melted butter and pulse to combine.
Transfer to a standard pie pan (mine is 9.5 inches, but 9 inches or slightly smaller will work // as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and press with fingers to form the crust evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. If any surface area of the pan isn’t covered with crust, spritz it with non-stick spray so the cheesecake won’t stick.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned. Then set aside to cool. Keep oven at 350 F.
In the meantime, prepare cheesecake filling by adding all ingredients to a blender and blending until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings/sweetness as needed. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Add in pumpkin swirl ingredients and blend, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings/flavors as needed.
First, pour cheesecake filling into pre-baked crust, then dollop with pumpkin filling and use a knife or toothpick to swirl (I used a chopstick). Set on a baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes. The edges should be golden brown and the center should be slightly jiggly.
Let cool completely. Then loosely cover with a paper towel (to catch moisture) and then very loosely with foil and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
To serve, gently slice and top with coconut whipped cream, crumbled gingersnaps, and/or extra pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.
If you’re feeling extra decadent, this would be amazing with my Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. Will keep stored in the fridge for up to a few days, though best when fresh.
*The vegan graham crackers I prefer are the Nabisco Original Graham Crackers, which can be found at most major grocery stores. If you can’t find them or prefer not to use them, sub another vegan-friendly cookie or biscuit, or just make a traditional pie crust (gluten free recipe | Non-GF recipe) and bake it with the cheesecake.
*If you aren’t into tofu or can’t find silken firm, you can sub 1 1/4 cups (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) raw cashews with varied results. Before blending, soak in boiling hot water for 1-2 hours (or overnight in cool water), then thoroughly drain. Add to recipe where I instruct to add the tofu (Note I have not tried this method but based on prior experience with cashews I believe it would work).
*Vegan Gingersnaps recipe.
*Inspired by, loosely adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
*Adapted from my Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 10 slices)
- Calories: 206
- Fat: 8.7g
- Saturated fat: 1.8g
- Sodium: 190mg
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Sugar: 16.7g
- Protein: 4.1g