Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake is a creamy, dairy free and completely gluten-free fall dessert! It's easy to make and doesn't require any baking.
I shared a tutorial on how to make vegan cheesecake last year. Ever since I've been testing new vegan cheesecake recipes like turtle cheesecake and this vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe! It's rich and creamy, like traditional cheesecake, but it's completely vegan and dairy free.
No need to turn the oven on for this one because it's completely raw. It couldn't be easier to make and the pumpkin spice flavor is so cozy. It's the perfect vegan Thanksgiving dessert!
Here are the key ingredients for this recipe and why they're important to this pumpkin cheesecake. Skip down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
For the crust
- Pecans: raw and unsalted pecans are best. We like to buy our nuts in bulk from nuts.com because they're more affordable.
- Dates: this sticky, sweet ingredient helps hold the crust together and adds sweetness.
For the cheesecake
- Cashews: this is the base of the vegan cream cheese and gives the recipe structure. It has a mild flavor, which allows the pumpkin spice to shine.
- Full-fat coconut milk: buy this in the baking or international aisle and use only the thick cream of the coconut milk. It gives the recipe a silky smooth texture.
- Pumpkin puree: make sure not to purchase pumpkin pie filling! This is the 100% pure pumpkin in the can, or you can use homemade pumpkin puree.
- Coconut oil: grab refined coconut oil because it has a much more milk coconut flavor so you won't be able to taste it.
- Pure maple syrup: this fall-inspired sweetener pairs well with the pumpkin and adds some great maple flavor to each bite. You can swap this for coconut sugar.
- Molasses: a rich, thick syrup with bold spice and flavor. Grab it in the baking aisle.
- Vanilla extract and salt
- Pumpkin pie spice: cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg are combined in this recipe, but you could also use pre-made pumpkin pie spice
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Here are the simple steps to make this easy vegan pumpkin cheesecake. Jump down to the recipe card for the full instructions.
Make the crust
- Line a square cake pan with parchment paper (or use a springform pan with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom). Place the crust ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor with sea salt and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until the pecans break down and mix. Stop and scrape the sides as needed.
- Once it's combined, press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan lined with parchment paper. You could also use a traditional springform pan. Press evenly to the bottom and spread to the edges of the pan.
Make the pumpkin cheesecake filling
- Place the soaked cashews in a high-speed blender or food processor with all of the filling ingredients. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes, or until the filling is very creamy and no visible cashews remain.
- Pour the pumpkin filling over the prepared pie crust in the square pan. Spread the filling evenly to the sides and corners of the pan, doing your best to smooth the top as well. Drop the pan against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Place in the freezer for at least two and a half hours to set (no need to turn on the oven!). Once they're set, remove them from the freezer and slice them into squares. We love to serve this with whipped coconut cream or a drizzle of vegan caramel sauce.
Pro tip: run a sharp knife under hot water before each cut to get clean, smooth pieces.
Mini cheesecakes: press the pie crusts into the bottom and sides of a muffin tin then divide the filling evenly between them and freeze as directed.
Graham cracker crust: use 2 cups of crushed gluten-free and vegan graham cracker cookies (like Simple Mills) and mix them with 5 tablespoons of melted vegan butter and ¼ cup brown sugar then press it into the bottom and sides of the pan and bake it at 350°F for 10 minutes.
Yes, you can freeze vegan pumpkin cheesecake. In fact, I highly recommend you always store these bars in the freezer. They're meant to eat cold and hold their shape the best in the freezer.
For best results, place 2 cups of cashews in lukewarm water for at least 6 hours. I recommend soaking them overnight for about 12 hours. Just place the raw cashews in the water, cover and soak until ready to use.
If you forget or don't have enough time, you can boil water, remove from heat and place cashews in hot water for at least one hour. In both instances, you'll drain the cashews prior to blending in the recipe!
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More pumpkin desserts
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups raw unsalted pecans
- 1 ¼ cups pitted dates 8-10 dates
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of water if needed
For the cheesecake
- 2 cups raw unsalted cashews soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight
- ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk cream only
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- OR 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- To make the crust, line an 8” or 9” square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a high-powered food processor or blender, blend the pecans, pitted dates and salt until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough and starts to pull away from the edges, about 1-2 minutes. If it's not coming together add one tablespoon of water.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Set aside.
- To make the cheesecake, in a high-powered blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend for at least 2 full minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and creamy and no visible cashew pieces are left.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan over the prepared crust. Smooth out the top to the edges of the pan and tap the pan against the counter a couple times to release any air bubbles.
- Place in the freezer to set for at least 2.5 hours or until completely firm. Cut and serve frozen. Store in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
This is one of my favorite desserts now. I mean,to be fair, I have only eaten the cheesecake batter before it goes in the freezer to harden. ?