This easy & healthy No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe only takes 10 minutes of hands-on preparation and is paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free! It’s the best vegan pumpkin cheesecake ever and the perfect dessert recipe to make for Thanksgiving!
This post is sponsored by my friends at Vitamix. As always, all opinions are my own!
It’s November 1st and I need to know, who else is planning their Thanksgiving menu already?! I like to test recipes before the big day, to ensure that our holiday will be 110% delicious!
This Paleo & Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe is absolutely a winner, and will be a favorite at your Thanksgiving, or Friendsgiving celebrations! It’s the perfect treat to make if you have guests or family members with food allergies!
This healthy pumpkin cheesecake is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and completely paleo and vegan! Plus it’s no-bake so it’s very easy to put together, doesn’t require any time in the oven, and is best when made ahead!
How do you make Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake?
Let’s walk through the step-by-step process of making this no-bake vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe! Because the last thing you want is a dessert flop on a big holiday! 🙂
Step 1: Soak the Cashews (for the filling)
There are a total of two (2) cups of cashews used in this recipe:
- 1 cup of dry roasted, unsalted cashews for the crust that do NOT need to be soaked. And
- 1 cup of dry roasted, unsalted cashews for the filling that DO need to be soaked.
It’s very important that you don’t soak all two cups of cashews, and only soak the 1 cup of cashews that will be used in the paleo pumpkin cheesecake filling.
To soak the cashews:
Put the cashews in a glass bowl/container and pour boiling water over them until they are all covered. (I use an electric tea kettle to easily boil water in under 1 minute)! Let the cashew/water sit at room temperature for 60 minutes, then drain & discard the water, and proceed with the vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe!
Remember: the cashews for the crust, are not soaked!
Step 2: Make the Raw Cashew Crust in the Vitamix Blender
To make the cashew crust for this vegan pumpkin pie, start by blending the dates and un-soaked cashews in your Vitamix blender. You will need to use the tamper to push the ingredients into the blade, and may need to pause to use a spatula to scrape down the sides and continue blending until the dates and cashews make a crumbly texture.
Add the rest of the crust ingredients and blend in the same way. I recommend blending the crust on medium or low speed to ensure all the ingredients are combined, but not over-blended. Once you reach the consistency above, transfer the crust to a prepared cake pan.
Note: the crust can also be made in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade.
Step 3: Transfer the crust to a cake pan
One the crust is made, transfer it from the Vitamix container to a prepared cake pan. I used a deep, 8″ round cake pan lined with parchment paper.
How do you line a cake pan for easy removal?
I always line my cake pans (and loaf pans and baking pans), with parchment paper in a very specific way…
- First, trace the bottom of the cake pan onto the center of a piece of parchment paper.
- Draw “handles” on two opposite sides of the tracing, so the paper would have marks on it like this =o= .
- Cut out the shape you just drew and place it in the bottom of the cake pan.
- Grease the bottom and sides of the pan and then add the crust into the cake pan.
This way, once paleo pumpkin cheesecake has chilled completely, you can use the handles to easily lift it out and remove it from the cake pan without breaking it and making a mess!
Can I make a no-bake cheesecake in a springform pan?
The answer is yes you can! If you have a springform pan that you love feel free to use that instead of a cake pan! I still recommend lightly greasing it for easy removal!
Step 4. Press the healthy pumpkin cheesecake crust firmly into the cake pan.
In order to ensure that the crust on this paleo pumpkin cheesecake isn’t crumbly and doesn’t fall apart, it’s important that you press it firmly into the cake pan with your hands or a greased spatula.
The crust should look firm, with no cracks, holes or air pockets in it once you are finished. Please note: do not chill the crust before pouring the filling onto it! It is best for the crust to remain at room temperature while you whip up the filling, so that they meld together well.
Step 5. Make the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
Once the crust is made, set it aside, wash and dry the container of your Vitamix and move on to making the healthy pumpkin cheesecake filling!
Making the filling is very straightforward. Thanks to the superior blending powers of the Vitamix, all you need to do is put the ingredients into the container of your Vitamix in the order listed and blend until smooth.
Be sure to drain the soaked cashews. Discard the water and only add the soaked cashews to the filling!
Step 6: Pour the vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling onto the crust
Make sure you get every little bit of filling out of that container onto the crust (except, of course, for the few tastes you take for yourself, obviously)! Pour it onto the crust carefully and then spread it until it’s smooth.
Step 7: Chill the assembled no-bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake!
Once you have a silky smooth paleo pumpkin cheesecake layer sitting on top of a perfectly pressed-down cashew crust, it’s time to put the whole thing into the refrigerator to chill until it has hardened.
I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but the process can be sped up by placing the no-bake pumpkin cheesecake into the freezer. You will just need to remove it and let it soften a bit before serving if you choose to do that !
Step 8: Remove from pan, top with desired toppings and serve!
If you lined your cake pan in the way I mentioned above, removing the gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake should be super easy to do! Or if you used a springform pan!
What to serve with Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake?
I use this coconut whipped cream recipe from Minimalist Baker to make a vegan whipped cream, or you can buy ready-made vegan whipped cream at the store! Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of vegan caramel and you won’t be sorry!
No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake: Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, I am going to walk through the ingredients in this recipe, as well as possible substitutions! I’m going to break it down into two parts, the crust and filling, because there are different substitutions for both parts!
Raw Cashew Crust Ingredients & Substitutions
If you’d prefer to substitute your own crust recipe for this vegan pumpkin cheesecake, be my guest! A cookie crust or baked pie crust would also be delicious! If you are going to use this raw cashew crust but are interested in learning more about the ingredients and substitutions, read below!
- Pitted Dates. There really is no substitution for pitted dates in this crust recipe. Please just be sure that the dates are pitted. I have accidentally put un-pitted dates into my Vitamix and blended before realizing it, and while it didn’t hurt the Vitamix, the pits are inedible and the mixture had to be thrown out!
- Roasted, unsalted cashews: I recommend roasted cashews because they are easier to blend. Raw cashews can also be used, as well as roasted salted cashews. If using salted cashews, omit the sea salt in the crust.
- Unsweetened coconut. Shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut works well in this recipe! Just be sure there are no added sweeteners in the brand that out buy!
- Vanilla extract. always use pure vanilla extract and not imitation! Totally worth it for both flavor and cleanness of ingredients!
- Sea salt. If using salty cashews or almond butter, you may not need to add sea salt. I recommend taste testing a little bite before adding salt!
- Almond Butter. Any nut or seed butter works well in this recipe, just be sure to choose a variety that complies with your dietary needs. Almond and cashew butters are my top recommendations!
- Almond Milk. Any non-dairy milk works perfectly in this recipe! I recommend almond or coconut!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling: Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are a few notes on the possible substitutions in this vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling!
- Soaked roasted, unsalted cashews. Raw cashews can easily be substituted for the roasted cashews in the filling, since they are soaked and become soft!
- Coconut oil. I do not recommend a substitution for coconut oil. Be sure to use melted coconut oil in this healthy pumpkin cheesecake recipe, as it makes blending easier when the ingredients are warm/melted.
- Coconut cream. Use the solid portion of a can of coconut cream. Be sure to choose a brand/variety that is pure without stabilizers for the best result. I do not recommend making any substitutions for coconut cream.
- Pumpkin Puree. Canned or homemade pumpkin puree can be used in this vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Just be sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Maple Syrup. If you are not vegan, honey can be substituted for the maple syrup. However, I do love the rich fall flavor imparted by pure maple syrup in this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Please only use pure maple syrup and not imitation syrup!
- Pumpkin Pie Spice. homemade pumpkin pie spice.this season I bought a jar of pumpkin pie spice for ease and simplicity. If you want to make your own, check out this
- Sea Salt. If using salty cashews, omit sea salt from the filling. I recommend tasting it before adding any salt!
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Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Soak the Cashews for the filling:
- Soak 1 cup of roasted, unsalted in hot water for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour, drain and set aside to use in this recipe.
Make the Cashew Crust:
- Lightly grease an 8”or 9” round cake pan, set aside.
- Put the dates and cashews in the container of your Vitamix blender (or food processor fitted with the “S” blade)
- Blend on low speed (or process), increasing to medium, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades, until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the rest of the crust ingredients and blend, starting on low speed increasing to medium-high, until the mixture just holds together when pinched. (Or process in a food processor until the same texture is reached).
- Transfer crust from the container of your Vitamix to the prepared cake pan, and press into the pan. Set aside.
Make the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
- Put all the ingredients in the order listed into your Vitamix (or high powered blender).
- Turn blender on low, gradually increasing to high speed. Blend until all ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth (about 1 minute).
Putting it together.
- Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the prepared crust and use a spatula to smooth it out.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight). You can also freeze the cheesecake to hurry the process along, but be sure to remove it from the freezer before serving!
- Serve with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!
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