This Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake is a healthy recipe made with cashew nuts and no dairy.
It has the most creamy pumpkin spice-flavored filling on top of a pecan crust and topped with homemade caramel sauce.
If there’s one vegan dessert you need to make for your Vegan Thanksgiving table, it’s a vegan pumpkin pie or this vegan pumpkin cheesecake.
Both are the most wonderful vegan Fall dessert packed with pumpkin flavors. Plus, I tested these desserts on non-vegan eaters, and it’s a total hit every time.
Why You’ll Love This Dessert
I’ll share how to make this vegan cheesecake with real pumpkin puree. No need for vegan cream cheese, just natural, wholesome ingredients.
This vegan cheesecake is naturally:
- Raw – no baking required
- Low-carb friendly
How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
There are many ways to make vegan cheesecake recipes. Some are baked cheesecakes using vegan cream cheese, and some are made from soaked cashews, like this recipe, and don’t require an oven.
Pecan Cheesecake Crust
First you need to make the pumpkin curst with the ingredients below:
- Raw Pecans
- Almond Flour or oat flour.
- Medjool Dates – pitted and fresh – if not fresh and slightly hard, soak the dates in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Press to drain and use in the recipe.
- Vanilla Extract
- Water – Use only if the batter is not sticking well together.
- Coconut Oil – If you don’t appreciate the coconut flavor of coconut oil, pick a refined coconut oil for this vegan cheesecake recipe.
Pumpkin Filling Ingredients
All you need to make this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake recipe are:
- Unroasted Cashews – You need to soak the cashews before starting the recipe. You can soak them for 60 minutes in a bowl filled with boiled water or soak them in cold water overnight.
- Pumpkin Puree – I use canned pumpkin puree. It’s preferable for this recipe because it’s less moist than homemade pumpkin puree and delivers a creamier pumpkin cheesecake filling.
- Pumpkin Pie Spices
- Melted Coconut Oil or melted cocoa butter. You need some oil that firms up at room temperature, so don’t swap for vegan butter or avocado oil. Don’t skip the oil either, or the filling won’t hold.
- Canned Coconut Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Sea Salt
- Lemon Juice
- Maple Syrup or any liquid sweetener you like including rice syrup, agave syrup, or coconut nectar. For a low-carb cashew cheesecake, try a sugar-free Monk fruit liquid sweetener.
First, prepare an 8-inch round springform pan. Spray the sides and bottom with olive oil or rub melted coconut oil over the pan.
Next, cover the sides and bottom with parchment paper and oil. Set aside.
Finally, place the cashews in a bowl, cover it with boiled water, and set it aside for 1 hour to soften.
Add all the crust ingredients in a food processor using the S blade attachment – order doesn’t matter.
Make sure the dates are soft and fresh, or the crust ingredients won’t come together very well.
Blend on high speed until the pecans are fine like flour and form a sticky batter.
Open the food processor and press the dough with your hands. If too dry, add one tablespoon of water.
Process again to combine. The batter should stick together very well when pressed in your hand palm.
Depending on how dry your dates are, you may need up to 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.
I only added one tablespoon. Transfer the crust ingredients onto the prepared round pan and press evenly using the back of a measuring cup.
You want to form a smooth, even layer. Place the pan in the fridge while making the pumpkin cheesecake filling.
Making The Pumpkin Filling
First, drain the cashews in a sieve, rinse and drain.
Shake the can of coconut cream before measuring the amount required by the recipe.
In a high-speed blender, add all the pumpkin filling ingredients: soaked cashews, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices, canned coconut cream, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.
Blend on the high-speed setting until it forms a creamy pumpkin filling that has no bits or pieces of cashews.
I blended my mixture for 1 minute on speed 10 of a Vitamix blender and used the tamper attachment to help the ingredients come together.
Assembling The Cheesecake
Remove the pan from the fridge and pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the crust.
Smoothen the top using the back of a spoon, then gently tap the pan 2-3 times on the benchtop to remove any air bubbles trapped in the filling.
Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. I like to add a piece of plastic wrap on top of the cheesecake after it has firmed up, about 2 to 3 hours later.
Place the wrap in contact with the cheesecake topping to prevent it from drying.
The next day, prepare the peanut butter caramel recipe.
You can use my peanut butter caramel recipe and swap the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter or tahini if you are not a fan of peanut butter flavors. But peanut butter and pumpkin go well together.
Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and peel off the piece of plastic wrap on top.
Release the cheesecake from the pan, opening the ring of the pan first.
Then, slide the cheesecake from the pan onto a pie plate.
Spread the caramel over the top of the cheese, letting the caramel drip on the side of a nice drippy effect. Sprinkle some pecan nuts on top of the cheesecake if desired.
Making Vegan Cheesecake Ahead
This recipe is the best vegan dessert to make ahead during holiday season.
You can make the cheesecake days in advance and even freeze the entire cheesecake in a cake box for up to one month!
Thaw the day before serving in the fridge.
This pumpkin cheesecake can be stored for four days in the fridge in an airtight container like a large cake box.
You can freeze the cheesecake for up to one month in a sealed box.
You can serve this pumpkin cheesecake plain or add some of the delicious vegan toppings below:
- Dust of cinnamon
- Pinch of pumpkin pie spices
- Dollop of unsweetened coconut yogurt
- Vegan coconut whipped cream
- Pinch of sea salt flakes
Below are some options to make this vegan cheesecake even if you have food allergies:
- Cashew-Free – You should be able to make this recipe with soaked macadamia nuts. I don’t recommend other nuts.
- Coconut-Free – Replace the coconut cream with soy cream and coconut oil for melted cocoa butter.
- Peanut-Free – Use almond butter or tahini in the caramel recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are my answers to your most frequent questions about this healthy pumpkin cheesecake recipe:
No, you can’t skip coconut oil in this recipe, or the filling will be too soft and won’t hold its shape when released from the pan.
I don’t recommend that option because it adds too much moisture to the filling making the cheesecake runny.
Yes, this is a healthier pumpkin cheesecake recipe because it doesn’t use any brands of vegan cream cheese , which are often higher in saturated fat compared to cashews.
Plus, it’s sweetened with unrefined sugar, and the crust is naturally made from wholesome ingredients: nuts and dates. No graham cracker crust is needed!
You can make your pumpkin pie spices by stirring together ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Usually, you need the ratio below to make one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spices:
– 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
More Vegan Dessert Recipes
If you like vegan desserts, you’ll love these recipes:
Did You Like This Recipe?
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pecan Cheesecake Crust
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- Before you start, place the cashews in a glass bowl, cover it with boiled water and place a plate on top of the bowl. Set aside for 1 hour or soak them in cold water overnight. Drain over a sieve, rinse and set aside.
- Cover the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round springform pan with lightly oiled parchment paper. I like to keep hanging paper at the bottom of the pan, so it's easier to release the cheesecake later. Set it aside.
- Place all the crust ingredients into the bowl of your food processor except the water. Process until it comes together into a sticky dough. Open the food processor, and press the batter between your hands. If not sticky and too dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time, and process to incorporate.
- Press the crust dough all other the bottom of the pan. I used the back of a spoon or the back of a measuring cup to firmly press the ingredients in an even layer. Place the pan in the fridge while you make the pumpkin cheesecake filling.
- In a blender, add the soaked, drained cashews prepared in step 1, coconut cream, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, pumpkin puree, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spices.
- Blend on high speed, speed 10 of a Vitamix blender, and use the tamper attachment if needed to push ingredients next to the blade. Blend until the cashews turn into a cream and the mixture is smooth, slightly thick, and consistent.
- Pour the pumpkin cheesecake mixture onto the prepared pecan crust.
- Tap the pan on the kitchen counter a few times. This releases any bubbles of air trapped in the filling.
- Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours until the filling is set. I like to place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the cheesecake in contact with the top after 3 hours to prevent the cheesecake top from drying out.
Vegan Caramel – Before Serving
- In a bowl, stir all the caramel ingredients until smooth.
- Release the cheesecake onto a pie plate, and drizzle vegan caramel on top. Sprinkle pecans nuts if desired.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Thaw in the fridge the day before serving.