Hello friends! I have a bit of a ‘spin on a recipe’ for you today with this Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake. I did a few fun tweaks to this recipe, so wanted to share it!
First Pumpkin Pie Taste
Last night, Rosalie and I sat down at the kitchen table after a long late nap and had pasta and broccoli together. We chatted about eating the tiny trees and how she likes broccoli when it’s ‘not dirty’ meaning she doesn’t like the seasoning I put on it. Yes, I had to rinse off my nooch-covered broccoli.
Then we dug into this pumpkin cheesecake – her very first pumpkin pie experience ever. I loved watching her little face light up as she tasted the warm spices, creamy texture and cozy pumpkin vanilla flavor. She is a picky eater, like most three year-olds so watching her gobble this up and annouce that she loves pumpkin pie, really filled me up. I can’t wait to have another slice with her tonight. I took a quick pic to capture her happy pie face… (Ignore my oh-so-organized cabinets – life as a mom!)
More of my Pumpkin Pie and Cheesecake Recipes:
- pumpkin pie – my classic go-to
- pumpkin pie – two ingredients
- pumpkin pie – Hubbard
- pumpkin pie cheesecake – OG recipe from long ago
- cheesecake – classic
- blueberry cheesecake ice cream
- pumpkin pie – maple bliss
- pumpkin pie pudding
Crafting the Perfect Vegan Cheesecake: Your Go-to Guide
So as I said, today, we’re diving into the art of making the perfect vegan pumpkin cheesecake. This dessert is not only a crowd-pleaser but also a testament to how versatile and delicious vegan cooking can be. From the crust to the filling, I’ve got you covered with tips, tricks, and insights.
This cheesecake was what I call “toddler life cooking’ where I have zero regard for the perfection of the crust and look of things, but only care about the bake and flavor of the final product. Put on pause are my days of making sure every pie looks like the pages of Gourmet magazine.
Or maybe I’m being too hard on myself? Who knows, you tell me. It’s not the most gorgeous photo spread ever, but boy was it yummy!!!
Crafting the Vegan Cheesecake Crust
The foundation of any great cheesecake is its crust. For a vegan version, I swap out the traditional buttery base for something equally scrumptious but entirely plant-based. In this case, I used vegan buttery spread. Done and done.
My crust literally has two ingredients and two steps:
crust ingredients: crushed crackers (yup. i did a savory spin on my crust!) and vegan buttery spread, melted.
You just combine the two and press into a parchment paper lined pie dish – I used a springform cake pan. Then press the crumbs and butter in and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Then you add your filling over top and bake. Easiest dessert ever.
If you want a healthier pie crust, try something like this:
Nut-Date Vegan Crumble Crust:
- 1 ½ cups of your favorite nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans work great)
- 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- A pinch of sea salt
- Begin by blending the nuts in a food processor until they reach a coarse meal consistency.
- Drain the dates and add them to the nut mixture along with a pinch of sea salt.
- Process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
- Press this mixture firmly into the bottom of your cheesecake pan to form a solid, even base.
So for my recipe, I blend the vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling. This is the part where you could use either a blender or a food processor. Let’s chat about that….
Blender vs. Food Processor in Baking
When making vegan cheesecake, the consistency of your filling is key. This brings us to the great debate: blender or food processor?
- Blender: Ideal for achieving a smooth, creamy texture. Perfect if you’re using ingredients like soaked cashews or silken tofu.
- Food Processor: Offers more control over texture. It’s excellent for the crust or if you prefer a slightly chunkier filling.
Choose based on the texture you desire for your cheesecake.
Sweetener Options That Are Unrefined
So how do you sweeten a vegan cheesecake? I use either agave or maple syrup in my recipes. The liquid form makes it super easy to blend in.
Moving away from refined sugars, several natural sweeteners offer not just sweetness but also unique flavors and health benefits.
- Maple Syrup: Rich in antioxidants and has a lower glycemic index than sugar. It adds a warm, caramel-like flavor.
- Agave Nectar: Sweeter than sugar, so you can use less. It’s also low glycemic, making it a good option for those watching their sugar intake.
- Coconut Sugar: Contains inulin, which may slow glucose absorption. It imparts a subtle caramel flavor.
Experiment with these to find your preferred taste and sweetness level.
How to Bake a Cheesecake – Tips
- Water Bath: To avoid cracks, bake your cheesecake in a water bath. This method helps cook the cake gently and evenly.
- Low and Slow: Bake your cheesecake at a lower temperature for a longer time to prevent overcooking the edges.
- Cooling: Let your cheesecake cool gradually in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Rapid temperature changes can cause cracking.
I don’t usually use a water bath for my cheesecakes, but I do want to experiment with that technique more in the future and see the results.
Let’s get baking!
Vegan pumpkin cheesecake is a delightful, compassionate twist on a classic dessert. With the right techniques and ingredients, you can create a dessert that’s not only kind to animals and the planet but also a hit with all your guests. Happy baking!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 2 cups crushed crackers or cookies or grahams
- ½ cup melted vegan buttery spread
- 16 oz vegan cream cheese
- 15 oz canned pumpkin, unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup JUST vegan egg or flax eggs
- ¾ cup maple syrup, or agave
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a pie dish with parchment paper. Note: if you use a traditional pie dish, this will fill to the top. If you use a 8 or 10" cake pan, you could actually double the filling recipe to make an extra tall and thick cheesecake!
- Combine the crushed crackers and melted butter. Press into the pie dish until smooth and packed in.
- Bake crust for 8 minutes.
- Combine the filling ingredients in a blender or food processor. Until thick and silky smooth.
- Remove crust from oven and pour in the filling.
- Place pie back in oven and bake for 10 minutes at 350, then reduce heat to 325 and bake for an additional 35 minutes.
- Cool for two hours or overnight in the fridge. You can make this pie a few days ahead of serving it!
- 1 blender or food processor
- 1 pie dish or springform pan
- parchment paper