This vegan pumpkin cheesecake is here to satiate your pumpkin obsession! The crunchy crust is made from just nuts and dates. And the pumpkin filling is super creamy thanks to soaked cashews! It’s a healthy Autumn-inspired twist on your classic cheesecake.
This vegan pumpkin cheesecake was inspired by my no bake vegan pumpkin pie that is popular every Fall. This pumpkin cheesecake is also no-bake, which means neither the crust nor the filling has to bake in the oven. Sometimes baking homemade cheesecake can be tedious and finicky. But not this one! Just mix the filling and let it chill in the fridge or freezer until set. Then slice it up and enjoy!
If you’re in the mood for more pumpkin recipes this Fall, try pumpkin labneh bread, Harry Potter-inspired pumpkin pasties, or vegan mac and cheese with hidden pumpkin! I recommend always using canned pumpkin (also called pumpkin puree) instead of pumpkin pie filling. Canned pumpkin doesn’t contain any added sugar. So you can control the sweetness and the type of sweetener used in your recipes.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- It’s a no-bake dessert which means you don’t have to turn on your oven!
- This pumpkin cheesecake is vegan, gluten free, and contains zero processed sugar.
- You can make it ahead of time and have it ready to serve straight from the fridge.
- This dessert is not only healthy, but super satiating thanks to all of the nuts.
For the crust:
- Nuts – I usually use cashews but feel free to use any nuts. Pecans and walnuts also work really well.
- Dates – Make sure you remove the pits before processing them in a food processor! (speaking from experience and a broken food processor…)
For the filling:
- Cashews – Soaked then blended cashews create an insanely creamy texture, which is the base for this vegan pumpkin cheesecake.
- Pumpkin – Use canned pumpkin, also called pumpkin puree.
- Maple syrup – Adds a rich Autumn flavor and adds sweetness without processed sugars.
- Pumpkin pie spice – You can mix ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- Salt – Just a pinch brings out the rest of the flavors
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Soak the cashews: In a bowl, add the cashews for the filling and cover with room temperature water. Leave on the counter to soak for 6 to 8 hours. Rinse and drain when you’re ready to use them.
Combine the crust ingredients: In a food processor, process the nuts and dates for about 20 seconds, until they look like thick crumbs.
Spread the crust in the pan: Pour the crust mixture into a 10-inch pie tin or springform pan. Press the mixture into a flat, even layer with your hands. Set aside.
Combine the filling ingredients: In a food processor, combine the soaked and drained cashews, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Blend for one minute, then scrape the sides. Blend for another minute until smooth and creamy.
Spread the filling in the pan: Pour the filling on top of the crust in the pan. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the filling into an even layer.
Chill the cheesecake: Let the cheesecake chill and set for about 4 hours in the freezer or at least 8 hours in the fridge.
Serve and enjoy: You can top your pumpkin cheesecake with optional dollops of vegan whipped cream, an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and extra chopped nuts. Slice and enjoy!
How to Make this Recipe Without a Food Processor
If you don’t have a food processor, you can totally still make this vegan pumpkin cheesecake!
To make the crust, you can add all the nuts in a ziplock bag and smash them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a drinking glass. Slice the dates really small with a knife.
To make the filling, first blend the soaked cashews in a blender. Blend for a minute or two until they are creamy, scraping the sides as needed. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients, and blend again until the filling is smooth.
What if I Forget to Soak Cashews
Been there, done that. I get all excited and ready to make a creamy recipe with cashews! Only to realize that I forgot to soak the cashews overnight… Don’t worry, there are two other ways to soak cashews.
- Option 1 – Soak cashews in hot water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you have a bit of time, boil water on the stove, then pour them over the cashews in a bowl. Let them sit until the cashews soften after 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Option 2 – Boil cashews for 15 minutes. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the cashews and boil them for about 15 minutes, until they’ve softened.
While these are faster methods to soak and soften cashews, I prefer soaking them overnight. This allows the cashews to remain “raw” and retain all their nutrients. Soaking cashews also removes phytic acid so our bodies can absorb more of the nutrients in cashews. It’s a win-win!
Storage and Freezing
You can store your vegan pumpkin cheesecake in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just keep it wrapped in some aluminum foil. You can take a slice out at a time and let it thaw and soften either in the fridge or at room temperature.
If you know your cheesecake will be eaten up within the week, you can store it in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 2 cups nuts (cashews, pecans and walnuts work best)
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- 1½ cups cashews, soaked in warm water on the counter for 6 to 8 hours.
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or combine ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp cloves and ¼ tsp nutmeg)
- ¼ tsp salt
Soak the Cashews for the Filling
- First, soak the cashews for the cheesecake filling. In a bowl, add the 1½ cups cashews and cover with room temperature water. Leave on the counter to soak for 6 to 8 hours. Rinse and drain when you're ready to use them.
Make the Crust
- In a food processor, add the 1 cup nuts for the crust with the pitted dates. Blend for about 20 seconds, until they look like thick crumbs.
- Pour the crust mixture into a 10-inch pie tin or springform pan. Press the mixture into a flat, even layer with your hands. Set aside.
Make the Filling
- In a food processor, combine the soaked and drained cashews, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Blend for one minute, then scrape the sides with a spoon or spatula. Blend for another minute until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the filling on top of the crust in the pan. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the filling into an even layer.
Chill then Serve
- Let the cheesecake chill and set for about 4 hours in the freezer or at least 8 hours in the fridge.
- You can top your pumpkin cheesecake with optional dollops of vegan whipped cream, an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and extra chopped nuts. Slice and enjoy!!