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Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sinfully delicious pumpkin dessert, with GF hazelnut pie crust

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Where's the cheese in this vegan pumpkin cheesecake? Many vegan cheesecakes call for vegan cream cheese - a vile substance, in our humble opinion. And tofu in cheesecake doesn't appeal either. Think nut cheese and you'll be there!

The gluten free hazelnut pie crust is rich and scrumptious, but a graham cracker crust will also work. You'll need an 8 inch spring form pan, or a 9 inch cake pan for this recipe. Or use a deep pie dish.

Total Prep & Cook Time: 90 Minutes

12 servings

Nutrition Data, 136g Serving (includes crust): 285 cal, 31g carb, 17g fat, 149mg sodium, 2g fiber, 6g protein, 14g sugars, low Cholesterol, good source Vit A. Estimated glycemic load 18

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe gluten free hazelnut pie crust
  • 3 cups canned or fresh pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree
  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch (organic if you can get it)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (we use Earth Balance brand)
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Directions:

  1. 2 hours ahead, place the cashews in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 2 hours. They should be very soft.
  2. Make coconut cream or cashew cream ahead of time if you want it to serve with the cheesecake
  3. If using fresh pumpkin or squash, bake a 2 lb pumpkin or butternut squash at 375 degrees F. covered, until soft. Cool, scoop out the squash, and puree in a food processor until smooth. If you don't have one, mash well with a potato masher or puree with a stick blender.
  4. Measure out 3 cups of pureed pumpkin or squash.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  6. Make the pie crust, press evenly into the bottom of the spring form pan, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  7. When the cashews are soft, drain and blend with the almond milk, sugar and cornstarch until the mixture is smooth
  8. Add cashew mixture to a medium saucepan, with the spices, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir with a whisk over medium-low heat until the mixture is quite thick.
  9. Stir the pumpkin puree into the cashew mixture along with the vegan butter. Blend with a stick blender or whisk until very smooth
  10. Pour the filling into the cake pan on top of the crust. Smooth the top with a spatula.
  11. Oil the sides of the spring form pan, and pour in the cheesecake filling. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees F
  12. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for another hour.
  13. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature on a rack
  14. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving
  15. Run a paring knife around the edge of the cheesecake, carefullly remove the side of the spring form pan and serve with coconut whipped cream or cashew cream
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Recipe Tips:

As with most cheesecakes, this is 4 - 6 hour job, if you include making the crust, baking the squash, and making the topping. To save time, use a ready-made crust & topping and canned pumpkin puree.

Wait until the cake is completely cool, and preferably well chilled before eating.

If you'd rather have pumpkin pie, this filling recipe is just as happy to be baked in a pie pan. The hazelnut crust recipe is enough to make a full bottom pie crust.

This cheesecake recipe is perfectly delicious solo, or drizzled with maple syrup (as pictured), if you don't want to make a topping for it.

Recipe Comments:

Question: Instead of stevia or other sweetner will coconut sugar work? If so' how much? - Renay J.

Answer: Sure! Just substitute 1/2 cup coconut sugar for the 1/2 cup brown sugar or raw cane sugar - Judith

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