This vegan pumpkin cheesecake is also paleo, no-bake and super creamy. It really tastes similar to a traditional pumpkin cheesecake!
I’m super excited about this recipe! Really, this pumpkin cheesecake is tied with my paleo vegan pumpkin pie as my favorite Thanksgiving dessert.
Once it’s chilled, the texture is very close to that of a traditional cheesecake. More than any other vegan cheesecake I’ve had. And I’ve had some really awesome ones, like this vegan cheesecake recipe or this vegan chocolate cheesecake (both of which are also paleo!).
And the flavor is amazing. Pecans, pumpkin, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice (in addition to a bunch of other stuff!) make for a perfect fall treat.
By the way, if you’re vegan, definitely check out my post on Is Maple Syrup Vegan? Some manufacturers use an animal product during production that you may or not be okay with.
I should warn you that when you first blend the filling, it doesn’t exactly taste right. Once it sits for a few hours, it tastes as it should.
And the settling time is no problem because it needs to sit a really long time in the fridge, anyway. Like 12 hours.
You can also freeze it if you’re in a hurry but it’ll still take quite a bit of time. The problem with freezing it is that the outside part will freeze quickly and then the center will still be gooey for several hours.
And then you have to defrost it, which also takes time. I found that the fridge was the easiest option, as long as you have the time.
You can make this vegan pumpkin cheesecake several days in advance, making it a great Thanksgiving dessert option! It also freezes great long-term.
Mr. T isn’t interested in anything with pumpkin spice so I eat all fall spiced treats by myself. I would have loved to have eaten the entire cheesecake in a day or two but I was good and put half in the freezer. It was just as delicious a month later!
If freezing the entire cheesecake, let it sit in the fridge overnight so that it defrosts evenly.
To top it off, I used candied pecans (here’s how to make candied pecans). There’s also some vegan caramel sauce on a few of the pieces.
I will absolutely be serving this vegan pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year. Unlike a lot of paleo and vegan cheesecake recipes, this one yields a full-sized 8″ cheesecake, making it great for a crowd.
It also won’t be taking up precious oven space! This dairy-free pumpkin cheesecake is no-bake but if you toast the pecans for the cheesecake, the crust tastes WAY better. I first made it with raw pecans and the texture of the raw nuts disturbed me somehow.
But! I have a weird thing with raw nuts so maybe it’s just my issue.
If you try it out, I’d love to hear what you think! :)
For more vegan pumpkin recipes, try my vegan pumpkin muffins or pumpkin chai latte!
Substitution questions about this vegan pumpkin cheesecake?
- Can I use something instead of pecans?
I tried it with walnuts first because they’re so much cheaper but pecans definitely tasted better. Any nut should technically work – it’s just a matter of taste.
- Do I have to toast the nuts?
You don’t have to but I think it helped a lot with the pecan and walnut version. Not only was the crust tastier, but it had a better texture. For almonds or cashews, I don’t think it’s necessary to toast them.
- Can I reduce the amount of coconut oil?
Yes, but then you wouldn’t have a cheesecake but more like a mousse pie. It’d still be delicious but very soft. I wouldn’t recommend reducing it by more than 1/4 cup (so use at least 1/2 cup coconut oil).
- Can I use unrefined / extra-virgin coconut oil?
You can if you don’t mind a strong coconut taste in the filling! In the crust, it wouln’t be terrible but I think it would clash a lot with the other flavors in the filling.
- Can I use something instead of dates?
I haven’t tried it but perhaps prunes would work.
- Can I use something instead of maple syrup?
Any liquid sweetener that you would use in place of maple syrup would probably work here. If you use honey, the cheesecake would almost definitely have a distinct honey taste to it. Same goes for coconut palm syrup and date syrup. I definitely recommend maple syrup!
- Can I use something instead of coconut sugar?
Brown sugar would work if you don’t care about it being paleo. Maple sugar would work for a paleo version. A liquid sweetener would make the cheesecake too runny. You could probably add a bunch of coconut oil to firm it up but I think that’d require a lot of experimenting to find the right amount.
- How do I make this into a keto pumpkin cheesecake?
I think you’d need to find a different crust recipe since there’s no good low-carb sub for dates and there’s a whole lot of them in the crust. For the filling, you could use whatever low-carb / keto sweeteners you’d usually use in place of coconut sugar and maple syrup.
- What can I use in place of the coconut cream?
Nothing unfortunately! There’s no sub for it.
- Can I use homemade pumpkin puree?
Of course! I just always call for canned because the consistency is always the same. In homemade, the moisture content varies quite a bit. In something like a cake, that can make a big deal. In this vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe, it’d just make the filling a bit softer.
- Do I have to use lemon juice?
Yes! Without it, this cheesecake just doesn’t taste right (I know because I tried it without it and the lemon juice was definitely the missing ingredient!).
- Can I use something in place of cashews for the filling?
I haven’t come across a good sub for them in a vegan cheesecake recipe like this. Sorry about that!
- Can I use a different sized pan?
Definitely! Your cheesecake will just be thinner / thicker. Just remember to adjust the crust accordingly. I think there would be enough filling for a 9″x13″ pan to make pumpkin cheesecake bars, but you’d probably need 1.5x or even 2x the crust.
- I don’t have a food processor or high-speed blender. What else can I use?
You definitely need one or the other for this recipe. I really recommend a high-speed blender (not a regular blender!) over the food processor. It’ll get the filling perfectly smooth and creamy. I can’t say that all food processors will do the same (though I’m sure some would!).
- How do you make that spiral decoration?
Place it on a turntable and use a mini spatula to scrape the surface while rotating the turntable.
Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 6-8 slices
- 2 cups (220 grams) toasted pecans1
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) coconut oil - I used refined for no coconut taste
- 1 cup (150 grams) pitted dates
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) coconut sugar, tightly packed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (168 grams) coconut oil, melted - I used refined for no coconut taste
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) coconut cream (not coconut milk!)
- 1 cup (240 grams) canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) coconut sugar, tightly packed
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice2
- 2 cups (300 grams) raw cashews, soaked3
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- candied pecans for garnish
For the crust:
For the cheesecake:
- Line the bottom and sides (all the way to the top) of an 8" circular springform pan with a piece of foil.
- In the bowl of your food processor using an S-blade, pulse all the crust ingredients until it starts to come together. Depending on your food processor, this will take about 30-60 seconds. Pinch a bit of it together - it should stick together easily. You can also use a high-speed blender to make the crust but you have to scrape the sides of the container often. I thought it was much easier with a food processor.
- Firmly press down the mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan. Place in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Place all the filling ingredients, in the order listed, into a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 1-3 minutes or until it's completely smooth. You'll likely need to stop and stir it several times. You can probably use a food processor but I can't say for sure if it'd get 100% smooth.
- Pour over the crust and smooth the top.
- Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. It'll firm up as it chills (but it really does take so long!). It should be firm and not at all gooey.
- Keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. If freezing the whole cheesecake, move it to the fridge to defrost overnight. Then ensure that it defrosts evenly.
- Top with candied pecans immediately before serving.
- To toast pecans, bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 °F (175 °C) until they smell fragrant. Let cool.
- If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, make your own using 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
- To soak the cashews, put the cashews in a small pot (or whatever bowl you can safely pour boiling water into). Cover with boiling water and let sit for 1 hour. Drain.
38 comments on “Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake (paleo, no-bake)” — Add one!
2 comments are awaiting moderation!
The photograph of this cheesecake is BEAUTIFUL! Great instructions as well and I’m sold – recipe pinned and I can’t wait to make it for the family!
Yay! I hope you’ll all enjoy it!
Thanks for the details you shared from your tried and true experience! I feel confident in making this soon because of all you shared!
Awesome! I hope you’ll enjoy it. :)
Ok, I’m one of THOSE people who can’t get enough pumpkin. Pumpkin, latte, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake for sure! I have a family member that doesn’t handle dairy well so this will be an excellent addition to the coming family gatherings. Thank you for all the tips and details you added!
You’re welcome! I’m so glad that you found them useful and weren’t annoyed by them, as some people are. ;) I hope you’ll enjoy the cheesecake!
This is so perfect for the holidays, I love that it’s dairy free and that caramel drizzle… well that just puts this right over the top!
Thanks so much! :)
I made this for my son because its dairy, wheat and egg free. Very sceptical because we are not used to a vegan diet but it was absolutely incredible. Our whole dinner party loved it.
Yay! I’m thrilled to hear that everyone loved it. :) Thanks a ton for your feedback! I was super happy to get it.
I love how creamy this looks and that it is dairy and gluten free – perfect for my family. Such a gorgeous colour too!
Thanks so much! :)
OMG, this looks so good! I’m saving this for Thanksgiving and I’m so excited because I have cake turntable and I get to make that cool spiral!
Haha, yay! Hope you’ll love it as much as we do and that the spiral works out well!
Seriously drooling! I’m saving this to make for my family over Thanksgiving.
I hope you’ll all love it!
I’m about to make this. Why foil on the inside of the pan?
So that the cheesecake doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan.
You’re welcome! Hope you enjoyed it. :)
I am right there with you re: toasted pecans v. raw. They are SO much more flavorful. Can not wait to try this recipe!!
Right?! And I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)
So delicious and creamy! Hard to eat just one slice!
I totally agree!
This is so stunning. It’s absolute perfect and I can’t wait to make it!
I’d love to hear how it comes out for you! :)
Yum!! This Cheesecake sounds so good! Love that it’s paleo too!
Thanks so much! :)
I just had to comment to tell you how absolutely beautiful your photos are of this dessert and what an amazing execution of it you did: SO pretty and perfect! Thanks for all you do!
Aww, thank you! What a nice thing to say. You’ve made my day! :)
I was trying to figure out before scrolling down to the recipe how you could make a cheese cake without cream cheese, but I couldn’t come up with a way. Really great idea and the texture looks spot on.
Thank you! Some people just use dairy-free cream cheese but I don’t like the ingredients in that. Plus this tastes way better! :)
What a gorgeous cheesecake! I love that it’s grain and dairy-free!
Could I substitute vegan cream cheese for the coconut oil or the cashews?
I don’t think so but I haven’t tried it. If you used it in place of the coconut oil, the cheesecake would be much softer and more mousse-like. It might also taste off. Sorry I’m not more helpful!
Erin! You’ve done it again…I cannot wait to make this for my family! I want to commend you for explaining why you do certain things in your recipes because it really helps your readers understand why things are there. For example, I probably would’ve left out the lemon juice because I don’t like tart or tangy but because you explain why it’s there and that it really makes the recipe complete, I will leave it in. I trust you b/c you haven’t steered me wrong yet and I’ve made dozens of your recipes. Every single one of them is the best version of that item I’ve ever made…and I cook/bake A LOT. You’re the best! Thanks again for your recipes and God Bless.
Oh wow! The best version of that item that you’ve ever made is my goal so I’m thrilled that you said this. :D I’m really glad that you find all the explantations useful! So many people just scroll past all that and ask already answered questions or just make it using ingredients I specifically say not to and then complain. So it’s awesome that some people are reading it. :D Thanks a ton for your comment! I’d love to hear what your family thinks of the cheesecake.