After perusing recipes for vegan pumpkin cheesecake I borrowed ideas and ingredients to come up with my own. It was a bit of an experiment but the results have made me brave. Success! One of the best desserts I’ve ever made and on par with the best cheesecakes I’ve tasted. This recipe makes one large 9″ round cake that will serve nine generous slices.
Ingredients for Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
1 15oz. can pumpkin
2 8-ounce tubs of vegan cream cheese (Tofutti or Trader Joe’s brands are the ones that I have used with success)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar**
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and cinnamon (or more to preferred taste)
2 Tablespoons melted Earth Balance butter (optional, but makes for a slightly richer batter)
3 Tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in a couple of tablespoons of warm water
Cashew cream* (made from one cup of whole raw cashews and enough water to cover the cashews about a half inch over the top)
1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
Ingredient for Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake crust
See graham cracker crust recipe. Keep in mind that if you desire a thicker crust you can increase the amount of graham crackers and butter proportionately. Just be sure that the crumbs have enough butter that they begin to form while mixing.
Ingredients for Vanilla Coconut Whipped Cream
One can of coconut milk (well chilled in refrigerator)
3-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons tapioca flour, coconut flour or egg replacer powder (ENERG brand)
Directions for Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
Preheat oven to 325 F. Bake your graham cracker crust in a 9″ spring form pan. Once baked, set aside. Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl with sugar and let it warm up just a bit so that it is softer and easier to blend. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well mixed. Add all other ingredients and blend really well. Pour batter over crust in greased spring form pan. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top of the batter.
Bake the cake in the over for 60 minutes. Allowing it to brown on top will give a nice carmel flavor. Remove to a cooling rack and allow the cake to completely cool. Then place in the refrigerator until completely chilled. This will ensure that the cake is well formed and easy to cut. Proper chilling may take 4-6 hours. If you can bake and chill the day before serving, this is even better!
When ready to serve, make the coconut whipped cream. Open the can of coconut milk and separate the solid matter from any liquid milk. Set aside the liquid for a smoother or something else.
* There are many recipes for cashew cream out there. I first learned about it from Chef Tal Ronnen. Check out this recipe for cashew cream.
**Taste the batter after you’ve blended all ingredients well. Is it sweet enough for you? If not, add more brown sugar or maple syrup and sweeten to taste.