Pumpkin is an ingredient that we, as a millennial culture, just can’t get enough of. Many would argue that pumpkin flavoured goodies should be consumed all year round, and not just reserved for the holiday season. So if you are a pumpkin recipe addict, like most of us are —thanks starbucks– then I am sure this dessert will tickle your fancy.
I first tackled the arduous task of figuring out how to re-create cheesecake with my mint chocolate chip recipe (which you can find here). A huge part of my spirit was redeemed after mastering this vegan novelty; as I could finally indulge in my favourite dessert once more. I decided that in order to not eat an entire cake to myself; I would create mini cheesecakes to keep the portions under control. But let’s be serious, I’ll still probably eat 2 or 3 in one sitting. Now I pass this guilt-free recipe on to you. So go ahead and devour the entire thing! May it liberate your taste-buds without expanding the your waistline.
This recipe has a few layers (pun intended) a cashew-based cream cheese filling (you can raw blanched almonds for a more economical approach), rich pumpkin pudding, and a graham cracker crust. If you happen to be allergic to nuts, don’t worry, all is not lost. You can also use silken tofu to create the base. Soak your cashews for a minimum of 8 hours, generally you will just soak them overnight the day before you make your mini cheesecakes. Most of this recipe can be made in a blender, and you know what that means? Quick clean-up— my fav.
It is important to note that you will need to use instant pudding or custard powder. If you do not use instant you need to make the pudding according to the instructions on the package prior to adding it to the blender— aka stove-stop cooking, and that’s not the point of a no bake, no cook recipe, but hey if that’s what you’ve got access to- for for it! Also, be sure to get real pumpkin puree and not pumpkin puree made for a pumpkin pie as it will be entirely too sweet in addition to everything else if you do.
I chose to make these cheesecakes mini, but you can totally make them adult size, by using your favourite casserole dish or spring form pan. Pack the graham cracker crumbles down with a spoon, or if you prefer, just use your hand. Top the crust with cream cheese filling, pouring in enough to fill about 1/4 of the jar. Add in your pumpkin filling next, again filling up about 1/4 of the jar. Add an additional layer of cream cheese filling to this and, you guessed it, add one more layer of pumpkin filling to the top. For a bit of added flair take a chopstick, or a toothpick, and use it to create a swirl in the top of jar. Finally garnish these with some graham cracker crust and some crushed pecans.
Your last step, and no doubt the easiest one, will be to put these into the fridge for about 2 hours. After that they are ready to serve to your guests. These little vegan cheesecakes not only taste delicious, but also look adorable, making them a fun, quirky additional to your overall feast.
Show us how your Pumpkin Spice Cheesecakes turn out out by posting a picture to Instagram and tagging it, #edgyveg. Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment. We would love to hear from you!
- 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup full fat coconut milkfrom a can
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 c. almond milk
- 3 small packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 c. pumpkin purée
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- Add cashews, lemon juice, oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla to a blender and mix until very smooth. If you’re having trouble blending, add 2 tbsp of almond milk at a time until it gets going.
- Set aside, and clean blender.
- In the now clean blender add almond milk, pudding mix, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice and blend, until well-mixed and thick. (Start with 1½ cups milk and beat until it's the consistency of a pudding—if it's too thick, continue to add the rest of the milk.)
- In a food processor, add graham crackers and mix until you have crumbs.
- While mixing, slowly add in the melted butter, and mix until the crumbs come together.
- In a pyrex dish or short 500ml mason jars, press the graham crumbs against the bottom of the dish.
- In layers spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture, followed by a layer of pudding mixture, and repeat until you have nothing left.
- Sprinkle top layer with leftover graham cracker crumbs and crushed pecans.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.