Recipes

The Lazy Chef’s Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

pumpkin cheesecake store crust

While I’m not vegan, I love to experiment with vegan recipes (especially baked goods). Vegan recipes aiming for a cheesy flavor often utilize cashews and require a food processor to achieve a smooth texture. I usually find this messy, exhausting, and not worth the time.

Recently, I stumbled upon the solution for my laziness in the peanut butter section of the grocery store — cashew butter! It can easily be mixed into a recipe with raw arm power or an electric mixer. While it is rather expensive, I find the investment worth it if it’s only utilized every once in a while. I’ve found cashew butter at Walmart, Target, Wegman’s, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. If it’s not sold at your grocery store, you can purchase it online.

If you choose to opt for whole cashews and use a food processor, the recipe modification is in the “Notes” section at the bottom of this post.

To save prep time, I bought pre-made graham cracker crusts. If you want to make your own crust, the directions are listed in the “Notes” section at the bottom of this post.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashew butter*
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 8 4-oz pre-made graham cracker crusts

Directions

  1. Place all of the ingredients (except the crusts) in a medium bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, mix on medium until well incorporated.
  2. Use a table spoon to transfer the mixture into the mini pie crusts until the crusts are just about full.
  3. Place the pies on a tray in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
  4. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for at least 30 minutes before eating.

If you’re feeling ambitious — make the crust from scratch!

pumpkin cheesecake homemade crust

Homemade Crust Ingredients:

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 cup raisins**
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 T water

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend/process for 60 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides of the container.
  2. Continue to blend/process, stopping every 60 seconds to scrape down the sides, until smooth (a few large pieces of nuts or raisins will probably remain). Add additional water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is dry.
  3. Press a scant tablespoon of the crust into the bottom of a muffin tin or cupcake paper. Place about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into each crust.
  4. Place the pies in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
  5. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for at least 30 minutes before eating.

Notes:

*You can sub 1 cup of whole cashews for the 1/2 cup of cashew butter. Soak in a bowl of water for at least 8 hours and drain before adding to the recipe. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend for 7-10 minutes, stopping every minute or so to scrape down the sides, then follow the remainder of the recipe directions.

**Soak the raisins in a bowl of water for 1-2 hours to soften. Drain before adding to the recipe. This will make blending the crust ingredients a bit easier.

pumpkin cheesecake

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