Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No-Bake Mini Pumpkin "Cheesecake" with Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping (dairy free, grain free, cane-sugar free)

Last month I gave a little teaser about this recipe on Facebook.  I'm so excited to finally share!  Angel from Wellness Angel put together a week-long fall inspired blog series.  To kick things off, yesterday Angel shared a wonderful vegan lentil loaf, a must try recipe.  Please visit Angel's blog when you get a chance - I simply adore her wellness philosophy.

This no-bake pumpkin cheesecake is fabulous.  It's light, super creamy, and bursting with fall flavors.  I had several traditional eaters test this recipe and they all gave it rave reviews, with the pumpkin flavor and sweetness spot on.  This is my pumpkin pie for the holidays.  No bake means easy peasy and there are minimal ingredients.  It can be made the day before which is always very convenient.  I hope you and your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do.    
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake 
with Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping 
and Pumpkin Seed Crust 


-1 cup raw pumpkin seeds 
-1 cup Medjool dates (about 7 regular size), seeded and chopped 
-1 tablespoon maple syrup* 
-2 tablespoons carob powder 

Pumpkin Filling 
-1 cup raw cashews soaked 4 to 6 hours 
-1 cup cooked plain pumpkin puree 
-1/3 cup maple syrup* 
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping
-3/4 cup cashews soaked 4 to 6 hours 
-Cream from 1 can of full fat coconut milk*
-2 tablespoons maple syrup*
-1 vanilla bean
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

How To:

In a food processor add the pumpkin seeds and blend for 10 seconds.  Add in the chopped dates and blend with the pumpkin seeds until incorporated.  With the food processor running, add in the maple syrup and carob.  Blend until incorporated.  Press the mixture into baking cups or a spring form pan.

Pumpkin Filling 
1.  Drain and rinse the cashews.  
2.  In a high speed blender (or high quality blender, such as a Ninja), add in the cashews, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and blend on medium speed. Use the tamper to encourage the mixture to move around.  
3.  Turn the blender on low and drizzle in the melted coconut oil. Repeat with the tamper, encouraging the mixture to flow, and turn on high.  
4.  Turn down to low and add in the spices, then continue blending.  
5.  The mixture is ready when it's creamy and smooth.  
6.  Add this mixture to the top of the crust. Then place in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Topping
1.  Drain and rinse the cashews.  
2.  In a high speed blender (or high quality blender, such as a Ninja), add in the cashews, coconut cream, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and blend on medium speed. Use the tamper to encourage the mixture to move around.  
3.  Scrape out inside of the vanilla bean and add this to the mixture. Blend until incorporated.  
4.  Add this mixture to the top of the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional).  Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up.

This recipe makes 18 mini cheesecakes or one 8 inch spring-form pie.    

*Vegans use maple syrup or coconut nectar.  SCD use only honey.  Paleo use coconut nectar or honey. SCD omit carob and use 2 tablespoons of coconut flour.
*For the coconut cream, place a can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 3 days (I always have 4 or 5 in there).  It's okay if the coconut cream doesn't separate well after 3 days.  Just be sure to NOT shake the can.  Gently open the can and pour the coconut cream into the blender.  Stop when you get to the watery part.  The coconut cream doesn't need to be super thick for this recipe, you just want the cream and water to be separated so you can get the cream out.  
This recipe also works great in a spring form pan.  
Here is the process...
Press crust into baking cups
Fill with the pumpkin mixture 
Then the coconut cream topping 
My kiddos love to help press the crust into the baking cups 

Other "Cheesecake" recipes from The Tasty Alternative 

Raw Strawberry "Cheesecake"

Mini Strawberry Cultured "Cheesecakes" 
{affiliate links included}
Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend, Lunchbox Love, My Meatless Mondays,
Fat Tuesdays 


  1. Jessica @ Dairy Free BettyOctober 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    This sounds incredible! I always have a hard time finding reasonably priced unroasted cashews though. Last time I bought a bag for a cheesecake recipe it was over $20 worth!! However, these look worth it!

    1. Thanks Jessica. Good to hear from you. I agree that cashews are expensive, but we cut out other unnecessary things in our life to buy things like organic food and raw nuts. We don't have fancy internet phones, we don't have TV, we don't have a land line telephone, we don't go out to eat, we don't visit Starbucks or other coffee places, and I make my own beauty products when I can. All this adds up to substantial savings each month and we are don't overspend on food. :-)

  • These are amazing! When I saw you were included in the link up for Angel's blog, I was SO excited. I love you blog and couldn't wait to see what recipe you would feature! HANDS DOWN, this is amazing!!! I'm sharing my recipe tomorrow for the link up and I'm so glad that we were featured in it together. I considered it quite an honor!:)

    1. Thanks Heather. It was great to meet you and be part of the series! Thank for sharing my recipe.

  • Gabby @ the veggie nookOctober 8, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Holy Amber this looks incredible!

    I love my high raw pumpkin cheesecake too- saves oven space and so much time! I love the idea of the vanilla bean layer- looks so tasty!!

    Send me a piece? ;)

    1. Hello Sweet Gabby...Well, you are the queen of the no-bake cake my friend. I think you would really love this recipe...it's right up your alley. :-)

  • Looks delicious! Do you think there might be a substitution for the dates?

    1. Hi Elizabeth. I would try dried cranberries, raisins, dried figs, or just leave the dates out and add in some coconut oil with the nuts. It won't hold together as well, but it may work. Try to use a different dried fruit first though!

  • Gretchen @gfedgeOctober 14, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    This cheesecake looks delicious! No-bake is a winner when the temperature is 100*F plus outside. And actually a time saver whether it is hot out or not. Thanks for sharing on Wellness Weekend!

    1. Indeed. No bake is a must in these parts in the searing summer heat. And I do love the idea of making this ahead of time for Thanksgiving.

  • What kinds of things are available with no seeds or nuts. I am not allowed to eat anything like that.

    1. You will have to go with a traditional pumpkin pie. My recipes are alternatives to traditional foods, so the cashews replace the dairy. Just use dairy if you can have it. Use a regular wheat crust or graham cracker crust. I would not be able to offer any other substitutes, as my recipes are substitutes for traditional recipes. I think if I were to sit down and sub the nuts and seeds, it would just become a completely different recipe. Does that make sense? Sorry I cannot be of more help with you on this. Good luck!

  • Would there be a subsitute for the cashews that would work? I have seen lots of awesome looking vegan recipes that call for cashews but my son has many food allergies and can't do cashews. Might a coconut creamer work? I have used that as a sub for dairy cream with good results.

    1. Hi There. Try pinenuts. That a great sub and several vegan "cheesecakes" are made with pinenuts for that creamy texture. Or you could just use coconut cream with the pumpkin and a few tablespoons of chia seeds. I've only tried it with cashews, so I can't say for sure how these subs will work. Good luck!!


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