Baked vegan pumpkin cheesecake with a gingerbread crust, creamy pumpkin filling and maple pecan pie topping! Indulgent and beyond delicious!
All the wonderful flavours
This is a classic baked vegan cheesecake with Autumn or Fall flavours of pumpkin pie and pecan pie!
The crust is perfectly crumbly and is a simple combination of gingerbread or gingernut cookies and melted vegan butter. The deep brown sugar flavours really complements the creamy pumpkin filling.
I made the cheesecake filling with vegan cream cheese and NO cashews which makes it as close as possible to non-vegan cheesecake. This will surely impress all your non-vegan family and friends.
Making the gingerbread crust for the vegan pumpkin cheesecake
First we need to blitz the cookies in a food processor. I used a combination of gingerbread and gingernut cookies which are more firm than regular sweet cookies. Due to their firmness, your food processor may take a little longer than normal to blitz them into crumbs, but be patient!
If you're in the USA and have gingersnap cookies, they may be softer than the cookies I used so it won't take as long to blitz them.
Once you have cookie crumbs, simply add the melted vegan butter then blitz again.
Like a traditional cheesecake, press the cookie crumb base into your cake tin and bake it for 10 minutes. This helps the base stay crispy at the end!
Making the vegan pumpkin cheesecake filling
The filling is simple to make. Just add ALL your filling ingredients to your food processor and process until it's as smooth as possible. The filling includes:
Vegan cream cheese
Firm silken tofu (otherwise known as medium tofu). This is usually comes in a tub and is a little more firm than silken tofu but softer than extra firm tofu. It may crack when you hold it but not as easily as silken tofu (for more info on the types of tofu, see this post). The firm silken tofu adds an unbeatable melt-in-your-mouth texture to the cheesecake.
Pumpkin puree. I made my own at home by roasting some butternut pumpkin/squash then pureeing it.
Maple syrup or cane sugar
Vanilla and spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
If you prefer a cheesecake without cream cheese, I'd recommend my baked vegan cheesecake.
Baking the vegan pumpkin cheesecake
For simplicity, you do not need a waterbath for this cake. Honestly, the whole 'pouring water into the oven' stresses me out!
However, I'd recommend baking the cheesecake at 160°C (320°F) so it cooks slowly and evenly. The cheesecake will be ready after about 40 minutes. The edges may be golden brown but the middle will still be a little jiggly.
To cool the cake, leave oven door slightly ajar and allow the cake to cool in the oven for about 1 hour. This minimise any sudden temperature changes for the cheesecake which means little to no cracking!
But you know... it doesn't matter if the cheesecake cracks because we're covering it with an irresistable pecan pie topping anyway!
After that hour, you can place the cheesecake on your kitchen bench.
When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, simply pop it in an airtight container (or cover the cake tin with a plate) and chill it in the fridge overnight.
Making the pecan crumble
Any cheesecake needs a good topping! In lieu of a whipped coconut cream topping, I made a delicious pecan crumble reminscient of a vegan pecan pie!
It's easier than whipping coconut cream in my opinion and I LOVE the crunch it adds to the cheesecake.
To make the pecan crumble, simply melt all the ingredients except the nuts in a small saucepan and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pecans then remove from the heat. The crumble will be a little liquidy at this stage but it will firm up!
Generously top your cheesecake with the pecan topping. You can serve the cheesecake immediately or let it chill until you need it.
Substitutions for the vegan pumpkin cheesecake
To make the cheesecake GLUTEN FREE, simply use gluten free gingerbread, gingernut or gingersnap biscuits for the base. All the other ingredients are naturally gluten free.
If you want a REFINED SUGAR FREE pumpkin cheesecake, use appropriate cookies for the base such as my gingerbread recipe. Sweeten the filling with maple syrup and for the topping, use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
To make the cheesecake SOY FREE, make sure you use vegan cream cheese which is soy free. You can also replace the tofu with canned coconut cream (thick part only) at a 1:1 ratio, however the cream cheese and tofu combination creates a better melt-in-your-mouth texture.
If you don't want to use vegan cream cheese, I'd recommend using the filling in my baked vegan cheesecake recipe but add pumpkin puree and spices.
Check out my other vegan pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Chai Donuts
- Deep Dish Pizza with jammy caramelised pumpkin
- Chai and pumpkin (almost) raw cheesecake
- Vegan pumpkin alfredo
You may also like:
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake (baked)
- ~2 ½ cups (300g) plain cookies
- ⅓ cup (75g) melted vegan butter or margarine or coconut oil
- ~2 ¾ cups (660g) vegan cream cheese (3 x regular tubs), room temperature
- ~2 ⅓ cups (600g) firm silken tofu, also known as 'medium' or 'traditional' tofu
- 1 cup (200g) pumpkin puree
- ½ cup (100g) cane sugar, or maple syrup to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tso ground cloves
Pecan pie topping
- 3 tbsp vegan butter or margarine
- ½ cup (95g) brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- ¼ cup (85g) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder, optional
- 1 tsp cinnamon, optional
- 1 ½ cups (150g) pecans, chopped roughly
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Line the bottom and sides of a spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin (I used a 20 cm or 8 inch cake tin).
To make the crust:
- Add the cookies to a food processor and pulse until they form fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.
To make the filling:
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until as smooth as possible. Pour the cheesecake filling into the cake tin and smooth the top. Tap the cheesecake on your kitchen bench a few times to remove any air bubbles.
To bake the cheesecake:
- Bake the cheesecake for around 40 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. The middle may still be a little jiggly but it will set over time.
- Leave the oven door ajar and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for at least 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake and set it aside in the fridge overnight.
To make the pecan topping:
- Add all ingredients except the pecans to a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes then stir through the pecans. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the pecan topping on the chilled cheesecake. Serve immediately or store the cheesecake in the fridge until needed.
- If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.