This No Bake Layered Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake has layers of chocolate and pumpkin spice cashew-based cheesecake, on top of a chocolate date crust. This make-ahead raw dessert is perfect for the holidays.
Who’s ready for Thanksgiving?! It’s coming up QUICK this year – as it usually tends to do. I’ve got my plant-based Thanksgiving menu tentatively planned, with a list of recipes linked in my Evernote.
So far, I’ve got a whole bunch of sides (including cauliflower mashed potatoes, cabbage slaw, mushroom gravy, roasted brussels sprouts, and some kind of stuffing TBD) and a lentil loaf as our vegan main dish.
Desserts are still to be determined, but this layered chocolate pumpkin cheesecake will definitely be on the menu. It will satisfy the pumpkin pie lovers in my family (my sister…only her) and the chocolate lovers in the fam (of which there are LOTS).
Thankfully, it’s super easy to make. Even better, it can be made ahead of time, stored in the freezer, and left to defrost in the fridge on Thanksgiving Day. There’s really nothing better than anything you can make ahead for Thanksgiving to reduce the stress in the kitchen that day.
The crust is made with pecans (but you can sub with your favorite nut if you prefer something else), almond flour, dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, and salt. It’s all pulsed in the food processor or blender until it forms a sticky, chocolatey dough – try not to eat it all before it gets pressed into the pan ;)
Then comes the layers! They’re actually the same base for both layers, and cacao powder + a little extra maple syrup get added to half of it after it’s all blended up. It has a smooth, rich pumpkin-y flavor that works so well with the chocolate.
I opted to put the chocolate on the bottom because I prefer the way that looks, but you can do pumpkin on the bottom/chocolate on top, if you prefer :)
I recommend topping it off with a BIG dollop of coconut cream and/or a drizzle of chocolate. It’s sure to be a hit on Thanksgiving…or let’s be honest, ANY other day of the year :) enjoy!!
No Bake Layered Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
For the cheesecake
- 1⅔ cups (187g) raw cashews soaked in water for at least six hours or preferably overnight
- ⅓ cup canned full-fat coconut milk shaken
- ⅓ cup (81g) pure pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (50g) coconut oil, melted and cooled use refined coconut oil if you want no coconut flavor
- ¼ cup (84g) + 1 tablespoon (21g) pure maple syrup divided
- 1 tablespoon (20g) unsulfured molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger,⅛ teaspoon ground allspice, and ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup cacao powder
Grease a 6” springform pan with coconut oil, or line an 6” cake pan with strips of parchment paper for easy removal, and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
Add the pecans, almond flour, pitted dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small pecan bits remaining. Press the date dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In the same food processor or high-powered blender (no need to wash between - I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients except for the cacao powder and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary.
Pour half of the filling into a separate bowl. Add the cacao powder and remaining one tablespoon of maple syrup to the other half of the pumpkin mixture, still in the blender. Blend it in until smooth.
Pour the chocolate filling into the prepared pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Spread the remaining pumpkin filling over the chocolate filling and smooth out the top, tapping the pan against the counter again to release air bubbles.
Place in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours or until completely firm.
Let thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes or for an hour in the refrigerator before serving. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the cheesecake with the still-hot (dried) knife.
Serve with coconut whipped cream and a drizzle of melted chocolate!