No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake (Gluten Free + Paleo)
You’ll love this super creamy No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake! It has a pecan crust and a spiced pumpkin cheesecake filling that’s made with soaked cashews. This healthier pumpkin cheesecake is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo + vegan, and absolutely perfect for the holidays.
Ah, Monday. Hi. This post is a little bit late, as it’s now Monday morning at 10AM – well past when my usual Monday posts are published. But, after a long birthday weekend, I cut myself a little slack – I hope you guys don’t mind :)
Annddd I’m sure you won’t, once you see what deliciousness I’ve got in store for you today! In fact, I wish I was eating a slice of this goodness right now, as I hope you are too after looking at these photos ;)
I’ve started to go pumpkin crazy, spicing everything up with cinnamon and nutmeg, and adding the orange stuff to everything. My fall obsession has collided with my other favorite dessert obsession as of late: cashew cheesecakes. The result is this gorgeous, smooth, creamy, super flavorful No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Let’s start at the bottom, with the delectable crust! We make it with a combo of almond flour and pecans. The fatty, sweet flavor of the pecans pairs perfectly with the rest of the flavors of the cheesecake. It also works so well with the caramel-covered pecans on top of the cheesecake. A few dates help to hold the crust together and we add cinnamon for warmth.
The filling is super simple to make, but it does require a bit of forethought. To soften the cashews, we must soak them in water for at least 4 hours or so. Once we’ve soaked the raw cashews, they transform. You can blend them to be super smooth and creamy, which provides an amazing base for the “cheesecake” filling. You won’t even miss the cream cheese!
In addition to the cashews, we make the filling with an all-star cast of Fall ingredients: pumpkin puree (of course), maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves, along with coconut oil to help firm the cheesecake up, and coconut milk to help it blend easily. That’s all! And to make it, you just whiz everything in a high-powered blender (I use my Vitamix) or a food processor.
You’ll need a little more patience as you wait for the pumpkin cheesecake to set in the freezer. But – after a few hours, you’re ready to devour. Don’t forget the SUPER simple caramel sauce to go on top 😏! We make it with cashew butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, and it’s amazing. I stirred some chopped pecans into mine too, for some extra crunch.
A slice of this no-bake vegan pumpkin cheesecake makes up your Fall dessert dreams. It’s got a crunchy, slightly chewy crust, topped with a rich, decadent pumpkin spice cheesecake filling and a creamy, sweet caramel sauce drenched on top. When you sink your teeth into this decadence, you’ll be hard-pressed to remember that it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and vegan.
Whether you make this vegan pumpkin cheesecake for a casual weekend or let it have a spot on your holiday dessert table, it will steal your PSL-loving heart. Nothing basic about this, though :) enjoy!
It’s pumpkin season! You’ve got to try these spiced treats…
- Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars (Gluten Free + Vegan)
- Pumpkin Granola (Gluten Free + Vegan)
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (Gluten Free + Refined Sugar Free)
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Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!Print
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Yield: 8 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
This No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is super creamy with a pecan crust and a spiced pumpkin cheesecake filling that’s made with cashews! This healthier pumpkin cheesecake is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo + vegan, and absolutely perfect for the holidays.
For the graham cracker crust
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- 5 dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the cheesecake
- 1 ⅔ cups (187g) raw cashews, soaked in cold for at least six hours or preferably overnight (see Notes)
- ⅓ cup canned coconut milk, shaken
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree, NOT canned pumpkin pie, which has added sugar and spiced
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (use refined coconut oil if you want no coconut flavor)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
For the cashew caramel sauce
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 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, coconut oil, cinnamon 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. Don’t over process, or it’ll turn into nut butter! Press the date dough evenly along 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 and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk to get it to blend smoothly if your blender isn’t super high-powered.
- Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness/tartness levels, if desired.
- Pour the 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. Garnish with whole pecans.
- Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 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 the simple cashew caramel sauce. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the freezer.
For the cashew caramel sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cashew butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil until smooth and combined. Warm in the microwave for 15 seconds to melt together if any of your ingredients were cool. Stir in the pecans.
You can also cover the cashews in very hot/boiling water and let them sit for about an hour if you want to speed up the process – it won’t be quite as creamy, but it will do the trick!
Please continue to go pumpkin crazy! :) This cheesecake looks so delicious, and I love the caramel topping!
Thanks so much for the cheesecake love, Laura!
This sounds and looks delicious!! Question though is recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of molasses. What does one do with all the rest of molasses.. I find that recipes call for such small amounts but what do you do with all the leftover ingredients….
Hi Janice, I have a jar of molasses in my cupboard that I’ve used for a year or two. It has a very long shelf life, so it won’t go bad on you if stored in a cool cupboard. If you don’t want to buy the whole jar for one recipe, you can sub more maple syrup for the molasses.
Thanks so much for your quick reply. Looking forward to making this!!!
Of course, I hope you love it!!
Oh my gosh Rachel your cheesecakes always look and sound soooo good! I love pumpkin and it’s definitely a bonus that it’s vegan too :)
So glad you like it, Elizabeth! Thank you so very much.
For the crust, could I sub another nut, like actual almonds? Or any other suggestions? I’m allergic to pecans and walnuts… this looks fab!
Hi Laken, you could sub any nut you like for the pecans. Enjoy!
Hello! Can you explain what to do after soaking the nuts? Do I leave them out to dry on the counter or do I put them in the oven to dry? I’ve read different things online. Thanks so much!
Hi Kristen, you don’t dry them at all! The whole point of soaking them is to get them soft enough to blend – you’re probably thinking of sprouting nuts, which is different than soaking them. Once their soaked, just drain, rinse, and move on with the recipe.
Thank you so much! I had actually soaked them overnight and then had to get to work this morning before being able to let them dry fully. I didn’t know if I should let them dry entirely before putting them in a sealed container or if it would be okay to leave them out to dry. I ended up leaving them out to dry! Thank you for your response! :) I look forward to finishing it tonight!
I made this recipe last weekend for a few guests… it was AMAZING!!! It was very easy to make… definitely will be keeping this one! Thank you for sharing!
So glad it was a hit! Thanks Katie.
This is the first time I’ve seen/heard of your site. I decided to make this “cheesecake” for my birthday tomorrow and for my family coming for lunch. This is a super big risk for me because I haven’t tried the recipe. I made it tonight and wanted to test the recipe in case I needed to make an emergency cake run. I used Trader Joe’s cashew pieces pieces and soaked them in the fridge for seven hours. The crust is DELICIOUS and has an incredible consistency. It wasn’t difficult to even put at the bottom of my pan. The cheesecake mixture turned out SO creamy and delicious. I just put the cheesecake in the freezer for tomorrow. I will thaw it out an hour before serving because it will have been in the freezer for about 12 hours by that time. I’m super excited to have everyone try it. I’m debating whether or not to tell them that this is a healthy dessert. I’ll post what we all thought when we cut into it tomorrow. I will also make the caramel sauce tomorrow and will post about that too. So far, so good! ☺️ I took some pictures of what mine looks like so far and can post.
Hi Adrienne, first of all, happy birthday!!! I hope you love the cheesecake and that it’s a big hit with you and your family. Can’t wait to hear what you think about it!
Do you have a recipe for the cashew butter? So looking forward to trying this recipe out.
Hi Sara, I use cashew butter from Artisana Organics, but you can just blend raw or toasted cashews in a food processor or high powered blender until it’s smooth and creamy, anywhere from 4-15 minutes.
You mention walnuts instead of pecans in the recipe, is that a typo? Also did you add lemon juice to the filling? You mention it in the instructions but not the ingredients.
Very excited to try this. I’m planning to bring it to Thanksgiving this year.
Hi Erica, thanks for catching that! The recipe is updated now. Hope it’s a hit!
With the caramel sauce, do you pour all of it on the cheesecake after it’s done at one time or do you put it in something separate and put it on the cake as you eat it? Got this in the freezer right now and looking forward to eating it!
Either way is fine!! I prefer to do it as you eat it because it will harden if you put it in the fridge or freezer already on the cheesecake. Totally personal preference though!
Have you tried doubling this recipe? I only have a 12 inch spring pan and really want to make this for the holidays. Looks so delish!
Hi Hannah! It should double just fine, but will be much thinner than it looks in the pictures since a 12″ springform pan is more than quadruple the area of the 6″ springform pan (6 inch = 29 square inches, 12 inch = 113 square inches – see more about this here). You may want to make it in a different pan – if you’re okay with them being bars, an 8×8″ pan works great, just make sure to line with parchment paper.
Thank you! ❤️
Love!! I can not wait to make this. I was wondering if there was a swap I can do for the cashews? I was thinking macadamia nuts?
I’ve never tested with anything except for cashews but macadamia nuts would probably be the next best thing! Please let me know how it turns out if you try that :)
Hello! I cannot find cashew butter, will normal butter work?
Also, I’m going to make this a few days before my event. How long will it last in the freezer?
Thank you! Cannot wait to make it!!
No that would make the sauce super greasy – I would use any other nut butter instead. Almond butter would be good here! Enjoy :)
WOW! In the freezer at the moment, but let me say the batter tastes so good – like crazy good, can’t tell it’s dairy free.
Thank you so very much, Rachel – we are excited to try this after its done setting and drizzled with caramel sauce.
I’m so thrilled you’re loving it, Blanca!! Thank for letting me know :) enjoy!
Gunna give this recipe a go as it sounds so delicious!! I would like to double the recipe, I read that you said an 8×8 square pan is best, but would a 10” springform pan work? Or will that be really thin as well?
Thanks for your tips in advance!
Hi Heather, I would say an 8″ springform pan would be best to double the recipe, but it shouldn’t be TOO thin in a 10″ – just a little thinner than pictured. Enjoy!
Hi there! I’m going to make this the night before thanksgiving, and will be traveling 4 hours the day of. How would you suggest I transport it? Should I keep it separated & freeze it altogether there? Or freeze beforehand and hope packing with ice works (I won’t have room for a large cooler). Thanks!
Hi Stephanie, I’m not sure what you mean keeping it separated – are you referring to the cheesecake and the caramel topping? If so, I would keep the cheesecake chilled without the topping. You can prepare the topping beforehand, bring it along with you in a jar, and warm it up to add just before serving.
I just made your cheese cake and wondered if it has to be frozen or will refrigerated be enough to set the coconut oil? It really taste yummy! I’m afraid it will get crystals in it if I freeze it…
Hi Wanda, either will work just fine to set the coconut oil! I’ve done both and each way has turned out great. Enjoy!
This looks AMAZING! Any advise on subbing out the dates in the base? I think I have a good handle on how to replace and adjust the rest of the sugar, but not sure how to remove the dates without sacrificing their binding abilities.
Hi Lo! You should be able to use more coconut oil or add in some coconut butter to help with the binding here. If you have coconut butter, that will help keep it from becoming too oily, but a little extra coconut oil should help bind too, you just don’t want to add too much or it will be oily. Hope this helps!! Enjoy :)
I’m excited to make this but am not close to a store! Two questions for you, I have exactly 1 cup of cashew nuts left in bag can I add pecans to make the 2/3 left
And as no more cashews left but I have nut and seed butter can I use that for the topping?
Thanks so much
Hi Renee, I would recommend using the nut butter instead of the pecans for the filling! Pecans don’t blend in quite the same way as cashews do, so the butter would likely give a creamier result (cashew butter is best, if you have it). The butter can also be used for the topping! Enjoy :)
Hi, planning to try this recipe, just wonderig how long it will keep in the freezer? Thanks.
It should be good in the freeze for at least a week!
What if I can’t find coconut cream? I just have canned coconut milk.
Just use the thick part at the top of a can of coconut milk. You can refrigerate it to help it separate.