Pumpkin Cheesecake Gone Vegan!
Once, when I was in Maui, I had the best cheesecake of my life, and it was vegan cheesecake. I never tried to replicate that recipe because I was eating milk products, so regular cheesecake was just fine for me, but now that I am going completely vegan, I needed to find something that satisfied my cheesecake tooth, and boy did I ever!
This vegan pumpkin cheesecake combines my love of cheesecake and my husbands love of pumpkin pie - and we were both amazed at the AMAZING taste.
I should say that the pumpkin batter, before being cooked, tasted too much like pumpkin to us, and we were worried that it was not going to not be sweet enough. But when we took our first bite together, both of us were absolutely amazed at the taste that was achieved in the end!
In fact, we kept saying, "How is this possible? How does it taste like cheesecake without cream cheese?"
I think you may like it too.
Note: I did not measure ingredients, so I will try to give an estimate of what I used; however, I'm one of those people who adjusts by sight, smell, and taste.
Also, before you begin making this recipe, soak some cashews in water for at least an hour. Soaking helps the nuts to become creamier in the recipe quicker, and soaking nuts also has health benefits.
- 1 Package of vegan graham crackers
- 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon of favorite non-dairy beverage
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
Crush up the graham crackers either by hand or with a food processor. As you can see by my picture below, I crushed by hand and got uneven pieces; however, it tastes exactly the same!
Mix all ingredients together. Grease a with some coconut oil and put mixture into the pan. Flatten the mixture all around the bottom of the pan with your hand. Try to make it even, or you will end up with a crooked pumpkin cheesecake like I did! springform pan
Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
The Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- 1 Mashed banana
- 1 Package soft tofu
- 1 Can pumpkin
- 1/2 Cup soaked cashews
- 1/4 Cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 Cup of natural brown sugar (lighter in color)
- Maple Extract
- Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup of orange juice
- 1/4 Cup of cornstarch
I used about a tablespoon of each extract, but I feel that next time I may use just a touch more.
I had a BIG can of pumpkin (796ml) and used it all - it created a whole lot of pumpkin filling...if you want to use less, I think that would be okay, it would just change the flavor a bit, but the size worked out well for us.
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.
Pour mixture onto graham crust and smooth out as best as possible (make it even or you will end up with a lopsided vegan cheesecake) and then put into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Once finished allow to cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes and then put in fridge for about 4-5 hours.
When you remove from fridge, release the springform pan, and VOILA, you have your vegan pumpkin cheesecake ready to serve.
In the end, this vegan pumpkin cheesecake tastes just like cream cheese cheesecake. But it is much healthier! Most non-vegan recipes I found contained something like three eggs, two packages of cream cheese, and a whole bunch a sugar. In this vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe, we are saving ourselves a whole bunch of fat, calories, and cholesterol.
As far as nutrition, we all know the pumpkin is a powerhouse when it comes to our health. It is full of fiber and nutrients.
Tofu is high in protein and low in fat.Tofu is made from soybean milk. The process is similar to the cheese-making process in that the curd is made from the milk.
Soft tofu, that we use in the recipe, is a good substitute for eggs or creamy cheeses, and it takes on the taste of the ingredients around it. It is quite tasteless by itself.
Now, other vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipes I found use cinnamon and nutmeg (more traditional pumpkin spices) but I really liked this one. It didn't taste like pumpkin pie, but pumpkin cheesecake, which was what we wanted!
Update: October 13 2013
So, I made this again the other night, and it was just as good as the first time. Although, if I could redo, I think I would have used a little less pumpkin this time and a little more sugar.
The package of Tofu was 300g, and it seems to work well. I think if you added more, you would get a creamier affect, and any less and it would not be as creamy.
Make sure you cool your pumpkin cheesecake completely before eating. That adds to the cheesecake taste.
If you have any questions about the recipe, please ask them in the comments below!