November 7, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Pecan Crunch Topping

by IsaChandra

Serves 8 to 10

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This Pumpkin Cheesecake was among our favorites in Vegan Pie In The Sky! All those autumnal spices with lots of pumpkin flavor and an irresistible pecan crunch topping. It’s so delicious, it makes you feel a little funny. And don’t worry about serving this to even the biggest tofuphobe, they will not complain one bit.

While there are perfectly adequate vegan cream cheeses available in supermarkets, we wanted to come up with a cheesecake formula made with pantry-friendly ingredients, for a few reasons.

One is consistency: different brands will produce different results.

For another, some vegan cream cheeses contain hydrogenated oils. We want to bake with accessible real foods.

Also: the cost. For one recipe, if you’re talking 3 tubs of cream cheese, when all is said and done you’ve just spent a good 25 bucks on a single cheesecake. Ouch! This way, even if you do spend 25 bucks, you have ingredients that will last you awhile and make lots and lots of cheesecakes.

And lastly, well, we just think it tastes better! We worked for months and months to develop the smoothest, creamiest and richest vegan cheesecake base possible. The ingredients we landed on were soaked cashews, coconut oil, banana and silken tofu. The end result is firm but creamy, easy to work with and a dessert that’s a little difficult to not steal bites of. That’s only a bad thing if you care that by the time the guests arrive there’s already a sliver missing.

A few recipe notes before embarking on your vegan cheesecake adventure!

~For the crust, vegan graham crackers can be hard to find. If you can’t find them, you can either make your own, or use gingersnaps. We baked a few of these with gingersnaps and they were amazing!

~Soak the cashews overnight to make quick work of the recipe. You can cover them with plastic wrap if you’re afraid that your kitty will get to them.

~Although this recipe is for a fancy marbled cheesecake, you can skip that step if you’re pressed for time or would just rather not do it. Just mix everything in the filling together instead of dividing the batter and swirling.

~You can use either water packed silken tofu or the vacuum packed kind (like Mori-Nu.) If using Mori-Nu, extra firm silken works best.

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups of finely ground graham crackers or gingersnaps
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted non-hydrogenated margarine, melted coconut oil, or canola oil
1 tablespoon plain soy or almond milk.

1/2 cup whole unroasted cashews soaked in water for 2 to 8 hours or until very soft
1/4 cup mashed banana (about half of 1 medium-sized banana)
1 12 to 14 oz package silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonhydrogenated margarine *or* coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Drizzle in the oil or melted margarine.

Use a spoon to blend the mixture thoroughly to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the soy milk and stir again to form a crumbly dough.

Pour the crumbs into the pan. Press firmly into the bottom. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes until firm. Let the crust cool a bit before filling. Keep oven on 350 to bake the cheesecake.

Make the topping:
In a mixing bowl use a fork to mash together brown sugar, margarine, and salt until crumbly, then fold in the chopped nuts and stir to coat the mixture. Set aside until ready to use.

Make the filling:
Drain the cashews and place in a blender with the banana, tofu, sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, orange zest, and sea salt. Blend until completely smooth and no bits of cashew remain, a food processor or strong blender should be able to get the job done.

Set aside 1/2 cup of batter. To the remaining batter, add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and blend until smooth, then pour it into the crust. Randomly spoon dollops of the reserved batter onto the cheesecake. Poke the end of a chopstick into a batter blob and gently swirl to create a marble pattern; repeat with the remaining dollops.

Bake the cheesecake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove cheesecake halfway through baking and sprinkle on the topping. Return to oven to continue baking. Cheesecake will be done when the top is lightly puffed and the edges of the cake are golden. Remove it from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to complete cooling, at least 3 hours or even better if overnight. To serve, slice the cake using a thin, sharp knife dipped in cold water.

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:05 am: Tanya

    This looks wonderful! Thank you.

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:07 am: Miranda

    You posted this not a full minute after I was saying to my boyfriend “I have no idea what to bring to your friends’ Thanksgiving party!” Guess that settles it!

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:09 am: Lys

    I bow down to the cheesecake goddess. This. looks. amazing.

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:14 am: Lauren

    I nearly peed my pants when I saw this in your pie in the sky book!! I cannot wait to make this X)

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:15 am: Kim

    I bought this cookbook just for that recipe! My first attempt at it is cooling in the fridge this very moment.

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:16 am: ShinyHappyVegan

    I bought the book a couple of weeks ago and can’t wait to try at least 2 or 3 of them for my first vegan Thanksgiving!

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:19 am: Sistergolden

    If I could, I would rake your yard and clean leaves out of your rain gutters. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • November 7, 2011 at 1:34 am: IsaChandra

      They do need cleaning…

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:28 am: Gbeeze

    Thank you for finding a way to make these without having to buy all those expensive tubs of vegan cream cheese! I hoard Mori-Nu so this is wonderful =)

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:29 am: Abby

    We have this in the oven RIGHT NOW! I kid you not! We have many recipes marked in the book and this is our first one to make.
    So excited to eat it. Will we be able to let it cool overnight?!?! Doubtful!
    We made PPK Chana Masala too. It’s bubbling away on the stove top…

    • November 7, 2011 at 1:34 am: IsaChandra

      Ooh that sounds like a perfect menu. I mean, of course I would think that since they’re my recipes, but still…

  • November 7, 2011 at 12:52 am: phee

    Isa, I promise I just told my boyfriend (after taking your pumpkin muffins out of the oven) that I want to make a pumpkin cheesecake, but vegan cream cheese is expensive. Thank you so much!

  • November 7, 2011 at 1:35 am: Meister @ The Nervous Cook

    Oh man, this might have to be my vegan contribution to T-giving dinner this year. (If I can sneak vegan food in past my family, I certainly will have something to be thankful for.)

  • November 7, 2011 at 2:05 am: mme. kitty

    I made this on Friday (using the book, obvs)–the flavor is amazing! My hubby has been happily gorging on it ever since. I worry that I undercooked it though. What should I look for to assess doneness in the middle (mine was pretty jiggly, for lack of a better term)?

  • November 7, 2011 at 3:11 am: Kim

    Ok, just tried the first slices after 4 hours of chilling. Amazing! Thanks Isa, you’re brilliant!

  • November 7, 2011 at 3:56 am: Emily

    Does it matter if the coconut oil is refined or unrefined?

  • November 7, 2011 at 5:15 am: Jen

    YES. thanksgiving dessert? check.

  • November 7, 2011 at 5:47 am: Jenna

    I can’t wait to make this for my family & show them how much vegan desserts rock :)

  • November 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm: Luc

    Can I use fresh pumpkin rather than canned one?
    Same amount?
    I tried it in your pumpkin cocoa loaf ans it work perfectly.

  • November 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm: Maureen Cram

    Another reason for not using bought cream cheese is for those of us who live in countries where you can’t get it (I am in South Africa)! I just unwrapped my copy of VPITS (purchased from a local online book seller) and gingerly checked the cheesecake recipes (before I read your post) to see if I was going to be disappointed and yay!! Home made cheesecake again. Thanks soooooooooooooooo much!!

  • November 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm: Andrea

    Oooooh I’m cooking for an American friend on Saturday night and this may be just the thing for our dessert, a taste home with the pumpkin and pecans! Am very much looking forward to trying it out (and she’s bringing me an American measuring cup, so it’s easier for me to cook from Veganomicon!).

  • November 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm: Andrea

    Oh – and canned pumpkin purée isn’t really something we can get in the UK – if I use fresh do I need to squeeze the moisture from it or do anything else?

    • November 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm: IsaChandra

      Yep, just roast the pumpkin, squeeze through cheesecloth and puree!

  • November 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm: Amy

    This looks amazing. I don’t know if I can wait until Thanksgiving though; I think I definitely need to make a practice one this week.

    One question: the silken tofu. I’d assume you mean the vacuum-packed Mori-Nu kind, but I know you’ve used the water-packed kind in recipes before. Should it be one or the other here?

  • November 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm: Amy

    Damnit, nevermind. I was obviously so excited that I missed your note about that. Sorry! That’s good to hear though, because Mori-Nu is hard to come by.

  • November 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm: Bethany

    I didn’t think it was possible to love you and Terry more, but…I do. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this Tofutti-free cheesecake! I can’t wait to try it!!

  • November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm: Dana

    Has anyone experimented with traveling with this desert? I need to make something and take it cross-country in a cooler. It would be made on Tuesday, carried on Wednesday, and consumed on Thursday. Any thoughts?

  • November 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm: Kim

    I can’t wait to try this! You guys are my heroes :)

  • November 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm: Becky

    My room temperature coconut oil is solid. Is that normal? My house is super cold! Should I melt/soften it a bit for the filling?

    • November 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm: IsaChandra

      Yes it gets solid when it’s cold. No big deal, you are blending it and baking it so it will be fine.

  • November 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm: Laura

    The last pumpkin cheesecake I made (with silken tofu) tasted only like any standard pumpkin pie, no cheesecake flavor at all (the pumpkin simply was a lot stronger) – is that different here? ‘Cause if it is then it’d be worth another try :-)

  • November 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm: Emma

    So excited about this! I’ve yet to make vegan cheesecake as I’ve always been put of by expensive recipes using 3 tubs of cream cheese or 3 cups of nuts…This looks like a real winner :)

  • November 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm: linda

    heya, just wondering…is 1/4c mashed banana a typo? seems like one whole banana would be alot more mashed banana (more like 1/2c) but maybe i’m wrong? anyway i love all ur books and can’t way to try it :)

    • November 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm: IsaChandra

      You’re right, it’ more like 1/2 a banana. I will fix it, thanks!

  • November 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm: Vanessa


  • November 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm: Mia/Sweden

    This was the first thing I made from the book! It’s sooo good!

  • November 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm: Ashley

    I just came across your site today and WOAH. Your food looks amazing! I love adding vegan meals to my repertoire and look forward to trying some of yours :)

  • November 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm: kelly from NJ

    i made this when i first got your book in the mail. theres a pretty pic of it on my blog :) i made the apple cream raisin one this weekend and it was killer. yeah buddy.

  • November 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm: sara

    This looks amazing! Great flavors – perfect for Thanksgiving! :)

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:43 am: val

    This looks fantastic! I was wondering if you think it would work to add extra pumpkin in place of the banana?

    • November 8, 2011 at 3:12 am: IsaChandra

      Yep that would be fine.

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:45 am: Jain

    I’m THRILLED to find a cheesecake recipe without Tofutti cream cheese, which tastes like fat and chemicals to me – Thank You! Also… I’ve overcommitted and overextended myself for the Thanksgiving feast for the in-laws (again), but it sounds like I can make the crust and topping a day or two before, then bake the cake the night before, thus relieving myself of some last-minute stress. Perfect!

  • November 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm: vegobsessionchick

    oh my!!!!
    This looks so good! I am definitely going to try this! Thanks!

  • November 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm: Olly

    Nice, i am also allergic to pecans, which nut would i use instead which could work ? or fruit?

    • November 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm: IsaChandra

      You can use walnuts or hazelnuts.

  • November 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm: Beverly

    I tasted this at your demo at DC VegFest…..yummmm!!! Will be on the menu for Thanksgiving. Thanks for posting!!!

  • November 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm: Rebekah

    This looks soooooo good! I can’t wait to try it out.

  • November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am: engelske

    Finally! As vegan cream cheese its rarely available and very expensive because imported here in Germany I was looking for a recipe without it for ages. Thank you so much!

  • November 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm: Katrina

    This pie rocks my world!

  • November 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm: Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    This is going on my activism list, aka things to make and bring for Thanksgiving!!

  • November 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm: suzie-fang

    Any suggestions for something I could use in place of the banana? More pumpkin?

  • November 10, 2011 at 5:08 am: Carla

    WHOA! SUPERB! Hands down best un-cheesecake! I had not made an uncheesecake before because I hate using expensive packaged stuff as an ingredient, like branded uncream cheeses. Served it to a girls night tonight, and it was a huuuuuge hit! amongst all. I made it with gluten free graham crackers, which was an easy though pricey sub, for a delectable vegan gluten free pie. My anti-gluten/dairy friend was so happy.

  • November 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm: Browniesquirrel

    Canned pumpkin puree can be purchased at Waitrose in the UK for all y’all UK peeps out there :)

  • November 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm: Lisa

    Question about the amount of pumpkin purée: in the book it says 1 1/4 cup, but in the recipe above it says 1 3/4 cup. I made it using the book instructions and it turned out good, but it did seem a bit smaller (shorter) than I expected. Is the ideal amount 1 3/4 cup?

  • November 17, 2011 at 3:35 am: Jerry

    Brought this for dinner at the home of some
    non-vegan friends, and they LOVED it, as did I. We were testing it out as a Thanksgiving dessert candidate, and I think it made the cut. Thanks!

  • November 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm: Irina G (Fit Flexitarian)

    I just found your website through VegNews (thank god!) and I just wanted to say I am SO going to make this! It sounds absolutely delicious. I’m also thinking I may not tell anyone that I’m making this… just to see their reactions at the end of the Big Reveal ;-)

  • November 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm: Kara

    I made this recipe after I bought Vegan Pie in the Sky. It was fantastic! I brought it to a small dinner party, normally, I leave left over dessert, but in this case I brought two pieces home. My husband and I had it for breakfast the next day.

    So good!! It’s on the menu for Thanksgiving. Also, the Chai Rice Pudding Pie, amazing!

  • November 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm: Sophie

    wow! this was a joy to make and eat!!

    i made this for some very carnivorous friends (along with a couple of dishes from “appetite for reduction” and it disappeared in record time. i’ve never made a vegan cheesecake before, but this is going to have to go into my kitchen rotation.

    thanks for sharing such a gloriously delish recipe :D

  • November 21, 2011 at 1:47 am: Janine C

    This cheesecake is in the oven right now – it looks and smells great! Wondering if this would freeze well? I made it as a test run before thanksgiving and doubt my hubby and I can eat the whole thing ourselves before tofurkey day. Would be great if we could freeze slices to eat later when cravings strike. Let me know what you think.. Thanks!!

  • November 21, 2011 at 3:12 am: Dana

    I tried freezing it and it came out beautifully. Couldn’t tell the difference.

    • November 21, 2011 at 3:31 am: IsaChandra

      Wow. that’s so good to know, thank you!

  • November 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm: David

    I can’t find my spring form pan and spent all my T-Day dough on food and drink. Any thoughts? I was thinking maybe large muffins, or just a square brownie pan and doing cheesecake squares. I can’t wait to try this, thank you!

    • November 23, 2011 at 3:15 am: IsaChandra

      I like the square idea.

  • November 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm: Rebecca

    Do i have to do this in a springform pan? can i just use a store brought grahm cracker pie crust instead?

    • November 23, 2011 at 3:14 am: IsaChandra

      You’ll have double the amount of filling but it might work! Let us know.

  • November 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm: Jenn LB

    My husband is allergic to coconut anything. Can I use almond oil instead

    • November 23, 2011 at 3:13 am: IsaChandra

      Not quite the same. Earth balance would be a better bet!

  • November 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm: RLW

    We are thinking of making this for a dinner tomorrow but trying to use what we have in the house. We are lacking the coconut oil. Totally wrong to use olive oil instead? I note you said Earth Balance above. Which is better? Olive oil or Earth Balance?

  • November 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm: Nina

    This is a great cheesecake! I made it once without the crumble since we had a pie emergency. This year, I put the pecan mix on halfway and the pecans started to burn about 10 minutes into cooking. I double checked myself and didn’t miss any ingredients. Any thoughts? I guess next time I’ll just add the crumble when it’s just about done instead of halfway.

  • November 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm: Mandylynn

    Wow…just wow! I have tried about 45 vegan cheesecakes, and they are never quite right. This one is AMAZING! I even made it a little healthier by using the light Mori-Nu tofu, and stevia in the raw instead of sugar, and, it is still PERFECT! I made three of these bad boys last night, for different family/friend functions! You made my T-day IsaChandra :)

  • November 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm: Leah

    I’m so grateful for you! :)

  • November 25, 2011 at 12:14 am: Nina V

    Made this today for our feast. Our family members thought it was the bomb saying it was better then anything they had gotten in the fancy shops in the city! Can’t wait to try another recipe from the pie book!

  • November 25, 2011 at 12:34 am: Brookelyne

    I made this to bring to my family’s thanksgiving feast, but for some reason the lemon juice and orange zest completely overpowered every other ingredient. It wasn’t a bad pie, I just didn’t get that pumpkiny goodness I had hoped for. Any tips for tomorrow’s attempt?

    • November 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm: IsaChandra

      I guess all I can say is that if you didn’t like the zest and juice then leave them out. I am surprised it was overpowering since each ingredient is just a hint.

  • November 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm: Suzanne

    Fantastic cheesecake! Made it for Thanksgiving yesterday and it was a huge hit. Super simple, too. Thanks for sharing!

  • November 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm: Chely

    Thank you for this recipe. I served it to my family and they loved it. I made it gluten free, and they could not believe it was vegan too. Though mine was not as photogenic as yours.

  • November 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm: Shelley

    Thank you! This was a bit hit at Thanksgiving this year. Next time I will use less orange zest because that tiny little teaspoon overpowered the rest of the flavors.

  • November 26, 2011 at 7:18 pm: Bonnie

    Thank you for this recipe! It was the shining star of our Thanksgiving feast. I was nervous since the first time making it was for Thanksgiving, but it turned out perfect! My husband says “Don’t bother with the rest of the meal next year. Just make this.”.

  • November 27, 2011 at 2:30 am: Christina

    I made this for thanksgiving. Except I used a full cup of pumpkin, since I used fresh. It was good, but I would say that 1/3 cup of brown sugar on the pecan topping is a bit much. A little too sweet. Other than that, it was good. Very decadent.

  • November 28, 2011 at 3:37 am: Olivia

    I made this for T-gives. It was a huge hit!!! I am thinking about eliminating the pumpkin and spice and adding more orange zest, a bit of orange juice and creating Cream Sickle cheesecake. This is such an amazing cheesecake base, I am sure it can be altered in so many wonderful ways. Thanks!!

  • November 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm: Leah

    I made this over the weekend and it was delicious! My husband is taking in the leftovers to his friends at work as a fine example of the food you can eat when you’re vegan. I agree with the orange thing- it was too much with the pumpkin for this to be a really pumpkiny cheesecake but it was still tasty! Next time I’ll omit the orange zest. I ran out of ginger snaps (only had about a half a cup) and the store was closed so I ground up some oatmeal for the rest of the crust and it worked really well! The crust probably wasn’t as sweet but it really balanced out the sweetness of the pecan topping. I will be making this again in a few weeks when our family comes out to visit!

  • November 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm: Kelly

    If I wanted to substitute the refined sugar in the filling how would I modify? Was thinking of using maple syrup and/or maple sugar or brown rice syrup…would that work and would that greatly affect quantities? Thanks!

  • November 29, 2011 at 4:07 am: hec

    Great recipe. I will probably use less brown sugar in the topping next time. I also only used 1 tbsp of sugar in the crust and that was sweet enough for me. I didn’t mind the orange zest, but thought the banana flavor was too noticeable in the non-pumpkin portion of the batter (maybe sub with more pumpkin? or just don’t divide the batter?). Overall, I was very happy with how it turned out. Thanks.

  • December 1, 2011 at 6:09 am: Jo

    This was the most incredible cheezcake I’ve ever tasted!!!

  • December 5, 2011 at 1:22 am: Allison

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was absolutely delicious

  • December 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm: Sara

    Hi Isa! Is there anything I could substitute for the soy?

  • December 24, 2011 at 12:08 am: jehara

    I got your pie book as a Solstice gift and I love it so much!!! (Also, I loved your dedication to Adrienne Shelley.) I can’t wait to try all the recipes. I just pulled the pumpkin cheesecake out of the oven. It smells divine. I can’t wait to try it, but I will have to wait until tomorrow.

  • December 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm: Cassia

    I made this last night but I replaced the pumpkin with sweet potato. It was fab!!!!!

  • January 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm: Emily

    In response to earlier commenter Rebecca, I made this for Thanksgiving in a store-bought graham cracker crust and it set fine. It was a bit difficult to get all that filling in there, but it wasn’t a huge issue. At least 3 relatives loved it come dessert time.

    Only thing: don’t be a dolt like me and buy a graham cracker crust with honey. When will I learn that I should ALWAYS read the label?!

  • January 12, 2012 at 1:44 am: K

    Who would have thought a cheesecake sans any type of cream cheese (vegan or otherwise) would taste so decadent. Wow! Enjoying every bite. I’d be willing to place a bet that no one would ever believe this is vegan. Once again, AWESOME! I forgot to prep ahead and soak the cashews, so I put my Vitamix to the test (there was no way I was going to put off trying this recipe any longer!). No problems without soaking — the Vitamix came through again — the filling is as smooth as butta (EB butta, that is!)! :)

  • January 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm: Courtney

    Duuuuuuuuuuude! I made this for Christmas, and everyone was swooning! It turned out absolutely amazing. I used all-natural ginger snaps for the crust and it’s a keeper for every year ahead!

  • January 27, 2012 at 2:39 am: Babita

    This is a great recipe. I have made this couple of time. Always a hit. Thanks!

  • February 3, 2012 at 5:48 am: Annie

    This pie is cooling on my counter right now. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow!! This is the 3rd pie I’ve made in a week from Vegan Pie in the Sky. YUM YUM YUM.a

  • February 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm: KZCakes

    I have a question about the graham cracker/cookie crusts. I have made a ton of these pies with these crusts but have so much trouble getting them to come out of the pie plate when sliced. I made the most beautiful grasshopper pie to bring to an event and it was mutilated because no one could scoop out a slice with any crust coming with it. I was left with a plate full of chocolate crust and no more filling! This also happened with the boston cream cake pie. Help! how can I keep my crust in tact with the pie? I tried lots of spray, tried less spray… Nonstick pie plate?

  • February 6, 2012 at 7:34 am: Melanie

    I will be honest and state I have not tried this, but I am considering it and adding a tbsp of apple cider vinegar. It sounds strange, but ACV is perfect for adding a cheesy tang without using actual cheese.

  • February 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm: amanda

    i have made this twice now, and the second time i subbed almonds in the topping because we had them on hand and i had spent the grocery budget for the week and couldn’t afford the pecans! it turned out great. both times i also added about 1/4 cup of the filling to the topping, to make it mix together a little more i guess, and we really liked the outcome. thanks for another great recipe – i’m so excited i just got Vegan Pie in the Sky in the mail and can’t wait to start making delicious treats from it!

  • February 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm: Gina

    Thank you for this luscious recipe. I made this for a mixed (you know what i mean) group, and it was loved by all; a HUGE success. And how much did I enjoy informing the satisfied participants, after they’d wolfed down their portions, some on seconds, that it was a vegan recipe? Very much, indeed. Sorry there was no time for photos, as mine looked almost as nice as yours. Many thanks!

  • February 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm: Lindsay

    I would really love to make this! My only issue is that I don’t like pumpkin. Crazy I know (or so everyone tells me), any suggestions for a good sub?

    • February 24, 2012 at 1:34 am: IsaChandra

      Sure, use mashed banana.

  • February 29, 2012 at 1:29 am: Tinker

    W.O.W. I bow to you and say thank you Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Topping Recipe Goddess.
    Aside from eating such deliciousness the next best thing was revealing the non-dairy ingredients midway through eating it … hehe. It’s starting to become my favourite part of a meal: the horror, the disbelief, and finally the acceptance that it really is just too good :) The only problem is finding pumpkin puree in Australian shops – I had to make my own after trying three different supermarkets. Suggestions anyone?

  • March 2, 2012 at 7:09 am: Leetah

    Hi! I am planning on making this for Thanksgiving this year but was wondering if there was anything I could substitute the banana with since I am allergic to bananas. Thanks!

    P.S. I can’t wait to make the rest of your recipes as well!!

  • March 22, 2012 at 5:55 am: Harmony

    I am also allergic to bananas and dairy, and I would love to have cheesecake again! So If you have any great subs for the Banana that would be so great. I am so looking forward to trying this recipe!

    • March 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm: IsaChandra

      Use like 1/4 cup more pumpkin.

  • June 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm: Rebecca

    Have you ever made this recipe with stevia. My husband is diabetic and I don’t want to feed him the sugar.

    The picture looks absolutely delicious. I really want to try it.

    I really do love your blog.

  • July 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm: Leslie

    I cannot have tofu/soy and was curious if you could use a cashew cream instead??

    Thanks so much! Your recipes are awesome. So glad to have you in Nebraska!!

  • October 14, 2012 at 5:39 am: Adrienne

    So my friend and I made this today to get into the Autumn spirit and firstly, I will say it is wonderful. There is a little hitch though, it’s a little oily. We followed the instructions and everything came out a little oily. Any tips?

  • October 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm: Ava

    All I could taste in this was the orange and lemon, which wasn’t bad but I wanted more pumpkin flavour!

  • November 9, 2012 at 6:59 am: Kristin K

    Have you ever tried this pumpkin cheesecake recipe using sweet potatoes? Or do you have a good sweet potato pie recipe?

  • November 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm: Derek

    I made this bad boy for my 2-year-old’s birthday party. Huge hit! It’s so rich you can serve about 20 people with it. I agree with one comment that it seemed a bit oily — I used coconut oil. Next time I’d just cut back on that. I also used ginger snap cookies ground up the blender for the crust which worked great. Wonderful recipe!

  • November 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm: Mike

    I just baked this and have to say my house smells AMAZING! Thanks for posting this. I live in rural Idaho and finding vegan cream cheese is all but impossible. looking forward to feasting on this on Tofurkey day along with your wild mushroom roast with a morel mushroom vegan demi glace. You are AWESOME!

    How long do you think this will stay good for? I doubt it will be around for any longer then a week but I was not sure.
    Thanks again,

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm: Esmi

    i’m trying this for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!

  • November 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm: heidi

    I have this baking in the oven right now – the filling was delish raw! However, looking back over the recipe, I realize that I accidentally doubled the cashews!!! Hmmmm, I guess that will just make it extra creamy? Here’s hoping the texture comes out ok!

  • November 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm: Jennifer

    Any possible subs for the cashews? (allergy)

    • November 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm: IsaChandra

      I’ve done it with 1/3 cup coconut cream instead.

  • November 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm: Jessica

    This was incredibly delicious! I have been making pumpkin cheescakes for years for my boyfriends firehouse Thanksgiving dinner, and this was the first year we have been vegan. I found this recipe, and tried it yesterday. Wow! It was gobbled up with numerous compliments and no one was the wiser it was dairy free! Thank you!

  • November 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm: Julie

    Wow, absolutely amazing and super easy! I even made the gwam crackers for the crust. Thank you for making our Thanksgiving for us and our “meat-eating” parents.

  • December 4, 2012 at 9:48 am: Sarah

    so yummbo. A friend has been bugging me for a year to make this again, but she chooses inopportune moments (such as when we go to stay in a friend’s cabin). It’s her surprise birthday lunch on the weekend so I’m finally doing it again.

    I think I’ll sub out the banana as I could taste it last time and I just want the pumpkiny goodness. And I’ll probably go easier on the coconut oil as that was a bit strong last time.

    FYI, I steamed pumpkin rather than using canned, and just left it soaking in a little maple syrup and water over night in the fridge…. I’ve never seen canned pumpkin over here in Australia.

  • December 12, 2012 at 9:53 pm: Loralee

    Can Cashew butter be used in place of the cashews?( I don’t have a very good blender.)

  • December 20, 2012 at 1:05 am: Mary

    Made this for Thanksgiving, amazing! Couldn’t stop picking off the topping. Didn’t taste like cheesecake to me exactly, but it was creamy and rich and delicious nonetheless.

  • December 30, 2012 at 6:52 am: Evolpuss

    Mine didn’t look like that at all…and it didn’t all fit in the pie crust….I wonder what I did. What consistency should it be?

    • December 31, 2012 at 3:25 am: IsaChandra

      Did you use a springform pan as the recipe says?

  • March 22, 2013 at 5:07 am: Freya

    This was my first time baking with coconut oil and so I may have done something wrong, but when I baked the crust, oil oozed out of the springform pan and out into the bottom of the oven. When baking the actual cheesecake, I had to put a pan under it, and the cheesecake came out of the oven basically swimming in coconut oil on the pan. Does anyone have any idea what I did wrong?

  • March 25, 2013 at 1:54 am: matt

    I made this and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I streamed and pureed some pumpkin instead of using canned, and used rice flour instead of corn starch. Looked and tasted perfect, thanks!

  • April 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm: Eric

    Has anyone experimented with softening cashews in a pressure cooker? It would allow one to make this recipe without have to plan a night in advance…

  • July 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm: Elisabetta

    Made this yesterday! Soo good. It reminded me of the sweet ricotta used to make sicilian sweets (eg “cassata siciliana”). YUM!

  • September 17, 2013 at 4:16 am: Diana

    I made this tonight and ate an 8th of it. Yikes! It had an amazing texture and the topping was super tasty. But mine tasted more like banana and less like pumpkin. : / Is there any way to leave the banana out (ie add 1/4 cup more pumpkin)? I like banana, but I like pumpkin much better. Thanks for sharing.

  • October 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm: Coral

    I made this for my daughter who has a dairy sensitivity. I found the orange zest to be a bit over powering. The texture was great though. I think next time I might omit the orange zest and add a bit more of the pumpkin pie seasonings. I also didn’t have a hazel nuts so I just finely ground pecans in in place of them and it was fine.

  • October 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm: Ivona

    My first time making cheesecake EVER and I decided to make this one that is vegan to bring to a potluck. It was amazing and no one could tell. I decided to just mix everything together in the filling…it was delicious! My first recipe that I have tried from you and I can’t wait to try something else.

  • October 25, 2013 at 12:31 am: Heather

    the coconut oil in the filling- it says at room temp, does that mean melted? or solid? thanks!

  • October 27, 2013 at 11:45 am: Nora

    5 STARS – Great vegan cheesecake! My newly vegan girlfriend said this was the best thing I ever made and our seasoned vegan guests loooved it. As always, thank you Isa for the fantastic recipe! (p.s. we watched your video tutorials while the cheesecake was in the oven. You’re adorable :)

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:37 am: LiziBeth

    Looks fantastic :) how necessary is the banana though? I’ve got at pretty nasty allergy! An odd one I know, what could I substitute it with?

    • October 28, 2013 at 12:49 am: IsaChandra

      Just add some extra pumpkin. Liiiike 1/4 cup.

  • October 29, 2013 at 9:44 am: Ayjay

    My wife tried this recipe last night, first thing this morning we both tried it and it is tasteful and very few ingredients, that’ s a keeper in our household from now on… Thanks for sharing…..

  • November 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm: Elaine

    Has anyone had any luck making this ahead and freezing it? Would this work without changing the texture? Would you freeze before or after baking?

  • November 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm: michael phelan

    Question re: coconut oil: Is it essential to the recipe? Any chance I could leave it out of the filing or substitute another oil like canola or olive or a touch of earth balance or even a nut butter? Any suggestions you have would be so appreciated. Dying to make this for the upcoming holiday.

  • November 24, 2013 at 7:12 am: Larissa

    I made this recipe for the first time last week and it was yummy! I used gingersnaps to make the crust and the texture of the pie (cake?) was wonderful, like a light cheesecake. I will say I found the orange zest a bit overpowering and may tone that down the next time to allow the pumpkin to take more of the spotlight but overall lovely recipe I will definitely make again thank you Isa!

  • November 24, 2013 at 10:54 pm: Megan

    Can it be frozen?

  • November 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm: Megan Richey

    I’m making this again for Thanksgiving. Absolutely delicious recipe. Thank you, Isa!!

  • November 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm: Jaime

    Made this with chocolate shell drizzled on from Raw. Vegan. Not gross.


  • November 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm: Marcella

    Is there any way you’d happen to know the carb count for a serving of this? Made it and my little one is diabetic, as we just found out Thursday, so just wondering if you’d happen to know :) Thanks so much if ya do, and for the amazing recipe!

  • December 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm: Nela

    Hi, I was wondering if I can possible make this recipe with normal tofu and substituting the pumpkim for something similar, I know these are drastic changes to the original recipe but: I live in a regional area in Poland and it’s difficult for me to find products such as “silken Tofu”and pumpkin at this time of the year. My husband has recently gone vegan and I’d like to cook something special for him.
    If anyone has a vegan recipe for a cheesecake, doesn’t necessarily has to be this one, even though this one looks great I would greatly appreciate some advice!!!! Thanks

  • December 28, 2013 at 3:07 am: Ti

    This was amazing. Simply brilliant. I made it for my omni (extended) family and no one knew, cared, or otherwise. It had just the right amount of tang. I left out the nana and just used more pumpkin. I REALLY want to make a chocolate one! I’m thinking about using sweet potato as the base, leaving out the pp spices (except the cinnamon), soakin the cashews in a strong coffee, and adding cocoa powder. What do you think? I’d love your opinion/tips……freakin’ vegan goddess, you are!

  • February 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm: Chelsey

    I love this recipe. What could i use in place of pumpkin to adapt this as a blueberry cheesecake?

  • February 28, 2014 at 9:39 pm: Erin

    I see that you used sunflower seeds for a mac and cheese recipe. Do you think sunflower seeds would work for this also? Have you tested it out yet? ….cashew, peanut allergy. But we’re good with other nuts. Thank you, and great site!

  • June 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm: Ginny

    can i use pumpkin pie mix (canned) instead of pumpkin puree??

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  • October 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm: kim

    You are my hero!

  • October 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm: kristen

    Has anyone tried making these as mini-cheescakes, in a muffin tin (with the little paper muffin cups)? I have a phobia of springform pans. Also I live at high altitude and little things are more forgiving. I have made the raw ones as minis many times and they are perfect.

  • October 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm: veganclaudia

    Pretty sure this will be dinner. And lunch tomorrow.

  • October 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm: Alyssa

    Thank you Isa! I just made this for work and everyone loved it. One guy said it was in his top 5 cheesecakes ever. Then I told them it was vegan–they were stunned. It was awesome.
    I don’t own a springform pan, so I did this in a standard muffin tin with the gingersnap crust and it turned out great! I baked for 20 minutes, then added the topping, and then about 15 minutes more. I just kept an eye on it. The crust was a little oily, but it didn’t stick to the muffin tin at all (bonus). I sat the mini cheesecakes on some parchment paper and brought them in to work. I had some extra filling and topping, so put that in little glass dishes and baked those too (in a water bath). They worked great for my GF co-worker.

  • November 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm: Allana

    Isa, you are truly a vegan Goddess extraordinaire! Thank you for posting a cheesecake recipe that doesn’t require expensive vegan cream cheese and hydrogenated oils. Love the pantry-friendly items used here.

  • November 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm: Mai

    This cheesecake looks divine! How long would it keep in the fridge? As in, would I be able to make it 3 days in advance? So excited to try it!

  • March 2, 2015 at 7:22 am: Paula

    Someone brought this to a church lunch—oh myyyyy! My husband loved it so much, he went and got two more pieces! Wow!!!!! Soooo gooooooood!!!!

  • November 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm: Nicky

    This really works and everyone loves it. A warning to UK cooks – my tablespoon was a bit bigger than intended in the recipe (I think) so the cheesecake leaked coconut oil into my oven. I can avoid this mess next time!

  • November 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm: Melissa

    the tofu, does it matter if it is soft or firm?

  • November 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm: Lisa JH

    Made this for a crowd of omnivores who absolutely loved it. Thank-you, thank-you for this amazing recipe! I made mine with fresh pumpkin purée and fresh ginger. I soaked the cashews overnight. I put a pan of water underneath it in the oven and there were no cracks. All agree that I have to make it again.

  • January 2, 2016 at 11:42 am: CL

    ooooooooo I just made one this afternoon, and it was more than I could have ever dreamed of, my first successful vegan cheesecake! Granted, I set the oven dial to a higher temperature (oven’s not been properly calibrated since I was in diapers), cooked longer than the recipe denotes, and let the cheesecake cool in the residual heat of the oven, and the center was still jiggly, and, as I unfortunately learned only after slicing, completely creamy and loose. But maybe an inch and a half from the edge was set VERY nicely.

    Another mind-blowing recipe. My cheesecake turned out extremely fragrant, and for a while I couldn’t place the familiar taste, but I just realized that with the aromatic orange zest and undercooked filling, it was like this orange creamsicle semifreddo I made in high school. Unexpected realization, but a very pleasant one.