Vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars are given a fall twist with pumpkin, spices and a vegan shortbread crust!
I was all about the apple desserts last week and this week, I’m jumping into the pumpkin dessert pool with two feet with these vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars! For the longest time, I wasn’t really a pumpkin fan (give me pecan pie > pumpkin pie anyday), but now that I’ve finally nailed the perfect vegan cheesecake, I can’t stop dreaming up ways to work into into all the seasonal desserts. One of the things that makes these pumpkin cheesecake bars the BEST vegan cheesecake I’ve had is the two step process of baking and then chilling. I know it seems like too much time to take for a dessert, but trust me, if you want vegan cheesecake done right, you should really just take the extra time and do it right!
The best for these vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars comes from a combination of raw cashews and non-dairy yogurt, blended together with all of the other ingredients and baked into an easy-as-pie vegan shortbread crust. I haven’t tested this recipe using anything but non-dairy yogurt, so I’m not sure if it can be subbed with anything. The cashews do the bulk of the heavy lifting in making the pumpkin cheesecake filling extra creamy, so don’t skimp on those either! I took a batch of these vegan cheesecake bars to my husband’s family gathering over the weekend and they were highly praised and none were left, so I’ll take that as a home run for vegan desserts. Keep an eye out for a candy cane chocolate version in the coming months, I think peppermint cheesecake would be perfect for the Christmas season, don’t you?
- For the crust:
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- For the cheesecake:
- 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours and then drained
- 10 ounces vanilla or plain non dairy yogurt ( I used almond milk yogurt, This is about 1 cup of yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with parchment paper, then grease lightly. Set aside.
- To make the crust: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, coconut oil, powdered sugar and salt until the dough comes together. Press into the bottom of the greased and lined pan and bake for 7-9 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. You don't want to over bake the crust, or it will become too hard after you add the filling.
- To make the filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients in a high powdered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the prepared pan with crust.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until the filling does not jiggle with shaken. Chill for at least an hour before serving.