A classic vegan pumpkin cheesecake with whipped coconut cream. This vegan pumpkin cheesecake is the ideal blend between pumpkin pie and creamy cheesecake, but totally dairy-free! The perfect vegan Thanksgiving dessert, great for fall and Christmas, too.
There’s two types of people in this world: pumpkin-pie enthusiasts and pumpkin-pie unenthusiasts.
Am I right? Or AM I RIGHT!
I think technically I have to be right, tautologically speaking, but I think you get my drift. You’ve got people at Thanksgiving who are pounding their fists, chanting “PUM-KIN PIE! PUM-KIN PIE!” and then you’ve got those asking, “Is there, um, anything besides pumpkin pie tonight..?” I happen to fall in the latter category, along with O. My other family, naturally, falls in the former, making for a funky predicament come Thanksgiving. Except it’s not really that funky–I just now make an apple-cherry galette with crème fraîche and caramel sauce, and that epicness seems to take over any disenchantment the pumpkin-pie habit seems to cast over the unenthusiasts.
And then.. we found the compromise–the evil, evil genius compromise! Vegan pumpkin cheesecake.
Not so dense on the pie-squash, yet tart and rich, vegan pumpkin cheesecake, as you well know, tends to satisfy.. everyone. It’s a bit special and exciting, and the warming spices play off the cool texture beautifully. So, you know, I had to make it vegan. Because no one deserves to be deprived of pumpkin cheesecake, most especially not vegans!
I based this recipe off my amazing pumpkin cheesecake recipe and my vegan lemon-ricotta cheesecake and came out with something truly beautiful and perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It boasts the texture of a traditional cheesecake, with just enough pumpkin, just enough pumpkin spice. Just enough seasonal flavor to tie everything together, without being too heavy-handed on any addition. Basically? The perfect vegan pumpkin cheesecake.
Why this vegan pumpkin cheesecake is so good:
- It’s the perfect blend between pumpkin pie and creamy cheesecake.
- This vegan Thanksgiving dessert is spiced just right: not too much pumpkin pie spice and not too little. The perfect amount!
- It’s quite easy to make and comes together almost entirely in the food processor.
The perfect vegan Thanksgiving dessert
Whether you’re vegan yourself or are entertaining one this holiday season, this vegan pumpkin cheesecake is such a great vegan Thanksgiving dessert! And here’s why:
The non-vegans might honestly not even know this vegan pumpkin cheesecake is, well, vegan.
It’s easy to make, so it doesn’t take much time or effort to serve alongside your standard fare.
This vegan Thanksgiving dessert is super festive and full of fall and winter flavor.
- Top with a vegan chocolate sauce for that unbelievable pumpkin-chocolate combo!
- Swap out the whipped coconut cream with vegan whipped cream in a can. Not only does this actually exist, but even major brands like Reddi Whip are serving up these non-dairy options. These days it’s really pretty easy to find vegan whipped cream at most natural foods stores.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving for extra presentation points.
- Only use Tofutti cream cheese. I’ve tried this with Daiya, and it was a total disaster. You can try it with Kite Hill, and it might work… but I make zero guarantees. Something about the texture of Tofutti makes this vegan pumpkin cheesecake just work.
- Don’t worry about the fact that the vegan pumpkin cheesecake will be wobbly after baking. It will firm up after a few hours in the fridge!
- Use the heel of your hand to press the graham cracker mixture into the seam of the springform pan. This helps move the mixture up the sides and keeps things tightly pressed and even.
Can I use [other vegan cream cheese]?
You cannot use Daiya, that’s for certain. I haven’t tried this vegan Thanksgiving dessert recipe with other brands, but my attempt with Daiya was a total disaster. I say stick with Tofutti, and you’ll be happy!
How to make vegan pumpkin cheesecake:
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted vegan butter, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl. Press into a 9.5″ springform pan, using the heel of your palm to press the mixture about halfway up the sides. Bake at 375º F for about 5-6 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
In a small bowl, stir together flaxseed meal and warm water. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
In a food processor, pulse Tofutti cream cheese until softened. Add flax “egg,” sugar, pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice, and lemon juice and process until very smooth.
Pour pumpkin mixture into baked graham cracker crust and bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until the sides of the top begin to turn very slightly brown. The center will still be wobbly. Let cool to room temperature then chill until firm.
Scoop solid white coconut cream out of a can of full-fat coconut milk or cream; discard the clear “water.” Whip in a stand mixer or with handheld mixers, then add vanilla extract and a pinch of sweetener. Whip until light and airy, then transfer to a piping bag.
Pipe onto slices of vegan pumpkin cheesecake and serve.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Vegan Pumpkin Donuts with Salted Caramel Glaze
- Vegan Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberry White Wine Sauce
Did you make and love this recipe? Give it your review below! ? And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine melted
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar divided
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground flax meal
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon warm water
- 3 8-ounce containers Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese never Daiya brand
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Make the crust. Melt the vegan butter (or margarine) and stir into graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Press into a springform pan about halfway up the sides. Bake at 375º F for 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Make your flax "eggs" - stir together the flax meal and warm water and set aside for a few minutes, until the mixture takes on an eggy consistency.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350º F. Place Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese in a food processor and pulse a few times, until quite soft. Add flax "eggs", 1 cup sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice, and lemon juice, and process until smooth.
- Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top sides begin to turn slightly golden-brown. The center will not set but will firm up later in the fridge. When finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled and serve with whipped coconut cream.
- To make whipped coconut cream:
- Chill a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Remove your can of coconut milk from the fridge and flip upside down. Use a can opener to open the can and pour off clearish liquid that will be sitting on the top--reserve for another use (this is coconut water, excellent in smoothies!). Scoop out the remaining coconut cream into the chilled medium-size bowl. Whip the coconut cream using an electric mixer or handheld beaters. Add a pinch of sugar or other sweetener and a dash of vanilla extract and stir 'til combined. Spoon onto individual slices of pumpkin cheesecake and serve.
This recipe was originally posted November 2014 but was updated with new photos, video, step by step photos, and tips August 2018.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.