This raw pumpkin cheesecake is full of fall flavor, creamy goodness, spices and drizzled with a salted caramel on top! You and your guests will have no idea this cheesecake is Paleo and Vegan!
Pumpkin everything is my current everything. This chocoholic has actually enjoyed dessert the last few weeks that is not chocolate! I am branching out, you should be so proud! But when pumpkin involves salted caramel, and cheesecake, it’s not like you had to twist my arm. In all honesty, besides the fact that I was interested in stuffing my face with a pumpkin cheesecake, I was also interested in making something light that I would actually enjoy on Thanksgiving. I tend to feel pretty full and not in the mood for dessert on the big day. Any type of heavy dessert just doesn’t sit well in my belly. It occurred to me that a lightened up cheesecake would be perfect. So you know, I’m just testing things out. And I’ve learned a few things along the way………
Like Paleo approved caramel is ridiculously delicious.
And cashews are the perfect substitute for a cheesecake. And my new Vitamix is rocking my world and making delicious tasting cheesecake fillings like this one.
A few important notes about this recipe. It needs to be stored in the freezer. Pull out about 10 minutes before you want to cut and serve. Also, you can use miniature ramekins or even a muffin tin if you want individual sized cheesecakes (or if you don’t want to purchase a springform pan!). I went with the whole big pan and used a springform pan that is 9 inches in diameter. As you can tell, my cheesecake is not super thick, so you could feel free to use an 8inch for a thicker diameter.
- For the Crust:
- 1¼ cup medjool dates, pitted
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- For the Cheesecake:
- 1¾ cup raw cashews
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup coconut cream or full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ coconut oil
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- For the Salted Caramel Glaze:
- ⅔ cup full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- Cover the cashews with boiling water for at least one hour, or up to overnight.
- Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper. You can also use miniature ramekins (line those with parchment paper and create strips that hang over the sides so the cheesecake can easily pop out).
- Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, blend together pecans, dates, and cinnamon for a few minutes until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Take the dough and press into the pan or ramekins ensuring that you firmly press into the pan (can use the bottom of a glass).
- Drain the cashews and place inside your blender. Add remaining cheesecake ingredients: coconut cream, coconut oil, syrup, pumpkin, and spices. Blend for several minutes until very smooth. Pour batter on top of pie crust.
- Place cheesecake in the freezer and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 4 hours, but up to a week (although it's best to eat within 3-4 days).
- Make the salted caramel: in a small saucepan heat coconut milk, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil stirring constantly to prevent burning. After about 10 minutes, the color should darken and be ready. Add sea salt. Pour into a jar or glass bowl and let cool. You can even refrigerate to speed up the process. Drizzle over the cheesecake. You should have plenty of leftover caramel. Sprinkle with additional sea salt.
- Place back in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Before serving, let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before cutting.