A gluten free, easy paleo pecan pie filling sits on top of a creamy, pumpkin vegan cheesecake in this show stopping dessert for the holidays! You’ll never guess it healthy and vegan friendly!
I’m about to make a very bold statement here:
Move over pumpkin spice…you’ve been (ALMOST) replaced.
Replaced by the magical food vibes that happen in your mouth when you crunch through toasty, golden brown pecans that have been swimming around in a pot of sticky-sweet coconut sugar and swirled with maple syrup.
Pecan pie guys. Like, I told you in Monday’s pecan pie paleo cookies it’s THE NEWEST OBSESSESION to happen to your fall-food lovin’ faces.
But, we’re keeping a little pumpkin in this vegan pumpkin cheesecake. You know when you want to get rid of something, but you’re a little bit clingy/needy so you only want to get rid of it at arm’s length?
I have a TRU LIFE CONFESSION. In Canada, we never ate pecan pie. *insert shocked face emoji here*
It was all about the pumpkin pie. Which is obvi NOT SO BAD or anything, I can still get down with a few slices of the pie of the pumpkin variety after a huge meal where I have no actual room for aforementioned pie.
How-EV-er, then I made some paleo pecan pie bars last year and was like HOLD THE PHONE!! Maybe it IS SO BAD that my former Canadian life was not studded with crunchy bursts of sweet, nutty YUM sitting on a layer of buttery, flaky HEAVEN.
And now I want it on everything.
Yes, that is foreshadowing to MORE PECAN PIE next week. BE PREPARED.
You know what I really want it on though? Pumpkin. Cheesecake.
Thick, creamy, LUSCIOUSLY-SMOOTH cheesecakes that is exploding with cozy, spicy-sweet BURSTS of the ultimate in fall food, holiday desserts….AND happens to be friendly to all my vegan and paleo peeps. HOLLA.
Imma just let that stay there for a second. Let every word of that sentence linger in your mind until you realize that you really NEED it lingering ON YOUR TASTEBUDS.
Yes, we did just eat Mini Pumpkin Vegan Cheesecake Jack-O-Lanterns. BUT, those were small. And, they had faces. Which makes them not AT ALL like this.
Which makes sense if you don’t think about it too hard.
Yes, the sequel, we did eat a similar gluten free carrot cake vegan cheesecake at Easter. What can I say? Holidays bring out the inner-cheesecake-eater-person that lives deep within my soul.
Side note: A week before I had to photograph ALL these cashew cream sauce-based recipes, my blender EXPLODED. And died a terrible-oh-my-gosh-how-will-I-get-my-work-done-kinda death.
It was traumatic. I had to eat the whole healthy pumpkin cheesecake (once the blender situation was figured out to actually make said cheesecake) to get myself through that low point in my life.
I’m going to blame “quality control” though. It makes me feel better. You understand.
See also, other things I need you to understand:
You NEEDNEEDNEED to follow the steps E-X-A-C-T-L-Y as outlined. No getting creative and trying to make the crust or pecan pie layer first.
- Cheesecake layers ready to rock n’ roll. 2. Start the pecan pie topping 3. Make the crust
That order. No creative license.
Unless, you like cheesecakes that don’t adhere to their base because you did NOT have rich, creamy, pumpkin-spiced cheesecake batter ready to pour on right-out-of-the-oven-still-soft crust.
WHICH, you don’t.
But what you will like is the moment that is about to happen in your brain, when you realize that you can have your pecan pie.
And your pumpkin pie.
And your cheesecake.
ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
And, contrary to what some very-wrong-thinking-person once said.
You CAN eat them too.
For the cheesecake
For the pecan layer:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the pecans (from the pecan filling) onto a small baking sheet and cook until brown and nutty smelling, about 5-10 minutes. Watch them closely as they burn quickly. Once cooked, set aside and reduce the oven temperature to 350.
- In a small bowl whisk together the 3 Tbsp of flax meal with 7 1/2 Tbsp warm water. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and water from the pecan layer. Put both bowls in the refrigerator to gel.
- Drain the cashews and add them, along with all the remaining ingredients (except the flax egg) into a high-powered blender and blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
- Stir together the coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt from the pecan layer in a small pot set over medium heat. Stir it occasionally so that the coconut sugar melts.
- Bring the pot to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Transfer to a hot pad to cool for 5 minutes.
- However, while the coconut sugar is melting and you're waiting for it to boil, it's time to make the crust.
- Beat together the coconut oil and maple syrup using an electric hand mixer. Stir in the coconut flour and salt until a wet dough forms.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan and bake until lightly golden brown about 7-8 minutes. Your crust will probably rise during baking. Just use a small spoon (or your fingers) to firms press it back down, making sure not to crack it.
- When there are about 2 minutes left for the crust to bake, stir the flax seed mixture (with the 3 Tbsp flax meal!) right into the blender (you can use a bowl if you wish, but it's more dishes.) You want the cheesecake ready to pour over the crust AS soon as it's out of the oven, or I've found it doesn't adhere to the crust properly.
- Once the crust is out, and you've pressed down any risen areas, pour the cheesecake layer immediately over top and spread out evenly.
- Buy this point, your pecan layer should have chilled for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining flax egg.
- Roughly chop the toasted pecans and stir them into the mixture as well.
- Gently spread this over top of the cheesecake layer.
- Bake the cheesecake until the middle rises and the edges appear bubbly and set, about 40-45 minutes.
- Let cool COMPLETELY on the counter, and then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to overnight.
- Slice and DEVOUR! ***
Tips & Notes:
** I buy my cashews pre-roasted. Do not skip roasting as it ads a lot of flavor. If yours aren't roasted, bake them in a 375 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Do this BEFORE soaking.
***It can be a little difficult to get the first piece of cheesecake out. Just make sure your getting your knife under the crust, not between the crust and cheesecake. An offset spatula really does the trick for serving here!
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: SMART POINTS: 17 POINTS+: 11. OLD POINTS: 9
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Want more vegan friendly pumpkin desserts?
Vegan pumpkin cheesecake from around the web:
No-Bake Soy Pumpkin Cheesecake – Healthy Nibbles and Bites
Vegan Mini Cranberry Pumpkin Cheesecakes – Kim’s Cravings
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