Smooth and creamy, this delicious no-bake pumpkin cheesecake is both gluten-free and vegan, but you’d never know it! Made with cashews and coconut oil for creaminess, and a base of almond meal, this is the perfect dessert for pumpkin season and fall in general. Serve this during Thanksgiving and the holidays and impress your guests!
Cooking All things Pumpkin
If you love pumpkin as much as we do, then you’ve probably been cooking with all the pumpkin you can get your hands on during this fall pumpkin season.
In our house, we’ve been making everything from baked goods such as this perfect pumpkin bread, the best crustless pumpkin pie, moist and tender pumpkin scones, to easy pumpkin muffins. We’ve also been making savory foods such as this impossibly creamy pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, and even pumpkin gnocchi.
Perfect Pumpkin Dessert for the Holidays!
Naturally, as the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw near, we also need to have desserts on the menu!
In this case, we’re going with a ultra creamy no-bake pumpkin cheesecake that is totally gluten-free and vegan – so everyone can have a slice and enjoy – whether they are lactose-intolerant, Celiac, simply allergic to gluten, or following a vegan lifestyle.
Let’s jump right into how to make this cheesecake because you’ll want to make this over and over again!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Pumpkin Puree: I strongly recommend using fresh pumpkin puree because it doesn’t contain additives or preservatives that comes with the store-bought version (here’s how to make homemade pumpkin puree) but if you only have canned pumpkin available, that’s perfectly fine too.
- Cashews: In this case, cashews are fundamental to create the non-dairy creaminess that would otherwise come from using a normal cream cheese. I wouldn’t recommend any substitutions. Also make sure that you soak the cashews overnight, or if you don’t have time, at least soak them for 1 hour in hot water to help them soften so as to get the filling as creamy as possible.
- Almonds: I like using almonds to form the base because almonds don’t have a particularly invasive taste, but feel free to substitute almonds with other nuts in equal quantities such as pecans.
- Coconut Oil: I do not recommend substituting coconut oil for any other oils, because we need the coconut oil to firm up as its chills and helps to cheesecake to maintain its shape.
- Agar Agar: This is necessary to help the cheesecake firm up, but if you are not vegan, feel free to use unflavored gelatin power in equal quantities too.
- Almond Milk: I love using my homemade almond milk, but feel free to use other non-dairy milk such as cashew milk, coconut milk, sunflower seed milk, rice milk, or soy milk.
How to Make This No-Bake Cheesecake:
1. Begin with the Almond Crust
Start off by greasing and lining a small round springform pan with parchment paper. then begin with the crust: process the almonds in an electric blender until you get a fine meal.
2. Press the Crust into Pan and Let it Set
In a large bowl, mix the almond meal with melted coconut oil, sugar and cinnamon until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Transfer the crust mixture onto the base of the prepared springform pan, pressing it as firmly down as you can with the back of a spoon to create a level crust. Now place the pan in the freezer for the next 30 minutes and let the crust set.
3. Make the Cheesecake Filling
As the crust is setting, prepare the filling: processed the soaked cashews, pumpkin puree, almond milk, sugar, ground cinnamon and nutmeg in the electric blender until you get a thick, creamy mixture.
Dissolve the agar agar power in 1/4 cup of water, then pour the agar agar mixture into the blender and process it with the other ingredients until you get a homogeneous mixture.
4. Chill, Garnish and Slice!
By now, the crust should be firm, so pour the filling mixture over the crust and smooth out the surface. Allow the filling to chill for at least 2 to 3 hours in the freezer, or 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator until it is firm to the touch.
Just before serving, garnish the cheesecake with a couple of pecans and then slice into it!
Tips & Tricks:
- Be Patient! While it is tempting to want to slice into the cheesecake as soon as possible, remember that this is a no-bake cheesecake and hence that time is necessary for the filling to firm up completely. I recommend at least 2 to 3 hours in the freezer, or 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator. To check that it is ready, use a clean finder to press very gently on the surface right in the middle of the cake, and if it doesn’t sink in, your cheesecake is good to go!
- Use a Springform Pan: I strongly recommend using a springform pan that’s been lined with parchment paper on both the bottom and the sides so it will be much easier to remove the cake from the pan and maintain the shape. However, you could also use a pie dish and eat it as you would pumpkin pie style.
- For Individual Cheesecake Cups: If you prefer to make individual portion-sized cups for a party, you could use muffin liners as instead. Simply press down the crust in the liners, let the crust firm up, before filling the liners with the filling.
If not planning on eating the cheesecake immediately, simply place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Absolutely! Simply place the pumpkin cheesecake in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. The night before eating, let it thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator before slicing and serving.
In this case, yes, this is absolutely gluten-free as the recipe does not include any wheat flour or ingredients that contain wheat. So feel free to serve it to your friends or family members who are Celiacs or have gluten intolerances – and they will love you for it!
Sure! You can definitely swap out the crust for a favorite recipe if you’ve got one, or even make the crust with graham crackers if you prefer!
Other Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love:
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Crustless Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Pumpkin Scones (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Tender Pumpkin Scones (Gluten-Free)
- Easy Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Easy Pumpkin Bread (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Super Moist Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Waffles (Gluten-Free)
- Savory Pumpkin Soup (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Pumpkin Thyme Risotto (Gluten-Free)
- Pumpkin Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter (Gluten-Free)
Dessert Recipes for Your Sweet Tooth:
P.S. If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating below, and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to check out my entire Recipe Index for all the recipes on the blog. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram! Sign up for my Email List to get fresh recipes in your inbox each week!Print
Smooth, creamy and flavored with pumpkin, this delicious no-bake pumpkin cheesecake is both gluten-free and vegan, but you’d never know it! Made with cashews and coconut oil for creaminess, and a base of almond meal, this is the perfect dessert for pumpkin season and fall in general! Serve it during Thanksgiving and the holidays and impress your guests!
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups almonds
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Filling:
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour in hot water or overnight
- 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- 1/4 cup water
- Pecans, for topping (optional)
- Grease and line a small round springform pan with parchment paper (I used a 7-inch pan, but feel free to use a larger pan. Just note that the cake will be less tall if you use a wider pan).
- Start off by making the crust: process the almonds in an electric blender until you get a fine meal. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal with melted coconut oil, sugar, and cinnamon until ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Press the almond meal mixture down firmly onto the base of the prepared springform pan with the back of a spoon to form a level crust. Place the pan in the freezer and let the crust set until firm for 30 minutes.
- While the crust is freezing, prepare the filling: process the soaked cashews, pumpkin puree, almond milk, sugar, melted coconut oil, ground cinnamon and nutmeg in the electric blender until you get a thick, creamy mixture.
- Dissolve the agar agar powder in 1/4 cup of water and then pour the agar agar mixture into the blender. Process all the ingredients together until you get a homogeneous filling.
- Pour the filling mixture over the crust and let the filling chill for 2 to 3 hours in the freezer (or 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator) until firm.
- Top gluten-free vegan pumpkin cheesecake with pecans before slicing and serving.
Pumpkin Puree: If you have fresh pumpkins available, here’s my easy recipe to make your own homemade pumpkin puree! Not only will it taste better and is cheaper than store-bought, homemade puree is also free of the nasty additives and preservatives that canned pumpkin usually comes with to make it shelf-stable!
Soaked Cashews: Make sure to soak the cashews in order to soften them and make the filling creamier. I recommend soaking them overnight in filtered water if you have the time, or for at least 1 hour in hot water if you are in a rush. Cashews are fundamental in this recipe to get the non-dairy creaminess that would otherwise come from normal cream cheese, so I do not recommend substituting the cashews with anything.
Coconut Oil: Since coconut oil will firm up as the cheesecake chills, which is necessary for the cheesecake to maintain its shape, I do not recommend substituting it with other oils.
Agar Agar: Together with the coconut oil, it helps to solidify the cheesecake, but if you are not vegan, feel free to substitute it with equal amounts of unflavored gelatin powder.
How to Store/Freeze the Cheesecake: If not planning on eating it right away, store the cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. To freeze, place it in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months, and then thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before eating.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Keywords: No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake