If you’re looking for an easy way to up your Thanksgiving game, this cheesecake is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong—I have nothing against a classic pumpkin pie, but it can be a little… plain. This cheesecake, however, is nothing but plain with a creamy, rich pumpkin spice filling, crisp graham cracker crust and a dollop of vegan whipped cream. That’s the perfect holiday dessert right there. A lot of recipes for vegan cheesecakes call for cashews as a base, but for all my nut free folks, I’ve found that tofu can give you that same creamy texture. Only five main ingredients, this cheesecake is the perfect low stress dessert for any holiday!
A few notes:
- In order to get that creamy cheesecake texture, it’s really important that you use extra firm tofu, not silken. I’ve tried it with silken and it tasted good, the filling just never really set properly and ended up more like pumpkin pudding than cheesecake.
- This recipe will make one pretty large cheesecake in a spring form pan, but you can also make two using regular 9 in pie dishes. Because they’re thinner, the two may only need 50-55 min. to bake while the large one will need up to 80 min.
- I recommend letting the cheesecake sit in the fridge overnight before trying to take it out of the spring form pan. When you do, run a knife under some cold water and slide it along the edges of the pan to prevent sticking.
18 graham crackers
1/2 cup vegan butter, cubed and softened
1 tbsp all purpose flour
2 blocks extra firm tofu (28 oz)
14 oz vegan cream cheese (I like Violife)
2 cups pumpkin purée
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 F and lightly grease a spring form pan or two regular pie plates.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together graham crackers, flour and cubes of vegan butter until fine and crumbly. Press firmly into a spring form pan or two pie plates and set aside.
- To make the filling, wrap the block of tofu in a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze until little water remains. Clean out the food processor and add tofu, pumpkin, cream cheese, sugar, spices and vanilla. Process until very smooth (at least 2 min), scraping down the sides as needed.
- Pour the filling into your prepared dish/es and bake for 60-70 min or until lightly brown and has firmed up, a little jiggle is ok (See note above for cook time). Allow to cool completely inside the oven to prevent cracking then transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least two hours, ideally overnight before removing from the pan. Serve with vegan caramel sauce and whipped cream.