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Eat Well Nov. 26. 2013
Desserts

Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Nov. 26. 2013
Desserts
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder

This past weekend we had an amazing Friendsgiving at our place and I shared this dessert with all of our wonderful friends to try. Little did they know I made this up “on the fly” the morning of and was praying it’d be a hit…it was! Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is a gluten-free, raw, and vegan dessert that’s super simple to make. It’s incredibly delicious, thick, creamy, and satisfying just like traditional pumpkin pie. It’s perfect for all your guests diet lifestyles and contains loads more healthy fats. This dessert is a great way to end a Thanksgiving meal and I hope you all enjoy as much as I do!

As promised, this month is dedicated to taking traditional and classic holidayrecipes and putting my unique and healthy twist on them (i.e. gluten free, vegan friendly, and plant-based). I’ve shared a vegan friendly entree, Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa; sides such as Roasted Carrots with Sweet Tahini Drizzle, Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes, Fuji Apple Kale Salad with Maple Spiced Hazelnuts, Savory Mushroom and Herb Gravy with Cauliflower Potato Mash, and Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce; but I have yet to share with you a Thanksgiving-specific dessert!

This Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is a combination of a traditional pumpkin pie + cheesecake (non-dairy). I use heaps of creamy cashews as the base with pumpkin puree to create a rich, dense, and velvety texture; which pairs perfectly with the crust made from sweet and chewy dates, shredded coconut, walnuts, almonds, and a bit of coconut oil. Warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice blend is what takes this pie to the next level… that and maybe a bit of my Coconut Whipped Cream. This pumpkin pie cheesecake technically isn’t 100% raw as the pumpkin puree is cooked, but other than that this recipe requires NO cooking!

TIP // Many of you have asked how I make pumpkin pie spice- I don’t. My favorite brand is from Penzeys spices (I adore this store!), but there is also a great resource from the lovely Joy the Baker who will teach you how to.

I’m really excited for Thanksgiving this year, because I’m traveling back home to Cincinnati for the rest of the week to spend some much needed time with my family and good ole’ friends I haven’t seen in quite some time. Also, a loving reminder from me to all of you- we should all take a moment before we sit down to eat our Thanksgiving meals this year to ask each other one question: What are you grateful for this year? I’ll start us off, I’m grateful for many things but one of the most important is having wonderfully supportive family and friends who have given me all the love and support I could ask for, especially this past year operating my business and living out a dream. I’m also incredibly grateful for family and friends who are also my recipe testers 😉 haha.

Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Recipe Type: dessert
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12+
A delicious raw pumpkin pie cheesecake made from pumpkin puree, cashews, and a chewy crust. GF V Raw
Ingredients
  • FILLING //
  • 1 1/2 cans organic pumpkin puree (15 oz. cans)
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (blend)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • CRUST //
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup raw almonds, ground
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. CRUST //
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until combined. The desired texture is a chunky and sticky “dough”. You should be able to squeeze the dough in your fingertips and it create a firm crust.
  3. In a spring form tart pan (I used 12in.), pour the crust mixture into the bottom and spread evenly.
  4. Firmly press and crust into and around the sides of the tart pan until a thick bottom layer has been created.
  5. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
  6. While you’re waiting for the crust to harden, start making the filling.
  7. FILLING //
  8. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender starting with the cashews first, then adding in remaining ingredients. A high speed blender will be the best option as this mixture is very thick and creamy.
  9. Set mixture aside in a small mixing bowl in the fridge.
  10. When your crust is done chilling, pour the filling mixture into the tart pan using a spatula to evenly spread the filling mixture.
  11. Freeze the whole pie for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
  12. When you’re ready to serve, thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin pie filling is thick, creamy, and cool- it should not be frozen.
  13. This will keep very well in the freezer if you have leftovers.
  14. Garnish with Coconut Whipped Cream (recipe on my blog).
  15. Top with fresh cinnamon and nuts of your choice.
  16. Enjoy!
Notes
If you leave the pie out for too long at room temperature it will be too soft.

I challenge you to step out of the box this year with your classic pumpkin pie and give this recipe a try! I promise you won’t miss the standard pie crusts or plain pumpkin filling this year- it’ll give a little uniqueness to your holiday table this year. Be sure to “save” this recipe in your Recipe Box for Thursday or for next years Thanksgiving as well!

I wish you all a happy happy happy Thanksgiving and share below what you’re grateful for!

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 12+

Print

Ingredients:

  • FILLING //
  • 1 1/2 cans organic pumpkin puree (15 oz. cans)
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (blend)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • CRUST //
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup raw almonds, ground
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. CRUST //
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until combined. The desired texture is a chunky and sticky “dough”. You should be able to squeeze the dough in your fingertips and it create a firm crust.
  3. In a spring form tart pan (I used 12in.), pour the crust mixture into the bottom and spread evenly.
  4. Firmly press and crust into and around the sides of the tart pan until a thick bottom layer has been created.
  5. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
  6. While you’re waiting for the crust to harden, start making the filling.
  7. FILLING //
  8. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender starting with the cashews first, then adding in remaining ingredients. A high speed blender will be the best option as this mixture is very thick and creamy.
  9. Set mixture aside in a small mixing bowl in the fridge.
  10. When your crust is done chilling, pour the filling mixture into the tart pan using a spatula to evenly spread the filling mixture.
  11. Freeze the whole pie for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
  12. When you’re ready to serve, thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin pie filling is thick, creamy, and cool- it should not be frozen.
  13. This will keep very well in the freezer if you have leftovers.
  14. Garnish with Coconut Whipped Cream (recipe on my blog).
  15. Top with fresh cinnamon and nuts of your choice.
  16. Enjoy!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • UN PASTEL SUPER NATURAL Y DELICIOSO!!!
    Gracias amiga :)))
    Conxita

  • Happy Thanksgiving to you! This pie sounds yummy! Pumpkin cheesecake is one of my favorite things. Can’t wait to try your healthier version.

  • Suzanna

    I am so excited to try this recipe this weekend! However I have one question. Is it possible to substitute the hazelnut and coconut with almonds and walnuts? Will that affect it? It’s just that I don’t have access to any of those items. Thank you!

    • Hi Suzanna,
      Thank you so much! I’m so excited for you to try it too- of course you can use/replace any kind of nut or seed for the crust as you wish, it’ll still taste delicious!

  • brooke

    looks awesome! what is in the pumpkin pie spice?

  • K

    Just wanted to throw this out there: Pumpkin puree is made from COOKED pumpkin, so this cheesecake IS NOT RAW. Please label correctly, as this could be an issue for raw foodists!!!!

    • Please note in my blog I’ve specifically already addressed this topic. You can always use real pie pumpkins and use them raw. Thank you.

  • great crust. sounds delish!

  • I made this for our Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! Soo good! Thanks so much for this fabulous recipe!!

    • Hi Jacqueline! I’m so happy you and your family/friends loved it! Thanks so much for sharing 😉

  • Kelsey

    Hi there! Is it possible to replace the maple syrup with agave nectar/agave syrup or will the difference in consistency ruin the cheesecake? Thanks!

    • Hi Kelsey,
      You can try using Agave nectar although I’m not a fan of this as it’s comprised of higher fructose content than maple syrup. I would either try honey or coconut nectar as well. Hope you enjoy!

      • Kelsey

        Wow I didn’t know that. I’ll definitely just use the maple syrup thank you!

  • Inês

    Dear McKel,

    I can’t wait to give this pie a try… 🙂 but i have one doubt: you indicate that we should use 1 plus 1/2 cups of maple syrup (which i think is ca. 350ml the two cups together) to 15 oz. (ca. 425g) of pumpkin puree… Is this the right proportion? Or is it to much maple syrup? Maybe i didn’t get the conversions right… Thank you in advance. Have a great weekend!

  • Kelly

    Hello McKel,

    Just to clarify, you don’t soak the cashews? I’ve seen this in other recipes. Do you think it would enhance the texture or flavor at all? Thank you, can’t wait to try this recipe out and bring it to my Thanksgiving celebration!

    • Soaking the cashews is an option, if you don’t have a high speed blender I would definitely soak them to make it creamier! I often soak cashews at least 2 hours 🙂

  • Maya

    You said that this recipe freezes well if there are leftovers, would you say it’s okay to make the pie day or two ahead of time (or at least the crust)? Thanks! I look forward to trying it 🙂

    • You can definitely make both the filling and crust ahead of time, store them in separate containers, assemble a day ahead of time, and then serve (easily 2-3 days before serving).

      • rikki

        By storing them in separate containers – is that in the freezer? Then to assemble – defrost??

  • Erin

    Can you substitute the cashews ? Thanks

  • Simone

    So excited to have this for dessert today! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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