Have you decided on your Thanks & Giving dessert menu yet? If you need some inspiration, here is a very delicious one: a Raw-inspired Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake! You can ditch the traditional cream cheese and make this totally rich vegan cheesecake, studded with sweet roasted pumpkin and covered in a homemade caramel sauce. This decadent dessert would be equally at home on your formal Thanksgiving table or served family style at a office potluck. Maybe it will even become your newest holiday tradition!
This cheesecake is raw-inspired, which means that it is not entirely raw. The pumpkin is roasted to bring out the natural sweetness, and the caramel sauce is cooked as well. But the crust and filling is made from wholesome raw nuts, coconut butter, fruits, and vanilla and spicy flavors that keep it in tune with the holiday season.
Raw-Inspired Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
3 cups cashews
2 cups chopped Kabocha pumpkin
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
3 Tablespoons Earth Balance
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soymilk
2 cups almonds
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raisins
½ cup chopped dried figs
1 Tablespoon agave nectar + 1/3 cup
8 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ cup coconut butter
2 tsp non-alcohol vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ cup ground toasted hazelnuts for topping (optional)
- The first step is to soak your cashews. Simply cover with water, soak for at least an hour (up to overnight), and then drain and proceed with recipe.
- Preheat oven to 375º. Toss chopped Kabocha with coconut oil. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned on edges, then set aside to cool.
- To prepare caramel sauce: Heat Earth Balance, brown sugar, and soymilk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbly. Let simmer for five more minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool and thicken.
- To form crust: Add almonds to a food processor and grind until fine.
- Add salt, raisins, figs and 1 Tablespoon agave to ground almonds. Process until mixture is sticky. If mixture isn’t clumping together, add a couple of Tablespoons of water at a time and continue to process until sticky. Press into a springform pan and place in refrigerator.
- To prepare filling: Add cashews to food processor and grind until fine.
- Add 1/3 cup agave, dates, lemon juice, coconut butter, vanilla, and cinnamon to food processor. Blend until very smooth, adding water 1 Tablespoon at a time as needed for a smooth texture.
- Add cooled Kabocha to cashew mixture and pulse a few times to combine- it should not be blended completely. Pour filling into crust. Pour caramel sauce on top and sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts. Place in freezer for 4 hours or until firm. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
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