Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Cookie Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Cookie Crust

Hi, my name is Mandy and I’m REALLY late to the pumpkin game. I had to squeeze it in before Thanksgiving was over because pumpkin will then be a thing of the past and we’ll be bombarded with all things Christmas and minty. Truth is, I’ve actually created a handful of pumpkin goodies this season, but obviously haven’t been very good at sharing them here – I guess I’ll be prepared for next autumn though! I’m a pro at having fun and making a mess in the kitchen, but not so good at writing down measurements, photographing, and sitting down to write a how-to post. I’m making an early resolution for next year to be better about that. Heck, since Willow is so good with writing and spelling these days, maybe she can type them up for me 😉

(super quick…I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for all of your lovely comments, messages, and emails concerning my previous post. You guys are the BEST!)

The idea for this recipe came to me while falling asleep one night…like many ideas. Luckily I jotted things down before I passed out. Raise your hand if that’s happened to you! You say to yourself, “oh, I’ll remember it” and then wake up to everything all fuzzy. Good news is that this only took two trials to make it a reality! In the past, I had always made my crusts with either walnuts, almonds, or a combo of both. The idea that came to mind was for a buttery, almost cookie-like crust to be paired with a creamy, tangy filling. And how do you achieve a buttery richness without actual butter or oil??? PECANS!! And the addition of coconut butter just takes it over the edge. Baking the crust also helps bring out the butteriness and gives a nice slightly crispy texture.

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE WITH PECAN COOKIE CRUST

{vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free}

WHAT YOU NEED:

For the crust:

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 3 Tablespoons softened coconut butter*
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (optional)

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
  • 1/2 cup COYO plain yogurt**
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons softened coconut butter*
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch Himalayan salt (optional)

*NOT coconut oil. To soften the butter, you can either place the jar in a bowl of hot water or gently warm some in the oven while preheating.

**I have not tried this with any other coconut yogurt. I LOVE COYO because they don’t add sweetener, gums, citric acid, or natural flavors. I also love how thick their yogurt is! If you do use a different brand, you might need to add a little more cashews.

HOW TO:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add the pecans into a food processor and pulse into fine pieces. Next add the remaining crust ingredients and pulse until a crust-like texture is formed (should stick together when you squeeze it with your fingers). If it doesn’t seem to hold together, then add a little more softened coconut butter.
  3. Press the crust into the bottom of a springform pan until evenly spread out and gently pierce with a fork all over. I used this 7″ pan. You can use muffin/tart tins if you don’t have a springform pan*
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden. If using muffin tins, check at the 5 minute mark. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. While the crust is cooling, add all of your filling ingredients into a high-speed blender and mix until smooth. You can adjust the sweetness level (or salt) if desired. Once the crust is cooled, pour the filling over it and smooth out with a spatula. I also gently tap the pan against the counter to release any bubbles.
  6. Transfer the cheesecake to the freezer to chill for about 6-8 hours (best overnight). Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then slice and enjoy! Great topped with cinnamon, coconut whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer.

*If using muffin tins, use a strip of parchment paper in each cup before pressing in the crust. This will make for easier removal once the cheesecake is set (see photo below).

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Cookie Crust

For blogging purposes, I used most of the crust in my 7″ springform pan and the remaining to make 12 mini tarts. If you do use a springform pan, I probably wouldn’t go any bigger than a 9″ because it would be a fairly thin cheesecake (crust and filling). Had I used the full recipe in my 7″ springform pan, there would be a generous layer of crust and thicker filling.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Cookie Crust

And here’s what the little tarts look like…I went heavier on the crust with these because I LOVE crust ❤

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Cookie Crust

I have another recipe coming (hopefully sooner than later) using this crust and it may or may not involve chocolate…stay tuned.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to those celebrating!

Thanks for stopping by!

11 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Cookie Crust

    • Marne!!! I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you are…I’ll have to shoot you an email soon ❤ Thank you for the kind words, my friend! Hope all is well!

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      • All is well over here! Life has a way of moving at warp speed these days; I somehow thought finishing school would mean more free time. HA! 🙂
        Hope all is well with you too, wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, my goodness! Right?? Warp speed for sure. I’m glad to hear life is good. Let’s catch up soon ❤ Happy Thanksgiving, Marne!

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    • Hello, my beautiful friend! It’s been forever! Thank you ❤ Let me know if you do give it a try…Willow licks the Vitamix clean when I make this, so it's picky eater approved! I hope you and Ted have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love and miss you! xoxoxo

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  1. Um if Willow turns down the post writing position, I’ll take it! We NEED to know about all these sweet treats you are whipping up, because hello beautiful lush epic pie-step-aside dessert of my pumpkin dreams😍 Actually while the full cake is gorgeous, those little tarts are my fave–so cute! And I am obsessed with the pecan + pumpkin combo this year too so more crust = yes please! I’m not actually making the drive home for the holiday, but maybe I’ll just make this instead and call it a perfect feast. Gah those little tarts❤️ Anyways, happy almost Thanksgiving! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deal! I wish I didn’t struggle so much when it comes to getting recipes on here. I seriously have about 15 recipes (savory and sweet) that just need to have measurements finalized and then my least favorite part…photograph. I just don’t have an eye for that stuff! Thank you, Natalie! ❤ I feel like we have very similar tastes, which is why I make so many of your recipes! Haha!! When we were brainstorming what to make for Thanksgiving, Willow only gave dessert ideas 😉 so in her mind, pumpkin cheesecake is all she wants…well, that and cookies. Glad to hear I'm not alone with my love for crust! Thank you for the sweet comment, my friend! Happy Thanksgiving! ❤ xoxo

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  2. Mandy, this cheesecake looks absolutely divine!! I’m with you too on the pecans, I use it in many of my crusts and apple hand pies and love, love it for the buttery taste! Nothing better than pecans. It’s been my “butter” go to for so long, lol! Honestly, I think it tastes better than traditional butter, haha. I love everything about this cheesecake, seriously, every ingredient is perfection and I love that you used minimal pumpkin. I love pumpkin but not a strong overpowering taste. I think some overdue the pumpkin and too much makes me gag, lol! It needs to be blended well with other spices and ingredients and yours seriously looks like perfection here. I have been testing a yogurt cheesecake as well because I love how much yogurt tastes in my cream cheese recipes and is so much better than just cashews and lemon juice, you know what I mean? So much more authentic! I need to make this stat…I think Jay would go crazy over it! You make the prettiest and most drool-worthy desserts my friend!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are WAY too kind! If only I could siphon some of your photography skills! I’ve been using a lot of coconut yogurt these days – I seriously put it in everything!! It adds such a great texture and flavor. I am right there with you!!! While I do love pumpkin, I don’t like it as the dominant flavor….I’ve definitely gagged a few times with some recipes because it’s overpowering. It is all about the spices! Especially cinnamon! Speaking of that, Willow and I just created a vanilla spice lip balm and it uses a ton of cinnamon…totally thought of you!!!! I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear more about this cheesecake you’re working on because I know it will be heavenly! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend! xoxo ❤

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  3. Mandy,
    As I was randomly checking your blog on a break at work last month, I was so happy to see a new post! Then I kept forgetting to check at home so I could put my email address in…. Anyway, I just did and am looking forward to new posts from you about your adventures–in the kitchen and in life!
    I have been missing you on instagram.…

    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

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