This Thanksgiving I wanted to try something a little different from the traditional pies and apple crisps that I normally make. So, I tried to find a perfect recipe for my parent’s Thanksgiving dinner today.
As I sit here writing this (after eating waaay too much dessert) I feel it was a huge success. My dairy free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free cheesecake beat out the strawberry rhubarb pie. Everyone approved even my two-year-old son. My daughter said it was the best cheesecake she’s ever had (since she is dairy free, she doesn’t get too many cheesecakes, but I’ll take the compliment).
I tried finding the perfect recipes online, without much luck so I manipulated a few recipes and created my own.
You can find a Gluten Free Graham Cracker, or Chocolate Cookie and crumble them up with ¼ cup Coconut Oil or you can make your own. I choose to make my own.
1 ¾ Cup Brown Rice Flour
¾ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Potato Starch
2 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch
1 tsp. Aluminum Free Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 tsp. Sea Salt
¾ Cup Coconut Sugar
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 ½ tsp. Blackstrap Molasses
1/3 Cup Unrefined Coconut Oil
2 8 oz Tubs Non-Hydrogenated Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti as it is what I could find – It has a bit of cane sugar in it that I wasn’t a fan of, so I am looking for an unsweetened or refined sugar free brand – please let me know if you find one out😊 )
1 ½ Cups Pureed Pumpkin
1 Cup Coconut Sugar
3 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch
1 ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
Coconut Whipped Cream:
2 Cans Full Fat Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Unrefined Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
For the Crust – Crumble approximately 2 cups of premade graham cookies or chocolate cookies. Mix with the 1/3 coconut oil. Spray an 8-10-inch Spring Foam pan with avocado oil spray and gently press the cookie/coconut oil mixture into the bottom of the pan. Make sure it is even.
If you are going to make the cookies from scratch. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixer combine all the ingredients (brown rice flour, cocoa powder, potato starch, arrowroot starch, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, coconut sugar, liquid sugar, molasses and coconut oil) until well combined. The mixture will look crumbly at this point.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using your hands form 1-inch balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Press down with either a fork or your fingers.
Cook for approximately 15 minutes. Once cooled, you can crumble them and add the 1/3 cup coconut oil. Then follow the steps above for the pre-made cookies.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a high-speed blender combine the 2 tubs of cream cheese, pureed pumpkin, coconut sugar, arrowroot starch, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg. Blend until combined and fluffy.
***Please note that the coconut oil listed under the filling is to be used for the cookie crumbs. I did not want it to be confused and added to the cookie recipe, so I put it under filling. Sorry for the confusion.
Take the filling mixture and spread evenly over the cookie crumb layer.
Place it in the oven and cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Without opening the oven, turn it off and let it sit in the warm oven for another 30 or so minutes.
Take out and let cool for at least 2-3 hours before placing it in the fridge.
For the Toppings:
There are a few topping ideas. You can leave it as is with no toppings.
You can add coconut whipped cream.
- You can buy pre-made – however it is loaded with sugar.
- You can make your own by chilling two cans of coconut milk in the fridge for 12-24 hours. After the time period open the can and the liquid is separated from the cream. Dump the liquid out (you can put this in a container and use for smoothies or just drink it). Take the cream and place it in a high-speed mixer until smooth. Add maple syrup to taste. I find 1-2 Tbsp of Maple Syrup is enough.
Use a double boiler. If you are anything like me you don’t have one, as I wouldn’t use it a lot. I take two pans that can fit inside one another. I fill the larger one with water and bring to a boil. I then reduce to medium heat. I place the smaller pot inside the other pot and heat the following in it for the chocolate topping. If you do not do this and just heat it on the stove the mixture will burn easily so be careful.
Add the coconut oil, vegan chocolate chips and the cream from the canned coconut in the empty pan. Stir constantly until its melted. Sometimes the mixture comes out a bit thick for drizzling. If it does just add a tinge of coconut water.
Drizzle over the cooled Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Other Topping Ideas: You can also add roasted nuts, dried fruit or crumbled cookie on top.