Pumpkin Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts during the holidays. This recipe variation pairs pumpkin with Easy Caramel Sauce for a great way to end a feast. It also features barley malt syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger powder to help marry bold pumpkin flavor with vegan creaminess. I recommend opting for non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese so you can avoid trans fats. This vegan cheesecake also goes great with a dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 crackers)
½ cup pecans, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/3 cup (72 grams) Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted
1 Tablespoon brown rice syrup
1 cup pumpkin purée
¾ cup, + 1 Tablespoon sugar
½ cup non-dairy yogurt
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon barley malt syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
16 oz vegan cream cheese (2, 8oz containers)
Break the graham crackers into small pieces and place them in a food processor or blender with the cinnamon and ginger powder. Pulse them until they are fine crumbs. Add the crumbs to a medium size mixing bowl. Do the same with the pecans until they're the consistency of rough sand. Add the pecans into the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the melted Vegan Butter and brown rice syrup on low heat until well combined.
Add the melted margarine to the bowl containing the graham cracker crumbs and thoroughly hand mix with a fork until they are evenly saturated.
If possible, turn an empty medium mixing bowl upside-down and place the spring form on top of it. This will allow you to compress the crumbs with greater force without risking the spring form 'popping' and ejecting all of your crumbs. Being able to compress the crumbs more will make a better crust. Compress the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan using the flat bottom of a drinking glass.
Preheat oven to 325F (163C). In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin purée, sugar, non-dairy yogurt, all-purpose flour, barley malt syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, lemon juice and salt. Set aside.
In another medium mixing bowl, beat the imitation cream cheese until it's slightly fluffy. Mix in the pumpkin puree mixture from step 1. Beat the batter until it's smooth.
Pour the mixture into the 9 inch spring form pan. Jostle the spring form back and forth and side to side to get excess air bubbles to escape.
Bake for 1 hour, 30 minutes. It's important not to open the oven or else the cheesecake will cave in. While the cheesecake is baking, make the Easy Caramel Sauce. Let the cheesecake cool overnight.
When the cheesecake has cooled, use a small paring knife to go around the edges carefully to free the remaining cheesecake from the spring form pan. Open up the spring form pan as far as you can and shake it slightly to get it to let go. Lift the spring form siding away. Drizzle Easy Caramel Sauce on individually served slices or drizzle it on top of the cheesecake. Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to one week. It can also be frozen for up to six months.
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