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Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites with Gluten-Free Chocolate Crust
Oh, the holiday season - an excuse to indulge, consume all the delicious treats, and eat all pumpkin everything.
This time of year can be tricky, though, if you have dietary restrictions or try to eat a clean diet. All of the butter, cream, and sugar in everything is typically traditional but a total YIKES for people like me who try to avoid refined sugars and dairy. Many of the baked treats also contain wheat which is a no go if you are gluten-free.
But no worries, I have your back with a super yummy, vegan & gluten-free dessert that is sure to please everyone.
The majority of the vegan cheesecake recipes I see floating around Pinterest are no-bake, frozen desserts. While I have tried and love these frozen cheesecakes, sometimes you really just need a traditionally baked cheesecake to hit the spot - especially during the winter holidays! These mini cheesecakes are sure to bring a lot of holiday cheer to your table or any events you may attend. They are easy to serve, require no silverware to dig into, naturally sweetened, and are just absolutely delicious bites of heaven.
To Make the Chocolate Almond Crust:
All you need for the crust are 4 ingredients and a blender.
I use Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour for this recipe because it's gluten-free and low in carbohydrates. This flour is made from whole, blanched sweet almonds.
Almonds are healthy nuts that offer:
- vitamin E
- a healthy serving of monounsaturated fats in a ¼ cup serving
- and protein into your diet!
Simply add the almond flour and other crust ingredients to a blender and pulse until well combined. Press into the pan you are using. (If you opt not use a pan specifically made for mini cheesecakes, you can also use a muffin tin with liners.) While you are baking the crust in the oven, start preparing your filling.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
I went through a ton of trial and error before perfecting this cheesecake recipe, and I couldn't be happier with the taste and texture! The main components of this cheesecake to create the texture are soaked cashews and vegan cream cheese. Many vegan cream cheese products are full of less than healthy ingredients, but there are a couple of brands out there that are better quality. My favorite vegan cream cheese brand is Kite Hill (also made from almonds!)
Just like with the crust, all you need for the filling is a blender. Blend all the ingredients until super smooth and creamy. If you don't have a high-powered blender, no worries - I have a super cheap blender and the filling still turned out perfectly.
Pour the filling over the crust and put the pan back into the oven. Once baked, let cool off, and then stick in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours.
Some great toppings for these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are chocolate syrup, chocolate chips or coconut whipped cream sprinkled with some cinnamon. I personally prefer the whipped cream - it is delicious and also adds a beautiful, visually pleasing element on top.
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder⠀
- 1.5 Tbs coconut oil⠀ - - melted
- ½ cup pitted medjool dates⠀ - (about 6-7 dates)
- ½ cup soaked cashews*⠀
- ½ cup vegan cream cheese⠀
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin⠀
- 1 Tbs coconut oil⠀ - - melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup⠀
- 1 tsp arrowroot powder⠀ - (or cornstarch)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon⠀
- ¼ tsp nutmeg⠀
- ¼ tsp ginger⠀
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini cheesecake pan.**
- Blend all crust ingredients in a blender until well combined.
- Press into mini cheesecake pan, making each individual cheesecake crust about a ¼ inch thick.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- Blend all cheesecake filling ingredients together in a blender until creamy and smooth.
- Pour filling evenly over the crust (leaving about a half inch of space at the top of the pan).
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Let cool down to room temperature, and then place the pan in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours.
- Carefully pop out the mini cheesecakes from the pan.
- Optional: Top with chocolate syrup, chocolate chips and/or whipped coconut cream.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.