Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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These Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars have the rich, creamy, and decadent texture of traditional cheesecake but without the dairy and cholesterol. With a gingery, chocolate crust and a creamy pumpkin swirl filling, these are a must-make during fall.
Prep Time: 4 hrs 25 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 5 hrs 15 mins

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I wanted to share one of my favorite dessert recipes with you! This dessert combines three of my favorite ingredients – pumpkin, cheesecake, and chocolate.

I made a video all about these pumpkin cheesecake bars over on Youtube, and I would be SO very happy if you checked out the video and let me know what you think. In the video, I share some tips on how to make this cheesecake perfectly, so I hope you find them useful!

Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

And while there’s no shortage of raw vegan cheesecake recipes on the net, there aren’t too many for baked vegan cheesecake. For some reason, there’s a commonly held assumption that you can’t bake a vegan cheesecake, that all vegan cheesecakes have to be raw in order to taste good.

Well, I am here to prove that assumption very wrong. I mean, I do very much enjoy raw cheesecakes, but as tasty as they might be, they lack the super-rich, dense texture that a traditional cheesecake has. And these baked vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars have just that – they are rich, creamy, and decadent. But, unlike traditional cheesecake, you can have more than one slice without falling into a sugar coma.

Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

And unlike baking a traditional cheesecake, there’s no need to bake this in a water bath to prevent the surface from cracking. There’s also no need to check the oven every five minutes to ensure the cheesecake is fully cooked through and worry about giving your guests salmonella.

pumpkin cheesecake bars pouring milk (drip) (1 of 1).jpg
pumpkin cheesecake bars pouring milk (1 of 1).jpg

To make this recipe as easy as possible, I opted to bake this in a standard 8×8 square baking pan instead of in a springform pan. That way you don’t have to worry about whether you have the right springform baking pan size.

And to make these bars extra pretty and fit for your holiday table, I turned pumpkin cheesecake into pumpkin swirl cheesecake. Sure, it involves an extra step but it’s so very pretty.

For the crust, I knew I wanted the flavors to include ginger, since ginger and pumpkin are a match made in heaven. But, to give the taster a little something unexpected, I added a bit of cocoa for a chocolate-ginger crust.

Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Hope you enjoy this recipe for Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars and the video!

Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

5 from 1 vote
These Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars have the rich, creamy, and decadent texture of traditional cheesecake but without the dairy and cholesterol. With a gingery, chocolate crust and a creamy pumpkin swirl filling, these are a must-make during fall.
Prep Time: 4 hrs 25 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 5 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baking
Diet Vegan
Keyword: bars, cheesecake, pumpkin, refined sugar free, soy-free
Serving size: 16

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup unsalted walnuts and pecans (or just use one of the two)
  • 20 ginger snap cookies
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 8 hours/overnight and drained well)
  • 1/2 cup solidified coconut cream (refrigerated 24 hours)*
  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese, softened** (Tofutti brand recommended)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated recommended
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Instructions

  • Line an 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) square pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Preheat the oven to 350°F (~176°C).
  • Make the Crust: place the walnuts, pecans, gingersnaps, salt, and cocoa powder in a food processor and blend until the nuts and cookies are until mostly pulverized. With the motor running, pour in the melted coconut oil, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Once you have a slightly sticky texture that you can press together, press it evenly and firmly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Make the Cream Cheese Filling: Add the soaked cashews and solid coconut cream to a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Add the remaining Cream Cheese Filling ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. It will take a few minutes to fully pulverize the cashews.
  • Transfer 3/4 cup of the Cream Cheese Filling to a bowl and set aside.
  • Make the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling: To the remaining Cream Cheese Filling in the food processor, add the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Blend until combined.
  • Pour the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling over the crust. Dollop the Cream Cheese Filling on top and swirl with a toothpick or skewer to create a marbled effect.
  • Bake in the oven at 350°F (~176°C) for 40-50 minutes, or until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears just a little jiggly but not wiggly.
  • Let the bars rest for 10-15 minutes at room temperature, then transfer the pan to the refrigerator to let cool completely, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Slice into bars when ready to serve.

Notes

*There is 1/2-3/4 cup of solid coconut cream in a 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk. You can also buy canned coconut cream separately.
**Don’t have vegan cream cheese? Use 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (instead of 1 cup) and 1 cup coconut cream (instead of 1/2 cup)

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2 comments on Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  1. Rita Marie

    Hi Nisha! Love your blog and your recipes. I love to cook but sometimes I get bored making the same things and you ALWAYS deliver with the unique, game-changing recipes. I have one question: I don’t have access to the ginger snaps for the crust. Is there any substitute I can use? Thank you so much!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Rita! I am so grateful for your feedback. It’s really nice to hear that you love my recipes and find them to be unique and game changers :)
      Are you strictly vegan? If you do eat honey, you could use graham cracker (I can never find vegan graham crackers, they usually have honey). If you are strictly vegan, then you could use another wafer-style cookie that is vegan.
      Or, you can just substitute them with more walnuts/pecans (about 1 1/2 – 1 2/3 cups more). If you go that route, I’d add a tbsp or two of maple syrup (since there won’t be any sweetness from the cookies) and a 1/2 tsp of ground ginger (since there won’t be any ginger spice from the cookies) and a pinch or two of salt.
      Another option is to substitute the cookies with additional pecans/walnuts and also some ground rolled oats. (maybe 3/4 cups nuts and 3/4-1 cup rolled oats).
      Finally, you could try just using the crust in this baked chocolate cheesecake recipe: https://www.rainbowplantlife.com/blog/baked-vegan-chocolate-cheesecake
      Hope these options help!

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