Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett shared her delicious “pumpkin cheesecake” recipe with us many years ago. But it isn’t really a cheesecake in terms of flavor. The filling is a lot like pumpkin pie in taste, but it’s denser and baked in a springform pan with a graham crust, like cheesecake. It’s also topped with frosting, and optionally garnished wtih maple pecans, much like a layer cake. Yes, this really is a unique and impressive vegan frosted pumpkin pie cake with multiple layers of sweet flavor.
This Vegan Frosted Pumpkin Pie Cake is Worthy of a Special Occasion
We’ve updated Beverly’s recipe for the holiday season. It now has nutrition facts, additional notes, and we have some quick FAQs to answer.
Where Can I Find Vegan Graham Crackers?
Most brands are dairy-free and egg-free, but do contain honey. If you need honey-free, check the labels in store. There are often generic brands made without honey. But the standard name brands, like Nabisco, do contain honey. You can also use another crunchy cookie instead.
Should I Use Silken Tofu?
Beverly doesn’t, but we like to. The choice is up to you! Silken tofu gives a creamier, smoother finish, while regular tofu has a slight ricotta-like texture.
Can I Use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of all the Spices?
Yes! You can substitute 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for all of the spices in the pumpkin mixture. You can even use pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon in the crust, if you wish.
Can I Make it Vegan Cheesecake?
If you are craving a little “cheese” in your cake, you can substitute an 8-ounce package of dairy-free cream cheese alternative for 8 ounces of the tofu. But you might want to try this frosted pumpkin pie cake as is, first. Beverly is well loved for her amazing dessert recipes.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Frosted Pumpkin Pie Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. It’s also coconut-free!
- 1 (7-ounce) package dairy-free graham crackers (honey-free, if strict vegan is needed; gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup dairy-free buttery spread or sticks (such as Earth Balance)
- 32 ounces extra firm tofu
- 1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin purée
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
- 1 to 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk beverage, as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a parchment paper circle.
- Begin by preparing the crust. Place the graham crackers and cinnamon in your food processor or a zip-top bag, and process for 1 minute or crush with a mallet in order to crush the crackers. Add the buttery spread to your food processor and process until combine, or pour the graham crumbs into a bowl, and stir in the buttery spread until combined.
- Using your hands, press the graham mixture firmly to cover the bottom of your prepared pan. Place the pan on a cookie sheet.
- Now make the pumpkin filling. Place the tofu, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon in your food processor or blender, and process for 3 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process an additional 2 minutes.
- Pour the filling over the prepared crust and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake for 35 minutes, keeping the pan on the cookie sheet.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool for 20 minutes or until the pan is cool to the touch.
- Loosely cover the springform pan and chill the cake in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Before serving, make the frosting. Put the powdered sugar, buttery spread, 1 tablespoon milk beverage, and vanilla in your food processor or in a mixing bowl. Process or mix with a hand mixer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until light and creamy, adding more milk beverage as needed.
- To finish the cheesecake, loosen the sides with a spatula and carefully remove the ring from the springform pan. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter or large plate, spread the frosting over the top.