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.
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.