Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Sauce (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
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Tonight we celebrated our dear friend David’s birthday. With the gathering of our friends, not only did we sing happy birthday, but, we shared wonderful dinner and topped it with belly satisfying raw dessert!
Pumpkin is one of his favorite flavors so I knew I had to make this for him. Believe it or not but I bought this sugar pumpkin back in December. They have an amazing shelf life when stored properly.
I just had to put one to the test and sure enough, 3 months later we were still able to use it to create this special treat! I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Sauce as much as we did. You can make it as a pie or serve it in bar form.
- 2 cups raw pecans, soaked & dehydrated
- 1 cup packed Mejool dates, pitted
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 cups cubed raw pumpkin, sugar pumpkin is the best
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup maple syrup or raw agave nectar
- 3 Tbsp lecithin, ground or liquid
- 1 cup cold pressed raw coconut oil, melted
Pecan Carmel Sauce:
- 1/2 cup raw almond butter
- 1/4 cup raw agave nectar or equivalent
- 1/4 cup yacon syrup
- 1/2 cup date paste
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/4 cup water (may need more or less, do you want to drizzle or use as a frosting?)
- 1/2 – 1 cup raw pecans, soaked, dehydrated and chopped
- In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, process the pecans along with the salt till it breaks down to a small crumble.
- Note on dates ~ the the dates are dry and hard, rehydrate them in warm water for about 15 minutes, until softened. Drain and discard the soak water. Hand-squeeze any excess water from the dates before adding to the nuts.
- Open the food process and lay the dates around the bowl. Return the lid and process until the batter sticks together when pinched. Be careful not to over process. This will cause the pecan’s natural oil to release and make the crust oily.
- Press the crust mixture in the bottom of the pan. I used a 9×9 square Springform pan. These are my favorite types of pans. You could use any size, shape or style to fit the occasion! Set aside while you make the filling.
- Drain and rinse the soak water from the cashews.
- In a high-speed blender add the almond milk, cashews, lemon juice, cubed pumpkin, salt, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup until very smooth.
- Depending on the blender, this can take 1-3 minutes. Stop and test the filling by rubbing it between two fingers. If you fill ANY grit, continue blending.
- This is a good time to taste test. You may need to add additional spice or sweetness, it all depends on the quality of the pumpkin you used. We are dealing with fresh ingredients here and the taste can very largely due to ripeness, etc.
- If you don’t have pumpkin spice, you make your own by combining the following: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon , 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground allspice or ground cloves, and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Stir to blend. Makes 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the lecithin and melted coconut oil and continue blending until everything is well-integrated.
- Pour the mixture over the prepared crust.
- Gently tap your pan on the counter top to bring all the bubbles to the surface.
- Place in the fridge to set up.
- In a high powered blender combine the almond butter, agave, ycan syrup, date paste, vanilla, salt, water, and process until smooth. You may need to stop occasionally to scrap the sides down.
- Hand stir in pecan or place on top after applying the caramel sauce.
- Store left over sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. To soften, leave out at room temperature for a few hours or place the container in a bowl of hot water.
- Assembly: Pour caramel over the cheesecake and allow it to drizzle down the sides. Cut and serve!! Keep chilled.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
- Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
- Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes, click (here) to read why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil? Click (here) to find out.
- Learn how to make your own raw almond butter by clicking (here).
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.