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The Great Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I almost considered not sharing this recipe, since I already have one or two other raw pumpkin cheesecake recipes on my site… but this site is also my personal “recipe box” and I need to stash it somewhere because I plan on making this over and over again (which I have).

raw vegan gluten-free great pumpkin cheesecake

When I was creating our Christmas dinner menu, the only thing that Bob piped in on was that he wanted a raw pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.  In the end, I made a total of 4 of these cheesecakes. Why just stop at one! This recipe differs a tad from my others, so feel free to bounce between them to see which one matches up with the ingredients in your pantry. They are all delightful.

raw vegan gluten-free great pumpkin cheesecake

Whenever I make cheesecakes, I like to play around with shapes, sizes, and toppings.  For a more refined-looking cheesecake, you can create just a bottom crust.  This method leaves the sides exposed. Another option is to carry the crust up the sides of the pan (partway or all the way), giving the cheesecake a more rustic flair.  And as far as the topping goes, you can spread a nice layer of caramel sauce on top of the cake, or you can pour it into a squeeze bottle and drizzle it all over.

raw vegan gluten-free great pumpkin cheesecake

Decorating the top of the cheesecake is in your hands. Make it is as simple or complex as you want to. Every time I make this recipe, I seem to do something different. That goes for pan sizes, too. I have made anywhere between 6″-9″ cheesecakes with this batter. The smaller the pan, the taller the cheesecake will be and the fewer slices you get from it. And at the same time, the larger the pan, the shorted the height and the more slices you can get from it.  I created a post that explains how to make several different crusts in Springform pans, so be sure to check it (here). I have also made this recipe in single-serving cups, making it super easy to serve at parties.

I hope you have a blessed and wonderful holiday season. love and blessings, amie sue

raw vegan gluten-free great pumpkin cheesecakeIngredients:

9″ Springform pan

Just bottom layer crust:
Crust that covers the bottom and sides:
  • 3 cups raw pecans, soaked & dehydrated
  • 1 1/2 cups packed Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Pumpkin filling:

Pecan caramel sauce:


  1. Assemble a Springform pan with the bottom facing up, the opposite way from how it comes assembled.
    • This will help you when removing the cheesecake from the pan, not having to fight with the lip.
    • Wrap the base with plastic wrap.  This will make it easier to remove the cake when done… unless you plan to serve the cake on the bottom of the pan.
  2. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, pulse the pecans into small pieces.
    • Be careful that you don’t overprocess the nuts and head toward making nut butter.  Nothing wrong with that… just not our goal at the moment.
    • Feel free to exchange the pecans for walnuts if so desired.
  3. Add the salt, pulsing it together.
    • This ensures that the salt gets well distributed throughout the batter
  4. Add the dates, and process until the batter sticks together.
    • Depending on your machine, you may need to stop the unit and scrape down the sides during this process.
    • Test the batter by pinching it between your fingers.  If it holds, it is ready. Don’t overprocess. If you do, the nuts will release their natural oils, making the crust oily.
    • If the dates you have on hand are hard and dry, rehydrate them in warm water until soft. Drain and discard the water before adding them to the recipe.
  5. Distribute the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan, using even and gentle pressure.  If you press too hard, it might stick to the base of the pan, making it hard to remove slices.  You can either just make the crust on the bottom of the pan, or you can bring it up the sides.  It is up to you.
  6. Set aside while you make the cheesecake batter.


  1. Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.  Place in a high-speed blender.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the cashews, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, water, vanilla, pumpkin spice, stevia (optional), and salt.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm, stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
    • You can use a different liquid sweetener if you are not comfortable with stevia.  Just be aware of the different flavors and colors that the sweetener might impart to the cake.
    • If you don’t have pumpkin spice mix on hand, click (here) to see how to make it.
  3. With a vortex going in the blender, drizzle in the coconut oil, and then add the lecithin.  Blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t overprocess.  The batter will start to thicken.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high.  The batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing…instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides.
  4. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  5. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight) and then in the fridge for 12 hours.
    • This cheesecake can be made a month in advance, kept frozen until you are ready to enjoy it.

Pecan Caramel Sauce:

  1. While the cheesecake is firming up, you can make the sauce.
  2. Combine the almond butter, maple syrup, date paste, vanilla, salt, and water in the blender and process until creamy.  The sauce will turn a lighter color and very smooth while it is blending.  I use this as my cue that it is ready.
  3. Once the cake is firm, pour the sauce over the cake and then sprinkle the pecans on top or decorate as desired.
  4. This cake will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge or safely for 3 months in the freezer.  Keep well covered.

31 thoughts on “The Great Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. Denise says:

    Thank you for graciously sharing all your beautiful recipes : )
    Can you suggest an alternative for coconut please?
    Much love.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Denise,

      There are many reasons that I use coconut oil in these types of recipes, one being for texture. It helps to set the cake/pie up because coconut oil hardens when chilled or even at room temp if the ambient air isn’t too warm. I am not sure of your reasons for wanting to omit it. IF the calories or volume of it is a reason why, you can decrease it by half and just keep the pie chilled up till close to serving. If you can’t have it, don’t like it or can’t get it… omit it and add maybe 1/2 cup more of soaked cashews. The pie will need to stay chilled up until serving. I wouldn’t trust it too long at room temp. I hope this helps, blessings. amie sue

      • Diana says:

        Hello Amie-Sue and Denise,

        maybe you could try with cacao butter?
        What do you think?

        With best regards,

        • amie-sue says:

          If that is the flavor that you want to impart into the recipe. It will give a hint of chocolate and may need to add a bit more sweetener since raw cacao is bitter. Have a great day, amie sue

  2. Alice says:

    Hi Amie Sue, First off I’d like to wish you a very happy new year, and I hope you are bountiful in health, happiness, and wealth.

    This cheesecake looks really scrumptious. I like both versions, but I think I’ll try the one with the crust going up the side.

    I have a question regarding the sweetener in the caramel sauce. Do you think a powdered sweetener would work as well, say coconut crystals or lakanto (this is a relatively new product but it’s like stevia). For health reasons I’m really trying to make substitutions for agave, maple syrup, honey, etc.

    Look forward to your reply, and again happy new year to both you and Bob (can’t forget about him !!) All the best Alice.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Alice,

      You should be able to but I haven’t tried. As long as you have a good blender and you might need to add a little water or almond milk to help it have the right texture for a sauce. Blessing and have a great weekend! amie sue

  3. linda says:

    Hi Amie-sue,
    I don’t like stevia there is always an after taste. Can you recommend another sweetener please.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Linda, just omit it. Taste test the batter with just the agave and see if it is sweet enough. If not add a bit more. I use the stevia so that I don’t have to increase the “sugars” and to give it a brightness in sweet flavor. No one ever notices the stevia and my husband normally hates the stuff. Have a great weekend, amie sue

  4. kelly says:

    Hi, Just a quick question. Why am I only getting sweets or dessert recipes for the past few mos? I’d like to receive all. Also, love your site, thanks!!


    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Kelly,

      I share the recipes that I make. They are the recipes that I have created for our family / friends to eat, those I have made for gift giving and recipes that I make at a request from others (online and not). I do my best with requests. amie sue

  5. Stephen says:

    Amie Sue,
    Hi! Your site is one that I continually find myself looking at for inspiration. So thank you! Regarding the lecithin – I’ve been tinkering with the idea of using it in my raw cheesecake but haven’t yet – I have sunflower liquid lecithin and I’ve used it for other things. What’s your opinion on using it versus not?
    Thank you so much.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Stephen,

      I use sunflower liquid lecithin all the time. In my cheesecake recipes a person can use soy or sunflower lecithin… as well as powder or liquid (same measurement).

      Have a great evening, amie sue

      • Stephen says:

        Oops, guess I wasn’t very clear. I meant to ask about your experience with using lecithin vs. not using lecithin. Do you think they tend to hold together better or…?

        Appreciate it.

        • amie-sue says:

          Oh, sorry about that. It will hold fine without. I tried it both ways. I like adding it for the health benefits (again I use sunflower based lecithin). Have a great weekend, amie sue

  6. katia says:

    i just wanted to say thank you! this is the most amazing website ever.I recently started the raw diet,i went from eating junk food on a daily basis to eating raw…. overnight!!!!,i must say it wasnt that hard but only because i am focused and i see theres a bigger purpose behind my goal and i will do whatever it takes to achieve it!…and eating raw is a start!…Your recipes definitely make it a lot easier,they r so yummy! thank you for sharing and showing the world that healthy eating doesnt have to be boring or tasteless!…i just need to buy the dehydrator as i see its sooo useful.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh thank you Katia. I am touched by your message. :) I wish you all the success in the world. Switching a diet overnight (regardless of the diet) can be a real shock to the body so be aware of that if you feel “off” at any time. The increase of fiber / roughage can sometimes cause bloating, constipation, etc. But I am proud of you for taking the steps in bettering you health. Learn to listen to your body and feed it accordingly. :) I would highly recommend a dehydrator for sure. It will open yet another new world to you in all the other types of raw foods you can make. Blessings and keep in touch, amie sue

  7. tara hidalgo says:

    This looks great!! I was wondering how you think this would turn out using walnuts in place of pecans. I cant get those here in Puerto rico.

  8. Juanita says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I keep calling it “The Ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake” by mistake–because it is!!! Almost everyone who has tasted it (my husband didn’t let me share it with very many people) has asked for the recipe, and even some who didn’t get to taste it ;)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Juanita,

      I just loved reading this. I like that name too and it might be more fitting. hehe Thank you for sharing. Blessings, amie sue

  9. Nancy says:

    You have wonderful recipes! Thank you for sharing them! I was wondering what you could use instead of date paste in the recipe? What can replace whole dates in other recipes? Thank you very much! You are an inspiration!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Nancy.

      Thank you very much, so happy that you are enjoying them.

      For this recipe…

      Date paste in the crust is used not only as a sweetener but a binder to hold the ingredients together. You can used dried figs or raisins. If you don’t want to use any dried fruit, you might want to look through my other crust recipes to see if one stands out to you. I am not sure why you omitting dates; can’t find them, don’t like them, don’t eat dried fruits, etc.


      I hope this helps. Blessings, amie sue

  10. Nancy says:

    I’m not a real fan of dates so thank you very much for the options that you provided!

  11. suzie blair says:

    First off, Merry Christmas and I hope the new year brings you nothing but pure joy.

    I am making so many of your recipes, you are totally awesome.

    I have a silly question. I have never made a raw cheesecake before. Does it have the same mouth feel as a baked one. I have been vegan and used the vegan cream cheese, but I am trying to transition more to raw. Thank-you

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you so much Suzie. Merry Christmas to you as well. I just love this time of year. :)

      So thrilled to hear that you are enjoying many recipes here from my site. I have so many more to share!

      The raw cheesecake texture is velvety smooth (providing you use a high-powered blender) It is pretty darn close as far as I can recall. It’s been over 8 years since I have had baked/dairy cheesecake. Just make sure that when you blend the filling to the raw cheesecake that you do so until it is creamy smooth… it makes all the difference in the world.

      Happy holidays! Blessings, amie sue

      • suzie blair says:

        Thank-you ami sue. I can not wait to make your cheesecake. My husband bought me a new Vita Mix for Christmas, so I am thinking Christmas afternoon I will be busy.

        • amie-sue says:

          Oooooh you luck girl! And what a good man. :) You will just love it! Have a wonderful Christmas and many blessings, amie sue

  12. Eirini says:

    Few day ago I discovered your site and I’m graτeful of you! I learned many useful information and tips. Everything is well organized and clear! While I was reading the recipe I was wondering If someboby could replace the pecans with walnuts? Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Eirini,

      I am sorry that it took me a bit to respond to you. I have been on a “walk about” for the past 6 weeks (see blog posting). I am not fully integrating back into things but I wanted to start tackling some of the questions that have been collecting. :) All that to say, I appreciate your patience with me. :)

      Welcome to my site, I am so glad that you landed here. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or make comments. To answer your question, yes, either nut would be just fine. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

  13. marysteinborn says:

    Hi Amie Sue, what would you think of using honey in this instead of the agave and maple syrup? I imagine the caramel sauce would be fine, just not sure about the main filling.

    Thank you!


    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Marym

      Honey would work in place of the agave or maple syrup. Look for a raw honey that more on the liquid side to match the consistency as much as possible. Keep me posted how it goes. Blessings, amie sue

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