I went to a vegan Thanksgiving potluck and for dessert I wanted to bring a no-bake pumpkin cheesecake. Well, there are vegan no-bake cheesecakes and there are omni pumpkin cheesecake recipes, but nothing I found really sounded very good! Inspired by Sunset Magazine’s November issue, I decided to adapt their recipe for a no-bake icebox cake for my purposes. It came out really well, even if an actual slice never made it into my mouth (more on that later…)!
I made a few modifications, so check the recipe below!
24 oz cream cheese (3 packages)*
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
2 tbsp cream**
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp agar flakes in 1/2 cup water
chocolate graham crackers (store-bought or homemade)
unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
paper cutouts of leaves
With a mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Then beat in pumpkin, creamer, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.
Combine the agar and water in a large measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir with a whisk and microwave 30 seconds more. Whisk again and let cool 1 min. Quickly add to the cream cheese mix while whisking rapidly until thoroughly combined. Let mix sit until cooled and set.
Cover the bottom of a 9″X9″ pan with graham crackers. Spread 1/4 of pumpkin mixture over crackers. Layer three more times, ending with pumpkin mixture.
Cover and chill overnight. Set leaf cutouts on top and dust with cocoa powder, then remove. Cut into squares and serve!
*Cream cheese: I made 2 cups of cashew cream cheese and added one package of Tofutti brand cream cheese. You could use all cashew cheese (will taste less like cheesecake) or all Tofutti. I’m trying to get away from relying on so much processed stuff, so I compromised by using mostly cashew cheese for richness and healthfulness while the little bit of Tofutti added the right amount of cream cheese flavor.
**Creamer: I used 2 tbsp soy milk powder, mixed with just enough warm water to dissolve. You could also use soy creamer or coconut cream.
A note about agar: 2 tbsp of flakes will get you a thick pudding-like consistency. If you want it to be more jelled, I would add 4 tbsp. And make sure to rapidly whip/stir when adding the agar or little bits will clump up and give you something like tapioca pudding!
It came out beautifully, but unfortunately I dropped the whole thing on my way into the potluck and it smashed into a million billion pieces. I was SO SAD!!! My boyfriend is determined to have me make another one because he really wanted to try it, so stay tuned! Hopefully I’ll get a few shots of the next one before I klutz it up again 😉 Here’s the…erm….after shot: