Pecan Pumpkin Pie Vegan Baked Cheesecake Bars are my it dessert this Thanksgiving! When there’s a good chance you are only getting one dessert for Thanksgiving you combine favorites into one.
Pumpkin pie is a staple on most Thanksgiving tables. Pecan pie is also up there at our Thanksgiving until my mom made pecan cheesecake bars which became a staple, so I made Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars four years ago. It was also nice to switch up the vegan cheesecakes I had been making that friends and family love and never realize are vegan and gluten free. Over the last few years I’ve come to love baked dairy free (vegan) cheesecakes over raw ones, especially in the fall and winter, so I went with a baked version this year.
These Pecan Pumpkin Pie Vegan Baked Cheesecake Bars are everything I love in my Vegan Baked Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake, minus the chai, and Vegan Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars! The hardest part was the crust. I struggled here as the crust from the Vegan Pecan Pie Bars doesn’t bake well and burns. I really wanted pecan and to stick with something whole food and gluten free and staying away from the cookies. Finally I settled on a crust that pasted the family taste test. I could eat the creamy pumpkin cheesecake topped with all the caramel and pecans so I was good. Even updating the caramel as the one I used in my Vegan Pecan Pie Bars works there but not so well if wanting to make ahead and reheat for these and I wanted the warm topping as an option. Hello cozy feel good desserts!
It really bums me out I can’t bring this one to a big family gathering this year as it checks ALL the boxes!
Pumpkin, Pecan, Caramel, Cheesecake
Easy (just need a high-speed blender or food processor)
Can be made ahead (best made the day before)
The only box it doesn’t check is nut free, which we don’t have anyone with nut allergies in the family but A has friends with the allergy so we are conscious.
While I can’t bring it to family gatherings I can pack up a bar and drop them off on the steps of a few people I know would love one and could use a little extra sweetness in their day.
I know not everyone loves pecans as much as I do, and some of the rest of the family, so I add just enough caramel to cover the pecans and make it thick and keep the rest of the caramel plain. If everyone likes caramel you can add it all to the pecans.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?
It is also Monday, aka Meatless Monday and Deborah and I look forward to hearing what’s cooking in your kitchen!
Pecan Pumpkin Pie Vegan Cheesecake Bars
Pecan Pumpkin Pie Vegan Cheesecake Bars are a Thanksgiving must! Delicious creamy pumpkin cheesecake topped with caramel and pecans for a decadent gluten free, paleo, and vegan friendly.
Start by soaking your cashews in water, preferably filtered, 4 hours or overnight.
Toast pecans for 8-10 minutes at 350F, or in a cast iron pan on the stove, let cool.
Prepare pan spraying with coconut oil and lining with parchment paper. In a food processor pulse 1 cup toasted pecans until you have a coarse crumble.
Add in almond flour and sea salt and pulse to mix.
Add melted coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together.
Press crust into the bottom of prepared pan. It will be a thin crust, if making in a 9x9 pan see notes.
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup combine milk with the ground chia. Stir and set aside to thicken.
Rinse and drain cashews.
In a Vitamix, high-speed blender or food processor, combine pumpkin puree, cashews, coconut sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, pinch of salt, and lemon juice.
Process until stopping to scrap sides as needed until you can get it as smooth as possible.
Add in chia gel mixture, after it's thickened about 10 minutes, and blend until smooth. If you aren't sure blend a little longer you want it smooth and creamy.
Carefully spread (don't pour fast or in one spot as it can shift the crust) cheesecake mixture on top of the crust and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, and feels set.
Let cheesecake cool for an hour before moving to the refrigerator to chill completely (at least 4 hours).
To make the Caramel Pecan Topping (see notes!) heat coconut oil in small to medium set to medium- high heat stir together coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, and oil. Continue whisking until it starts to bubble.
Continue whisking for 1-2 minutes until bubbles get lighter and foamy looking.
Remove from heat and stir in a salt and optional vanilla.
If wanting pecans with all caramel stir pecans into the caramel sauce. If not put pecans in a heat safe glass jar and add caramel, about half and keep remaining caramel plain.
Store caramel in glass jars with lids in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
I like a thin crust. If you would like a thicker crust or are making these in a 9x9 pan use 1 1/2 cups pecans, 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 4 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a generous pinch of sea salt.
If making in a 9x9 pan also check cheesecake after 40 minutes for doneness.
Caramel Topping can be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator and warmed before topping cheesecake. When warming warm just enough to make it pourable and give it a good stir as sometimes the oil will separate a little. If possible I like to make the caramel about 15 minutes to an hour before serving the bars and topping with warm caramel.