Pumpkin Cheesecake With A Chocolate Crust {Grain-Free, Vegan}

By Sara McGlothlin

*For best results, bake this cheesecake the day before you plan to enjoy it.

After completing the recipe for my pumpkin pie, I knew a pumpkin plant-based cheesecake came next. I think cheesecakes are my favorite recipes to write, bake and eat. With the use of cashews, vegan cream cheese (my favorite brands below), and coconut cream, they really are quite easy, and there are so many variations you can make.

My love for the plant-based cheesecake started when I was writing my cookbook. Traditional cheesecake had always been my favorite dessert, and I was amazed that I didn’t miss the real thing. Since then, I have played around with keto cheesecakes, which does in fact use real dairy, but the vegan version will always have a special place in my heart because I know it’s more nutritious.

I have to give Christina of @thewellnessconcierges credit for this recipe idea. I recently polled people on Instagram asking their go-to Thanksgiving dessert. Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake was her response, and it immediately caught my attention. I just had to clarify – was it the crust that was chocolate, or the filling too? The latter she said. I knew I had to attempt to Healthify it.

I did want to make this recipe first with the pure pumpkin cheesecake filling. I had made one in the past with a carob crust, and while you might not think a chocolate crust pairs well with pumpkin, it does. The Gratisfied Empower Bar Cacao baking mix makes a beautiful chocolate vegan crust, and I am so excited about it!

Pumpkin Cheesecake With A Chocolate Crust {Grain-Free, Vegan}

Silky plant-based pumpkin cheesecake filling sits atop a Gratisfied Empower Bar Cacao crust. Grain-free and vegan.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 55 minutes
Chill Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 10 servings


  • High-speed blender or food processor
  • 8-inch spring form cake pan
  • Mixing bowls


For the crust

  • 1 pouch Empower Bar Cacao baking mix pouch see note
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

For the cheesecake filling

  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 15oz can pure pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for at least 4-6 hours or overnight, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 8- or 6-oz package vegan cream cheese room temperature. I like Spero Foods, Miyokos, or Kite Hill brands
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch spring form cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper (optional – this will prevent any crust sticking to the bottom).
  • Make the crust. Add the Empower Bar Cacao baking mix into a large mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil and maple syrup until creamy. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the baking mix. Using a large spatula, blend until a dough is formed.
  • Transfer the dough into the cake pan and use your hands to press it evenly on the bottom. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Make the cheesecake filling. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine the full-fat coconut milk, pumpkin puree, soaked cashews, coconut cream, vegan cream cheese, maple syrup, arrowroot starch, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Process until creamy, using the tamper as you need to (or scraping down the sides with a spatula if using a food processor) until creamy consistency is reached.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into the cake pan over the crust. Bake 40 minutes, then cover the cake pan with a piece of aluminum foil (this prevents the top from burning) and bake 15 more minutes. The top will have cracks, be pulling slightly from the sides, and be slightly firm to the touch. *Note: a toothpick inserted may not come out clean but it will firm as it chills.
  • Allow the cheesecake to completely cool at room temperature (at least 2 hours) before transferring to the refrigerator to set, at least 8 to 10 hours for best results, or ideally overnight.


Empower Bar Cacao Baking Mix 
Storage: Wrap slices in plastic wrap or foil and keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo, Soy-free, Vegan