Raw White Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake
Updated Oct 14, 2022
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For a tasty alternative to pumpkin pie, try this raw white chocolate and pumpkin cheesecake (which is also gluten-free, vegan and paleo).
It’s got the flavors of the holidays but won’t weigh you down as it’s perfectly bite sized and portioned – and filled with wholesome ingredients. In fact, I’ve been wanting to make another raw dessert for a while, since my raw mixed berry and vanilla bean cheesecake has been such a hit.
The rectangle slices on this cheesecake were inspired by Pana Chocolate. Have you heard of Pana Chocolate? If you’re one of my Aussie readers, I’m sure you have. For my US-based folks, Pana Chocolate is this delicious chocolatier with shops throughout Australia that serves up raw, organic and stunningly beautiful chocolate cakes – which are cut into perfect, little rectangles. They also make chocolate bars with decadent flavors like fig and wild orange. Yep, I *may* have sampled quite a few as I was traveling Australia.
Now, in full disclosure, I’m not sure if the canned pumpkin would qualify as raw – as I don’t know how much heat is used in the canning process. But other than that, this dessert is raw, vegan, paleo, gluten-free and utterly delicious.
The “crust” is a mix of pecans, almonds and dates. The white chocolate layer is made from soaked cashews and raw cacao butter. And the pumpkin layer is made from soaked cashews, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. So as you slice into it, you get a little bit of everything!
I decided to get fancy and add a stripe of date caramel to the top with a couple pecans, but if you don’t want to wash and clean your food processor (again!), I totally understand. Just serve it up plain or sprinkle some chopped pecans on top. I’ve included my recipe for date caramel for those ambitious folks wanting to break out their pastry tools!
A few tips: remember that this is a frozen dessert. So feel free to make it several days in advance and freeze. When you’re ready to slice it up, take it out of your freezer a good 20 minutes before hand. You can also slice it up ahead of time, then put it back in the refrigerator a few hours before serving. It’ll be perfectly soft and your guests will be able to dig right in. And believe me, they will. My parents devoured a slice each last night!
For another vegan cheesecake with a holiday flair, make sure to check out my Vegan Caramel Cheesecake.
If you make this, I’d love to see! Tag your photo with #downshiftology on Instagram.
Raw White Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake
White Chocolate Layer
- Note: You can soak all 3 cups of raw cashews together overnight, then divide after they've soaked.
- Place all crust ingredients together in a food processor and pulse several times, until you have a crumbly, sticky texture that resembles sand.
- Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Pour the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan and flatten. Use another piece of parchment paper on top if your hands stick.
- Add all white chocolate layer ingredients together in a high-powered blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Pour on top of crust layer and gently shake the pan to flatten.
- Place the pan in the freezer for 30-40 minutes or until the top has firmed up.
- While the first layer is freezing, wash and dry your blender.
- Add all pumpkin layer ingredients to your high-powered blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Pour on top of your white chocolate layer and gently shake the pan to flatten.
- Place back in the freezer and let the cheesecake completely firm up for 3-4 hours.
- Before serving, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Cut the cheesecake in half one direction, then divide each half into 5 slices and serve immediately.
- If you're making the date caramel, place all ingredients into a clean food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms.
- Place the caramel in a pastry bag and pipe a long stripe along the top of the cheesecake slices. Add two pecans to the top and serve.
- Reminder: soak the raw cashews overnight before starting this recipe.
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