I’ve wanted to make mini vegan cheesecakes for such a long time. I’ve made a billion regular old vegan cheesecakes, but they were never mini, and they were never pumpkin. This is a double first for me.
When I was growing up, my mom would make mini cheesecakes with vanilla wafer crusts. You’d plunk a cookie into the bottom of your muffin tin and have an instant crust. It fit perfect and was kind of brilliant. So I was a little bummed to discover that vanilla wafers are not generally vegan. Totally ruined my plans to veganize the mini cheesecake recipe. Oh, I guess I could have gone a more traditional route with the crust, say by crushing up a bunch of graham cracker crumbs, but that’s not as fun. It’s also more work. Isn’t part of the beauty of making anything dubbed “mini,” the fact that it inherently requires less work?
I imagine my delight when I discovered that vegan ginger snaps are pretty darn easy to come by. I saw a display of ginger snaps at the supermarket and instantly got the idea that they might be vegan. I was right! And they’re just the same size as a vanilla wafer, and, in my humble opinion, way tastier than vanilla wafers and the perfect compliment to a pumpkin cheesecake.
Thanksgiving dessert part 2 was born. Yeah, I realize I already blogged dessert this year, but that’s okay – there’s always way too much dessert at Thanksgiving dinner. In my family there is anyway. Everybody volunteers to bring a sweet, so we end up with a pie per person. This recipe makes a dozen cheesecakes, so you can tell everybody to leave their dessert at home – you’ve got plenty for one dessert per person, and the brilliant part is that they’re mini, so one dessert per person is totally consumable by your average Thanksgiving party. Very logical.
- 12 vegan ginger snap cookies
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 very ripe banana
- ⅓ cup agave
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1-14 oz. can coconut milk or cream, refrigerated overnight
- agave or maple syrup to taste
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- Line 12 muffin cups with papers. Place a ginger snap cookie in the bottom of each paper.
- Place cashews in food processor bowl. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add pumpkin, banana, agave, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to food processor bowl. Blend again until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Divide batter among muffin cups, placing a scant ¼ cup full in each.
- Bake 20 minutes. Cheesecakes will still be a bit soft when finished baking. Transfer to cooling rack. Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate several hours, until fully set. Serve with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Open your can of chilled coconut milk or cream. You should see a semi-solid layer of coconut cream, and beneath that, a bit of coconut water that has separated out from the cream. Transfer coconut cream to medium mixing bowl. Discard the water, or save for another use.
- Beat with an electric mixer on high speed, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add agave or maple syrup, a bit at a time, until desired sweetness is reached.