This vegan-friendly, gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake is infused with spicy chai tea! It’s an easy, healthy, and paleo friendly show-stopping fall dessert. Creamy, dreamy swirls of cashew cream dance around your taste buds with MORE nutty flavor profiles in the form of pecans, and glorious notes of cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.
Chai Pumpkin Cheesecake [Vegan, Grain-Free]
For the Cheesecake:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chai tea
- 3 tablespoons flax meal
- 2 1/2 cups roasted salted cashews, soaked in water overnight
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 5 tablespoons agave
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch of sea salt
For the Topping:
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon chai tea
For the Crust:
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, at room temperature (it should be the consistency of softened butter)
- 3 tablespoons agave
- 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Heat the almond milk in a small pot and put the tea (for the cheesecake) into a mug. Once the almond milk is hot, pour over the tea, stir, and let steep for 15-30 minutes.
- Once the tea has steeped, place the flax meal into a small bowl and pour 7 1/2 tablespoons of the warm almond milk/tea mixture (leaving the tea leaves at the bottom of the mug) over top.
- Whisk until well combined and then place into the refrigerator to gel up while you make the other layers.
- Drain the water from the cashews and add them into a high-powered blender. Add all the remaining cheesecake"ingredients, along with the rest of the almond milk and tea leaves (don't remove the tea leaves from the mug). Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary. Set aside.
- Add all the topping ingredients into a small food processor and pulse until the nuts are broken down, but still a little chunky for texture. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil and agave for the crust until smooth. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Your dough will be quite wet.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Since the dough is quite wet, it might take a little bit of time, so just be patient.
- Bake until the edges of the crust are lightly golden brown, about 7-8 minutes.
- When the crust has about 2 minutes left to bake, transfer the cashew mixture into a large bowl and pour in the flax eggs from the refrigerator. You want to leave them into the refrigerator as long as possible, so they can really gel up. Stir until the flax is evenly mixed into the cashew cream.
- Remove the crust from the oven. Your crust with most likely have risen in a few spots. Just use a small spoon to quickly pack it back down flat. Immediately pour the cheesecake mixture over top and smooth out evenly. Finally, sprinkle the pecan mixture over top, and lightly press it into the cheesecake to adhere it.
- Bake until the cheesecake has risen slightly and it feels set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the counter. Then, cover and refrigerate overnight to completely set.