Easy Refrigerator Pumpkin Cheesecake

I found this recipe online a while back, and I was dying to try it after seeing the amazing photo.  Anything that looks that good and has the word “easy” right in the title has my name written all over it!  While the original recipe wasn’t vegan, I could tell it would be easy enough to vegan-ize with a couple substitutions.

Check out that side-shot action!

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it seemed like the perfect time to give this recipe a try.  It couldn’t have been easier to make, which is a huge bonus when you’re looking for a holiday dessert.  The hardest part was waiting for it to set up in the fridge.

So it was easy, but how did it taste?  The texture of this cheesecake was really light, creamy and almost mousse-like.  It’s not too sweet, and the only spice used in the pumpkin filling is nutmeg, so it’s pretty mild.

Even though I was a little surprised at the simplicity of this recipe, I wanted to make it as written.  Sometimes I tweak recipes the first time I make them, but more often than not I want to see how it’s meant to taste before I start messing with it.  This is definitely delicious as is, but you know that I just can’t leave well enough alone…

I’ll definitely make this again, but I plan to tweak it a bit.  The crust could use a bit of sugar and some spice – maybe crystallized ginger.  I’ll add more spices to the filling as well.  I do like that it isn’t super sweet, but it needs just a little something extra to take it from good to mind-blowing.

I’ll be sure to post an update when I make this again.  In the meantime, here’s the vegan version of this recipe (which is really just swapping out the butter and cream cheese from the original for non-dairy versions)…

Easy Refrigerator Pumpkin Cheesecake
Serves 8


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Earth Balance non-hydrogenated margarine, melted


1 cup pumpkin purée
4 tablespoons Earth Balance non-hydrogenated margarine, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages non-dairy cream cheese, softened [I used Tofutti]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. [I also used non-stick cooking spray.]

For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake until golden brown and toasted, 7 to 8 minutes; set aside to let cool completely.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, beat pumpkin purée, remaining softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, nutmeg and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to medium low and add sugar 1/4 cup at a time; beat until smooth. Transfer pumpkin mixture to prepared pan, spreading it out evenly over the crust.

Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight. Remove outer ring of pan. Cut into slices and serve.

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19 Responses to “Easy Refrigerator Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. That looks and sounds delicious… I’d add some orange zest and cinnamon!!

  2. Hi, Melomeals – orange zest sounds perfect! I was surprised the recipe didn’t call for cinnamon. I think I might also add some allspice and ginger. Maybe a teeny bit of cloves, since they’re my favorite. Not sure if that might be too overpowering, but I love them with orange.

  3. i think you nailed it with the candied ginger addition. looks yumpy!


  4. Hmmmm… sounds yummy. Cant wait to taste it ;)

  5. Looks delish and super easy! I just recently made a german pumpkin cheesecake that took forever but was well worth it :)

  6. Hi, Tarrah Dame! That german cheesecake looks pretty amazing! I might just have to try to vegan-ize that bad boy!

  7. Thanks, kittee! Yeah, that candied ginger just sounds right to me.

  8. Looks gorgeous and I love that is easy. Thanks.

  9. We did this recipe for a trial Thanksgiving run and it was delish! We did find that it wasn’t as sweet as traditional cheesecake but was really nice! We are going to make it again with some added spices for a bit more flavor. Well worth it to make. mmmm

  10. Hi, Ohio Vegan! I’m so glad you liked it! I might make it for Thanksgiving with a different crust and some more spices as well. It just needs a little something more.

  11. Oh, I’d love to try this. My kids are milk and egg allergic —

    I love vegan recipes!!

    So, could you help me out (culinary-challenged mom here) –

    what exactly would you add to this recipe, and how much?

  12. Hi, Kelly! I’d probably add a tablespoon of sugar to the crust (although there’s a crust recipe in The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook” that I’m eyeing right now to maybe use instead…). Or I might add a tablespoon of finely chopped crystallized ginger and just a teaspoon of sugar, or more to taste it if needs it. For the filling I’d maybe add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. Maybe 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger as well, depending on whether or not I add any to the crust. I’d have to taste it to see if that works, but hopefully that will be helpful to you. I might also add a teensy bit of cloves as well. I would say to start with small amounts of the spices, maybe 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoons (especially with cloves if you choose to use them), and then taste as you go and see if you’d like more. I’m thinking of making this again for Thanksgiving, and I’ll be sure to keep track of what I add and update the post or do a new one with that recipe.

  13. This could be the absolutely perfect dessert. I went to the link you posted, and then to the Whole Foods recipe from that link, and I just can’t believe this is so easy to make plant-based. Life is getting better! I am going to do a mix of spices as you’ve suggested, and the orange zest per Melomeals’ suggestion. I was thinking lemon juice or zest myself, until reading ‘orange zest’- that’s the missing component!

  14. Gauri Radha गौरी राधा 05. Dec, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    This vegan cheesecake looks spectacular!!


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