The house smells so good and I wish I could share a slice of this delicious baked Vegan Baked Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake with you! Yes baked vegan and gluten free cheesecake (except when drizzled with honey but you can sub bee free honey) that is a little more comforting then a raw no bake cheesecake and oh so cozy. Still chilled like traditional cheesecake but this has a slightly more creamy feel.
This simply delicious and versatile cheesecake is so magical. Raw vegan cheesecakes are loved by all friends and family yet I really wanted to make a baked one closer to the original and no surprise they still love it and I think even more then the raw versions, except maybe the Raw Chocolate Mocha Cake that one tastes like pure fudge and is a favorite. I have many non vegan friends that have made it for their families and it’s always a hit. Even no longer being vegan this is a go to dessert with lactose and dairy issues in our family and all the dietary restrictions (also gluten free) with our friends and family.
The secret ingredient to this baked cheesecake… ground chia seeds! It gives it fullness and bakes up perfectly creamy you can’t even tell they’re in there! You won’t even know it with the pumpkin and warming flavors of the chai, they pair so perfectly together. The crust is a snickerdoodle cookie crust, one of my favorite fall cookies and it pairs so perfectly with the chai spices and pumpkin. Desserts are meant to be enjoyed and while I don’t want to go ruin the love for this recipe by saying it’s a healthier version of the classic cheesecake I will just put it out there in case you need a little justification, not that anyone ever should, to have dessert. I’ll break it down just a little. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. Pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, and fiber. Cashews have vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Of course there are healthy benefits to all three of these foods in addition to just the nutritional breakdown. There is still sugar, I like to stick to coconut palm sugar and pure maple syrup or honey but also stick to unsweetened chai concentrate and dairy free milk. Again it’s a dessert and is meant to be enjoyed as a treat.
While I like mine topped with spiced honey, which is not vegan it is an option and does not take away from this pumpkin chai cheesecake being vegan. You can use pure maple syrup, bee free honey, (we tested it with local Bee Free Honee) or a local honey like the one we love to use Bare Honey Spiced Honey. You can even go with a caramel sauce but I didn’t want to overpower and lose the subtle and simpleness of this cheesecake with a heavy topping. Therefore I kept it in the name since saying dairy free people may think there are eggs and I didn’t want to keep it just Baked Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake as it wouldn’t stand out to those looking for a dairy free or egg free cheesecake. Plant-based cheesecake also didn’t sound right to me.
If you are more of chai fan you can add a little chai seasoning if your chai concentrate it’s strong enough or omit milk and use all chai concentrate. To get more of a pumpkin pie taste and still keep the warming spices of the chai add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. I love the subtleness and warm spices of this cheesecake and debated making it stronger or maybe going more pumpkin since everyone is crazy about pumpkin this time of year but after testing and tasting everyone agreed to keep this subtle balance.
This would make a great Thanksgiving dessert. I still can’t decide if I should bring this or Vegan Marshmallow Meringue Pumpkin Pie. I still have 2 weeks to decide. Either way, and even though I’m not a pie person this photo basically sums it up, “I’m just here for dessert” well and the cranberries just give me a plate of those and I would be one happy girl. If there were some plain sweet potatoes that aren’t swimming in sugar pile those on too!
Spice up life with this #Vegan Baked Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake! #glutenfree Click To Tweet
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