No Bake Chocolate and Pumpkin “Cheesecake”

My teenage daughter and I love to seek out real-food ways to prepare some of our favorite dishes– and desserts are some of our favorite things to experiment with.  Cheesecake was a fun challenge because my son is dairy free and we definitely wanted him to be able to try our creations!  We’ve been making the chocolate version now for a few years, and it is both easy and a crowd pleaser.  It stores in the freezer, but thaws fairly quickly to a rich, fudgy goodness that will surprise you!  When Kristin asked me to create a pumpkin version, I was excited to try it using the same chocolate pecan crust– and it was definitely a success!  Kristin’s husband, Travis, is the one who suggested we layer both chocolate and pumpkin for the ultimate indulgent dessert.  He’s a genius.

If you decide to create your own layered faux cheesecake ala Travis, make sure to let it thaw 90 minutes or so before serving.  The pumpkin takes longer to thaw than the chocolate, but the extra thawing doesn’t hurt that fudgy goodness at all.  The coolest thing about this recipe is how flexible it is.  I’ve made the chocolate variety in all sizes of springform pan as well as a traditional pie plate and even mini muffin tins.  The mini muffin tins are great because this pie is SUPER rich and the tiny muffin size is a perfect serving size.

ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cup raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate Filling:

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soak overnight for the smoothest consistency)
  • 1 cup peeled & diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

instructions

Crust:

  1. Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and grind them into fine meal.
  2. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined.
  3. Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then, with wet hands, press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.

Chocolate Layer:

  1. In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder.
  2. Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed.
  3. Add in the melted coconut oil.
  4. Blend, blend, blend. Stop and scrape the sides. Blend again until you achieve the smoothest consistency.
  5. Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust or on top of the pumpkin layer, and allow to set in the freezer for 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  6. Thaw for 30 minutes before serving (or 90 minutes if you layered the pumpkin and chocolate).

Pumpkin Layer:

  1. In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder.
  2. Add in the rest of the pumpkin filling ingredients and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed.
  3. Blend, blend, blend. Stop and scrape the sides. Blend again until you achieve the smoothest consistency.
  4. Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust, and allow to set. If you’re layering chocolate on top, give it a couple of hours before you put the chocolate layer on. If you’re leaving it just pumpkin, let it set in the freezer for at least 4 hours,
  5. Thaw for 90 minutes before serving

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