Pumpkin Pecan “Cheese”cake

Written by Karen on November 20th, 2009

pumpkin cheesecake

Here we are at the final destination of our “Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Party,” and as most of you know, it’s my favorite course: dessert!  I am a freak for pumpkin – in the form of pie, cookies, muffins or cheesecake.  I try to extend the ’season’ as long as I can just to savor its creamy goodness.  But being the wholesome baker that I am, I am always finding new ways to adjust the sweetness (and the type,) as well as the crust.  In keeping with our gluten free focus, I have mastered (!) a decadent pecan crust which pairs beautifully with the filling.  Which, by the way, does not contain any cheese, but uses yogurt adding a refreshing tang with every bite…

Pumpkin Pecan “Cheese”cake – Serves 8-10

The filling for this recipe was inspired by Elana’s Pantry, a wonderful gluten-free blog with fantastic recipes.  I have taken out the step of draining the yogurt by adding an egg, which helps to bind the filling.  I also added a pecan crust, which uses teff flour.  Teff is a gluten-free ancient grain (available at Whole Foods) loaded with iron and calcium.  It has a nutty characteristic and is a lovely complement to the pumpkin and pecans.


1 cup pureed pumpkin, fresh* or canned
1/2 quart organic whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 free-range egg
1 TB vanilla extract
1 TB lemon juice
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, unrefined
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup teff flour

pumpkin cheeseckae pan


Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix ingredients in food processor and use ‘pulse’ mode until consistency resembles course meal.
Press mixture into bottom of lightly oiled 9-inch tart pan.
Bake 12-15 minutes, or until crust becomes a smidge darker.  Allow to cool.

In food processor or blender, combine pumpkin, yogurt, maple syrup, egg, vanilla and lemon juice and process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
Blend in pumpkin pie spice and salt.

Pour batter into pre-baked crust.
Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes, until firm.
Remove from oven, cool and serve.

*To make fresh pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds.  (Save and bake.)  Lightly brush inside with butter or olive oil and place face down on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast for 45 minutes until flesh is soft.  Most pumpkins yield at least 2 cups, but you can freeze whatever you don’t use.

fresh pumpkin

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Nov

    My store didn’t have whole milk yogurt, so will using low fat make a difference and if so how do I substitute?

  2. Nov

    Hi Julie,
    Lowfat will affect the texture so I would add two more eggs. (Too bad your store doesn’t carry whole milk yogurt…they are missing out;-)
    Let me know how it goes – and have a lovely Thanksgiving!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Pumpkin Pecan “Cheese”cake =-.

  3. Dec

    I made the cheesecake and everyone really enjoyed it! I didn’t have a tart pan or a 9 inch, so I used a cheesecake pan and a 8 inch. It took a long long time to firm up, but did, thank goodness.
    Thanks for the recipe and help!


  4. Dec

    Thx for the follow up. I’m so glad it worked – finally;-) So I guess whole milk yogurt really is the ticket! Did you have any extra?

  5. Feb
    Acid Cigars

    Thanks for the blurb about the low fat yogurt, I’m glad I read the reviews before making this because I wouldn’t have added the extra eggs! Thank you.

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