Pumpkin Cheesecake or Pie. Free of Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Corn/Eggs/Nuts/Sugar/ and Grains. (Paleo & Vegan)

by Brittany on October 24, 2011

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Its October. Who Isn’t Pumpkin crazy right now?

I’m one of the many with pumpkin brain. Last night as I was looking through the latest issue of Bon Appetit it was bothering me that I wouldn’t be able to indulge in Pumpkin Pie or Cheesecake this year. Why? As many of you know I’m dealing with some leaky gut issues. For the first time in years I’m really paying attention to my symptoms and have pulled every food  that triggers my hashimoto’s to flare up.  Being super careful about what I eat is already paying off. For the first time in a long time I have energy and am void of chronic pain 95% of the time. That in itself is enough to keep me going.

But how folowing this diet could I make cheesecake free of  Nuts, Seeds, Eggs, Sugar,  Grains, Starches, Soy or Dairy?  Last night as I was pondering this, some ideas came to me. I rushed to the kitchen and this recipe is the result.

This Cheesecake has a texture more like a pumpkin pie. I call it a cheesecake because its firm enough that it will hold itself in place without the support of a pie pan. I think appearance wise its more fun made as a cheesecake. Another thing to note is that I used Stevia in this recipe to suite my dietary needs. This makes it a little less sweet/ rich than some pumpkin pies. If you are looking for something more traditional try adding a few TBS of Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave or Coconut Nectar along with the Stevia. The stevia will exaggerate the sweetness of these other sugars, so you  won’t need much of whichever sugar you select.  When I’m using stevia I find I like to use a little extra salt as well. The salt really balances and brings out the stevia’s good qualities.  I have not provided an amount of stevia or salt to use in this recipe- I’m putting this into your hands as everyone’s tastes vary. Especially when it comes to Stevia.

For the crust I used a combo of crushed Unsweetened Banana Chips and Coconut Flakes. Again, this suites what I can eat. In the future when nuts are back in my life I plan to try replacing the Banana Chips with finely chopped Pecans.  Also if you want a really thick (more cheesecake like) end result try replacing the cauliflower in the recipe with soaked raw cashews. They will make it nice and rich. The cauliflower  has a lighter effect – it adds some texture and creaminess to this recipe. Odd I know to put cauliflower in pie. You won’t even know its in there once all is said and done.

* For those interested in going the cashew route (for the filling) to soak them- simply put them in a bowl with some water for an hour or so. This will soften them so that they will puree right up with the pumpkin no problem.

Another idea is to try using pureed white beans in place of the cauliflower. I have not tested this idea  yet (and probably wont for awhile as I can’t eat beans at the moment) But I thought I would just throw the idea out there be the case someone felt a little brave and wanted to give it a try.

Another fun alteration would be to add some rum to the filling .You might even try using sweet potato puree instead of pumpkin. Make this cheesecake or pie your own! There’s so much that can be done with it.

Pumpkin Cheesecake or Pie


2 Cups  Banana Chips (sweetened or unsweetened)
note: any variety of nut or seed should also work great if you don’t want to do the banana chips. If you can do grains and sugar a crushed cookie crust will also work here.
1 Cup Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
1 Packet Stevia (or other granulated sugar of your choice to taste)
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
3  TBS melted Coconut Oil
Pinch of Salt


1 Can Pumpkin Puree
1 3/4 Cups Frozen or Fresh Cauliflower Boiled. (should be tender- may yield less than 1 3/4 cups once cooked) Or use Soaked Cashews for a thicker more decadent filling.
1/3 Cup HEAVY Coconut Milk. (For best results stick the can in the fridge to chill and the scoop out the creamy portion from the top of the can to make this 1/3 cup).
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tsp. Cinammon
1 Tsp. Ginger
Stevia to Taste (*Additional Sugar may be added- see note above)
Salt to Taste 
1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil.

  1. In a food processor  combine the crust ingredients (these same directions apply if you choose to use nuts instead of banana chips). Process until finely ground. Press this mixture into a pie plate or in the base of a cheesecake pan. (If you are going to want to be able to cleanly remove the cheesecake from the bottom portion of the pan- size and cut a round circle of parchment paper on the base before laying down the crust. I don’t bother with this as I often just serve the cheesecake in the base of the pan.)
  2. Clean out the food processor. Fill it with the filling ingredients and process until creamy and smooth.
  3. Place this pureed mixture in a saucepan. Cook till it gently boils so that the flavors can develop. Give it a taste test and adjust sugar/salt/spices to your liking.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust filled cheesecake pan or pie pan. Place in fridge and let chill for several hours. It will become firm as it chills.
Store the Cheesecake or Pie in the fridge. Serve Chilled!
To get the pretty white swirls on top- drop a TBS (give or take) of heavy coconut milk in little dots onto the surface of the filling. Using a knife or toothpick swirl the coconut milk into the filling. Do this prior to chilling. The Heavy Coconut Milk will harden along with the rest of the cheesecake or pie.
Happy Pumpkin Season!
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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna October 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Ingenious! I love the use of veggies in a sweet thing. Mmmm….


Brittany October 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Thanks :) Been having so much fun making healthy desserts lately! xo


Ricki October 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Phenomenal! What sized can of pumpkin did you use? I am SO making this! :)


Brittany October 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Oh right! I should have mentioned that huh? :) Just one of the small -standard sized ones (Not one of the big double sized canes) I’m not home right now- I’ll come back with the size in ounces etc. later today.


Nancy Olson, The Celiac Warrior October 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm

omg! This sounds so good! I am so going to try this soon.


Brittany October 25, 2011 at 2:19 am

Thanks Nancy! Hope you like it :)


Alana Sheldahl October 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I am so excited to have discovered your website! I too have leaky gut that has caused me to have hashimotos which (undiagnosed for, like, forEVER!) in turn has caused me to have fibromyalgia!!! I just finally got the leaky gut/hashimotos diagnosis about a month ago! And now I’m on the gluten free/dairy free bandwagon as well. AND my pain levels are DOWN and energy UP! I love the sound of this recipe, and I can’t wait to try it! Do you think it would work to use sunflower seeds instead of cashews for the richer version? I can’t have nuts. The cauliflower is a BRILLIANT idea.


Brittany October 25, 2011 at 2:25 am

Hi Alana! Like you I also went undiagnosed for what felt like a lifetime. During this period I lost my gallbladder and developed all kinds of additional health issues. I often wonder if I also developed Fibromyalgia as joint pain is my bodies go to symptom. I’m so glad to hear you have found your answers! If you haven’t already you should check out the book “Why do I still have thyroid symptoms when my lab test’s are normal” (http://www.thyroidbook.com/) The book is my Bible and has really given me a great understanding for how and why I got sick and how to continue moving in a better direction.

I have never tried soaking sunflower seeds and using them in this type of application- BUT I suspect it may work and would be worth a shot! Let me know if you try this and how it turns out. xo


Lexie October 25, 2011 at 2:26 am

How innovative is this!!! : ) Intrigued!!


Brittany October 25, 2011 at 2:47 am

Thanks Lexie! Just saw your williams and sonoma pumpkin pie article! Beautiful, beautiful work! xoxo


Dan October 25, 2011 at 5:35 am

This recipe looks amazing! Thing is, I can’t have the coconut. My dietitian put me on the FODMAPS diet and I’m really trying to adhere to it. What can you recommend as a substitute for the various forms of coconut in this recipe? The first thing that came to mind is Corn or Rice Chex cereal for the crust, but I would technically be cheating because both have types of sugar marked in the ingredients (although they seem pretty low).


Brittany October 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Dan- the Coconut all around is the base for what makes this recipe work. There honestly is no easy way to replace it. If you can have grains then the crust could easily be replaced by chex, crushed cookies, Any nut seed ect. But the Coconut oil needs to be in the pie/cheesecake to give it its structure. Brittany


Christi M October 25, 2011 at 5:39 am

This sounds amazing! Any ideas on the crust for substituting the bananas that doesn’t involve nuts? Sunflower seeds? We have a 2 year old with gluten, soy, peanut, tree nut, and bananas allergies. I would love to try this for him for Thanksgiving, but would need another option for the crust! :) Thanks!


India-leigh @ aveganobsession October 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

Cauliflower in a pie?! Brittany I LOVE that you are doing so much to heal yourself, still enjoying your food AND sharing it with others. Food really can heal. I wondered how much is in a ‘packet’ of Stevia, it may be one size in the US but in the UK it comes in differing sizes. Thanks x


Brittany October 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Thanks India! :)
1 gram per packet of Stevia.
Oh and to answer Ricki’s question earlier the can of pumpkin should be 15 oz (425 grams)


Alisa October 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Wow Brittany, you should win some type of award for the most creative pumpkin pie recipe EVER!


Brittany October 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks Alisa!! :) Perhaps the healthiest..


Hailey November 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Hey Brit,

I have some delicious pasture butter. Do you think it would work as well as coconut oil? I don’t do cow dairy, except for ghee or pasture butter, those don’t seem to get me. Thoughts?


Brittany November 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Yes! Go for it :) ths origional recipe called for butter!


Brandi November 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

This is so delicious, thank you for sharing it! I subbed some things (like we do): walnuts for the banana chips, a little coconut sugar/nectar to go with the stevia and some nutmeg and cloves added. I’m eager to try this out with some people that aren’t on a restricted diet and see if they like it as much as I do. I’m also looking forward to trying it with sweet potatoes and/or other winter squashes. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! <3


Chrissy November 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Hi – I am planning to make this tonight for dinner w/ some friends in a few hours. I have liquid stevia – would this work? Just not sure on how much to use as it’s pretty potent stuff and works great in recipes. Also, if you use soaked cashews instead is it the same dry measurement as the cauliflower would have been?

Thanks for your help!


Brittany November 19, 2011 at 12:24 am

Yes! Liquid stevia works great. Just start with one dropperful and give it a taste.. See if you want more. I would use the same amount of cashews in place of the cauliflower. Hope it turns out great! ;)


Michele November 26, 2011 at 6:00 am

I have a large family of mostly grown children who were so impressed with this pumpkin cheesecake. They loved it!!! And I am so grateful to have found this website if the recipes are as good as this one! We have been gluten/dairy/sugar/grain free for about a year. We needed this treat. Thanks for your enthusiasm and creativity. I used the pecan/coconut for the pie crust…it was very tasty and elegant as well. The cashews were hidden but they did make it taste very yummy. Am looking forward to your chocolate pie! Thanks again:-)


Brittany November 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Thank you so much for this sweet comment! Glad you guys enjoyed it :)


Elspeth December 13, 2011 at 6:37 am

so, I’m deathly allergic to bananas; any suggestions?

btw? this blog is AWESOME!
My extended family is diabetic (the active, healthy-looking, fit kind of diabetics), my twin sister can’t have casein or walnuts, and my fiance and I can’t have gluten! I’m so glad you made this blog. <3 and thank goodness for facebook, or I never would have found you. :)


Brittany December 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thank you! Re-read the post.. I give all kinds of suggestions for replacing the bananas. :)


Nicole January 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm

This is a great website. I tried the pie and it looks pretty but the crust did not stay together too well. I didn’t really care for the banana flavor either. I think I will try a nut/coconut crust next time. The pumpkin part was yummy though I used a few spoonfuls of sugar in it. I think next time I will try it with more coconut milk. It’s hard to approximate the condensed milk flavor in traditional pumpkin pies.


Starlene January 9, 2012 at 12:01 am

I thought I would never be able to have cheesecake ever again since I’ve been off dairy for two years… this looks delicious and can’t wait to try it. Finally something to use those pie pumpkins that I’ve had sitting in the kitchen since October. :-) Pinned on Pinterest.


Danielle September 24, 2012 at 4:30 am

Brittany! I just stumbled across this recipe on someone’s pinterest. I’m trying to limit nuts, seeds, and eggs right now for the autoimmune protocol and this is genius! PS how have you been? Haven’t seen a lot from you lately!


Brittany September 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Awe thanks! A year ago this time I couldn’t do nuts/seeds at all! Hence this recipe..
I’m great :) I’m waiting in anticipation for your new book!! :)


Jo-Anne October 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm



Katie October 24, 2012 at 4:54 am

Made this today, finally. My 2-year-old son has been clamoring for “bite! bite!” since he saw me cut a piece and I can’t fault him one bit! :) I’m not as acclimated to coconut as a lot of folks, so I made the crust with pecans, sunflower seeds, and xylitol, and baked it for a few minutes. Worked GREAT. Extra cinnamon and vanilla in the filling also helps tone down the coconut, but the colder the pie, the more coconut flavor it has. Now that I’ve seen (and paid attention to!) your comment that the original used butter, I think I might do that next time. Half and half maybe. :)


Abbie Ondler November 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I’m glad you posted this I’m not a huge coconut fan either. Would you mind letting me know how you made your crust I’d like to make this in the next few days. And any other tips :)


Amy November 12, 2012 at 4:29 am

How much in teaspoon measures is the packet of stevia? I just have the white powdered that has to be measured. Half teaspoon? Will try the crust with sunflower seeds or maybe a combo of the seeds and almond flour. Have you ever tried to freeze the pie for later? I have a ton of cauliflower right now and would probably want to save it for Thanksgiving.


Andrea November 17, 2012 at 12:46 am

Is the crust neccessary?


Brittany November 17, 2012 at 12:55 am

Probably not if you poured the filling into individual ramekins!


Amber November 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm

This looks wonderful! I am (sadly) just recently on the autoimmune bandwagon myself but am SO GRATEFUL to have stumbled onto your site and your recipes. I have always loved food and loved to cook and finding out I can’t eat so many things was really depressing. I’m so grateful for what you are doing here. I can’t wait to make this pie to bring to my family Thanksgiving! For some reason, Stevia seems to flare up my migraines though, so I’m thinking of just using the raw honey? Do you think that would work?


Brittany November 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Raw honey should work for sure! :) Glad my recipes are helpful. Hope you enjoy thanksgiving! xx


Maki November 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Hi Brittany. This is a great recipe! Thank you for sharing with others.
I have a question… Yesterday I made this cake without crust. I put the cheese cake in fridge for 5 hours, and I tried to slice it to eat. It was too creamy to slice it, so what I could do is to just scoop it with a spoon. Do you think that is due to not having crust???
Thank you for your help in advance.


Brittany November 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Hmm weird! I’m not sure why that happened. Did you change anything else in the recipe? Next time add extra coconut oil to help bind and hold it together better.


Maki November 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I believe I followed your recipe except crust… I used Cashews instead of Cauliflower, but again, I soaked them beforehand and use Vita Mix to blend all together. But, it was so yummy!!! I loved it:) Thank you again!


Darien November 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Do you bake the crust?


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm



Amanda Hammond November 23, 2012 at 1:11 am

OMG. It was so good. We did the cashew version with the banana crust. Epic. I did add cloves. I’d recommend it for a more flavorful pie. Very very good. Thank you so much for the recipe.


Michelle December 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. After finding out my newborn is allergic to just about everything I feared I wouldn’t have my loved pumpkin pie this year. Thankfully my mom found you and made this for me as a surprise. Delicious! The whole family loved the bites I was willing to share ;)


Rachel December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

This is ingenious! Do you have a substitute for the cauliflower that isn’t nuts? Could you use more pumpkin? Thanks.


Jennifer December 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Dear Brittney, Thank You so much for this recipe. Just finished making my 5th one of these pies. This one is for Christmas Eve dessert for me and my brother! Bless you for providing all these wonderful recipes! Your tireless recipe innovation for all of us is much appreciated. :)


Dana December 30, 2012 at 12:39 am

I made this for Christmas dinner for my parents. I substituted soaked cashews for the cauliflower and it turned out marvelous! I tried whipping some of the full fat coconut creme in a chilled bowl with a little vanilla and coconut nectar. It didn’t whip up very easily but tasted good on the pie. Then the next day when I opened the whipped cream, it had thickened to fluffy perfection!! Just the right complement for this recipe! I cannot tell you how wonderful it is for me to be able to enjoy pumpkin pie again…Thank you, Brittany!!


Dana December 30, 2012 at 12:45 am

Oh, and I used the nut option instead of banana chips for the crust. It came out like a hardened nut-butter consistency and tasted great.


Theresa April 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to make all of these recipes! I am allergic to gluten, eggs, soy, milk, and peanuts and it literally brings me to tears when I find an abundance of recipes that look delicious and I can make them! I really don’t know how to thank you enough!


Ashley August 5, 2013 at 2:55 am

I cannot wait to try this! My son (12.5) months has anaphylactic allergies to wheat, flax, egg, peanut, and tree nuts and the allergist also has us doing 100% avoidance on dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, and all other seeds as well. I adhere to his diet in order to nurse him but sometimes it is so overwhelming and I just want one of my old favorite treats so badly! This genius recipe will hopefully become a go-to. Thank you so much for sharing it.


Sara August 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm

This sounds delicious, but I’m confused. In the foods to avoid list, the first thing is ALL sugar, honey, agave, etc – but you list it in your recipe (and a few others) as a sweetening agent. Is Stevia considered to be a “sweetener” is it a truly safe sweetener for a very strict leaky gut diet?



Emily August 26, 2013 at 1:35 am

Made this recipe tonight and it is delicious! Keep up the good work!


Mysie Kuehl September 2, 2013 at 12:58 am

I LOVE your blog. Every recipe I have tried has turned out awesome.

I was just wondering if you had any suggestions about what to substitute for the cauliflower.


Jenifer October 5, 2013 at 12:34 am

I will try this tomorrow-wish me luck- my husband usually does the cooking.- family dinner Sunday- husband can’t have nuts- daughter now is veg. and dairy -free and sister-in-law now gluten free. Thought we might just have fruit for dessert! Amazed when I saw this.Thanks!


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