Grain Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups


Dairy free and dairy options available! Dairy free option is shown on the left and dairy option is shown on the right.


I wanted to make something a little fancier and a whole lot cuter than traditional pumpkin pie so I came up with these adorable pumpkin pie cheesecake cups. My two very favorite foods combined into one dessert. Does it get any better? In my world, the answer is no.


But, wait – it does get better! It gets better because these pumpkin cheesecake cups are actually not bad for you! They contain no grains, no dairy if you choose the delicious dairy free option, and no refined sugar (and very minimal honey/maple at that!) so go ahead and eat another :)


And by the way, I PROMISE this is my last pumpkin recipe……..until next Fall ;) I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 Dairy free, grain free Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Makes 12 adorable cups

 Crust Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts, crushed – you can also use any other nut like pecans, almonds, etc. (you want to crush them somewhere in the middle of a fine flour and coarse pieces)

3 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter or ghee), melted

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt


Pumpkin Pie Layer Ingredients:

1 cup roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin

1 egg

1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1-2 tablespoons pure raw honey or sweetener of choice (how much will depend on your desired sweetness level)


Dairy Free Cinnamon “Cheesecake” Topping

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours (if you can’t bear to wait 6 hours, put them in a pot of boiling water, turn the stove off and let sit for 30-60 minutes)

1/3 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoons pure raw honey or sweetener of choice

1 lemon, juiced + add water to equal ½ cup total

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

pinch of sea salt


 And A Dairy Option (instead of the non-dairy option): Whipped Cream Cheese Cinnamon Topping

1  8-ounce package cream cheese

4 ounces of butter

2 tablespoons pure raw honey or sweetener of choice

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon


 Preheat oven to 350 and line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Make your crust by combining all the ingredients until well mixed. Press about a teaspoon of the walnut mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Your oven will smell divine. Let cool.

 Mix your pumpkin pie layer by combining all the ingredients. Put about 1 Tablespoon of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of the walnut crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until set. Let cool.

 Dairy free “cheesecake” directions:

Drain your soaked cashews and place them into a blender or food processor. Juice your lemon and add just enough water to equal ½ cup. Pour the lemon/water mixture into the blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Process for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.

 Whipped cream cheese directions:

Mix all ingredients for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.

 Add your cheesecake topping on top of the pumpkin pie layer by filling the cups until the cheesecake mixture reaches the top. Add any topping you want now. I pressed a walnut on top of the cheesecake layer for extra cuteness points. You can add almonds, pecans, a piece of chocolate, or nothing at all, etc. Refrigerate for at least an hour and keep stored in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

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101 Responses to Grain Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

  1. Misty says:

    You don’t know how happy it makes me to see dairy free options! It’s so hard to find good dairy free desserts like this!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    OHMYGOSH I need these in my belly!

  3. Rebecca Gunther says:

    *Swoon* I need someone to make these for me right now!!!!!

  4. Ashlee says:

    Just the recipe I needed for Thanksgiving dessert! Can’t wait to make them! I am loving all your recipes!

  5. Chuck says:

    Holy cow these look so good! I emailed the recipe to my mom hoping she will make them for me for Thanksgiving lol

  6. Patty says:

    I would pay someone to make these for me right now!

  7. Pamela says:

    O.M.G. Looks amazing! Can’t wait to try them.

  8. Teresa Flack says:

    I made these last night just had to test one out for breakfast. So so so so so yummy! Great recipe!

  9. Sophie says:

    I have these cooling in the fridge now although I may put them in my freezer so I can taste them sooner. They look and smell so good. When I was making the crust layer, my whole house smelled just like those cinnamon almonds/nuts. I wanted to eat just the crust! Love this recipe!

  10. Sara says:

    Very yummy!!!

  11. Thanks for the love everyone! Hope you all get to try them out! I wish I could pack them up and send them to you all ;)

  12. Kaila says:

    Would roasted and salted cashews work if I soaked them?

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  14. Janet says:

    This looks delicious! Unfortunately our family has a lot of food allergies. Do you have any suggestions for substitutions for the egg (I usually use applesauce, but not sure if I should add some type of starch that will bind it together) and for the lemon?


    • Hi Janet, thank you! I would just leave the lemon juice out and use a half cup water. The lemon just adds a little zing like traditional cheesecake so it’s not necessary. For the egg substitution, I think I would add in 1-2 T of arrowroot powder to bind it a little better. I haven’t tried it like that, but I would think that would work well. You can always leave the egg out with no binding ingredient with the realization that the middle layer just might be really creamy. I think it would be delicious either way! Good luck!! If you try the substitutions, let me know so your advice can help others out :) Have a great Thanksgiving!!

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  16. Linda says:

    Omg! Just made these for one of the desserts tomorrow for thanksgiving. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this recipie. They are SO good! And for us folks who never get to experience the creaminess of cream cheese anymore… These are an excellent substitute.

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  18. Thanks so much for this recipe! I saw it on Facebook’s Just Eat Real Food and reviewed it on my blog. These blew my mind, and everyone who ate one asked me the next day if any were left!
    Definitely a perfect Paleo Thanksgiving treat!

    • Hi Annie! I LOVE your blog! It is so fun and I loved it so much that you gained a new subscriber :D I’m so honored that you made and had such a great review of my recipe – it made my day! Thank you so much!! I’m so happy everyone liked them, too. And yes, the coconut oil when refrigerated is what binds the “cheesecake” layer together. I’m glad it was good without it, but probably just made it a little messy. Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks again!!

  19. Cedrick Mortin says:

    I have made these for my family 3 times since Thanksgiving and we are loving them. My friends and other family members can’t believe how wholesome the ingredients are. Because of these, I may have convinced some of my friends and family to eat healthier. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Amy says:

    Can any other nut be substituted for the cashews?

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  22. Christina says:

    Made the dairy free version today and these are great! Tastes just like the traditional version but the crust is way better!

  23. Kim says:

    I would like to make these for my vegan daughter for Thanksgiving desert, but I would like to make them in advance….Will they freeze well?

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  25. Debbie Langow says:

    Are these considered gluten free .

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  28. Elaine says:

    Tried them – not waiting for them to chill an hour, so the non-dairy “cream cheese” frosting is runny. Pretty yummy! But I used 3 times the crust mixture (baked ~ 13 minutes) & 3 times the filling mixture called for in the recipe in each muffin cup, which used up what I’d made, according to the recipe. Was there a typo?

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  30. Megen says:

    These look wonderful! I [happily] can eat dairy, so I will be trying the cream cheese version. I was wondering if they could be made in a pie pan, like a regular pumpkin pie? Or is there a chemical/mechanical reason they need to be made as individual servings? Thanks much!

  31. Debo says:

    I made these today and they were not nearly as good as they look. They were alright, but I would not make it again. I am pretty sure I didn’t mess it up, but i guess there is always a possibility that I did somewhere. :/

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  33. PaleoNewbie says:

    I’m making these right now! Just waiting for them to come out of the oven. The “batter” tasted amazing and very fall, I love it:) Thank you for the recipe!
    – Paleo Newbie

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  35. Leah King says:

    Could you e-mail me the recipefor the Dairy free Pumpkin cheesecake cups? I tried to print it off and it would just print everything which would’ve been 20 pages long. Thank you Leah King

  36. Kim says:

    Thanks for the awesome recipe. I made this for my vegan daughter for Thanksgiving dinner. They were a BIG hit with not only my daughter but her carnivore father and brother. She can’t wait to share the leftovers with her co-workers…pure delishisness!!!

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  40. Renee says:

    Going to try these this weekend, they sound awesome! My only question is if these are mini cupcakes, not full size? I’m assuming by the amount in the ingredients that it’s the mini. I see a post from Elaine that she ended up using 3 times the amount, so I can’t help but wonder if maybe she went with the full size. Thanks for the great recipe!

  41. Lauren says:

    Delicious! Made these tonight and will probably make again, although I found the crust to be a little too sweet/oily? Perhaps I read the amount wrong, but think next time I will use a bit less coconut oil and/or maple syrup and see how it turns out. It was my first time making dairy free “cheesecake” and I thought it was great! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  42. Natalia says:

    These sound awesome!
    So excited to have a great paleo/primal pumpkin cheesecake option!!!

  43. june roling says:

    where can i buy ur i dont have to use dairy n bad things for dessert

  44. Anne says:

    These were SO good. I will make them again, for sure. Thank you!!!

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  46. Rebekah says:

    Can I use regular cashews? What the diffence? I just bought some from Kroger, is that the same thing? They look like the ones in the link to amazon.

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  51. Adele says:

    These look great! Just an FYI: you can’t copyright recipes…

  52. Natalie says:

    These look absolutely delicious, healthy and very easy to make!
    I will have to try:)

  53. sheree rodriguez says:

    Sounds delicious. How would you do this recipe, vegan? No egg? If possible. Thank you

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  56. maggie eustache says:

    Absolutely delicious! I’ve been wanting to try a cheesecake with cashews forever! Pumpkin is still cooking, but I cannot wait to try them! :)The cashew layer has to set this right??

  57. is that 1/8 cream cheese or 18 ounces?

  58. Danette Halloran says:

    Thank you so much for this dairy free recipe. We have a serious casein allergy in our family and I just love finding new delicious dairy free recipes. You are the best. Many Thanks!

  59. Sally says:

    These are so awesome!! Luckily there were a couple left the next day, because they are even better the second day. Thanks for the great recipe

  60. Alicia says:

    Made these last night and they were amazing! I was unsure how they would taste with the cashew frosting since it was really thin when I poured it on the pumpkin layer. It was a perfect texture when I pulled them out of the fridge in the morning. I used pecans instead of walnuts for the crust. The entire family enjoyed these treats (even my pickiest eater in the family). Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  61. Ann says:

    Looks delish, except that I am allergic to cashews so we don’t even keep them in the house. Got a suggestion for a substitute?

  62. Amy F says:

    Kelly, I would marry you if I could…….I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE these things! So yummy! So easy to make!
    I doubled the batch, and after sampling 2, I’m thinking I’m not sharing for anything with anyone, even my parents!!!!!!
    I did the dairy free version, and honestly, unless you are a severe food snob, you wouldn’t be able to tell.
    What a FANTASTIC recipe! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!

  63. Jeryl says:

    I made these last night and they were pretty good but seemed to have a strange flavor or aftertaste. I am thinking it might be the coconut oil. Do you think it would work to use coconut cream (solid part in a can of milk) instead? I am new to cooking like this, so perhaps I just need to get used to it.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. They are very pretty.

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  65. Emily says:

    Do we really bake the pumpkin filling for 45 minutes? Is that a typo that should say 4-5? It is only a tablespoon, and we are only trying to set the egg, so it just can’t take that long, right?

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  67. Crystal says:

    Does anyone have tips on making smoother or “creamier” cashew cream? I made sure the cashews were fully soaked and used water but it did not come out what i would consider “creamy”. My next batch I tried substituting Almond Milk for the water and it was a little creamier but still had a grainy texture. (Not so much grainy but whatever texture you would call it if the particles were a little larger) I was using a Ninja blender and I used the smaller container to make sure my container wasn’t too large. Its so important for me to get this right because I’m dairy free but my partner cannot stand the taste of coconut milk so i’m stuck with nut milks for cooking.

    • Amanda says:

      Have you tried blending it for a longer amount of time? I also have a ninja and stopped it at what I thought would be creamy, but it was more like a coarse sand texture. I blended it for about the same amount of time again, and this time it was more like a fine sand so I blended it some more. The final time it was a lot smoother. I havent tried the cheesecake itself yet (its in the fridge), but I have high hopes :-)
      I like the idea of almond milk. Did you use unsweetened almond milk? did it change the flavor of the topping at all?

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  70. Nancy says:

    So I’m a Paleoish girl for about 18 months now. Today I was planning to make stuffed mushrooms and in the process I decided to open my cream cheese that has been in the fridge to soften it and when I opened the mushroom pack to wash them I noticed a yellowish puss on them and was disgusted so I tossed them. I was wondering what the heck was I going to do with this cream cheese that I already opened…
    I Google’d Paleo Cream Cheese Cake wanting to cure a sweet craving hoping to find something that I had ingredients for…That is how I found this site and this recipe!
    Instead of maple syrup and honey I used Agave.
    I didn’t have Pumpkin Spice so I used All-Spice.
    Really liked them.
    The crust I think got a little burnt not horrible but if I make them again – which I’m sure I will – I think I may skip the 8 min in the oven and just put the pumpkin mix in right after and then bake.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

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  76. Chelsea says:

    Hi! I’m thinking about making these for Thanksgiving but am wanting to do a full pie size instead of individual cups to save time. Do you know if this recipe is large enough to fill a whole pie or should I perhaps double it?

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  78. Becca says:

    Hi! I am making these for Thanksgiving dessert and am using the dairy version. I am just wondering if there is any substitute for the butter? I don’t mind dairy but I don’t necessarily want to use a whole stick of butter either. Thanks!

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