This rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake recipe is an ultimate sweet dessert to your Thanksgiving feast. Made with a spiced graham cracker crust and a creamy pumpkin filling, this pumpkin cheesecake is just as festive for the upcoming holiday season but more delicious.
When the temperature started to drop, I knew that my favorite season had come. Chilly air, cold nights and all-about-pumpkin-spice things. Lately I’ve been on pumpkin kick with pumpkin cake, pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin snickerdoodle blondies. Fall allows us to enjoy its seasonal produce and I can’t get enough of its pumpkin flavor.
This pumpkin cheesecake is a great alternative to old pumpkin pie. It has a pie crust made from graham crackers with a hint of spices and a creamy cheesecake filling with pumpkin flavor. You will need to pre-bake the crust in your springform pan before adding the filling to ensure you don’t get a soggy bottom.
SPICED GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
Like my classic vanilla cheesecake, this recipe uses graham crackers as a crust base. If you want to add more fall flavor to the crust, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or allspice, even pumpkin pie spice would be recommended.
To make graham cracker crust, combine the melted butter with the crushed crackers, sugar, and spices (optional) in a medium bowl. The texture should feel like wet sand. Press firmly into a 9-inch springform pan into an even layer and bake in a 350°F for about 10 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden brown.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE FILLING
This pumpkin cheesecake filling is made of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cornstarch, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, spices, and heavy cream. You can substitute with all-purpose flour if you don’t have cornstarch on hand.
While the crust cools, make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, vanilla, heavy cream, and spices and set aside.
In a mixing bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for 2-3 minutes until light, fluffy. Add both sugars and beat together until fully incorporated, followed by the cornstarch. To make sure you don’t have chunks of cream cheese, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and continue mixing.
Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, making sure each addition is fully incorporated. Then, slowly add the pumpkin puree mixture to the mixing bowl and continue to mix on a low speed until everything is combined and the batter is smooth. Stop mixing. Pour the batter into the pre-baked crust and smooth out the top if needed.
For a crack-free cheesecake, I would highly recommend using a water bath to bake the cheesecake. It seems fussy but it’s really not a big deal. Here is how to do:
First, you will wrap the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. It’s important to use heavy-duty foil because it comes in wider sheets and does a better job of preventing water from seeping into the pan.
Then, place the cheesecake pan into a large roasting pan and pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the side of the cake pan. Place gently in the oven and bake for 60-75 minutes until the sides are set but the center is still slightly wobbly.
Once it’s baked, remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath, then leave it out on a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least four hours or preferably overnight.
Slice and enjoy!
If you make this Pumpkin Cheesecake, let me know by tagging me on Instagram or tell me all about it in the comments section down below. I love seeing your baking 🙂
For The Crust
- 1 and 1/2 cups (155g) graham cracker (about 10 crackers, pulse in a food processor until finely ground)
- 2 tablespoons (30g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick/57g) unsalted butter, melted
For Cheesecake Filling
- 24 ounces (675g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 can (15oz) pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- Make The Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Wrap the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. It’s important to use heavy-duty foil because it comes in wider sheets and does a better job of preventing water from seeping into the pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice) and melted butter and mix until combined. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan to form an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F/160°C.
- Make The Cheesecake Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, vanilla, heavy cream, and spices and set aside. Also, set a kettle of water to boil so you can use it for the water bath.
- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar, followed by cornstarch and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, making sure each addition is fully incorporated. Then, slowly add the pumpkin puree mixture to the cheesecake mixture and continue to mix on a low speed until everything is combined and the batter is smooth.
- Pour batter over the pre-baked crust and spread evenly. Smooth out the top if needed. Place the cheesecake pan into a large roasting pan and pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes until the cake is set but the center is still slightly wobbly.
- Remove the roasting pan carefully from the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath, then leave it out on a rack to cool completely. While the cake is slightly cool, run a knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool completely. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Slice and serve. Add toppings if desired. Cheesecake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.