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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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This pumpkin cheesecake is rich and creamy, and full of autumn flavors. Move aside, pumpkin pie, there’s a more decadent dessert in town! 

A pumpkin cheesecake on a cake stand, topped with pecans and whipped cream, surrounded by mini pumpkins

I’m a big fan of pumpkin desserts, and this pumpkin cheesecake is one of my favorite recipes. It has everything I’m looking for in a cheesecake. It’s rich and decadent, but it’s also fluffy and full of bright flavors. The pumpkin really stands out, thanks to a lot of spices and flavors that highlight the pumpkin flavor. 

This is one of my go-to recipes for fall and winter parties. Whether it’s a Thanksgiving or Christmas party, or just you hosting some friends for dinner, a pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect thing to serve during the colder months. Nothing says “autumn” quite like a pumpkin dessert. 

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cheesecake

There are a lot of reasons that this pumpkin cheesecake is one of my favorite dessert recipes. Here are a few things that you’ll love about this dish. 

  • It tastes like fall. This cheesecake has all the seasonings that make you love pumpkin pie, just in cheesecake form. There’s the spices, like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, and the rich, caramel sweetness of brown sugar and vanilla. 
  • There’s some brightness. In addition to the traditional pumpkin flavors, this cheesecake has lemon juice in it. The acidity and freshness from the lemon juice adds a brightness to the recipe that really makes it stand out next to other rich cheesecakes. 
  • It’s straightforward. This recipe takes a while to make, just because of how long the cheesecake needs to bake and cool. But the actual process of making the cheesecake is quite straightforward and easy. 
Overhead view of the ingredients for pumpkin cheesecake: a bowl of brown sugar, a bowl of white sugar, a bowl of pumpkin puree, a bowl of melted butter, a bowl of eggs, four bowls of spices, a bowl of sour cream, a package of cream cheese, two sticks of butter, a jar of vanilla extract, and some gingersnap cookies

Recipe Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients for pumpkin cheesecake. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the article to see the exact amounts.

  • Gingersnap cookies
  • Butter – You want to use salted butter that is melted.
  • Cream cheese – Make sure you use full fat cream cheese.
  • Brown sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar for this recipe, though I prefer light.
  • White sugar
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Sour cream – I recommend using full fat sour cream.
  • Vanilla – Be sure to purchase pure vanilla extract.
  • Lemon juice – It’s best to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg 
  • Cloves

How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake

Here’s how to make this moist and creamy dessert.

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper, before spraying the pan with baking spray. 
  • Prepare a water bath. Fill a roasting pan with about 1 ½ inches of water. Add the roasting pan to the oven while you prepare the cheesecake. 
  • Make the crust. Add gingersnaps and melted butter to a food processor, and pulse until it’s the texture of wet sand. Press the gingersnap mixture into the bottom of the pan, and slightly up the sides. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Beat the cream cheese. Place the cream cheese, brown sugar, and white sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs. While beating the cream cheese mixture, add the eggs one by one, until they’re combined. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Put the pumpkin, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in the mixing bowl, and beat until combined. 
  • Pour the mixture into the pan. Pour all of the pumpkin cream cheese mixture into the springform pan.
  • Foil the pan. Place two large pieces of aluminum foil under the springform pan, and bring the edges up to make the pan waterproof.
  • Bake. Place the pan in the water bath in the oven and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, the edges should be set, and the center should still be a little bit jiggly. If the edges are not yet set, bake for another 5-10 minutes and then check again. 
  • Chill. Turn off the oven and open the oven door, but don’t remove the cheesecake. Let it sit in the oven for 1 hour, then remove it. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours, then serve. 

Tips for Success

Here are a few tricks and tips to make sure that your pumpkin cheesecake is perfect every time.

  • Use room temperature cream cheese and eggs. Make sure to take the cream cheese and eggs out of the fridge a few hours before making this dessert, so that they’re at room temperature when you use them. This will allow them to better mix with the rest of the ingredients, which will help you make a light and fluffy cheesecake, rather than a dense one. 
  • Use fresh nutmeg. For best results, skip the ground nutmeg. Instead, buy whole nutmegs and grate them yourself for the freshest flavor. 
  • Have fun with the toppings. This is a great cheesecake to cover in toppings. Have fun with it, and add whatever your favorite cheesecake toppings are. I’m a fan of covering this pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream, chopped pecans, and caramel sauce. 
Close up of a slice of pumpkin cheesecake with a bite taken out of it, with a fork next to the cake

Common Questions

Here are a few commonly asked questions about this pumpkin cheesecake recipe.

Can other cookies be used?
Yes, if you don’t like gingersnaps, you can use graham crackers for the cheesecake crust instead. 

Can I use pumpkin pie spice? 
Absolutely! I like to use individual spices so that I can adjust the seasoning, but you can replace the ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice. 

Why does the cheesecake stay in the oven after baking? 
Cheesecakes often crack when they experience a dramatic change in temperature. Leaving the cheesecake in the turned off oven, with the door open, allows it to slowly cool down, which will help the cake retain its texture.

Can I use pumpkin pie filling? 
If you want, you can use pumpkin pie filling in place of pumpkin puree. If you do use pumpkin pie filling, just remove the spices from the recipe. 

What does the water bath do?
The water bath keeps the oven moist, which helps the cheesecake stay moist. This prevents the cheesecake from drying out and cracking too much. 

Partial view of a pumpkin cheesecake, topped with dollops of whipped cream and pecans

How to Store Leftovers

You can store this pumpkin cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the cheesecake in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw the cheesecake in the fridge overnight before eating. 

More Pumpkin Desserts to Make 

Like I said, I love pumpkin desserts in the fall and winter. Here are a few more of my favorites. 

A slice of pumpkin cheesecake on a plate, topped with whipped cream, a pecan, and caramel sauce, with two forks next to it
Partial view of a pumpkin cheesecake, topped with dollops of whipped cream and pecans

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This pumpkin cheesecake is rich, creamy, and decadent. It's full of fall and winter flavors, and easy to make.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 25 gingersnaps , (about 2 cups of crumbs)
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper. Then spray generously with non-stick spray.
  • Prepare the pan for a water bath by filling a roasting pan (large enough for you to set the springform pan inside) with 1 ½ inches of water. Place the roasting pan into the oven while it is preheating and you are preparing the cheesecake. This way it will be hot when you add the cheesecake to it.
  • Prepare the crust by placing gingersnaps and melted butter into the food processor. Combine until a sandy texture. Gently press this mixture to cover the bottom of the springform pan, and slightly up the sides. Place this into the oven (not in the water bath) to bake for 10 minutes (while you are preparing the filling).
  • Beat cream cheese and both sugars together on medium speed for about 5 minutes until light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs in one at a time while mixing, only as much as needed to incorporate well. Add the eggs in one at a time while mixing, only as much as needed to incorporate well.
  • Mix in the pumpkin, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Remove the crust from the oven after it is baked. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the baked crust.
  • Place two large pieces of tin foil in an x shape under the springform pan (The pieces must be large enough that there will not be any spaces uncovered when you bring them up around the edges of the springform pan). Bring the edges up so that the springform pan is going to be waterproof.
  • Place the springform pan into the water bath and bake. Do not open the oven while the cheesecake is baking. Check the cake (while still in the oven) after 1 hour. The edges should be set and the center just slightly jiggly. If not, give it 5 -10 more minutes but do not overbake.
  • Do not remove the cheesecake from the oven. Turn off the oven and prop the door open. Allow the cheesecake to sit in the open oven for another hour. Move the cheesecake to the counter. If it is cool enough, you may remove it from the pan before placing it into the fridge to chill for another 2 hours.

Recipe Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 458 kcal | Carbohydrates: 40 g | Protein: 7 g | Fat: 31 g | Saturated Fat: 18 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Trans Fat: 0.3 g | Cholesterol: 135 mg | Sodium: 349 mg | Potassium: 255 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 28 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade cheesecake, pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe, thanksgiving desserts
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