This recipe for a Pumpkin Cheesecake is creamy and flavorful with a gingersnap crust! Top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
This pumpkin cheesecake is like a combination of a classic cheesecake and a pumpkin pie. It’s so creamy and delicious that everyone will love it!
Everything You Need To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
Gingersnap Crust Ingredients
The ingredients for the gingersnap crust are simple. It’s a combination of cookies, graham crackers, sugar, and butter.
- Cookies: I love how well ginger goes with pumpkin, so we added gingersnap cookie crumbs to the crust. The cookies make the crust even more delicious.
- Crackers: Graham cracker crumbs are the classic choice for a cheesecake crust, and we used them along with the cookie crumbs because they are the perfect texture. You can buy graham cracker crumbs in the baking aisle at the grocery store or crush graham crackers to make the crumbs.
- Sugar: The granulated sugar melts and carmelizes, helping bond the crust together. You can use brown sugar, too, if you prefer.
- Butter: Melted butter makes all of the crust ingredients stick together.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients
The ingredients in this pumpkin cheesecake are similar to a traditional baked cheesecake with the addition of pumpkin puree and spices.
- Cream Cheese: You’ll need four full-fat eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese that have been allowed to soften to room temperature.
- Eggs: The eggs also need to be at room temperature. Having the ingredients at room temperature will give you the smoothest, creamiest cheesecake!
- Sugar: We used all granulated sugar for the sweetener, but you could use a combination of granulated and brown sugar. Keep in mind that the brown sugar will change the color of the cheesecake somewhat.
- Pumpkin: This recipe uses canned pumpkin. Look for the can that says 100% pumpkin puree, NOT the canned pumpkin pie filling, which includes other ingredients.
- Sour Cream: A little full-fat sour cream adds to the creaminess of the pumpkin cheesecake.
- Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best results. The vanilla extract brings flavor to the dessert.
- Flour: We added some all-purpose flour to provide some structure to the cheesecake. It is mixed with the spices and helps them disperse evenly.
- Spices: The spices are similar to a pumpkin pie. We added ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves.
- Toppings: We decorated the cheesecake with homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
Making this recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake isn’t difficult, but it does take time and patience. Make sure the ingredients are at the right temperature, don’t overmix the batter; bake it in a water bath, allow it to cool properly, and chill it in the refrigerator overnight. If you simply follow the steps, you will have outstanding results!
Preparing the Cheesecake
Crust: We found that baking the crust first resulted in the best crust. So, after mixing the crust ingredients together, press them onto the bottom and a little up the sides of a springform pan. Bake the crust and then allow it to cool completely.
Pumpkin Puree: Since canned pumpkin has a lot of liquid in it, you’ll need to drain some of it for the best results. The easiest way to do so is to spread the pumpkin puree out on several layers of paper towels. The paper towels will absorb the excess liquid, and then the pumpkin will easily roll off the paper towels.
Flour and Spices: The flour and the spices get mixed together in a separate bowl. This disperses the spices throughout the flour and helps prevent them from clumping together in the batter.
Cheesecake: The cream cheese is beaten at a higher speed on the mixer. The same is true once the granulated sugar is added. But then the mixer should stay at a low speed when adding the remaining ingredients. Overbeating the cheesecake will form air bubbles, and cracks will form. Also, be sure to scrape the bowl OFTEN for the smoothest cheesecake.
Baking and Cooling Cheesecake
Water Bath: After testing several methods when creating this recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake, we found that the traditional water bath method of baking a cheesecake gave the best results. Once the crust has cooled, wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with several layers of heavy-duty foil (at least three). This will prevent the water from seeping into the pan. After filling the pan with the cheesecake batter, place it in a roasting pan and set it in the oven. Then, carefully pour 6-8 cups of boiling water into the roasting pan.
Bake: The pumpkin cheesecake needs to bake for one hour and 30 minutes.
Cooling: After the cheesecake has baked for the full amount of time, it needs to cool slowly for one hour in the oven. Turn the oven off and crack the oven door. This step is crucial for preventing a crack in the top. Then, remove the cheesecake from the oven, remove the foil, and allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Finally, chill the pumpkin cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.
Make Ahead and Storage
Make Ahead: This is the perfect dessert to make ahead of time since it has to cool in the fridge overnight anyway!
Storage: Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the fridge for up to 4 days. Or freeze the cheesecake by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden and then wrap it tightly in plastic and foil. Place it in an airtight container after wrapping. Remove the foil and plastic, and thaw in the fridge before eating.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several things that can cause a crack in the top of a pumpkin cheesecake. One cause is overmixing or beating the batter, forming air bubbles. Another is baking the cheesecake at too high of a temperature, baking it for too long, or baking it without a water bath. The cheesecake can also crack if it isn’t cooled slowly.
It depends on the recipe. Some cheesecake recipes include eggs and therefore need to be baked. Others only include cream cheese, whipped cream, and sugar and do not need to be baked. They are different desserts, and both are delicious!
Yes, you can freeze the whole pumpkin cheesecake or individual slices. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden. Then, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Remove the foil and thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Frost this easy Pumpkin Cake with cream cheese frosting!
- These soft Pumpkin Cookies are delicious with or without frosting.
- This Pumpkin Bars recipe is better than pumpkin pie!
- Enjoy homemade Pumpkin Scones with a cup of steaming coffee.
- 32 oz cream cheese room temperature (four 8 oz blocks)
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree drained (see instructions)
- ¼ cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Put gingersnap crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Use a fork to stir until combined.
- Press on the bottom and a little up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Bake at 350˚F for 5-7 minutes, remove from the oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325˚F.
- Layer several sheets of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin puree over the paper towels and set aside to drain the excess liquid from the pumpkin puree.
- In a large stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add granulated sugar and beat until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add one egg at a time, stirring at low speed until combined before adding the next egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves.
- Roll the pumpkin puree off of the paper towel. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla, and the flour/spices mixture to the mixing bowl. Stir at low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir the cheesecake filling by hand to make sure it is all combined.
- Cover the bottom and sides of the springform pan with three layers of heavy-duty foil.
- Pour the batter over the cooled crust in the springform pan (discard any excess filling you may have depending on the size of your pan) and place it in a large roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan with the cheesecake in the oven. Carefully add boiling water (about 6-8 cups depending on the size of the pan) to the roasting pan so that the water goes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan creating a water bath.
- Bake the cheesecake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Remove the foil from the pan. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Place it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Drape a paper towel across the top of the pan and then wrap the pan in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight before removing the springform pan. Transfer to a serving platter if desired.
- Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.