This perfectly decadent pumpkin cheesecake has a gingersnap crust and a thick, creamy filling. Using common pantry items, boxed cookies, and canned pumpkin, this delicious recipe is a simple crowd-pleaser!
It’s the time of year where pumpkin takes over, and I will never complain. One of the things I crave year-round is this amazing pumpkin cheesecake. The recipe came about many years ago when my mom needed a sweet treat for a fall get-together with friends. She wanted something pumpkin-y and I started brainstorming.
I used the base from my Fig and Almond Cheesecake with Crème Anglaise. From there I wanted to keep things simple so I used canned pumpkin, tons of favorite fall spices I had in the pantry, and a box of gingersnaps. It was delicious and absolutely blew everyone away.
I have loved it ever since, and I am really excited to share it with you!
What is pumpkin cheesecake?
Since the 1800s, pumpkin pie has been a staple of U.S. Thanksgiving tables. Cheesecake originates from Greece, and there have been variations for hundreds of years all over the world. This is the perfect marriage of two long-time favorites!
Some are no-bake cheesecakes, which only need to chill before eating. This one is baked, giving it a very crispy crust and fluffy texture. Many of them include a graham cracker or crispy, spiced crust as well.
Pan prep & materials
- For this recipe, I use a standard 9-inch springform pan.
- We will be using heavy-duty aluminum foil as well, wrapping the springform pan in it to help the cheesecake bake evenly.
- You will also need a roasting pan or something similar, for the water bath this little cheesecake gets in the oven. Since there is hot water and a precious cheesecake is involved – avoid using anything disposable and instead opt for something solid with tall sides.
- To prep the pan: Double wrap the entire outside of the pan in aluminum foil. This serves a few purposes! First, we will be putting this in a water bath, so we want to be sure that water stays away from our dessert. This also protects the pan from burning or getting warped – which can lead to leaks and uneven baking.
How to make pumpkin cheesecake
- Get all of your ingredients out and room temp before baking!
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- Prep your springform pan with aluminum foil
- Mix the crust mixture (cookie crumbs, butter, brown sugar, salt) until it is even and crumbly, and press it firmly into the base and up the sides of the pan. Using the base of a metal measuring cup for this is awesome for getting it into a nice even layer.
- Bake the crust for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the crust is slightly browned. Remove and cool completely. Turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F.
- Bring water to a boil for the bath
- Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy (scrape the sides between each step!) Scoop in the pumpkin and mix on low until completely incorporated. Crack your eggs in one at a time, and after they’re fully incorporated, pour in the heavy cream and vanilla beating for about a minute until smooth. Finally, sprinkle in the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice and mix on low until everything is smooth.
- Pour filling into the cooled springform. Tap the pan on the counter (carefully) to get out any air bubbles!
- Place it into the roasting pan, and pour in the boiled water into the roasting pan until water is halfway up the side of the springform.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes. Though the center will be jiggly, the edges should be set and slightly browned.
- Turn the oven off totally and let it rest for one hour.
- After an hour, carefully remove the springform pan from the water bath and remove the outside foil. Let it cool for two more hours on a wire rack.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least six hours before serving!
- A dollop of homemade whipped cream makes this an American classic.
- My favorite homemade salted caramel sauce is perfect drizzled over a slice of this pumpkin cheesecake! You will NOT be disappointed!
- Crumbled gingersnap cookies add a nice crunch and a cleaner ginger flavor than the crust itself.
How to avoid cracking your pumpkin cheesecake
- If overmixed, air bubbles form in the filling and pop while baking. Make sure to stop your mixing as soon as things look smooth.
- Overbaking can also be the culprit, as the eggs begin to cook, leaving you with a dryer, fluffier, filling. This is common with cheesecakes since the center can look so jiggly!
- You can unintentionally make your cheesecake crack by opening the oven too often so try to avoid that!
- Sometimes the weather outside, the insulation in your house, or your oven itself can be the culprit, and you just can’t get the perfect surface you want. Remember that no matter what, a big dollop of whipped cream on top will hide any cracks!
Swaps and variations for this pumpkin cheesecake
- You can use vegan cream cheese, butter, and egg replacements for this, though the filling may come out a bit thinner.
- Plant-based sweeteners are great options if you are looking to cut sugar or make this more keto-friendly.
- Gluten-free cookies work well for the crust as well, though they are a bit drier and you may need to add more butter.
- For the chocolate lovers in your life, the homemade Oreo crust I use for this Chocolate Cream Pie is an awesome swap for this pumpkin cheesecake.
- Store-bought graham cracker, gingersnap, or Oreo crusts work really well, too.
Storage information and tips
- Refrigerating: Fully wrapped in plastic wrap, this pumpkin cheesecake will be great in the fridge for up to four days.
- Freezing: Once fully cooled, you can wrap this cheesecake in plastic wrap, and an outer layer of aluminum foil, and it will live happily in the freezer for about two months. (When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge!)
- Prep in advance: You can prepare the crust and press it into the pan ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months, making sure to thaw it before throwing it in the oven.
- Gifting: After freezing this to be sure it sets, you can wrap this cheesecake in plastic wrap and deliver it to loved ones in a decorative box or with nothing but a bow!
Ready for more? Pumpkin, cheesecake, and other treats!
Join the BEB Bake-Along!
To tackle pumpkin cheesecake and bake along with me this month, simply do the following:
- Make the pumpkin cheesecake! I know pumpkin has been difficult to locate, so if you still want to try your hand at cheesecake, have a go at the New York Cheesecake we did back in the spring!
- Snap a picture and either share it on social media (#BEBbakealong on Instagram or Twitter), upload it to the BEB Facebook group, or email it to me.
- Check-in on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month to see everyone’s cheesecake and cheer each other on!
- You can view all past bake-along recipes here.
I would absolutely love it if you made this pumpkin cheesecake for dessert (for the holidays or ANY day!); if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍
For the Crust:
- 2 cups (200 g) gingersnap cookie crumbs, about a 14-oz package of cookies
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- Pinch (Pinch) of salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 32 ounces (907.19 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- 15 ounces (490 g) canned pumpkin
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2½ tablespoons (2.5 tablespoons) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground allspice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil.
- Prepare the Crust: Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to a boil for a water bath.
- Prepare the Filling: Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice and mix on low to incorporate.
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into a larger pan (a roasting pan is great for this) and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, carefully remove it from the water bath, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
- Cover any leftover cheesecake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Wrapped, the cheesecake can be frozen for up to 2 months.
[Photography by Dee Frances]