This Pumpkin Cheesecake is rich, creamy, and bursting with fall flavors! It’s the perfect cross between a pumpkin pie and New York cheesecake.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Details
Whoever invented pumpkin cheesecake is a genius! I love this recipe because it’s the perfect cross between a classic creamy white cheesecake and a homemade pumpkin pie.
- TASTE: The graham cracker crust and tangy-sweet pumpkin flavored filling are topped with pecans. This dessert is the ultimate fall favorite!
- TEXTURE: Crunchy, buttery crust and rich and creamy cheesecake filling make a delicious pairing. Every bite is utterly decadent.
- TIME: This recipe will take 90 minutes to make.
- EASE: This recipe is easier than you think and you can make it ahead to save time during busy holiday meal prep.
What You’ll Need
- For the crust- I used Graham cracker crumbs, but you can buy whole graham crackers and crush them up in a food prpccseor.
- Cream cheese- make sure to use full fat cream cheese. The low fat or spreadable kinds will not work here.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Make the crust. In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated.
- Press the crust into the pan. Then place nonstick foil on the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and coat the bottom and sides with nonstick spray. Fill it with the graham cracker crumbs, pressing and compacting them down into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides with your hands.
- Bake. To set the crust, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the crust cool.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find already crushed graham cracker crumbs, you can crush them yourself by placing them in a plastic bag and breaking them up with a rolling pin or just pulsing them in a food processor.
- Combine the pumpkin ingredients. In a bowl, combine the pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice, then set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the softened cream cheese, sugar, and salt on high speed with the paddle attachment until no clumps appear.
- Add the eggs. Add the eggs 1 at a time, making sure each egg is lightly whisked before adding the next. Make sure the mixer is on LOW speed here to avoid overmixing.
- Add the pumpkin and sour cream. Lastly, add the pumpkin purée and the sour cream into the whipped cream cheese and blend just enough to combine on LOW speed.
- Pour it into the pan. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan. Grip the sides of the springform and shake it a little to smooth out the top.
- Bake. Bake the cheesecake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, drop the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cheesecake for an additional hour and 30 minutes. Let the cheesecake slowly cool to room temperature in the oven Do NOT open the oven until the cheesecake it completely cooled down. Then refrigerate for 4 hours before eating.
- Use room temperature ingredients– This is especially crucial for the cream cheese and eggs. They will be easier to mix, which means you are less likely to overmix the batter.
- Do not overmix– Overmixing will incorporate air into the batter. This in turn leads to cracks in your cheesecake.
- Bake it slow and low– Bake the pumpkin cheesecake slowly at a lower temperature to ensure smooth even baking and avoid browning the cake too much.
- Leave the oven door closed– Opening it up will cause a change in temperate and can crack or cave the dessert. Let it sit in the oven until it is fully cooled before opening it up.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Top it with white chocolate- Melted white chocolate or chocolate shavings on top taste delicious with this Pumpkin Cheesecake.
- Layer on pumpkin pie- Split this cheesecake in half by adding a layer of pumpkin pie filling on top of the cooled cheesecake layer for double the pumpkin fun.
- Drizzle on maple syrup and pecans- Sprinkling the top with roasted pecans and then drizzling on pure maple syrup makes this cheesecake the ultimate fall dessert.
Once your cheesecake is done baking, you want to turn the oven off and let the cake rest in there until it’s just slightly warm. This can take up to 6 hours, so be patient.
No, if you want a cheesecake that doesn’t crack, just make sure you do these two things: DON’T overbeat the eggs and DON’T open the oven door while the cheesecake is cooling. No water bath is needed.
This Pumpkin Cheesecake is a fall favorite and can be enjoyed with lots of savory meals, sweet desserts, and coffee.
- Main dishes: Serve this cheesecake after a meal of Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey, Ribeye Steak, or Garlic Herb Crown Roast of Pork.
- Coffee: Serve it with a Pumpkin Spice Latte, Iced Caramel Macchiato, or Caramel Frappuccino Recipe (Starbucks Copycat).
Make This Pumpkin Cheesecake in Advance
Make ahead: You can make this cheesecake recipe up to 3 days before serving. Keep it wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator until then.
Storing: Pumpkin Cheesecake can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week. Wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.
Freeze: Cheesecakes freeze very well! Freeze this baked and cooled Pumpkin Cheesecake uncovered for about 2 hours, then wrap it with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil. Place the cheesecake back in the freezer and keep frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
More Pumpkin Recipes!
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Full Recipe Instructions
- In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated.
- Then place nonstick foil on the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and coat the bottom and sides with nonstick spray and fill with the graham cracker crumbs. Press and compact the bottom of the pan with graham cracker crumbs using your hands. You can either press it into one thick layer or you can press some of the crumbs up the sides of the springform.
- To set the crust, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the crust cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the softened cream cheese, sugar, and salt on high speed until no clumps appear. You will need to use the paddle attachment for this part. Be sure not to over mix and scrape down the beater bowl occasionally. This will ensure no lumps appear in the cheesecake.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time, making sure each egg is lightly whisked before adding the next. Make sure the mixer is on LOW speed here. you do NOT want to overmix or the cheesecake will crack.
- Lastly, add the pumpkin purée and the sour cream into the whipped cream cheese and blend just to combine on LOW speed.
- Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan. Grip the sides of the springform and shake it a little to smooth out the top.
- Bake the cheesecake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, drop the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cheesecake for an additional hour and 30 minutes. Let the cheesecake slowly cool in the oven until it has cooled to room temperature. Do NOT open the oven until the cheesecake it completely colled down. Then refrigerate for 4 hours before eating.
- Use room temperature ingredients- To avoid a clumpy cheesecake, make sure the cream cheese is fully softened at room temperature.
- Don’t overbeat the eggs. Make sure to mix at low speed once your eggs come into the cheesecake batter. Overbeat will cause air bubbles to form and crack your cheesecake.
- Don’t open the oven door. Keep the oven shut until the cheesecake is completely cooled. (this can take a few hours). The sudden temperature differences can cause cracking to happen.
This recipe was originally posted on Oct 14, 2015, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then.