If you love pumpkin pie and cheesecake, you’re going to go crazy over this Creamy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Recipe! Make-ahead friendly, you can pop it in the fridge then bring to room temp 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Perfect post-thanksgiving dinner dessert!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
If you’ve been searching for the BEST pumpkin cheesecake recipe, you’re in luck! Because you’ve found it! This easy pumpkin spice cheesecake is:
- rich and super creamy, while also light fluffy. the texture is heaven!
- loaded with real pumpkin flavor (thanks to an entire 15 oz can of pumpkin puree plus complimentary pumpkin spices!)
- make-ahead friendly AND freezer friendly (in fact, you can freeze it for up to 2 months!)
- so delicious with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top. but salted caramel sauce is also a delicious addition!
- and the perfect Fall dessert, and always a crowd pleaser for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Fall is just beginning, and for many, that means FALL BAKING! One of my favorite ingredients to incorporate into my Fall baking is PUMPKIN! We usually stock up on it in the Summer, before it’s in demand and hard to find. I’ll grab a can or two every time I’m at the store, and before I know it… my pantry is overrun it! Last week, after discovering we had over 30 cans in our possession, I knew it was time to kick of a mini pumpkin palooza! I invited some friends over and we baked a brown butter pumpkin pie, chewy cinnamon chip pumpkin cookies, and a simple pumpkin pie cheesecake. All of the recipes turned out great! But this cheesecake?! It’s SPECTACULAR!
I have a weakness for taking classic recipes and kind of turning them upside down… but this holiday season I wanted to finally perfect my very own recipe for a classic pumpkin pie cheesecake. I definitely had to practice some self control during the recipe testing process because it was SO tempting to pull an Ashley and add bourbon… or brown butter… or a layer of caramelized pecans (still dreaming about that twist!). But I made it through! And the results were worth every moment of temptation, frustration, and uncertainty.
This classic pumpkin pie cheesecake is silky smooth, richly spiced, and bursting with real pumpkin flavor in every dreamy bite. Hallelujah!
This gorgeous pumpkin pie cheesecake is made up of 3 parts: the graham cracker crust, the cheesecake filling, and the whipped cream. Since making a cheesecake at home can seem intimidating at first, I’m going to walk you through each step. <—— That’s what friends are for!
How to make Pumpkin Cheesecake
The first step is making the graham cracker crust! And it’s seriously simple. Ingredient wise you’ll need graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt – that’s it! You will need to pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until they’re fine crumbs. Or – if you want to make things even easier – you can buy already crushed graham cracker crumbs at the store. I typically find them in the baking aisle, somewhere near the pie fillings/ ready-to-bake crusts. To assemble the crust you’ll combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, then fold in the melted butter and stir until it’s well combined. You want all of the crumbs to be moist from the butter. At this point you’re going to dump the crumb mixture into a lightly greased springform pan and press it down firmly, working from the center and slightly up the edges.
BTW! This recipe calls for a water bath.
So if you’re unfamiliar with the water bath process, read on! A water bath is simply the term bakers use when they place a baking pan (in this case, our cheesecake) into a larger pan that’s been filled with hot water. Taking this extra step helps insulate the pan from direct heat on all sides while it bakes. The water bath method helps your cheesecake bake gently, ensuring the finished product doesn’t burn, curdle, or crack. It also helps the cheesecake maintain its silky smooth texture. When it comes to choosing a pan for your water bath, choose one that is as tall as the cheesecake pan and large enough to leave a few inches between the cheesecake pan and the outer rim – you want enough room for the water to circulate easily. When you’re ready to make your water bath, here’s what you do: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to called for temperature. When the oven is preheated, carefully (using an oven mitt) pull out the middle rack and place your large pan on it, fill the pan halfway with hot water, then place the filled cheesecake pan in the center of the water bath. Slowly slide the rack back to its full inserted position, close the door, and bake the cheesecake according to instructions. If you’re using a 9-inch springform pan it’s essential to wrap the pan in heavy-duty tin foil to avoid water seeping in. I wrap my pan from every angle pressing the foil in and around to prevent a soggy crust.
OK! Time to talk about the filling. You can make it in a food processor or a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer. You’re going to need room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, pumpkin pie spices, and a spot of flour. Make sure your cream cheese is nice and soft, otherwise when you try to beat the cream cheese it’ll clump up. Also add those eggs one at a time, and don’t over beat.
The whipped cream is a simple and straightforward method that calls for heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and a dash of vanilla. You’re also going to need either a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a handheld electric mixer. You’ll beat heavy cream and sugar until stiff, then add in the vanilla and beat a few more seconds.
Rich spices, smooth pumpkin, and decadent cream cheese combined in just the right way. This dessert is bursting with simple, decadent flavor. That, my friends, is what makes this classic pumpkin pie cheesecake the best around. Bonus: You can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipes
I hope you bake this cheesecake and savor each silky smooth bite. It’s pure perfection on a crisp Fall day.
Classic Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Filling:
- 2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese very soft
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream at room temperature
- 3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks at room temperatue
- 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly spray a 9" springform pan with non-stick baking spray. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with heavy duty extra wide aluminum foil. I recommend doing several diligent layers here to ensure no water creeps through when you place the pan in the water bath. Set the pan aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix well.
- Press the crust into the prepared pan, pressing the crust down firmly and slightly up the sides. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Place partially baked crust on a cooling rack and set aside while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees (F).
Make the filling:
- In a very large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add in the eggs, egg yolks, pumpkin puree, sugars, and spices, and beat on low speed until just combined. Don’t over mix here or the batter will rise and fall in the oven! Add flour and vanilla and beat on low for another 30 seconds, or until flour has completely disappeared into the batter. Don't over mix!
- Pour the filling into the crust, and spread evenly, smoothing the top. Place the springform pan into a large baking pan (with high sides) and fill the pan with 3 inches of hot water; this is your water bath.
- Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking for another 55 minutes. Then turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 45 minutes, inside the oven with the door shut. The cheesecake should still be slightly wiggly.
- Remove cheesecake from the oven, and run a knife very gently around the edge of the cake. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack and cool completely, then loosely cover the pan with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
Make the Whipped Cream:
- In a large chilled bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed, adding in the confectioners’ sugar a tablespoon at a time, until medium stiff peaks form. Add in the vanilla and beat for another minute or so. Swirl or dollops on top of cheesecake slices right before serving.