Pumpkin Cheesecake

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This smooth, rich and creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake is a lovely Thanksgiving dessert idea! It’s easy to make with a buttery graham cracker crust and a fluffy whipped cream topping.

A slice of homemade fall spice cheesecake on a polka dotted plate with cinnamon sticks in the background

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Calling all pumpkin lovers! This crave-worthy cheesecake is an absolute must-make. The filling has the creamiest texture and the most amazing pumpkin spice flavor, the crust is full of sweet brown sugar and cinnamon, and the light whipped cream topping adds the utlimate finishing touch.

Whether it’s Thanksgiving night, a random Wednesday or anything in between, this decadent fall-spiced dessert will satisfy everyone at the table. Once you sink your teeth into this decadent cheesecake, all your worries will dissolve. And because it’s easier to make than your average baked cheesecake, you’ll want to whip it up for more than just the holidays.

A piece of pumpkin cheesecake on a plate with one bite on a golden fork

What You’ll Need

You don’t have to ransack your kitchen or local grocery store to find the ingredients needed for this recipe. They’re all super simple and accessible!

For the Graham Cracker Crust

  • Graham Crackers: Feel free to switch it up and substitute the graham crackers with Biscoff or Gingersnap cookies for added flavor.
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Unsalted Butter

For the Pumpkin Spice Filling

  • Full-Fat Cream Cheese
  • Granulated Sugar & Light Brown Sugar
  • Pumpkin Puree- make sure it’s a not a pumpkin pie filling
  • Full-Fat Sour Cream
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Eggs

Cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs should all be at room temperature.

For the Whipped Cream Topping

  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
A fall-spiced cheesecake on a serving platter with homemade whipped cream along the top edge

How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake

From the crust on the bottom to the whipped cream on top, everything about this pumpkin cheesecake is super simple. Here’s how to prepare each component and put it all together:

Make the Crust

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb if you haven’t already. Mix the crumbs with the brown sugar and cinnamon, then stir in the melted butter until well combined.
  3. Add to Pan: Press the crust mixture tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
  4. Blind Bake: Pre-bake the crust for 8-9 minutes, then let it cool. Wrap the crust with a slow cooker liner and tie a knot in the side of the bag to secure it around the pan. Alternatively, you can double wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set the par-baked crust aside.

Make the Filling

  1. Beat Cream Cheese: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes until it’s free of lumps.
  2. Add Sugars: Add the sugars and beat on low speed until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  3. Add Sour Cream, Vanilla & Pumpkin Spice: Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  4. Add Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring the batter is well mixed before adding more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  5. Pour Into Crust: Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles on the surface, or use a toothpick.
  6. Assemble Water Bath: Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with approximately 2-3 cups of warm water until it’s about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  7. Bake: Bake the cheesecake at 325°F for approximately 60-65 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly jiggly.
  8. Begin Cooling Process: Turn off the oven and leave the door cracked open for 1 hour.
  9. Remove From Oven: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath and cool it for at least 1 hour on the countertop, then cover it and transfer it to the refrigerator.
  10. Chill: Refrigerate your cheesecake for 4-6 hours, or until it has set completely.

Make the Whipped Cream

  1. Chill Bowl: Once the cheesecake is completely cooled and set, remove it from the springform pan and place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Beat Heavy Cream: Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat it at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Add Powdered Sugar: Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Pipe Onto Cheesecake: Pipe the whipped cream around the borders of the cheesecake using a large open star piping tip.
  5. Serve: Slice, serve and enjoy!
A single piece of pumpkin cheesecake on a white plate with a gold rim and gold speckles

Tips for Success

Even though this cheesecake is easy to make, there are still some important things to keep in mind. Check out the following tips to stay in the loop!

  • Don’t Overfill the Water Bath: The last thing you want is water from the water bath seeping into your cheesecake. Make sure you don’t fill it more than halfway up the sides of the pan.
  • Avoid Overbaking: The center of your cheesecake should still be slightly jiggly when you turn off the oven. Otherwise, it will overbake and could lose that creamy, rich texture.
  • Cool the Cheesecake Slowly: Be sure to follow the cooling instructions in the recipe. If your cheesecake cools too quickly, it will crack.
  • Chill the Mixing Bowl: Don’t forget to pop your mixing bowl in the freezer for at least 5 minutes before making the whipped cream. You could even go a step further and chill the beaters too. This will ensure successful whipping.
A white serving plate on a countertop containing a homemade pumpkin spice cheesecake

Topping Ideas

Not a fan of plain whipped cream? No worries – I have plenty of flavor variations that would go great with this pumpkin spice cheesecake. Or you could substitute it with something else entirely!

  • Make Cinnamon Maple Whipped Cream: My super easy Cinnamon Maple Whipped Cream adds even more fall-spirited flavor to this dessert. Plus, it’s made in 10 minutes or less!
  • Make Mascarpone Whipped Cream: If you prefer your whipped cream to have a thicker texture, you can easily achieve that with this simple Mascarpone Whipped Cream Recipe. You only need 4 ingredients to make it!
  • Use Caramel Sauce Instead: If you’d rather leave out the whipped cream altogether, I recommend topping off your cheesecake with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Yum!

How to Store Leftovers

This cheesecake is great for making ahead of time, and leftovers are easy to store for later. Refrigerate the entire cheesecake or individual slices in an airtight container. Enjoy the stored cheesecake within 1 week.

Can I Freeze This?

Definitely! This cheesecake lasts for up to 2 months in the freezer, if stored properly. First, place the entire cheesecake or individual slices on a baking sheet and freeze until the cheesecake is firm. Next, transfer the cheesecake to a freezer-safe container and store it. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before serving.

Print
A close-up shot of a slice of pumpkin cheesecake with a second slice on a plate in the background

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Author: Julianne
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Chill time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 10

Description

This smooth, rich and creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake is a lovely Thanksgiving dessert idea! It’s easy to make with a buttery graham cracker crust and a fluffy whipped cream topping.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups (157g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5g) ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 32 ounces (904g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (90g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110g) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (270g) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ cup (48g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Topping

  • ¾ cup (177ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (32g) powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the Crust

  1.  Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom.
  2. Grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Mix together with the brown sugar and cinnamon, then stir in the melted butter until well combined. Press the crumbs tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
  3. Bake at 325°F for 8-9 minutes. Allow the crust to cool. Then wrap the crust with a slow cooker liner and tie a knot in the side of the bag to secure around the pan. Or double wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Set aside.

Make the Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes until free of lumps then add the sugars and beat on low speed until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
  2. Next add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice and mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, ensure it’s well mixed before adding more. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles on the surface or use a toothpick.
  4. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with approximately 2-3 cups of warm water so it about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  5. Bake at 325°F for approximately 60-65 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly jiggly. Turn off the oven and leave the door cracked open for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath and cool for at least 1 hour on the countertop, then cover and move to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours until the cheesecake has set.

Make the Topping

  1. Once the cheesecake is completely cooled and set, remove from the springform pan and prepare the whipped cream topping. placing your bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Pipe the borders of the cheesecake with whipped cream using a large open star piping tip.
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
653
33.6 g
425.2 mg
48.7 g
46.3 g
2.1 g
10.2 g
207.9 mg
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy pumpkin cheesecake, how to make cheesecake, graham cracker crust for cheesecake

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