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This smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake recipe is a fun and festive Thanksgiving dessert. It’s easy to make and full of fall flavors, baked in a buttery homemade Graham cracker crust. Don’t forget the whipped cream topping!
If you love the sweet and tangy flavors in this classic pumpkin cheesecake recipe, try my pumpkin cheesecake bars next!
Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
If you love pumpkin, this easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe is an absolute must-try this season. The filling has the creamiest texture (ever!) and the most amazing fall flavor. The crust is full of sweet brown sugar and cinnamon, and the light whipped cream topping adds the ultimate finishing touch.
Whether it’s Thanksgiving dessert, a random Wednesday, or any fall occasion in between, this decadent homemade pumpkin cheesecake will satisfy everyone at the table. Plus, it’s easier to make than your average baked cheesecake. You’ll want to whip it up for more than just the holidays!
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- Rich pumpkin flavor. This recipe puts a delicious fall spin on classic homemade cheesecake. The pumpkin cheesecake filling is made with real pumpkin and infused with cozy pumpkin spice.
- Soft, creamy texture. Every bite of this creamy cheesecake melts in your mouth thanks to some generous whipping and the addition of sour cream.
- Perfect for the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake is an easy holiday dessert that you’ll want on your Thanksgiving table year after year. It’s always the first to disappear from the plate!
The ingredients for the cheesecake and crust are simple and accessible, and you may have everything you need in your kitchen already. I’ve included some notes on the important ingredients below. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and recipe details.
- Crust – I include a variation of my homemade Graham cracker crust in the recipe card. It’s super easy, all you need is crushed Graham crackers, brown sugar, and butter. Adding a pinch of cinnamon compliments the flavors of the cheesecake.
- Cream Cheese – For the creamiest pumpkin cheesecake, full-fat brick-style cream cheese is a must.
- Sugar – A combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar adds moisture and sweetness to the filling.
- Pumpkin Puree – Make sure it’s 100% pure canned pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. They aren’t the same product, and pie filling won’t work in this recipe.
- Sour Cream – Like your cream cheese, full-fat sour cream will yield the silkiest filling. If you don’t have sour cream, use plain or Greek yogurt instead.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice that brings essential fall flavors to the cheesecake.
- Whipped Topping – Like the crust, I include an easy recipe for homemade whipped topping, made from heavy cream and powdered sugar. That’s it! You can also use store-bought whipped cream if you prefer.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
From the crust on the bottom to the whipped cream on top, everything about this pumpkin cheesecake is easy to make from scratch. Let’s get started:
Prepare the Crust
First, you’ll need to prepare and blind-bake your Graham cracker crust:
- Combine the crust ingredients. You can use store-bought Graham cracker crumbs, or grind the crackers yourself using a food processor. Whisk the crumbs together with brown sugar and cinnamon, and then stir in the melted butter to combine.
- Press the crust into the pan. Use your fingers to press the crust mixture tightly into the bottom and up the sides of a lined 9″ springform pan.
- Blind bake the crust. Pre-bake the crust at 325ºF for 8-9 minutes. After, allow the crust to cool, and then double-wrap the outside of the pan in aluminum foil. This will prevent the water bath from leaking into the pan later on. Set the crust aside for now.
Assemble and Bake the Cheesecake
When your crust is cooled to room temperature, here’s how to fill and bake your cheesecake:
- Make the pumpkin filling. Beat the cream cheese, then add both sugars and cream the mixture together until smooth. Next, beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Lastly, add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between until combined.
- Fill the pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into your prepared crust. I recommend giving the pan a couple of taps against the counter to loosen up any air bubbles trapped inside the filling.
- Bake. Bake the pumpkin cheesecake in a water bath at 325ºF for 60-65 minutes, until it’s set in the center with a little jiggle. Once the baking time is up, switch off the oven, crack the door, and leave the cheesecake to rest inside for another hour.
- Cool. Take the cheesecake out and let it cool in the pan for another hour. Finally, cover the cheesecake and refrigerate it for 4-6 hours before removing it from the pan and serving.
Add the Whipped Topping
The key to perfect whipped cream is cold ingredients and cold tools. Place the bowl of your mixer into the freezer to chill while you remove your cheesecake from the springform pan. Here’s how to finish off this pumpkin cheesecake:
- Make the whipped cream. Beat the heavy cream into soft peaks, then slowly beat in powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the topping onto the cheesecake. Use a piping bag and a large open-star tip to pipe swirls of whipped cream around the outside edge of the cheesecake, as you see in the photos. See my guides on how to use a piping bag and how to use piping tips for more tips and decorating ideas.
- Serve. Get slicing, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake
Even though this pumpkin cheesecake is easy to make, there are some important things to keep in mind. Follow these tips for the best results:
- Don’t overfill the water bath. A water bath is important when making cheesecake, but the last thing you want is water seeping into your cheesecake! Make sure you don’t fill the bath more than halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Avoid overbaking. The center of your cheesecake should still be slightly jiggly before you turn off the oven. Overbaking causes the cheesecake to lose that creamy, rich texture.
- Cool the cheesecake slowly. Be sure to follow the instructions in the recipe to cool your pumpkin cheesecake gradually. Don’t skip these steps! If your cheesecake cools too quickly, it will crack.
- Chill the mixing bowl. Don’t forget to chill the bowl you’ll use to whip the cream. Pop it in the freezer for at least 5 minutes. You could even go a step further and chill the beaters too. This ensures successful whipping.
Toppings and Recipe Variations
In addition to classic whipped cream, there are plenty of toppings and variations for creamy pumpkin cheesecake. Try these easy ideas:
- More fall flavor. My super easy cinnamon maple whipped cream takes 10 minutes to make and adds even more fall-spirited flavor to this dessert.
- Mascarpone whipped cream. For a thicker whipped texture, try mascarpone whipped cream. You only need 4 ingredients to make it!
- Chocolate sauce. If you’d rather skip the whipped cream altogether, drizzle your pumpkin cheesecake with melted chocolate or chocolate ganache. Or, try caramel sauce!
- Crushed nuts. Chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts add delicious flavor and crunch to a homemade cheesecake.
- Mini cheesecakes. For a fun bite-sized variation, try my mini pumpkin cheesecakes!
- No-bake. Try this equally decadent no-bake pumpkin mascarpone cheesecake for a no-bake variation of this easy dessert.
How to Store Leftovers
- Fridge: Refrigerate the entire cheesecake or individual slices in an airtight container. Enjoy the stored cheesecake within 1 week.
- Freezer: 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 keep it frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before serving.
More Fall Dessert Ideas
- Mini Caramel Apple Cheesecakes
- Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Pie
- Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake
- Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
- Maple Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars
This smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake recipe is an easy Thanksgiving dessert! It’s full of fall flavor and spice, baked in a buttery Graham cracker crust, and topped with fluffy whipped cream.
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
Make the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Next add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice and mix on low speed until well combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Pipe the borders of the cheesecake with whipped cream using a large open star piping tip.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pumpkin cheesecake recipe, pumpkin cheesecake, easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe