About This Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
Autumn is the season of cozy and delicious dishes when we want that taste of pumpkin spice in everything. Whether you’re a fan of pumpkin pies and cheesecakes or are just craving a pumpkin dessert, this rich and creamy cheesecake is just what you need.
Combining that seasonal pumpkin spice with a classic cheesecake, this is an exquisite fall dessert.
Don’t let the long ingredient list hold you back. Making this fabulously decadent cake at home is easier than you think.
Featuring just the right amount of pumpkin flavor, this super rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake is incredibly easy to make. It tastes exactly like a cheesecake that has crossed paths with a pumpkin pie — a divine combination.
The pumpkin has a mildly sweet taste that is enhanced by the tang from sour cream and cream cheese as well as the blend of spices used in the filling. For the crust, I like to mix the graham cracker crumbs with butter, brown sugar, and just a little cinnamon to add a rich warmth to the dessert and bring out the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin.
This pumpkin cheesecake is delicious by itself, but when you drizzle some caramel sauce on top or add a generous dollop of whipped cream — perfection!
What You Need for This Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- Cream Cheese: I like to use full-fat brick cream cheese at room temperature. Avoid cheese spreads or cream cheese sold in plastic tubes.
- Graham Crackers: They have a subtly sweet and nutty flavor and a sandy texture that helps make the crust tender.
- Brown Sugar: Add a wonderful caramel-like sweetness, and as it melts and hardens when heated, brown sugar helps the crumbs to stick together.
- Butter: The melted butter helps to hydrate the cracker crumbs and bind them together. The fat from the butter also helps prevent the crust from getting soggy once the filling is added.
- Eggs: They help to bind and thicken the filling, while the egg yolk also gives a velvety consistency.
- Pumpkin Purée: Using pumpkin purée and not spiced pumpkin pie filling is important to get the flavors right.
- Spices: I like to blend ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg to give a lovely spice and warmth to the filling.
- Sugar: As pumpkin purée is quite bland, I like to add granulated sugar.
- Sour Cream: It adds a slight acidity that complements the tartness of the cream cheese.
- Vanilla Extract: It helps to enhance all the flavors.
- Flour: I have used plain/all-purpose flour to give texture to the filling and make the cake easier to cut into clean slices.
- Graham Crackers: You can substitute it with digestive biscuits, Biscoff, or gingersnaps.
- Spices: I like to use nutmeg, ground cloves, and cinnamon, but you can also use pumpkin spice.
- Sour Cream: It can be replaced with Greek yogurt.
How can I tell when the pumpkin cheesecake is done?
You can check if your cheesecake is done by using an oven mitt to gently shake the pan. If the edges look firm, but a small circle in the center still wiggles, then the cheesecake is done. It will finish setting during the cooling process.
How to get a smooth and creamy cheesecake?
Using room-temperature ingredients is critical for getting a smooth and creamy filling.
Can I make it ahead and freeze this pumpkin cheesecake?
Yes. You can make it a few days in advance, cool it completely, cover it with plastic wrap, and freeze it for up to 1 month. Alternatively, you can freeze individual slices wrapped in plastic wrap. When you’re ready to serve it, thaw at room temperature for a few hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake
Whip up this decadent, rich pumpkin cheesecake featuring the subtle sweetness of pumpkin with a wonderful graham cracker crust and all the warming spices of fall. Don’t forget the whipped cream!
Yield: 8 servings (23 cm / 9-inch springform pan)
Optional for serving:
How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Step By Step
Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉). To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs with cinnamon and brown sugar, and mix well.
Add the melted butter and press the crumbs down into a springform pan lined with parchment paper, then set aside.
To make the filling, start by beating the cream cheese until smooth.
Add the pumpkin purée, flour, eggs, spices, sour cream, vanilla extract, and sugar, and beat until thoroughly combined.
Pour the filling over the crust, spread it evenly, and bake it for about 1 hour.
When the cheesecake is ready, turn the oven off and crack open the oven door with the cheesecake still inside, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
At this point, the cake should be firm enough that you can remove the springform ring. Peel back the parchment paper and place the cheesecake in the fridge overnight or at least for 4 hours. It will help the cheesecake to set completely, creating a super creamy texture that’s easy to slice.
Cut it into slices and serve with caramel sauce or whipped cream if you wish, and enjoy!
- Before pressing down the crust, I recommend lining the springform pan’s bottom and sides with parchment paper. As it bakes, the cheesecake tends to stick to the sides of the pan, and when it cools, it shrinks. This will create tension in the center, forming a big crack. Parchment paper will prevent this from happening.
- Do not overmix the filling, or you’ll end up incorporating too much air, and the big bubbles can cause cracks on the surface. Tap the bottom of the pan a few times after filling it to make the air bubbles rise to the surface, then pop them out.
- If you want to avoid cracks on the surface, you may bake the cheesecake in a water bath.