Pumpkin cheesecake is my latest and greatest recipe! This is one that is perfect for fall and welcoming in the colder weather and holidays.
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I know this will be a new staple item on my thanksgiving table for many years to come!
If you have read either my pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe or my white chocolate peppermint cheesecake recipe, you will know that pumpkin and cheesecake are easily two of my favorite things!
Why not combine them into this one amazing pumpkin cheesecake? It is a total win-win for me!
This is a pretty simple recipe when it comes to cheesecake, and I love that. I’m a good cook, but patience has never been one of my stronger personality traits. So the easier a recipe is, the happier I am to make it.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients
Graham Cracker crumbs, 2 cups
Butter, unsalted, melted, 8 tablespoons or 1 stick
Sugar, ¼ cup
Pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon
Cream cheese, 4 8-ounce packages, softened
Sugar, 1 cup
Light brown sugar, ¼ cup
Pumpkin puree, 1 can (15 ounces)
Heavy cream, ⅓ cup
Vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons
Pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon
Pumpkin Cheesecake Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using a food processor, grind up the graham crackers into a fine dust for the crust. Two bags equal the amount you’ll need. I recommend grinding them up in two batches though, just so the food processor isn’t overfilled.
Bake for 7-8 minutes and then cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. This process is often called ‘blind baking’ and the reason is that without it, the crust will become too soggy and not actually cook completely. Nobody likes a soggy bottom! Note that you can blind bake a crust up to 3 days ahead of time, if needed. Simply cover it with plastic wrap once cooled and it will stay fresh.
Boil water for a water bath. You’ll need enough to fill a larger pan where it comes halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. This amount will vary, depending on the size of the larger pan. I often use a roasting pan when I make cheesecake for water bath purposes.
In the stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on a high speed until it is light and fluffy in texture. This should take about three minutes. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a silicone spatula as needed.
Add in the eggs, pumpkin, and heavy cream. Mix until fully incorporated, and keep scraping the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
Last, add in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, and continue mixing until it is all combined. Using the spatula, check the bottom of the mixing bowl and make sure that there aren’t chunks of cream cheese that didn’t get mixed in. You’ll be able to tell because if you hit one of these chunks, the consistency will feel different and thicker than the mixed batter.
Pour the batter into the crust and cover the bottom of the springform pan with foil. Use as much as you need, because the goal here is to keep the water away from the crust. Put the springform pan into a larger pan. As I said earlier, I love my roasting pan for this exact reason. There is space for projects like this, and flan that also requires a water bath.
Bake for 60 minutes. The edges will appear to be set, but the center will have a fair amount of jiggle to it. This is the point where you’ll want to crack the oven door to where it is just slightly open. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest in the cooling oven for another 60 minutes. This will complete the cooking process without overcooking the cheesecake.
Once it has finished cooking, remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath. Let it cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours. Once it has cooled completely, place in the refrigerator to chill for at least six hours.
Why Use a Water Bath
The purpose of a water bath is to keep the cheesecake from cracking and being ugly. It is something you can skip, if you should choose to. Just know that there will likely be cracks. If you want an aesthetically pleasing cheesecake, you definitely want to use the water bath.
If you do skip the water bath, you can always make some whipped cream to top the cheesecake, and cover up the cracks with that. It really just all depends on how picky you are about the end result and appearance of the cheesecake. I’m picky, so I always do a water bath, but that’s my preference.
Useful tip! Instead of foil, use a turkey bag for the water bath. These will not fall apart or tear easily, so the likelihood of getting water in your crust is a lot less! I always knew there was a reason I had a bunch of these in the drawer!
Storing Pumpkin Cheesecake
This pumpkin cheesecake will last in the refrigerator for up to five days, and 1-2 months in the freezer. To defrost the pumpkin cheesecake, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. You can also pre-cut it into individual slices to enjoy later.
I found that we only eat about half of a full cheesecake, and freezing is the best option. Cutting it into individual slices means that I can eat it whenever I want to. Who doesn’t want to pull a slice out for a midnight snack later that night?!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Discussion
Have you tried making this pumpkin cheesecake? What is your favorite holiday dessert? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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