Pumpkin, spice, and everything nice is combined into the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake. The smooth, rich, and creamy filling loaded onto a gingersnap crust will have you coming back for more. This easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe will be a hit every time.
Every year for Thanksgiving we make and share this traditional pumpkin pie. Why? Because it's tradition to have pumpkin pie for dessert in November. Am I right?
Well, it was until a few years ago anyway. When my husband and I started making more cheesecake, we added a pumpkin cheesecake recipe to our holiday dessert list.
⭐ Why Make This Cheesecake
Our pumpkin cheesecake is a great fall treat. The gingersnap crust is perfect crisp and the creamy filling has just the right amount of spice.This dessert will be your new favorite this season.
It's so easy to make too with our easy to follow instructions. You can make it ahead of time, so you have time to relax before Thanksgiving dinner.
Your friends and family will think you bought it at a bakery when they taste how creamy and delicious this pumpkin cheesecake is.
📋 Key Ingredients Needed
The best pumpkin cheesecake is made with pumpkin puree and fall spices, so it tastes just like Thanksgiving.
For the crust in this pumpkin cheesecake recipe, I used a box of gingersnap cookies. Feel free to change it up and make a graham cracker crust, a brownie crust, or an Oreo crust. Any of those would be amazing!
For the Cookie Crust
- Gingersnap Cookies - Gives the crust a great spicy flavor. You can also use graham cracker crumbs, if you prefer that instead.
- Sugar - Sweetens the crust.
- Butter - Unsalted, melted, and mixed with the sugar and cookie crumbs.
For the Creamy Filling
- Cream Cheese - 4 blocks set out ahead of time.
- Sugar - A mix of brown and granulated sugar sweetens the filling.
- Heavy Cream - Adds moisture to the filling.
- Pumpkin Puree - Adds a great pumpkin flavor. Make sure you do NOT buy pumpkin pie filling!
- All Purpose Flour - Stabilizes the filling a little bit, so it doesn't crack.
- Vanilla and Spices - Adds flavor and compliments the pumpkin.
- Eggs - Gives cheesecake mixture a smooth and rich texture.
💭 Water Bath vs. Steam Bath
One of the biggest controversies when baking cheesecake is whether to use a water bath or not. My personal opinion, experience, and preference is NO water bath.
A water bath is when you wrap the bottom of your pan with foil and place it directly into a pan of water. The temperature of the water helps the cheesecake bake evenly. I prefer to not mess with this method.
I place a pan of water on the rack UNDER a cheesecake as it bakes...aka a steam bath. The water heats up and begins to steam creating a humid environment in the oven. This extra moisture will give you a creamy cheesecake.
⏲️ How to Make the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake
Follow these steps to make this easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool before you can dive in. The measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step One: Make the Gingersnap Cookie Crust
- Crush the gingersnap cookies and mix with melted butter.
- Press the cookie crust into a parchment lined springform pan.
Step Two: Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- Beat the softened cream cheese with the granulated and brown sugar until creamy.
- Add the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, flour, and spices and mix again.
- Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then add to the batter. Do not over mix!
- Remove the cheesecake once the timer goes off and place it on a wire rack.
- Cool 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges, and continue cooling for an hour at room temperature before refrigerating.
BRUCREW TIP: Do NOT over mix the batter because that can cause the cheesecake to puff up as it bakes and then crack as it deflates and cools.
Step Three: Chill and Decorate
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for 6-8 hours or until chilled through.
- Decorate the top with Cool Whip swirls, extra gingersnap cookies, and a dusting of pumpkin pie spice right before serving. You can also use this easy whipped cream recipe, if you prefer.
👩🏻🍳 Tips and Tricks
I'm here to convince you that making cheesecake is actually easier than you probably think. I shared a lot of tips and tricks when I made this vanilla bean cheesecake recipe.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugars until light and creamy. It should be fluffy and pale in color. Make sure to use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and blade. This will ensure that your final cheesecake will be creamy and lump free.
- Make sure you use a 12 cup 9-inch springform pan with 3 inch sides. Anything smaller will be overfilled and cause a mess. Not every 9 inch pan is the same! Please make sure your pan can hold 12 cups! If it cannot, please use a 10 inch pan.
- Use a mixture of granulated and brown sugar in the cheesecake batter. The addition of brown sugar deepens the flavor and adds subtle hints of molasses to your final product.
- Line your pan with parchment paper before pressing the cookie crust into the pan. You will be able to remove this easily after the cheesecake cools.
- Bake with a steam bath to yield a smooth creamy consistency.
- Once the cheesecake is done baking, let it cool 5 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the sides from the pan. As cheesecakes cool, they shrink. If it is still attached to the pan, it will pull and cause cracks in the center.
- Make this ahead of time because it needs time to chill completely. The flavors in the cheesecake will blend and meld better if they have time to chill long enough. You can make this 1-2 days earlier than when you need it.
💭 Recipe FAQ's
The center of the cheesecake should jiggle (like Jello) when you gently shake the pan. The top will jiggle as a whole and the center two inches will look soft. The center of the cheesecake will continue to cook and firm up as it cools.
Yes you can. Freeze individual slices, then wrap each one in foil or plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe bag for up to 1 month. You can also freeze a whole pumpkin cheesecake wrapped this way and it will keep for 4-6 weeks.
📋 Other Pumpkin Desserts
- Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
- Pecan Pie Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Fluff
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips
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