This is seriously the best pumpkin cheesecake recipe EVER. This pumpkin cheesecake is creamy, smooth, and delicious with a gingersnap pecan crust. With just the right amount of classic pumpkin spice flavors, everyone will fall in love with this Thanksgiving dessert!
This Pumpkin Cheesecake is quite possibly the best pumpkin dessert ever! It’s delicious, creamy, and loaded with pumpkin spice flavors. A cross between pumpkin pie and cheesecake, this cheesecake is truly the best of both worlds. Topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream, pumpkin cheesecake is ideal for Thanksgiving or any Fall celebrations!
Cheesecakes may seem intimidating and like a lot of work, but with a little bit of planning and organization, they can come together in a breeze. Let’s break this layer cheesecake down into four components:
- Gingersnap Crust: This gingersnap crust is the perfect base for pumpkin cheesecake. A combination of crushed gingersnap cookies and pecans held together with melted butter creates a spicy, nutty, and crunchy contrast to the silky smooth cheesecake.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling: The star of the show! Pumpkin cheesecake filling is creamy, smooth, with just the right amount of pumpkin and spices.
- Salted Caramel: Making homemade caramel is a lot easier than you may think! The addition of flakey sea salt adds the perfect balance to the sweetness of the caramel. If you are short on time, you can most definitely use a store-bought caramel topping.
- Whipped Cream: This whipped cream is so fluffy and light, you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake
This pumpkin cheesecake does not require any fancy ingredients. However, it is important that you gather and prepare your ingredients ahead of time because room temperature ingredients are a must in this cheesecake recipe. Here’s what you’ll need for the crust:
- Gingersnap cookies
- Unsalted Butter
For the pumpkin cheesecake you will need:
- Cream cheese
- Pumpkin puree
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg
- Sour cream
To make the caramel sauce and whipped cream, you will need:
- Heavy cream
- Flakey sea salt
Tips For Making Pumpkin Cheesecake
Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature
This is VERY important! Room temperature ingredients blend way better than cold ingredients. Before beginning any step of this cheesecake recipe, make sure that your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream have been sitting out of the fridge for at least 2-3 hours.
Use pumpkin puree
Check and double check your can of pumpkin to make sure that you are using pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin filling. The cans look very similar and it is very easy to confuse the two.
Always use full-fat ingredients
For the creamiest cheesecake, always use full fat cream cheese and sour cream. Full fat ingredients will give your cheesecake the best flavor and texture.
Make the caramel in advance
The caramel must be completely cool before topping the cheesecake. You can make the caramel up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the pumpkin cheesecake.
I love the combination of gingersnap cookies and pumpkin for this cheesecake recipe, but graham crackers, digestive biscuits, or Biscoff cookies are great alternatives.
Always bake your cheesecake in a moist environment
Baking a cheesecake in a water bath is the most traditional method. I’m not a fan. I’ve burned myself too many times, spilled boiling water all over my oven and cheesecake, or water seeped into the springform pan (no matter how much aluminium foil I covered it with) and ended up with a soggy cheesecake. Nobody likes a soggy cheesecake, so instead of a water bath, create a moist environment for your cheesecake by placing a 9x13-inch roasting pan on the bottom rack of your oven. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water on the stove top. When you are ready to place the cheesecake in the oven, pour the boiling water into the roasting pan and then place the cheesecake on the middle rack above.
How to prevent cracks in cheesecake
To prevent cracks, the cheesecake needs to be cooled properly - slow and gradually. When the pumpkin cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly open. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for at least another hour before moving it to the counter to cool at room temperature. After about 30 minutes at room temperature, you can move your cheesecake to the fridge, where it will need to chill for at least 4 hours (or preferably overnight) to set completely.
Storing leftover cheesecake
To store any leftover pumpkin cheesecake, cover it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. The cheesecake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cheesecake freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More pumpkin recipes you'll love!
- Traditional Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake Tarts
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Muffins
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- 14 oz gingersnap cookies
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter melted
- 3 8 oz packs cream cheese room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp butter room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the sides of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides and bottom of the pan and set aside.
- To make the crust, place gingersnap cookies, pecans, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs. Mix in melted butter until the crumbs are moistened. Evenly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Place a large roasting pan in the bottom rack of your oven. Boil about 6 cups of water and carefully place water in the roasting pan.
- To make the cheesecake, add the cream cheese and sugars to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the pumpkin puree and mix on low for another minute.
- Add the flour, spices, and salt and mix on low to combine.
- Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing on low speed, scraping down the bowl before each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.
- Finally, stir in the sour cream with a large rubber spatula until completely incorporated.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the baked crust. Smooth out the top and give it a couple of bangs on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Place the cheesecake in the middle rack, directly above the roasting pan of water. Quickly close the oven door and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes–1 hour 20 minutes. The cheesecake will be done when there is a slight jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
- Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour to set, then cool on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Once the cheesecake has completely set, carefully remove from the springform pan and transfer to a serving plate. Top with caramel sauce and whipped cream! Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- To make the salted caramel, heat the sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar begins to melt, whisk the sugar to get rid of any clumps. After about 10 minutes, the sugar should be completely melted and an amber color. Remove the saucepan from heat and immediately whisk in the butter and cream. Stir in the salt. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl to remove any lumps of sugar. Set aside to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a bowl using a hand mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in powdered sugar. Make sure not to over-beat the cream.
- Make the caramel in advance. The caramel must be completely cool before topping the cheesecake. You can make the caramel up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the pumpkin cheesecake.
- Storing leftover cheesecake: To store any leftover pumpkin cheesecake, cover it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. The cheesecake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cheesecake freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.