Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Cheesecake tends to have its fair share of enthusiasts, and we'll venture a bet that pumpkin cheesecake fans are an equally passionate group. Although you might tend to stick to pumpkin-based recipes in the fall months when the squash is abundant, thanks to canned versions you can enjoy orange treats year-round. Recipe developer Jennine Bryant from The Marshside Pantry has created a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that you definitely don't want to wait for fall to try, and it just may convince you to finally hop on the pumpkin bandwagon.

Among her repertoire of sweet treats, this one is a favorite and Bryant notes, "I love that this recipe isn't too sweet, it has a great balance of the tang from the cream cheese and the sweetness of the pumpkin, mixed in with the richness of the warming spices." That pretty much sounds like the ultimate combination, and if your mouth has also started to water, then you'll want to grab the necessary ingredients and get to work. Keep in mind that cheesecake requires some chill time in the fridge, so start early and be patient!

Gather the ingredients for this classic pumpkin cheesecake recipe

You'll need a few ingredients for the crust and several others for the rich filling. To make the crust, you'll need 1 ½ cups  of cookie or graham cracker crumbs, 4 tablespoons of melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar. As for the filling, you'll need two 8-ounce containers of cream cheese, ⅓ cup of light brown sugar, one 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree (unsweetened), two large eggs (let them get to room temperature first), 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of mixed spice, 1 tablespoon of plain flour, and finally ¼ cup of heavy cream. Before serving the pie, finish it off with another ½ cup of heavy cream (to whip) and some caramel sauce if desired. 

Bryant notes that the mixed spice adds a unique touch that enhances the flavors of the cheesecake. She explains, "[it] contains the usual ingredients — cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg," adding that it "also contains coriander seeds and dill seeds!" She points out that these spices "add a great depth of flavor," and describes that "the coriander seed adds a mild lemony citrus sweetness and the dill seeds add a nutty aniseed flavour." In case you can't get your hands on premade ground mixed spice, she lists the following proportions to combine: "1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground coriander seed, and ¼ teaspoon ground dill seed."

Begin by preparing the base

First things first, preheat the oven to 375 F and cover an 8-inch springform cake tin with parchment paper. Next, set out a bowl and add in your choice of cookie or graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, and the melted butter. Mix everything together until it is well combined with a uniform consistency. Now, transfer the crumbly mixture to your cake tin and use the bottom of a measuring cup, spoon, or whatever you have on hand to press it down into the pan. Aim for a flat and compact base — this is the bottom of your cheesecake. To help the crust harden up, chill it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Beat together the ingredients for the filling

While the cheesecake base is cooling, grab a large clean bowl and a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add the cream cheese and beat it for around a minute, until it softens. Then, pour in ⅓ cup of light brown sugar and beat the two together for about two or three minutes until they are well combined and you can't see the sugar anymore. Next, it's time to scoop the contents of the pumpkin puree can into the bowl, crack in the eggs, and add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, mixed spice, and flour. Beat the filling ingredients well until you have a smooth consistency. Lastly, pour in ¼ cup of heavy cream and beat it with the rest of the ingredients for about 30 seconds.

Transfer the pumpkin filling to the crust and bake

Now that the base and filling are ready, it's time to assemble the cheesecake. Take the cake pan out of the fridge and carefully pour the creamy filling over the base. Gently tap the cake tin on your countertop; Bryant explains that this is "to allow any trapped air bubbles to rise to the surface." Wrap the cake tin with some aluminum foil (in case of a spill) and transfer it to a large baking sheet with elevated sides. 

By now, your oven should be nice and hot — go ahead and place the tray and cake in the center of the oven. Carefully pour some water into the baking tray until it is about 1 inch deep. (You can do this before moving the tray to the oven but it requires you to maneuver with a bit more caution.) Once the setup is complete, bake the cheesecake for 1 hour.

Bryant describes that it is ready "when the sides are fairly set but the middle of the cake wobbles slightly." She notes that it's a bit tricky to determine the perfect moment of doneness, but if the top begins to crack, it's definitely time to turn off the oven. Don't worry about the crack since you'll be covering the top with whipped cream! 

Allow the cheesecake to cool, then refrigerate it before serving

Once the cheesecake has set, turn off the heat and open the oven door. Let the cheesecake cool down in the oven until it reaches room temperature. Then, move it to the refrigerator to chill for six to eight hours, or even overnight. When the spiced concoction is nice and cool, carefully remove it from the cake tin and place it on a serving plate. With a hand mixer, whip ½ cup of heavy cream and spread it over the top of the cheesecake. Bryant recommends adding a drizzle of caramel sauce to finish it off before serving this decadent dessert.

If you have any leftovers, keep them in the refrigerator for three to four days. Bryant advises to store the cheesecake in an airtight container or with a proper seal to prevent it from absorbing any fridge odors or drying out.

Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
5 from 7 ratings
Who says pumpkin-based desserts are limited to autumn? With this delicious pumpkin cheesecake recipe, you can enjoy the festive gourd year-round.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
10
slices
pumpkin cheesecake in serving dish
Total time: 1.25 hours
Ingredients
  • For the cheesecake crust
  • 1 ½ cups cookie or graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • :::For the cheesecake filling:
  • 2 (8-ounce) tubs cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) tin pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • For the decoration
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Optional Ingredients
  • caramel sauce for drizzling
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line the base of an 8-inch springform cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a clean bowl, mix the cookie or graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar and the melted butter.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and with the back of a measuring cup or spoon, press the moist graham cracker crumbs until they are compact and flat against the base of the cake tin.
  4. Place the cake tin in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the base to harden.
  5. Meanwhile, in a clean bowl or stand mixer add the cream cheese and beat it for 1 minute to soften.
  6. Add the remaining ⅓ cup of light brown sugar and beat it together with the cream cheese for 2 to 3 minutes, until everything is fully combined.
  7. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, mixed spice, and flour to the bowl and mix again until everything is combined.
  8. Finally, add ¼ cup of heavy cream and beat everything together for another 30 seconds.
  9. Remove the cake pan from the fridge and pour the pumpkin cheesecake batter on top of the hardened biscuit base.
  10. Tap the cake tin lightly on the countertop a few times to allow any trapped air bubbles to rise to the surface.
  11. Carefully wrap the outside of the cake tin with a few layers of aluminum foil, then place the cheesecake in the center of the oven on a large baking tray with sides.
  12. Pour enough water into the base of the baking tray so that it is roughly 1 inch deep, then bake the cheesecake for 1 hour. The cheesecake is ready when the sides are fairly set but the middle of the cake wobbles slightly.
  13. After 1 hour, turn the oven off and open the door to allow the cheesecake to cool completely. Once it has reached room temperature, transfer the cheesecake to the fridge for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
  14. When the cheesecake has had time to chill through, gently remove it from the cake tin and set it on a plate.
  15. Whip up the remaining ½ cup of heavy cream and use it to decorate the top of the cheesecake.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 356
Total Fat 29.9 g
Saturated Fat 16.6 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 123.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 10.5 g
Sodium 247.9 mg
Protein 5.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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