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Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Rich, creamy, full of pumpkin flavor and baked on a buttery graham cracker crust, this Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe makes the perfect ending to any meal.

Pumpkin cheesecake is one of the quintessential fall desserts. It’s full wonderful warm and cozy fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger from the pumpkin pie spice. And don’t forget that buttery graham cracker crust. It brings all the cool weather feels.

We love all things pumpkin and these are a few of our other favorite easy pumpkin desserts. You can’t go wrong with a batch of Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Pumpkin Brownies, or Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

A slice of the baked dessert topped with whipped cream.

How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake:

  1. Line the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil. Fold the foil over the top edge of the pan so it’s secure, and preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Make the Graham Cracker Crust:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. 
  2. Transfer the mixture into the springform pan, and use the bottom of a heavy cup or ramekin to press it into an even layer. Push the cracker mixture up the sides slightly, about a ½ an inch to 1-inch.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust becomes fragrant and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely before filling.

Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F degrees.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. Next, add the sour cream, and continue to mix on low speed. Finally, add the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil, and transfer the cheesecake (springform pan with filling) to a large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water around the springform pan making sure not to splash water onto the cheesecake.

Bake the Cheesecake:

  1. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven, and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes. The time may vary slightly depending on the oven. The sides of the cheesecake will set, but the center will jiggle some.
  2. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside for an additional hour. Do not to open the door because it’s still cooking and the heat will escape.
  3. After 1 hour, remove the springform pan from the water bath and place the springform pan on a wire cooling rack. Allow the cheesecake to cool for another hour then transfer to the refrigerator.
  4. Let the cheesecake cool in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

Decorate and Serve:

  1. Remove the cooled cheesecake from the refrigerator, and unlock the springform pan. Carefully remove the outer ring. Be mindful that the bottom of the pan stays in place.
  2. Top the cheesecake with homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.
Collage showing how to make a pumpkin cheesecake recipe.

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Tips:

  • I did say “easy” for this section, because I do truly think this recipe for pumpkin cheesecake is easy. It just takes some patience. The best and most important tip I can give is to read all of the instructions before beginning. That way you know the equipment you’ll need and how much time it will take.
  • Make sure the cream cheese is super soft so there won’t be any lumps in the cheesecake. The sour cream and eggs should be room temperature, too, to help with mixing.
  • Use full fat ingredients for the best results. We haven’t tested this recipe with low-fat ingredients.
  • Springform pans are notorious for leaking. After wrapping the pan in aluminum foil, wrap the pan in an oven bag to add an extra barrier against leaks.
  • If you aren’t a fan of graham cracker crusts, use your favorite. Shortbread, Chex cereal, Oreo, and gingersnap are some other tasty options.
  • Don’t rush the cooling process. Trying to cool this cheesecake faster results in a dry, cracked cheesecake that ends up crumbly and not creamy.
  • While a water bath is not a must, it makes for a cheesecake that is more evenly cooked with little to no browning on the top. If you forget to use a water bath, don’t sweat it. The cheesecake will still cook and still taste amazing!
  • If the pumpkin cheesecake cracks, that usually means that the temperature changed too quickly at some point in the cooking or cooling process. A water bath helps with this. Another tip is don’t open and close the oven door while the cheesecake cooks and cools. Give it time and let it cool slowly without being disturbed. The temperature needs to decrease slowly.
  • If you run out of pumpkin pie spice, try some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a pinch of cloves and allspice instead.
The finished pumpkin cheesecake served with whipped topping.

How to Store:

Refrigerator: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Freezer: Pumpkin cheesecake freezes well for about 1 month. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator until completely cooled. Wrap it well in plastic wrap or foil then freeze. This works well for individual slices or the whole cheesecake.

To thaw: Transfer the cheesecake back to the refrigerator overnight to thaw before serving. Set it on the countertop for 30 minutes to 1 hour if needed just prior to serving.

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A slice of cheesecake removed from the pan.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Set and Chill: 10 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 (9-inch) Cheesecake

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (12 full sheets of graham crackers)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Cheesecake Filling

  • 28 ounces cream cheese softened (3 ½ blocks)
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • cup sour cream room temperature
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F, and line the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Pour the cracker mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, and use the bottom of a heavy glass or ramekin to press into an even layer and up the sides about ½ an inch to 1-inch.
  • Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before adding the pumpkin filling.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F degrees.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Next, add the sour cream, and continue to mix on low speed. Finally, add the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil, and transfer the cheesecake (springform pan with filling) to a large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water around the springform pan making sure not to splash water onto the cheesecake.

Bake:

  • Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes until the sides are set and the center jiggles slightly. (The time will vary depending on how your oven bakes.)
  • Turn the oven off, and leave cheesecake in the oven for an additional hour.
  • After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, and transfer it from the roasting pan to a cooling rack. Let the cheesecake cool for an additional hour on the cooling rack.
  • After the cheesecake cools at room temperature for 1 hour, transfer it to the refrigerator to finish cooling for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Serve:

  • When ready to serve, unlock the springform pan and carefully remove the outer ring. Cut into individual slices, and top with whipped cream.
  • See post for tips and storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 341mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g
Recipe Rating




Adamiley Luna

Monday 20th of November 2017

How many days prior could you prepare this?for example wanting to serve it for Thanksgiving?

Kimberly

Monday 20th of November 2017

Hi Adamiley! One to two days should be fine. :) Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda B

Wednesday 8th of November 2017

Have you tried it with a gingersnap crust? My niece makes pumpkin cheesecake every Thanksgiving and uses gingersnaps in place of the graham crackers. Gives it just that much more punch!

John

Wednesday 8th of November 2017

Thank you for commenting, Linda! No, we've never tried it with a gingerbread crust. It sounds like a wonderful idea! Have a great Wednesday :)

Rachel @ Kitchen Cents

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

I'm not a big pumpkin pie fan but cheesecake... that's a different story. This sounds delicious AND looks amazing!

John

Friday 3rd of March 2017

Thank you, Rachel! Kim is the same way. In fact, she won't touch anybody's pumpkin pie, only mine lol! She uses some of the same pumpkin pie spices in this dish. Thanks again for commenting! :)

Jessica Sheppard

Saturday 24th of December 2016

No way! Pumpkin cheesecake, yes please! This recipe looks so delicious, def gonna try it for the holidays!

amgcua

Wednesday 21st of December 2016

I'm very new to baking, in general, and I have a very stupid question. For some reason I'm struggling with this instruction: "Line the outside of a 9-inch spring form pan with foil." Can you please explain what you mean? I can't understand why I'd be lining the -outside- of a pan? I must certainly be missing something. Thanks so much.

John

Thursday 22nd of December 2016

Thank you for your comment and question, Anne! I spoke with Kim and she explained that you should line the outside of the pan with foil, making sure to curl it slightly over the top of the spring form pan to protect the pumpkin cheesecake. You have to line the outside of the pan with foil because you are putting it in a water bath. The foil keeps the water from seeping into the cheesecake. If you line the inside of the pan, then the cheesecake will not of the pan properly (it might stick and tear). I hope I explained that correctly so it makes sense. If not, please fee free to ask for clarification. :)