This easy Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe makes a smooth & creamy cheesecake that’s full of pumpkin flavor & spice! Topped with a cream cheese whipped cream, it makes the best Fall treat & holiday dessert!
This past week we took the boys on their first beach trip. Packing for our first big vacation with them was a bit hilarious. I wouldn’t say we over packed for them because we certainly needed a lot of stuff. But the funny thing was that we were so busy packing for them, we realized after getting to the beach that we’d forgotten several things for ourselves. Of course they had everything they needed. 🙂
We played on the beach as much as the boys could handle, considering their young age. Ashton was more into the water, while Brooks preferred hanging in the sand. It was a great trip and it was fun to introduce the boys to Hilton Head Island – the beach I’ve been going to with my family since I was a child. I imagine many more family trips there in our future.
It was also a great way to end summer and say “hello” to fall!
And since it’s officially fall, I’m so ready to start sharing some pumpkin desserts with you! Pumpkin is easily one of the best flavors of the season and it’s in great form in this pumpkin cheesecake. It’s loaded with a full can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) and lots of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
How to make a pumpkin cheesecake
To get started with this pumpkin cheesecake, you’ll make the crust. It’s a classic graham cracker crust – with a twist. There’s some brown sugar and cinnamon added to the crust, which gives it some extra flavor and really compliments the cheesecake.
The pumpkin cheesecake filling is thick and creamy and easy to put together. It starts with your usual suspects – cream cheese, sugar, a little flour and some sour cream. Add to that the pumpkin puree, spices and eggs and you’re filling is ready to go.
The important thing to remember when putting the filling together is that you want to mix things on a low speed. It helps to not incorporate too much air into the batter, which can rise to the top of the cheesecake during baking and cause cracks.
This cheesecake is baked in a water bath, which I know can be a pain, but really is the best way to go when baking a cheesecake. It lends a more moist cheesecake that doesn’t brown around the edges, sink in the middle or have cracks. It’s a few extra steps that are definitely worth it!
Once the cheesecake is baked and cooled, it’s topped with cream cheese whipped cream that pairs perfectly. The final cheesecake is so good that it just melts in your mouth. I love all the pumpkin flavor and how well it’s accentuated by the spices. There’s lots of spice, but not too much. Just how I like it.
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This smooth and creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake features a buttery graham cracker crust and fluffy swirls of whipped cream cheese frosting. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, it’s bound to become your go-to pumpkin dessert.
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
- 10 tbsp (140g) salted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp (42g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
- 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
- 1/4 cup (58g) sour cream
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
For the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz (113g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 6 tbsp (86g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Chopped pecans
- Pumpkin candies
Make the Crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
- Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil (I also use a plastic crock pot liner – see full method for preventing your water bath from leaking here) so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Set prepared pan aside.
Make the Filling
- Reduce oven to 300°F (148°C).
- In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, brown sugar and flour until well combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the pumpkin, sour cream, vanilla extract and spices and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust and spread evenly.
- Place springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it. All ovens are different. You want it to be set around the edges and jiggly in the center couple of inches before moving on.
- Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes.
- Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
Make the Topping & Decorate
- When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
- To make the whipped cream, add the cream cheese to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake, then finish it off with chopped pecans and pumpkin candies.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve.
- Makes 12-14 slices
- To Store: Cheesecake is best when stored well covered in the fridge and eaten within 3-4 days.
- To Freeze: Wrap fully set cheesecake (without topping) in plastic wrap or foil and freeze in a heavy-duty storage bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before adding topping and enjoying.
- Serving Size: 1 Slice
- Calories: 410
- Sugar: 26.9 g
- Sodium: 333.9 mg
- Fat: 26.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.9 g
- Protein: 8.2 g
- Cholesterol: 121.4 mg
Keywords: easy pumpkin cheesecake, whipped cream cheese frosting, cheesecake with graham cracker crust