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This pumpkin pie cheesecake might just be the best thing ever. It’s made with a layer of vanilla cheesecake topped with a classic pumpkin pie filling. It all sits on top of a buttery graham cracker crust and is finished with fluffy whipped cream swirls.
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
It’s not pumpkin pie. It’s not cheesecake. It’s pumpkin pie cheesecake. The most glorious combination of two previously unbeatable desserts. I’ll just warn you now. This might just be the absolute best thing I have ever created. Even the most hardcore pumpkin pie lovers will say that this cheesecake gives their favorite dessert a run for its money.
- Flavor combo. This cheesecake takes my classic vanilla cheesecake recipe and tops it with my favorite pumpkin pie filling. While the layers remain separate, the flavors marry together in each bite like some sort of dessert miracle. The subtle sweetness and warm spices in the pumpkin pie filling next to the sweet tang of the cheesecake layer are nothing short of spectacular.
- Texture. Take creamy, smooth pumpkin pie filling next to thick, creamy cheesecake and put it all on top of the subtle crunch of graham cracker crust. Who could say no to that textural fiesta?
- Simple. You won’t have to jump through too many hoops to get this cheesecake right. Each component of this dessert (the crust, the pumpkin pie filling, the cheesecake filling, and the whipped cream) is quite simple to bring together, making this a great recipe for those of you relatively new to cheesecake.
- Make ahead. When it comes to the holidays, prepping ahead is the name of the game. Cheesecake is an excellent dessert to make ahead because it holds up really well in the fridge. You could easily make this cheesecake a couple days before Thanksgiving. Winner!
What You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe. Don’t forget to check out the recipe card below for precise measurements.
- Graham cracker crumbs – You could change it up with another type of cookie, if you like, I went with the classic crust.
- Light brown sugar – For some extra flavor. You could even add a touch of cinnamon, too.
- Unsalted butter – The melted butter holds the crust ingredients together.
Pumpkin pie filling
- Pumpkin puree – Use the canned stuff here. Homemade pumpkin puree is great but there is too much variability in moisture content and sweetness to make it a reliable choice. Also be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Eggs – The eggs should be at room temperature, otherwise they won’t mix as easily into the batter.
- Light brown sugar – For extra yummy flavor.
- Spices – Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
- Salt – Don’t underestimate salt in your baking. It adds flavor and amplifies the flavors in the dessert. Without it, your dessert will be bland.
- Cornstarch – For its thickening power.
- Heavy whipping cream – Start with room temperature heavy whipping cream. It will mix more smoothly and easily into the batter.
- Whole milk – The milk should also be at room temperature, otherwise it won’t incorporate as easily with the other ingredients.
- Cream cheese – Start with room-temperature cream cheese. Cold cream cheese won’t mix as smoothly with the other ingredients. Also be sure to use brick-style cream cheese, not the tub. I also recommend full fat. Reduced fat can be on the thinner side.
- Sugar – For sweetness and to cut down on the tang of the cream cheese.
- All-purpose flour – Helps provide a creamier texture to the cheesecake. You can also use a 1:1 gluten-free flour instead or cornstarch, but in half the amount.
- Sour cream – It’s best to use room temperature sour cream. It will have an easier time incorporating into the batter.
- Vanilla extract – For flavor.
- Eggs – The eggs should be at room temperature. Cold eggs won’t incorporate into the batter as easily. You also want to use large size eggs, not medium or extra large.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- Heavy whipping cream – Be sure that your heavy cream is cold. It won’t whip up and hold volume properly if it is too warm.
- Powdered sugar – The stabilize the whipped cream so it doesn’t ever wilt.
- Vanilla extract – For flavor.
- Ground cinnamon – More flavor!
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
If you take it one component at a time, this is actually a surprisingly easy cheesecake to make. Here’s a quick look at how to do it. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
Make the Crust
- Prep. Preheat oven to 325°F, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides.
- Make the crust. Combine the crust ingredients and press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Leakproof your springform. Cover the outside of the pan with aluminum foil.
Make the Filling
- Reduce the temperature. Set the oven to 300°F.
- Make the pumpkin pie filling. Whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, and light brown sugar. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
- Start the cheesecake filling. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on low speed until smooth.
- Finish the cheesecake filling. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla extract followed by the eggs, one at a time.
- Assemble. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust and place the springform pan in a water bath. Slowly drizzle the pumpkin pie filling over the cheesecake filling, one spoonful at a time to be sure to keep the layers separate.
- Bake. Bake for 2 hours 10-20 minutes.
- Cool gradually. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool inside for 30 minutes. Crack the door and allow it to cool for an additional 30 minutes.
- Chill. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
Finish it off
- Get it ready. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place on a serving dish.
- Make the whipped cream. Whip the ingredients for the whipped cream together on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Decorate. Pipe the whipped cream around the outer edge of the cheesecake.
Tips for Success
Want the perfect cheesecake? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you make your cheesecake. For more, check out my post on How to Make the Perfect Cheesecake.
- Room temperature ingredients. Start with room-temperature ingredients. They will blend more smoothly and easily into their respective batters. This will help prevent you from over-mixing.
- Don’t over-mix. Be careful not to over-mix your pumpkin pie or cheesecake batter and don’t mix at too high a speed. Over-mixing incorporates excess air into the batter which can cause cracks in the dessert.
- Use a springform pan. A springform pan is pretty much a non-negotiable here. Without the removable sides, you will find it nearly impossible to remove the cheesecake from the pan.
- Use a water bath. Although they are a bit of a pain, water baths are crucial when it comes to making a successful cheesecake. They help ensure even cooking while also preventing surface cracks. Have a look at my post on How to Bake Cheesecake in a Water Bath to learn how it’s done.
- Be gentle. I suggest spooning the pie filling over the cheesecake filling, instead or pouring or dumping it. If you pour it in too quickly in one spot, you’ll get a crater of pumpkin pie in one place, rather than having it more evenly spread over the cheesecake.
- Don’t over-bake. You’ll know your dessert is done baking when it is set around the edges with about a 3-inch wobbly ring in the center. Note that it will continue to cook and firm up as it cools.
- Cool gradually. Once you turn the oven off, allow the cheesecake to cool inside with the door closed for 30 minutes and then for another 30 minutes with the door cracked. The cheesecake will finish baking during this time and will be less likely to develop cracks on the surface.
Just in case this dessert doesn’t lift your spirits enough as is, try serving it with one (or all) of the following.
- Sauce. Drizzle some of my Salted Caramel Sauce or this Hot Fudge Sauce over your slice of pumpkin pie cheesecake.
- A la mode. A cold scoop of vanilla ice cream over pumpkin cheesecake might just be about as close to heaven as you can get. Feeling creative? Try making your own Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream.
- A festive beverage. How better to enjoy the holidays than by sipping on a glass of Homemade Egg Nog or this delicious Hot Toddy as you indulge in this festive treat.
- Refrigerator. Store the cake in an airtight cake carrier. If you don’t have one, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap (you can use toothpicks to prop the plastic away from the whipped cream). If you already sliced the cheesecake, arrange the slices in a single layer in an airtight container. In any case, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer. Allow the cheesecake to firm up in the freezer for a couple of hours. Next, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap. Alternatively, arrange slices of cheesecake in a single layer in a freezer-safe airtight container. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer it to the fridge to thaw completely before serving.
More Pumpkin Desserts
It’s pumpkin season and I have some delicious pumpkin recipes for you. Here are some of my absolute favorites.
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cake Roll
- Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Cups
- Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Pound Cake
Watch How It’s MadePrint
You’re going to love this delicious pumpkin pie cheesecake. Vanilla cheesecake filling and pumpkin pie stacked on top of each other in a graham cracker crust? Yes, please!
- 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbsp (42g) packed light brown sugar
- 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted butter, melted
Pumpkin pie filling
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 16 ounces (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (138g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (16g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 6 tbsp (86g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
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 so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.
Make the Filling
- Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
- To make the pumpkin pie filling, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs and light brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
- To make the cheesecake filling, add the cream cheese, sugar and flour to a large mixer bowl and beat on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust.
- Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside 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.
- Drizzle one spoonful of the pumpkin pie filling at a time over the top of the cheesecake filling. You want to be sure to spoon the pie filling over the cheesecake filling, instead of pouring or dumping it. If you pour it in too quickly in one spot, you’ll get a crater of pumpkin pie in one place, rather than having it more evenly spread over the cheesecake. Take your time and spoon the pumpkin pie filling over the cheesecake filling as evenly as you can.
- Bake for 2 hours 10-20 minutes (yes, it’s a long time). When judging whether it’s done, it will be a little jigglier in the middle than a regular cheesecake, since the pumpkin pie doesn’t firm up quite the same. If it gets too firm, it may actually be over baked and then crack. Look for there to only be about 2-3 inches in the center of the cheesecake that are still wobbly. If it’s a larger area than that, then it probably isn’t quite done. It WILL firm up more as it cools and cooks a bit more during that process.
- Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
- Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
Finish it off
- To finish off the cheesecake, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place on a serving dish.
- To make the whipped cream, add everything to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe the whipped cream around the outer edge of the cheesecake. I used Ateco tip 847 (https://amzn.to/3ZsI4Bz).
- Cover and refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best if eaten within 4-5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 511
- Sugar: 40.4 g
- Sodium: 365.5 mg
- Fat: 29 g
- Carbohydrates: 57.1 g
- Protein: 7.2 g
- Cholesterol: 140.9 mg
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