This Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust is the dessert of the season! A soft, velvety pumpkin pie-like cheesecake sets atop a deliciously crunchy gingersnap crust, while classic cream cheese frosting puts the whole thing over the top.
Is it time to make All the Pumpkin Things yet? Not everyone jumps on that bandwagon in the fall and winter, but let me tell you, I am here for it. It’s such a cozy time of year, and I always enjoy pulling out my recipes for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, and The Best Pumpkin Muffins, among many others!
Many of these favorites are simple, homestyle bakes and treats, but once in a while you kinda need a showstopper, right? A dessert to impress, an indulgence that takes a little more time and delivers a big wow – with a gorgeous flavor, of course. This pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust is that dessert.
Looking for smaller indiviual cheesecakes? Try this easy recipe for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes!
What Does Pumpkin Cheesecake Taste Like?
The taste of pumpkin cheesecake is sweet and creamy, with a cozy (but not overwhelming pumpkin spice) flavor. It still has some of the tangy goodness of traditional cheesecake, but not quite as strong. Think New York Style cheesecake, blended with classic pumpkin pie!
The Ingredients You’ll Need
These ingredients are so tempting, if you’re anything like me you’ll get hungry just reading the list. Here we go:
For the Gingersnap Crust
- Gingersnaps: Crush them up. If you don’t have regular gingersnaps, almost any crisp spice cookie will do.
- Butter: Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave before using.
- Brown Sugar: Just a little bit is all you’ll need.
For the Cheesecake Filling
- Cream Cheese: This is usually sold in 8-ounce blocks or tubs. You’ll need three of them, or 24 ounces total.
- Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar: Make sure to pack the brown sugar into your measuring cup when you measure it.
- Eggs and Egg Yolks: At room temperature, for best results.
- Pumpkin: You need pure pumpkin puree here, canned or homemade.
- Cream: A bit of heavy cream gives this cheesecake the perfect texture.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
- Flour: Using a small amount of flour in the cheesecake batter adds stability to the finished cheesecake.
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves add that perfect “pumpkin spice” flavor. If you prefer, you can substitute a couple of teaspoons of your favorite pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.
- Frosting (Optional): Half a batch of this luscious Cream Cheese Frosting makes a beautiful, decadent topping.
Let’s Make Some Cheesecake!
Making pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust is something of a labor of love – there are quite a few steps involved to make the perfect creamy dessert. It’s helpful to read the recipe a few times before you get started, so that you’re familiar with the steps from the start.
Make the Gingersnap Crust
- Prep the Oven and the Pan. You’ll want to make the crust first, so that you can pour the filling into it when the filling is ready. To get started, set your oven to preheat to 350°F. Then spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Make the Crust Mixture and Press into the Pan. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cxrust ingredients, and mix well with a fork or spoon until you have an even, wet mixture. Press this into the bottom of your springform pan.
- Bake. Place the pan with the crust into the oven, and let it bake for about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, and let it cool while you make the filling.
Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- Beat the Cream Cheese and Sugar. At this point, you can turn down the oven to 300°F. Combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, and regular sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat these ingredients together until perfectly smooth. This should take about 3 – 4 minutes on high speed.
- Beat in the Eggs. Next, beat in the eggs and egg yolks for about 2 minutes.
- Beat in the Remaining Ingredients. Add the pumpkin, cream, and vanilla, and beat until the mixture is nice and smooth. Finally, sprinkle in the flour and the spices, and stir well to incorporate.
Assemble, Bake, and Chill
- Pour into the Prepared Pan, and Set in a Water Bath. Pour your cheesecake filling into the springform pan with the crust. Smooth out the top, if needed, with a spatula. Then carefully set the pan onto a large sheet of heavy-duty foil, and crimp the foil up the sides of the pan. Set the foil-wrapped springform pan into a larger baking pan, and add enough water to come about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. This is the “water bath,” which will create a nice steamy environment for the cheesecake while it bakes.
- Bake! Slide the large baking pan with the springform pan inside it into the oven. Bake it for an hour and 30 minutes.
- Let the Cheesecake Rest in the Warm Oven. Turn off the oven, but don’t open the door. Let the cheesecake rest in the warm oven for an hour.
- Cool on a Cooling Rack. After one hour, you can take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool on a rack for several hours, until it reaches room temperature.
- Chill. Once the cheesecake reaches room temperature, cover it (foil or plastic wrap is fine) and chill it in the fridge for at least three hours, or overnight.
Decorate and Serve
- Pipe Frosting onto the Chilled Cheesecake. Once the cake is completely chilled, fill a piping bag with cream cheese frosting. Pipe the frosting on as desired (I used different-sized star tips, and piped frosting all over the surface of the cheesecake).
- Garnish as Desired. If you like, sprinkle cinnamon and/or crushed gingersnaps over the frosting.
- Enjoy! Slice and serve your finished cheesecake.
Want to know more? You’re in the right place. These helpful tips will ensure that your pumpkin cheesecake is perfect every time!
- Crush Time: When crushing the gingersnaps, you can go the old-fashioned way and place them into a baggie and crush them using a rolling pin – or for an easier method, you can place them into a food processor and crush them that way.
- Ultra-Smooth: For smooth cream cheese, be sure to beat the cream cheese thoroughly at the beginning of the prep process, when there are little to no ingredients combined with it. This way, you can make sure that all of the clumps are smoothed out from the get-go.
- Chilling Notes: Don’t get impatient to slice into this cheesecake until it has chilled. The chilling makes an immense difference and how firm it will be. I promise it is worth the wait!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Variations
You can make all kinds of yummy adjustments here, especially when it comes to the crust and the toppings. Check these out!
- Graham Cracker Crust: If you don’t want to use gingersnaps, this is a perfect recipe to go with a homemade Graham Cracker Crust, instead. It’s just as good, but a little less spice-forward.
- Low-Carb Crust: An almond or pecan crust would be fantastic here, and makes a great low-carb/gluten-free option. (To keep the cheesecake filling gluten-free, check all of your ingredients carefully, and swap the flour for some cornstarch. The texture may change slightly.)
- Caramel Sauce Topping: The Caramel Sauce in this recipe is easy to make, and would be fantastic drizzled over your cooled, decorated cheesecake.
- Showstopping Topping: If you really want to go all out, do yourself a favor and try this unbelievable Pecan Praline Sauce! Spoon a little over each slice, or use it to top the entire cheesecake. Oh my.
How to Store Leftover Cheesecake
To keep other food odors from getting into the cheesecake, make sure to cover the leftovers tightly or place them in an airtight container. Leftover pumpkin cheesecake will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, you can! Store pumpkin cheesecake in your freezer for up to 3 months. I recommend wrapping it tightly in one layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
For the Gingersnap Crust
- 1 ½ cups gingersnaps
- 7 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
For the Cheesecake
- 24 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ½ batch cream cheese frosting, for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper if you so desire.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine all of the ingredients for the crust and mix until the gingersnaps are wet. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan in an even layer.
- Place into the preheated oven to bake for 10 minutes. Once baked, remove from the heat and place onto a cooling rack to cool while you make the cheesecake batter.
- Reduce the oven heat to 300°F.
- Place the cream cheese, brown sugar and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes or until a very smooth mixture has formed.
- Add in the eggs and egg yolks and beat for an additional 2 minutes or until incorporated. Add in the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, and vanilla, and beat again until smooth. Add in the flour and spices and stir to incorporate.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan over the crust and smooth the top. Cover the bottom and the sides of the cheesecake pan with tin foil to avoid having water seep in. Place cheesecake into a large pan and fill pan with enough water to come up 1 inch of the sides of the springform pan to create a water bath.
- Place cheesecake (in the water bath) into the oven to bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes (at 300°F). Once it has baked, turn the heat off and leave the cheesecake in the oven to rest for 1 hour with the door closed. Once the cheesecake has rested, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack to cool for several hours or until it has reached room temperature.
- Once the cheesecake is at room temperature, cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Once the cheesecake has chilled and you are ready to serve, pipe different sizes of star swirls of cream cheese frosting over the entire surface of the cheesecake. You can then sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon (and/or crushed gingersnaps) over the surface of the frosting. Then it is ready to slice and serve!
More Creamy Cheesecake Recipes
- Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Bananas Foster Cheesecake
- Oreo Cheesecake Cookie Cups
- The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Easy Instant Pot Cheesecake
- Almond Amaretto Cheesecake
- Bananas Foster Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
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