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This pumpkin spice cheesecake is a classic Thanksgiving dessert. The combination of the crunchy cinnamon graham cracker base and the rich pumpkin cream cheese filling is irresistible. Enjoy it plain, or top it with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
🎃 Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
Now, we all know that pumpkin pie is a classic fall and Thanksgiving dessert, but what about pumpkin cake? Are we serving that at the Thanksgiving table now, too?
Trick question! The answer to cake is always YES, obviously. And when it’s cheesecake? Double yes. So good news, cheesecake lovers: Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake recipe is a delicious–no, make that decadent–way to enjoy fall’s signature flavor. No pie crust required.
This cheesecake recipe starts with a homemade buttery graham cracker crust, filled with a smooth and creamy pumpkin spice cream cheese filling, and finished off with whipped cream, ground cinnamon, and a thick drizzle of caramel sauce.
If you’ve been intimidated by cheesecakes in the past, this is a great starter recipe. It’s beginner friendly (no water bath needed!), doesn’t crack, and always turns out rich and creamy.
If you’re looking for more cheesecake inspiration, you can’t go wrong with classic New York Style Cheesecake, this beautiful swirled Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, or –my personal favorite– this epic10-Flavor Cheesecake Sampler.
🧾 What You’ll Need
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you put together your shopping list. See the recipe card below for the full ingredient list! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Graham cracker crumbs: you can crush your own, or buy a box of graham cracker crumbs at the store. If you’re crushing your own, you’ll need 12-14 graham crackers to get the 1 3/4 cups needed for the graham cracker crust.
- Cream cheese: make sure you’re using full-fat cream cheese blocks, not “light” cream cheese, or “whipped” cream cheese in a tub. The cream cheese needs to be completely at room temperature for the best results.
- Pumpkin puree: Be sure you’re using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pie filling has added sugar and other ingredients, and it won’t work for this recipe.
- Pumpkin pie spice: pumpkin pie spice is what gives the cheesecake filling its signature flavor. It’s an easy way to infuse your fall baking with those classic cozy autumn flavors, without having to buy lots of individual spices. You can swap it out for an equal amount of ground cinnamon if that’s all you have on hand, or check the FAQ below for tips on making your own pumpkin pie spice.
- Vanilla extract: use real vanilla extract for the best flavor.
This pumpkin spice cheesecake recipe doesn’t take much when it comes to equipment. Just a mixer and a pan! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Springform Pan: I definitely recommend using a springform pan to make cheesecake. This makes it so much easier to remove the it without it falling apart.
This cheesecake is made using a homemade graham cracker crust and a creamy one-bowl pumpkin spice filling. Full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.
Make the graham cracker crust
- Mix up the ingredients for the graham cracker crust and press it into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it is fragrant and starts to take on color. Cool the crust while you prepare the filling.
Make the pumpkin cheesecake filling
- To prepare the filling, place softened cream cheese in a mixer, and cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add pumpkin puree to the cream cheese.
- Mix until well combined.
- With the mixer on low, add in sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice.
- With the mixer running, add in the vanilla and heavy cream, and mix until just combined.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, being careful not to over-mix. This is very important for preventing cracks in the cheesecake!
Bake the cheesecake
- Pour the batter over the crust in the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200ºF and bake for another 50-55 minutes.
- Turn the oven off, crack the oven door, and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes in the oven before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before slicing and serving.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try switching up the recipe with one of these variations:
- Try another crust. Swap the regular graham crackers out for chocolate graham crackers, crushed Oreos, gingersnaps, or Nilla wafers.
- Add nuts. Mix in toasted pecans or walnuts to give the filling a bit of crunch. Candied nuts would also be delicious!
- Make it chocolate-y. Stir chocolate chips into the filling or top it off with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
- Try other cheesecakes! You can’t go wrong with pumpkin, especially during the holidays, but if you’re looking for other flavors, check out more of my easy cheesecake recipes!
💡Tips for success
- Use full-fat cream cheese bricks. I recommend Philadelphia brand for the best results. “Whipped” or “light” cream cheese in a tub will not yield the same results.
- Bring the cream cheese to room temp before you incorporate it into the filling to ensure there are no clumps.
- Mix the cream cheese well. I cream it for at least 4-5 minutes to make sure it’s completely smooth and there are no lumps. This ensures you have a smooth, consistent batter.
- Don’t over-mix. After you add the eggs, mix until just combined. If you over-mix it may affect the texture of the cheesecake.
- To check if the cheesecake is done, gently wiggle the pan. If the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly, it’s done. Keep in mind that it will continue to bake while cooling in the oven. I have found that 50 minutes is the perfect time to turn off the heat. It may look a little undercooked, but once it is set it will be perfect.
- Chill overnight. For the best results, let the cheesecake chill in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours to allow it time to set.
- To get the perfect slice of cheesecake, run a large Chef’s knife under hot water on both sides until warm. Wipe off with a clean paper towel and make your first slice. Repeat for your second slice and on.
🧡More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love
If you love pumpkin spice as much as I do, check out check out my collection of pumpkin dessert recipes! Here are just a few of my favorites:
New York Style Cheesecake
Candy Cane Cheesecake
Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake – check out the web story here!
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
For the crust:
- 6.5 oz graham cracker crumbs, (1.75cups)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 TBSP granulated sugar
- 3 oz unsalted butter, (6 TBSP), melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- 32 oz full-fat cream cheese, (4 packages), at room temperature
- 8 oz pumpkin puree, (1cup)
- 5.25 oz granulated sugar, (3/4 cup)
- 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 fl oz heavy whipping cream, (1/2 cup)
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- whipped cream
- ground cinnamon
- caramel sauce
For the crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9" springform pan by spraying with non-stick spray and set aside. (For added protection, you can add a round of parchment paper along the bottom of the springform as well).
- Prepare the crust by adding about 14 graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until you get about 1 3/4 cup of crumbs.
- Add in the melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Pulse until well combined.
- Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan and gently press using the back of a spoon to form the crust. Be sure to bring the crumbs up about 1" up the sides.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
- Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
For the cheesecake filling:
- To prepare the cheesecake filling, add the softened cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment. Cream for 5-6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix well until combined.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar, flour, and pumpkin spice. Once combined, increase to medium speed, and mix for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream mix until just combined. Increase speed to high for about 1 minute.
- Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Be careful not to overmix after adding the eggs!
- Pour the prepared batter into the prepared pan and gently tap to release any air bubbles.
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then, without opening the oven door, reduce heat to 200 and bake for an additional 50-55 minutes until the center slightly jiggles and the edges are set. (You are looking for a Jell-O like consistency, not a runny/watery consistency).
- Turn off the oven and slightly crack the oven door to allow the cheesecake to cool for 15-20 minutes before removing.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack until completely cooled an place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but overnight is recommended.
- Top with whipped cream and dust with ground cinnamon or drizzle with caramel sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media:
I love how the pumpkin puree makes the cheesecake a touch lighter than usual. Such great flavor and delicious texture in this recipe!
Thanks Gina! The addition of pumpkin puree creates the perfect texture!
Such a great dessert for fall; quick, easy and delicious! My whole family loved it!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This is my idea of heaven! What a yummy mix of spices and cheesecake
Thanks Sisley! It is heavenly isn’t it!?
This looks amazing! I love love pumpkin and cheesecake so combined would be amazing!
Thank you! They really compliment each other well!
I made this with a chocolate cookie crust (I love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate!) and it was amazing! So creamy and the perfect amount of spice!
Chocolate makes everything better, what a great idea! Thank you for your comment 🙂