perfect pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust

the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year!the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

holy cow, you guys! i’m so excited about how excited you all are for 3-Hour Thanksgiving! since announcing it last week, hundreds of you have signed up!!! i can’t freaking wait to do Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving with you this year, & to help make it your easiest & tastiest yet.

if you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to claim your FREE 3-Hour Thanksgiving guide HERE!

we’re kicking off Thanksgiving this year with my perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe. this is actually one of the first recipes i ever published back in 2016, & it’s always one of pwwb’s most popular recipes this time of year. i revisited the recipe earlier this fall to make sure it’s flawless for you. if you haven’t made this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust yet, you are in for a major, major treat.

the perfect pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crustthe perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

pin this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust recipe for later!!!

if there’s one recipe you can count on me making every single friendsgiving & thanksgiving, it’s my perfect pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust. my friends & family honestly love it so much that they won’t accept anything other than pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust at our holiday gatherings! (truly…chris’ best friend will even text me randomly throughout the year to tell me he’s dreaming about my pumpkin cheesecake! 😂)

& i honestly don’t blame them. this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust is INSANE.

it’s so insane that even i, a total pumpkin hater (eek – controversial, i know! i’m president of team apple pie!), can’t resist a slice of pumpkin cheesecake once dessert is served up at the thanksgiving or friendsgiving table.

it’s just SO good.the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

there are 2 things that really take this pumpkin cheesecake totally over the top: the cheesecake’s fluffy texture & its spicy gingersnap crust.

first, this pumpkin cheesecake has the most incredible creamy & fluffy filling. while it’s definitely a rich dessert (thanksgiving only comes around once a year, after all), it does not feel rich, dense, or heavy at all. the pumpkin filling is almost cloud-like: super soft, fluffy, & super creamy. each bite just sort of melts away in your mouth – exactly how perfect pumpkin cheesecake should!

the light texture is a direct result of how i bake this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust – i tell you all about it below! the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

pin this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust recipe for later!!!

second, that perfect melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin cheesecake filling is served on the best gingersnap crust. i use the most ginger-y gingersnaps i can find, trader joe’s triple ginger gingersnaps (more on them in a sec!).

the spiciness of the ginger cuts right through the creaminess of the filling, making every single bite perfectly balanced. (the kind of thing that’ll have you going back in for more bite after bite after bite after bite…)

pumpkin cheesecake ingredientsthe perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

pin this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust recipe for later!!!

i absolutely adore this pumpkin cheesecake recipe because it doesn’t call for any strange ingredients. It’s made entirely of ingredients you expect to see in a cheesecake:

  • cream cheese, plus a little sour cream
  • pure pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie filling!)
  • eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla
  • pumpkin pie spice

so straight forward!

the one place where i stray from tradition for this pumpkin cheesecake is the gingersnap crust. like i mentioned above, i love making a gingersnap crust for this cheesecake because the spicy zing of the ginger cuts through the rich pumpkin cheesecake filling so nicely. it’s a key part of why this cheesecake is so good! the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

i’ve tested this recipe out with so many different kinds of gingersnaps, but the best are truly the trader joe’s triple ginger gingersnaps. they’re made with 3 kinds of ginger: fresh, ground, & caramelized, & they have the best spicy flavor. plus, they’re totally crispy, like a graham cracker, making them perfect to use in a crust. you can find them in the cookie section, above the freezer coolers, in a 14-ounce tub. 

if you don’t live near a trader joe’s, you can of course use a different gingersnap cookie – just make sure it’s a crispy gingersnap and not a soft gingersnap. softer gingersnaps will not hold up quite as nicely while the cheesecake bakes, resulting in a soggy crust. you can also use a combination of cinnamon graham crackers & ground ginger – i have more specific measurements for this version in the recipe card below!

how to bake the perfect pumpkin cheesecakethe perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

pin this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust recipe for later!!!

remember that pumpkin-cloud fluffy texture i was raving about before? that, my friends, comes directly from properly baking your pumpkin cheesecake.

baking cheesecake is something that admittedly sounds super intimidating, but it really doesn’t need to be. there are a couple of simple things you can do to ensure your pumpkin cheesecake bakes up perfectly, without falling or cracking.

first, use room temperature ingredients. the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

by taking the time to ensure that your cream cheese, sour cream, & eggs are room temperature before you start whipping up that filling will help the pumpkin cheesecake filling come together much more easily, preventing you from over mixing or overworking the batter in a way that deflates the perfect fluffiness of the cheesecake. 

if i know i’m going to make pumpkin cheesecake one day, i make a point to pull the cream cheese, sour cream & eggs out of the fridge the night before, giving them ample time to come to room temperature. it’s as easy as that!

second, bake the pumpkin cheesecake in a water bath!

again, this is one of those things that sounds super intimidating, but it’s totally not.

to create a water bath, you simply pop your cheesecake in a roasting pan & surround it with boiling water before you pop it in the oven to bake. the water acts as a medium, surrounding the cheesecake as it bakes & absorbing the heat from the oven to help the cheesecake bake more gently & evenly.

as a bonus, the water adds moisture to the oven as the cheesecake slowly bakes, which also prevents cracking & creates that dreamy creamy texture. the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

see? told ya. totally perfect.the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

pin this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust recipe for later!!!

i hope you make + LOVE my perfect pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust this year!

this perfect pumpkin cheesecake is a bonus dessert recipe included in my FREE 3-Hour Thanksgiving Guide, the ultimate guide for taking overwhelm out of the holidays & hosting the EASIEST Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner! grab your FREE guide HERE!

if you love this perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe, here are a few other thanksgiving recipes you’ll love!!!

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thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter. this post includes affiliate links for products i truly love & use on the reg in my own home. all opinions are always my own! should you make a purchase using one of these links, pwwb with earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you great original content.  💜💜💜

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the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year! #playswellwithbutter #pumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakerecipe #bestpumpkincheesecake #pumpkincheesecakewithgingersnapcrust #pumpkindesserts #bestpumpkindesserts #thansksgivingdessertrecipes #friendsgivingdessertrecipes

perfect pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust


  • Author: jess larson | plays well with butter
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 12 hours (includes inactive time)
  • Yield: serves 8-12
  • Category: cheesecake
  • Method: baking

Description

the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe! this pumpkin cheesecake has the perfect light & creamy texture, it’s filled with pumpkin & pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. the ultimate pumpkin dessert to serve at thanksgiving or friendsgiving dinner this year!


Ingredients

for the gingersnap crust:

  • 1 14-ounce container Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Gingersnap cookies (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

for the pumpkin cheesecake

  • 32 ounces cream cheese (4 8-ounce bricks), at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • for serving, as desired: whipped cream, freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan tightly in foil – this is the easiest way to ensure no liquid oozes in or out of the springform pan while the crust and the cheesecake bake. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped so it does not fall off while you’re transferring anything in or out of the oven!
  2. Prep the gingersnap crust: Add the gingersnap cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cookies are crushed into small crumbs. You will have about 2 ½ cups of gingersnap crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, you can also place the gingersnaps in a resealable bag and use a rolling pin & some elbow grease to crush them. Either way works! Transfer the gingersnap crumbs to a large bowl with the brown sugar. Mix to combine. Pour the melted butter over top and mix to combine, until the entire mixture is moist. Transfer the gingersnap mixture to the prepared springform pan. Press the crumbs into an even layer. I like to press them halfway up the sides of the springform pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it in really well and create some nice edges.
  3. Bake the gingersnap crust for 12-15 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the heat of the oven to 325 degrees F.
  4. Prep the pumpkin cheesecake filling: Meanwhile, as the gingersnap crust bakes, prep the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and granulated sugar. Using your mixer’s paddle attachment, beat the mixture on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then add in the pumpkin puree. Use a spatula to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the beaten eggs, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice. Mix until just combined.
  5. Assemble the pumpkin cheesecake: Carefully pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the prepared gingersnap crust. The filling will go straight up to the top of the springform pan, & that’s totally fine. It won’t overflow! Carefully tap the pan against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  6. Prepare the water bath: Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Set a roasting pan on the middle rack of your oven. Again, the oven should be at 325 degrees at this point! Add the cheesecake to the middle of the roasting pan, then carefully pour the boiling water in the pan, surrounding the cheesecake. The water should come about ½ way up the sides of the springform pan, but make sure the water level stays below the foil that is wrapped around the springform pan.
  7. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the edges are set. The center of the cheesecake may still be a little loose, and that’s okay! It will continue to set as it sits. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour while the oven cools. The residual heat of the oven will gently bake the cheesecake to completion. Remove the cheesecake from the oven & from the water bath and transfer to the refrigerator ot set for 8-12 hours.
  8. Serve: Run a knife around the edges of the springform pan before releasing it. Slice the cheesecake into 8-12 slices. Top with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Spring form pan: A springform pan is an essential part of making cheesecake! They no longer manufacture the springform pan I use, but this one is made by one of my most trusted baking brands & has amazing reviews…plus it’s inexpensive! You’ll also want a roasting pan to properly set up a water bath for this pumpkin cheesecake. This is the one I use. It’s inexpensive & gets the job done!
  • Gingersnaps: Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Gingersnaps are my favorite gingersnaps to use for this recipe. They are loaded with ginger flavor and have the right texture to make the perfect sturdy gingersnap crust for pumpkin cheesecake. If you do not live near a Trader Joe’s, you can replace the gingersnaps with your gingersnaps of choice, although I think the easiest swap is 3 sleeves of cinnamon graham crackers + 1 tablespoon ground ginger.
  • Lightening it up: I firmly believe that Thanksgiving happens once a year & you’re allowed to splurge a little more for the holiday! If you want to lighten up this pumpkin cheesecake recipe, however, I’ve successfully made this cheesecake using both lightened cream cheese and lightened sour cream. The texture is still divine.

Keywords: pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust

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this perfect pumpkin cheesecake is a bonus dessert recipe included in my FREE 3-Hour Thanksgiving Guide, the ultimate guide for taking overwhelm out of the holidays & hosting the EASIEST Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner! grab your FREE guide HERE!

About jess

i help modern gals turn everyday moments into celebrations with recipes that are just as easy as they are elegant.

14 Comments

  1. Girl. THESE PHOTOS. I’m drooling. This looks absolutely incredible! Happy friendsgiving<3

  2. Ohhhh I LOVE the gingersnap crust. And a pumpkin could sounds like a dream. Literally drooling over here #sorrynotsorry

  3. I am dying to host Friendsgiving! Maybe next year!

    Jess, this looks AMAZING. I am super impressed. Gorgeous photos too!

  4. Oh my goodness I don’t even know where to start!! This cheesecake looks so creamy and absolutely dreamy!!! I’d deal with tummy upset (dairy) for a slice of that. Paired with the fact that I LOVE gingersnap cookies! I’m right there with you in loving the end of the year holidays!
    Love the idea of a Friendsgiving (aside from BGB) and never really thought about it but we have our very own! Every year the day after Thanksgiving we head to northern MN to my parents for the weekend for a festival and tree lighting. We have friends that go up with us and pack my parents house with 3-4 families and 8-10 kids. It’s so much fun with games, food, fun, and has become a tradition we look forward to every year. It all started shortly after my parents moved up there the year after our first daughter was born as her birthday is always that weekend, she was born the day after Thanksgivng. The best part, or most magical… is watching the fireworks in the snow! This year I might have to whip this up, as everyone would enjoy it and we can have it when we get back for dessert and warm up with a hot cocktail or coffee.

    Happy Friendsgiving!!

  5. This looks SO AMAZING!!!!!! Can I eat the whole thing? Cool. hehe Happy Friendsgiving!

  6. Oh my gosh, the crust. And the cheesecake looks so creamy! I love the holiday season, but I have to say, I am still missing summer haha I’m such a warm weather and beach gal. But all the time with friends and family makes it better! Happy friendsgiving sweet friend!

  7. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts! I used to get mini ones for everyone at my birthday parties when I was younger haha. I love your addition of pumpkin and the ginger snap crust, genius! Your photos are gorgeous like always too! We are doing a Friendsgiving this year for Thanksgiving since we are half way across the country from our families. Should be fun!

  8. I love pumpkin cheesecake way more than pumpkin pie. This looks so rich and fantastic. Thanks for sharing! Happy Friendsgiving!

  9. OOOHHHHH WOW! THis looks amazing, and your description has me SOLD on it. 🙂 I’m bookmarking it; hopefully I can make it Lord willing! 🙂 My mom loves pumpkin and cheesecake, and I like it too!

  10. My friends and I celebrate Friendsgiving too! It’s one of my favorite times in the holiday season. A gingersnap crust though? Girl. I would lick the plate clean.

  11. Holy cow your photography is gorgeous (and seriously making my mouth water!) Love this recipe!

  12. This is so so perfect! I have always wanted to make pumpkin cheesecake! These photos rock!

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