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!
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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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