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Side angle of pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust. The cheesecake is on a small white ceramic plate, topped with drizzly caramel & freshly whipped cream.

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 22 reviews
  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 12 hours (includes inactive time)
  • Yield: serves 8-12 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake, Breads & Cakes, Dessert recipes
  • Method: Baked, Water bath
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


I first made this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust for Thanksgiving over ten years ago and I’ve never been able to make another Thanksgiving dessert because my friends and family demand it every year!

It’s truly the best ever – a rich & creamy cheesecake with the perfect light & fluffy texture, laced with warm pumpkin spices, & served on a super gingery gingersnap crust. The ultimate pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebrations!

A few quick notes to get you started:

  1. Triple Ginger Gingersnaps from Trader Joe’s are my favorite gingersnap cookies to use here. They’re made with 3 kinds of ginger – fresh, ground dried, & crystallized – so they have the best spicy ginger flavor. If you don’t live near Trader Joe’s, use another crispy gingersnap (vs soft-baked), such as Stauffer’s.
  2. It’s very important to use room temperature ingredients where directed, mixing them just until they’re smooth and creamy. Over-mixing the batter can contribute to your cheesecake cracking as it bakes. For more guidance, check the Recipe Notes, below.
  3. Plan ahead! This cheesecake needs to bake for almost 2 hours and needs to set for at least 13 hours. Be sure to take this timeline into consideration as you’re planning your Thanksgiving menu – you need to bake it at least one day before your Thanksgiving celebration.



for the gingersnap crust:

  • 14 ounces crispy gingersnap cookies (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

for the pumpkin cheesecake

  • 32 ounces cream cheese (four 8-ounce bricks), at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 heaping tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • for serving, as desired: freshly whipped cream, freshly grated nutmeg, salted caramel


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan, then wrap foil tightly around the base of the pan – this is the easiest way to ensure no liquid oozes in or out of the springform pan while the crust and the cheesecake bake. Pumpkin cheesecake ingredients: gingersnap cookies, sugar, pumpkin spices, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, eggs, cream cheese & sour cream.
  2. Prep the gingersnap crust: Add the gingersnap cookies to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the cookies are crushed into very fine 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 crush them with a rolling pin.) Transfer the gingersnap crumbs to a large bowl with brown sugar, melted butter, and a pinch of salt. 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. Gingersnap crust for pumpkin cheesecake, formed in a large springform pan.
  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 the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed just until the mixture is smooth and creamy – with room temperature ingredients, this takes about 90 seconds – 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, mixing just until combined. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spice, mixing until just combined.Creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling shown in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.
  5. Assemble the pumpkin cheesecake: Carefully pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the prepared gingersnap crust. The filling can go straight up to the top of the springform pan – it shouldn’t overflow as it bakes. Depending on how long you whipped the filling, you may have a little excess batter – set aside for later use or discard. Carefully tap the pan against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.Pouring pumpkin cheesecake filling from large stainless steel mixing bowl into par-baked gingersnap crust, formed in a springform pan.
  6. Prepare the water bath: Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Set a roasting pan on the middle rack of your oven, which should be heated to 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.Pumpkin cheesecake, before baking. The cheesecake is assembled in a springform pan, placed in a larger roasting dish for a water batch.
  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 – 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. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to 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, freshly grated nutmeg, & a drizzle of salted caramel as desired. Enjoy! 


  • Jess’ Tips and Tricks for Success:
    • Quick note on cracking: While I’ve prepared this pumpkin cheesecake recipe many times without experiencing cracking, cheesecake does crack sometimes (here’s a great article that explains the science behind it). While it’s a disappointing outcome, it luckily does not affect texture or flavor – your cheesecake will still be very creamy and delicious! That said, there are 2 things you can do to help prevent cracking:
      • Avoid overmixing. Overmixing beats an excessive amount of air into the cheesecake batter, which expands in the heat of the oven and can lead to cracking. Starting with room temperature ingredients and mixing just until they’re smooth and creamy makes a huge difference!
      • Bake in a water bath and rest in the oven. Cracking also occurs as a result of intense temperature changes. A water bath helps by surrounding the cheesecake with gentle, consistent heat. Resting the cheesecake in the warm oven once its baked also helps, since doing so allows the cheesecake to gradually cool.
    • Determining doneness: Baking time may vary depending on your oven. The cheesecake will be ready once the edges are set and the center has a slight jiggle to it. This typically takes 1 hour 45 minutes in my oven, but adjust the baking time as needed to achieve doneness.
    • Equipment: A springform pan is essential to successfully making cheesecake! This one is made by one of my most trusted baking brands & has amazing reviews (less than $20!). You’ll also want a roasting pan to properly set up a water bath for this pumpkin cheesecake – this is the one I use.
  • Make-Ahead, Storage and Freezing: This Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust will keep for up to 5 days after baking – feel free to make it ahead of time, or store your leftovers to enjoy later. 
    • Storage: Wrap the cheesecake in plastic & store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
    • Freezing: This pumpkin cheesecake is also incredibly freezer-friendly. Set the chilled cheesecake on a baking sheet & freeze solid before tightly wrapping in plastic or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator before re-serving.