This creamy, easy pumpkin cheesecake has a graham cracker base and even your non pumpkin fans are going this love this subtly flavored pumpkin dessert.
I have never been a pumpkin fan. At least I thought I wasn’t. There is something about the texture of a pumpkin pie that just turns me off. Although I have discovered that I love a Pumpkin Pie Milk Shake. Several years ago, I decided I needed to learn to embrace pumpkin. My first step to venturing into the world of pumpkin was to try these pumpkin bars. It was pretty much the first pumpkin dessert I ever made and I discovered that I loved them! Although I must admit that I think the best part was not the pumpkin but the cream cheese frosting!!
Second, I made a batch of pumpkin cookies -and they were amazing! But again the best part was the yummy maple frosting. Are you seeing a trend here. ? I’m a frosting kid of girl
My third venture into pumpkin was Pumpkin Cheesecake. I am a big fan of cheesecake so I decided, why not.
One of my readers emailed me and suggested I give pumpkin cheesecake a try. She is not a pumpkin lover either but she assured me that this cheesecake was amazing to taste and eat. Her friends and family DEMAND that she make it. She promised me it was as creamy and delicious as any Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. She promised I wouldn’t be disappointed. Those are a lot of promises! She was right.
Why Does Cheesecake Crack?
There are a several things you can to do to help prevent cheesecake from cracking.
Use Room Temperature Ingredients – you want your cream cheese, pumpkin and eggs to be room temperature. This will help prevent lumps in your cheesecake and also help reduce the risk of cracks in your cheesecake.
Keep your Oven Closed – opening your oven during the baking process will slow down the baking process and it will also increase your risk of cracks in the cheesecake.
Use a Water Bath – Wrap the bottom of your springform pan in foil and then place your pan into another pan that is full of water. You want the water level to come about 1/3 of the way up the pan. The hot water helps insulate the outer ring of the pan and helps keep the oven moist which gives the center of the cheesecake time to cook. When the outer edges cook faster than the center, cracking and sinking occurs.
If you try all these things and your cheesecake still sinks or cracks just cover up the cracks with whipping cream!!
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Graham Cracker Crust – As many cheesecakes, this one starts with a graham cracker crust. I always make my own and you can find the detailed directions here. You want the graham cracker crust to come about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the springform pan.
- Gingersnap Crust – I have also used a gingersnap cookie to make the crust and that works well too. The ginger adds a lot of flavor though and it can overpower the pumpkin a bit. Follow the same directions as the graham cracker crust just substitute gingersnap crumbs.
- Use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. They are two different things and usually found next to each other in the baking aisle. Pumpkin Pie filling is preseasoned and sweetened and is intended to use for an easy pumpkin pie.
- Chill before serving. A cheesecake needs to set up. Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least four hours uncovered.
Do I have to Use a Springform Pan?
No, although cheesecake is traditionally made in a springform pan it does not have to be. Cheesecake can be made in a 9 x 13 pan. To make it easier to remove the cake from a 9 x 13, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Don’t fill your 9 x 13 pan more than 1/4″ from the top of the pan. Your baking time will change if using a 9 x 13″ pan. Bake it at 325 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.
Before serving, top the cheesecake with some whipped cream and chopped pecans and serve. My guests loved it. My friend also uses a drizzle of maple syrup on her whipped cream!
Some other cheesecake recipes you may enjoy:
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Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
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Originally posted November 20, 2008