This luscious fall dessert sweeps you down the winding road to decadence with the addition of an ultra-rich and buttery caramel sauce (bourbon optional), a gingersnap cookie crust, and a sprinkling of toasty pecans.
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Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
- The creamy texture is out of this world! It has the flavor of homemade pumpkin pie but all of the richness of your favorite New York cheesecake.
- It's perfect for fall parties, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.
- Using a water bath correctly ensures a crack-free top - I'll show you how.
I love this easy pumpkin cheesecake for so many reasons. It's thick and rich with a texture that will make the most experienced dessert lover swoon.
I mean, look at it - with that dreamy fall flavor it could be Miss October or Mr. November on a sexy dessert calendar.
Homemade cheesecake is a lot easier than you think.
Here are step-by-step images to help you make the best pumpkin cheesecake you've ever tasted. Use a gingersnap crust or a traditional graham cracker crust if you prefer.
- Mix the butter and gingersnap crumbs.
- Press mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Add the cream cheese, sugars, and spices.
- Blend in the egg.
- Stir in the pumpkin.
- Gently fold in the bourbon and sour cream.
- Pour cheesecake batter into the gingersnap crumb crust.
- Place the aluminum foil covered springform pan into a bigger pan (a roasting pan works well for this). Add hot water to the outer pan and bake as directed. The water should come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
🥫 How to store leftover pumpkin cheesecake
Store the finished pumpkin cheesecake in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
You can wrap leftovers with plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container. Refrigerate. They'll be good for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: All ingredients should be at room temperature. This is IMPERATIVE. The softened cream cheese blends best with other room-temperature ingredients - I can't stress this enough!!!
- Be sure you're using solid-pack pumpkin (canned pumpkin puree that's 100% pumpkin) and not pumpkin pie mix!
- Use brick-style cream cheese. Don't use non-fat, low-fat, or whipped!
- Beat ingredients at low speed with the paddle attachment. Anything else will add too much air. You don't want air bubbles getting into the cheesecake batter.
- Use store-bought gingersnap cookies in this recipe. They work better than homemade because they are crunchier and make a crisper crust that doesn't get soggy.
- Make sure that you blend up the cookies thoroughly and that there are no chunks of cookies left. Run your fingers through the crumbs and fish out any big pieces.
- Use a high-sided springform pan for best results.
- The water bath is important so don’t skip it.
- Make sure you have layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil wrapped securely around the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan to prevent leaking.
- A little water will get into the aluminum foil - be careful when you take the foil off because you could get scalded by some of it.
- Do NOT peek at the cheesecake while it is baking or resting because it makes it cranky. AND it will crack. If you want a perfect cheesecake you'll need to be patient, please.
- DO NOT CRACK OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!
- Let the cake come to room temperature before chilling.
- Place paper towel over the top of the cake before wrapping it with plastic wrap and chilling overnight. This will keep the top dry and help guard against cracking.
- Let the cheesecake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Here are the questions I am most frequently asked about this recipe.
Sometimes it just happens - but following these rules will help make sure it doesn't.
Always mix the cheesecake on low with the paddles, never whip.
Mix as little as possible once the eggs are completely mixed in.
Do not open the oven door until 1 hour AFTER you turn the oven off!
Don't overbake! It's done when the edges are golden brown and the center is just set.
If it cracks my favorite thing to do is to add a thick topping like fruit, ganache, or (as here) caramel. I don't tend to like to serve nekkid cheesecakes, anyhow. It just seems wrong.
Most cheesecakes bake for about an hour then are left to settle in the oven for another hour. This is a technique I've used for at least three decades and it works like a charm!
You can! Here's how -
Cool your cheesecake thoroughly.
Remove the outer rim of the springform pan.
Wrap the cheesecake and the springform pan base in plastic wrap.
Freeze for up to three months.
If you are going to be needing that pan base you can chill the cake overnight then carefully slip a knife between the pan base and the crust to loosen it. Carefully remove it from the pan and place on a cardboard round. Wrap and freeze.
Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
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📚 Related recipes
- This easy, no bake pumpkin pie has a layer of cheesecake underneath the creamy pumpkin filling.
- Old fashioned pumpkin pie is the perfect dessert for the holiday season.
- No time for pie? Try this easy pumpkin spice dip!
You'll find lots more cheesecake in the cheesecake category.
📞 The last word
This is perfect. Tall and dense, spicy and sweet - plus it's so creamy it will make you cry tears of joy.
Or, at the very least, lick the plate.
Whether you serve this creamy pumpkin cheesecake for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert or a gorgeous Christmas centerpiece - or just because (like me) you love pumpkin it will be a huge hit.
It's one of my favorite pumpkin desserts (I could eat the entire cheesecake by myself) and I'm sure it's about to be one of yours!
Don't save this for special occasions! Try this luscious Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake with Gooey Icing next!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it a 5 star rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap CrustPrint Pin Recipe Save Saved!
- 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese, original not low fat or no fat - 4 8-ounce packages, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoon ginger, round
- ¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated is best
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
- 15 ounces solid pack pumpkin, pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling mix
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature - not reduced fat or low fat or fat free
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce,
- 1 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
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- Cover the outside bottom and sides of a high sided, 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Make sure it's tight to prevent leaking.
- Pulse the gingersnaps in the bowl of a food processor until they are crumbs.
- Stir in melted butter.
- Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and half way up the sides of the springform pan.
- Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Place the room temperature cream cheese, sugar, and spices in the large bowl of a mixer.
- Beat with the paddle attachment until light and creamy on low speed for 8 minutes. DO NOT ever use a whisk or beat on medium or high speed.
- With the mixer still on low speed add the room temperature eggs, one at a time, beating 1 to 2 minutes after each.
- Still on low speed beat in the pumpkin.
- Turn off the mixer.
- Fold in the bourbon, if using, and sour cream with a rubber spatula, folding until the sour cream is completely mixed in.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust and place in a large roasting pan.
- Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cheesecake.
- Bake cheesecake for 1 hour.
- Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 1 hour. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. DO NOT CRACK IT OPEN EVEN AN INCH!
- AFTER ONE HOUR: Remove from the oven, take out of the water bath, and remove the foil carefully.
- Let the cheesecake cool, away from drafts until it cools to room temperature.
- Place a folded paper towel on the top of the cheesecake and cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil.
- Chill overnight or at least 8 hours.
- Just before serving remove the aluminum foil and paper towel from the top; run a knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen the cake.
- Remove the springform pan.
- Top with Jack Daniels Caramel Syrup (recipe on RestlessChipotle.com
- Sprinkle with pecans.
- Pass the caramel syrup so guests can add more if they want to.
- Use store bought gingersnaps in this recipe. They are crunchier and make a crisper crust that doesn’t get soggy.
- All ingredients should be at room temperature. This is IMPERATIVE.
- The water bath is important so don’t skip it.
- Make sure your aluminum foil is wrapped securely around the bottom of the springform and up the sides to prevent leaking.
- A little water will get in to the aluminum foil – be careful when you take the foil off because you could get scalded by some of it.
- Do NOT peek at the cheesecake while it is baking or resting because it makes it cranky. AND it will crack.
- Let the cake come to room temperature before chilling.
- Place paper towel over the top of the cake before wrapping with plastic wrap and chilling overnight. This will keep the top dry and help guard against cracking.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This leakproof springform pan is the exact one I use to make this pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I love the way it's lipped on the bottom and (of course) it comes in RestlessChipotle red!
First published December 08, 2017. Last updated August 10, 2023 for editorial content.