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The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

Rich, creamy, and satiny, this is The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake you’ll ever taste! We use pure pumpkin, autumn spices, and a gingersnap crust to make an irresistible fall dessert that’s even better than Cheesecake Factory.

Slice of pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream topping.
This creamy spiced pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust is better than Cheesecake Factory.

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

Making anything and everything pumpkin-flavored in the fall is a challenge we faithfully accept every year. And this is so easy to do with cheesecake, because it pairs amazingly with pumpkin. Here are some things you’ll love about this recipe:

  • Impress Your Guests: This is a sure-to-impress dessert perfect for serving to friends and family on special occasions. People will ooh and ahh.
  • Whole Can of Pumpkin: This recipe uses a whole 15oz can of pure pumpkin puree. There is no waste, and plenty of pumpkin flavor.
  • Gingersnap Crust: Not only is the filling packed with our favorite fall spices, but the crust is also made with gingersnap cookies which adds even more spiced autumn goodness.
  • No Crack: This recipe uses a number of strategies to ensure a cheesecake that doesn’t crack.
  • Better than Cheesecake Factory: We aren’t exaggerating when we say this cheesecake is better than Cheesecake Factory. It’s smooth, creamy, and made with fresh ingredients.
  • New York Style: It’s a New York Style Cheesecake recipe meaning that it is thick, rich, super creamy, and the most velvety cheesecake imaginable.

Key Ingredients

  • Gingersnap Cookies – We use store-bought, round, crispy gingersnap cookies for the crust, because the spices and molasses in them pair wonderfully with the pumpkin flavors.
  • Cream Cheese – Make sure to use whole-fat, plain cream cheese for this recipe to ensure a super creamy cheesecake filling.
  • Pure Pumpkin Puree – This recipe calls for pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. So, make sure the only ingredient on the can’s label is 100% pumpkin.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Heavy whipping cream makes the cheesecake satiny and luscious. Make sure not to reach for a lower fat percentage for this one.
  • Fall Spices – Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg pair perfectly with the pumpkin and add that warm burst of spiced flavor that we love.

Substitutions And Variations

Cheesecake is a super versatile dessert that can be tweaked in a number of ways as long as the base and technique stay the same. Take a look at these variations for The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake:

  • Gluten Free: This recipe can easily be made gluten free by simply using gluten free gingersnap cookies for the crust.
  • Crust: If you aren’t a fan of gingersnap cookies, feel free to switch up the kind of crust. Try using a classic graham-cracker crust like the one in this Perfect New York Style Cheesecake or try a chocolate crust like in this White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake recipe.
  • Toppings: We highly recommend decorating this pumpkin cheesecake with Stabilized Whipped Cream for a fluffy topping that will have you going back for seconds. You could also try drizzling this 4-Ingredient Salted Caramel Sauce on top. Try throwing some chopped pecans or walnuts on top with a bit of pumpkin pie spice for added crunch and flavor.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. In a food processor, mix gingersnap cookies until they become fine crumbs. Then transfer to a bowl and combine with melted butter.
  2. Grease the bottom of 10-inch springform pan and press crust mixture into the bottom of pan. Bake for 9 minutes at 350F. Then place large pan of very hot water on lowest rack in oven, and drop oven temp to 225F.
  1. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, mix softened cream cheese on medium until it is smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Then beat in eggs on low, 1 at a time, just until incorporated.
  2. Add pumpkin and remaining ingredients to cream cheese mixture and beat until just smooth. Pour mixture into greased pan with crust.
  1. Place cheesecake pan on a large baking sheet and bake at 225F on center rack, about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, or until filling is softly set and golden brown. Turn oven off. Then crack it open a bit, using a wooden spatula to prop open. Let cheesecake cool at least 2 hours in the oven.
  2. Cover and let it completely chill in the fridge overnight or 24 hours. Remove from the springform pan and garnish as desired!

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

We know cheesecake is definitely a special-occasion kind of dessert that takes more effort than most. Take a look at these tips and tricks to make this recipe as easy as can be:

  • Room Temperature: Make sure to take the cream cheese and eggs out of the fridge before baking to give them enough time to warm to room temperature. This will help ensure a smooth (not over-mixed) cheesecake.
  • Make Ahead: The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake can actually be fully made ahead and chilled in the fridge 2 days in advance. So, feel free to whip this up a couple days before you need it.
  • Toppings: If using stabilized whipped cream or salted caramel sauce, feel free to make them a few days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
Whole Pumpkin Cheesecake on a Cake Stand.
This Pumpkin Cheesecake can be fully prepared and stored in the fridge up to 2 days before enjoying.

Commonly Asked Questions

How do I ensure my cheesecake doesn’t have any cracks?

In this recipe, we use a few tricks to make sure the cheesecake doesn’t crack. First, making sure all of your ingredients are room temperature to make mixing easier will help. Second, the pan of hot water in the oven helps retain moisture while the cheesecake is cooking also preventing cracks. Third, greasing the pan well and letting the cheesecake cool in the oven helps to prevent the cheesecake from cracking due to shrinking as it cools.

Can I make this pumpkin cheesecake gluten free?

Yes! It’s so easy to make this gluten free. Just replace the gingersnap cookies with a gluten free alternative and you’re all set.

What is the secret to the best cheesecake?

The trick to getting the perfect cheesecake is being careful with the heat. That’s why we cook this cheesecake at only 225F and let it cool in the warm oven.

How long does pumpkin cheesecake keep?

Store pumpkin cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it. We like freezing the slices individually in plastic wrap for easy thawing. Cheesecake will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Slice of pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream topping.

The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

4.96 from 204 ratings
Rich, creamy, and satiny, this is The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake you'll ever taste! We use pure pumpkin, autumn spices, and a gingersnap crust to make an irresistible fall dessert that's even better than Cheesecake Factory.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 14
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

For the Crust:

  • 12 oz gingersnap cookies, crispy, see note
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F, with rack in center.
  • Using a food processor, heavy duty blender, or freezer bag and rolling pin, crush all gingersnaps until they are fine crumbs. In bowl, drizzle melted butter into the cookie crumbs, and mix until it begins to stick together. Should resemble very damp sand.
  • Grease the bottom of 10-inch springform pan. Press crust mixture into the bottom of pan and bake for 9 minutes. Let cool on rack. Grease the sides of pan. Place large pan of very hot water on lowest rack in oven, and drop oven temp to 225F.
  • Using paddle attachment of stand mixer, mix softened cream cheese on medium until it is smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs on low, 1 at a time, just until incorporated.
  • Add pumpkin and remaining ingredients. Beat just until incorporated and smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  • Place cheesecake pan on a large baking sheet and bake at 225F on center rack, about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, or until filling is softly set and golden brown. Center will still jiggle, but edges should be slightly puffed and somewhat set.
  • Turn oven off. Crack oven open a bit, using a wooden spatula to prop open just a bit. Let cheesecake cool at least 2 hours in the oven – I let it cool in cracked oven even longer, until it is almost room temp. Place on wire rack and let cheesecake cool to room temp – this gradual baking method prevents cracking/sinking on top.
  • Cover and let it completely chill in fridge overnight or 24 hours. Gently run a thin plastic knife around sides of cheesecake to loosen from pan. Release sides of springform, place cheesecake on serving platter, and serve chilled.

Notes

  • Be sure you’re using round, crunchy gingersnap cookies found at grocery stores. If your butter/cookie crumb mixture seems wetter than very damp sand, add more cookie crumbs until you have the right texture. The mixture should be able to be pressed together into a crust, but not overly wet. 
  • If you need a faster baking method, you can bake at 350F for about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Still let it cool in the oven with door ajar for at least 1 hour before removing. Let cool on wire rack to room temp. Then cover and completely chill in fridge overnight or 24 hours before serving. Cheesecake may always crack or sink a bit with the higher baking temp.
  • Cheesecake may be fully prepared up to 2 days ahead of time. Keep covered and chilled in fridge until ready to eat! You can even pipe stabilized whipped cream prettily on top and keep it covered/chilled without worrying about a whipped cream melt down. 
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you!

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 6053IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake, Mixing

More To Bake And Eat

  • White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe: This decadent New York style cheesecake recipe is better than restaurants. White chocolate filling comes together with a sweet, vibrant raspberry sauce all on top of a chocolate cookie crust for a cheesecake recipe that you’re sure to devour.
  • Perfect New York Cheesecake: Rich, creamy, and smooth, this is the perfect classic New York Cheesecake recipe. Enjoy it just as is or use it as a blank canvas for all your favorite additions!
  • Streusel Pumpkin Pie Recipe: This Streusel Pumpkin Pie is crunchy on the top, smooth and velvety in the middle, and surrounded by a flaky, buttery crust. It’s the perfect way to spice up your classic Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
  • Spiced Pumpkin Soufflé with Molasses Bourbon: This light, fluffy, and airy soufflé is bursting with all the season’s best flavors. Pumpkin, autumn spices, and bourbon make a soufflé unlike any other.

Add a comment

Recipe Rating




210 comments

    • Kristy

    So are we using a water bath for this recipe? It says to put water on bottom rack of oven… but cheesecake on sheet pan.

      • Amy Dong

      The tray of water goes on separate rack, just for humidity. The cheesecake won’t actually sit inside a water bath. The sheet pan helps to catch any potential butter leaks from crust. ENJOY! 🙂

    • Yani
    • 5 stars

    I want to make this for thanksgiving but I don’t like ginger snap cookies. I was planning to use biskoff cookies instead. Would that be an issue and do I need to make any modifications?

      • Amy Dong

      You can definitely use Biscoff cookies!

    • Wendy
    • 5 stars

    My oldest never would ask to take leftovers home until I made this recipe. Now he and my daughter-in-law split the leftover.

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, that is awesome, Wendy! 🙂

    • Deb
    • 4 stars

    I love this cheesecake, I used 1.5cups (12 oz) crumbs to 1/2 cup melted butter and the butter oozed out while baking. The crust never really crisped up after the 9 min at 350 even after the 4.5 hours of bake time. Your directions were easy to follow and my cheesecake came out perfectly with no cracks! Delicious in every way except the crust. Other recipes I’ve used call for 1/4c butter. Could this be an error? The cheesecake itself was smooth and silky and so yummy! Everyone loved it. I saved some extra crumbs so I added those on the side and served with rum flavored whipped cream and caramel. I will make it again for sure, but with a crispy cookie crust next time.

    • Jennifer
    • 5 stars

    The gingersnap crust makes this cheesecake, as if it wasn’t creamy and amazing enough! This is a winner and definitely will be an annual fall favorite 🙂

      • Amy Dong

      SO glad you loved this! 🙂

    • Keisha H.

    Can this be made in a 9″ springform pan? Would the time to cook be longer??

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, a 9″ will work. And, yes, cook time will be a bit longer. I’d add 30-45 minutes of the low temp cook time.

    • Keisha H

    Would there be a significant difference if using a 9″ springform pan? I thought they were 10″ when we bought them

    • Katie D

    Can this be made in a regular pie pan with perhaps some adjustments? I don’t have a springform pan.

      • Amy Dong

      Katie, it’s worth investing in a springform, as it’s much easier to release the entire cheesecake. If you opt to use a regular pie pan, I’d suggest halving the recipe ingredients, as the pan will be much smaller. Bake time will be approximately one-half to two-thirds original time. Hope you love it!

    • Trudy
    • 5 stars

    I made this last night as my very first cheesecake recipe attempt! It is still in the oven cooling so I will leave an updated comment after Ive had the chance to actually try it but I noticed something on your pictures today that left me wondering.

    Why do you have foil around your springform pan? I realize this is a technique when using the waterbath method, but….. no waterbath. 😉 Nothing is mentioned in the directions nor the steps about foil so thought I’d just come out and ask you about the purpose. 🙂

    Thanks for this easy recipe!

      • Amy Dong

      The cheesecake can be made with or without foil wrapped around outside of pan; usually, I do not use foil and just put the pan on a baking sheet to catch any potential butter leaks 🙂

    • Theresa

    Amy, Can I use pumpkin butter along with or in place of the canned pumpkin for the cheesecake? Or have any other recipe suggestion to use pumpkin butter?
    Also, can this be made in a glass pie dish?
    THANK YOU!

      • Amy Dong

      Theresa for this recipe I wouldn’t sub out the canned pumpkin, as pumpkin butter tends to have other ingredients, including sugar, which would throw off the recipe. Pumpkin butter can be used in place of my filling, in this pumpkin pasties recipe. Can’t wait for you to taste this cheesecake! (You can drizzle or dollop pumpkin butter on top of cheesecake!)

    • Henny
    • 5 stars

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My home smells just like fall right now lol so I placed the springform pan on a baking sheet. Will that affect the integrity/sogginess of the base? Thanks again!

      • Amy Dong

      It shouldn’t affect your final outcome at all. So excited for you to taste this!

    • Rosie

    Does this freeze well?

      • Amy Dong

      It does! Wrap it airtight and freeze for up to a month.

        • Rosie
        • 5 stars

        Fantastic! Thank you! We’ve made it before and love this recipe!

    • Jo

    Adjustments to make 2 small ones?6″. Please

      • Amy Dong

      If using two 6″ pans, you can use the same instructions, but bake 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until edges are puffed and center is mostly set. Continue with remaining instructions.

    • Mary
    • 5 stars

    Thank you. This was one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. My friends say it is a blue ribbon winner.

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, that’s the best compliment. Thanks, Mary! 🙂

    • Paul Thurmond
    • 5 stars

    I made this last year and it was SOOOOOOOOOOO good. Amy made this Ole Redneck look like a pro cheese cake maker. This year I’m going to try this in individual Ramekin style serving bowls. Sometimes cutting cheese cake to serving size can be an issue and this way it won’t ruin the STABILIZED WHIP CREAM when I decorate individual ones. I pray they turn out. I’ll make a trial one before my favorite holiday THANKSGIVING! THANK YOU AMY!!!

      • Amy Dong

      That is fabulous, Paul! Thanks for baking along! 🙂 🙂

    • verona kruse

    Can it made in a 9X13 cakepan? Thank you

      • Amy Dong

      Yes; I would follow same directions, but bake it at 350F for 45-50 minutes, or until center seems set. Enjoy!

    • Gail Norton

    I’d like to replace the spices with pumpkin pie spice, so much would I use?

      • Amy Dong

      I would use 3 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!

    • Ellen Bryant

    Hi, I haven’t made the Pumpkin Cheesecake yet, I love Pumpkin and the cheesecake looks Delicious, but Oh My 4 blocks of cream cheese, which I understand for using a 10″ pan. It’s just my husband and I, so how would I reduce the recipe for a smaller cheesecake? Thanks,

      • Amy Dong

      For a half-size cheesecake, I would halve all the ingredients and use the 6″ springform pan – reduce bake time by half.

    • Janice Rogers
    • 5 stars

    I have made this for Thanksgiving the last two years and it comes out perfect. The flavor is amazing between the pumpkin and gingersnap combo. My family gobble it up each time and asked for me to make it again this year. My favorite Holiday dessert for sure.

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you, Janice!

    • Mamacancook
    • 5 stars

    I’ve made dozens of cheesecake recipes over the last 40 years. Many were very good but this recipe is PHENOMENAL! Not too sweet, indescribably creamy and it NEVER cracks if baked by the long, slow method. Also great with pecan shortbread crust.

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, that is the best kind of comment – thank you! 🙂

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