Want a Thanksgiving dessert that isn’t pie? This pumpkin cheesecake is your answer! It is subtly sweet with the perfect amount of spice. The gingersnap crust complements the creamy rich filling like no other. This classic dessert will truly wow your guests.

Side of pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust garnished with whipped cream and gingersnap cookie.


 

This is the best cheesecake I have ever had. I am not a huge fan of cheesecake, but something about this combination of pumpkin and ginger really does something to the tastebuds. It’s out of this world! I would take a slice of pumpkin cheesecake over pie any day. I promise you will love this recipe as much as I do!

Why This Recipe Works

This pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect way to shake up your Thanksgiving traditions. Instead of the classic pumpkin pie, you can make this in its stead. The gingersnaps add a strong molasses flavor to the crust that pairs effortlessly with the pumpkin spiced filling.

Here are a few more highlights of this recipe: The filling is super creamy and rich, but not dense at all! It has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The gingersnap crust adds a bite of spice and crunch, which complements pumpkin flavors perfectly. This is the perfect fall dessert!

Ingredient Notes

Gingersnap crust ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
Pumpkin cheesecake ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
  • Gingersnap cookies: Once pulsed into crumbs, these are enhanced with brown sugar for even more deep fall flavor. I used Stauffer’s gingersnap cookies, but any crisp and crunchy gingersnap will work! If you have extra, make my gingerbread truffles.
  • Butter & flour: Just the right amount of both of these help hold the crust together. It will keep its shape but also be easy to slice and eat.
  • Pumpkin puree: Use 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). Homemade pumpkin puree will work too, but pat it dry since it is more watery than canned pumpkin.
  • Cream cheese: Stick with full fat cream cheese here for a truly decadent dessert.
  • Eggs: This amount of eggs will help the cheesecake have a lighter texture.
  • Sour cream: Just a touch of tang to offset the sweetness.
  • Spices: A host of warm fall spices are the final touch for this dessert.

How to make pumpkin cheesecake

Two photos showing how to make gingersnap crust in a food processor and springform pan.
Photo collage demonstrating how to make pumpkin cheesecake in a mixing bowl.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round springform pan with parchment papered grease the sides.
  2. For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until evenly mixed. Press mixture into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes, then set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
  4. Beat cream cheese on low speed in a stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Add the vanilla and pumpkin purée and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the sour cream.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake.
  8. Finishing: Once done, turn off the oven, prop open the door, and allow the cake to slowly cool in the oven for one hour. Then cover and chill before serving.

Expert tips

Make sure all the cheesecake ingredients are at room temperature so the consistency of your cheesecake batter is smooth and lump free. This is essential to getting the best pumpkin cheesecake!

Be patient. The resting and chilling phases of cheesecake are what makes the texture perfect. It gives the cheesecake time to set up properly. Let it rest in the open oven for an hour, then remove and wait for it to come fully to room temperature. Finally chill the cheesecake for the full 4 hours or ideally overnight. Believe me, it is worth the extra time!

Is a water bath necessary?

A water bath is recommended for a cheesecake, however, I have made this particular recipe successfully without one. If presentation is of the utmost importance to you, make a water bath to guarantee no cracks and even baking. To do this, wrap your cheesecake pan in tin foil twice (double layer it). Bake the crust, then add the cheesecake filling. Place the pan in a roasting pan and fill it with water until it is halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

Tip: fill the roasting pan with water after you place it in the oven. It makes things easier! You can see a demonstration of a water bath in my classic cheesecake recipe post.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a graham cracker crust instead?

Yes, see my classic cheesecake recipe for steps on how to make a graham cracker crust.

When is cheesecake done?

Cheesecake is done when the sides of the cheesecake is set, but the center 2 inches giggles a bit when gently shaken. At this point, turn off the oven and leave the oven door open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for an hour before transferring to the fridge to cool completely.

How long does pumpkin cheesecake last?

It will last one week if stored covered in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze pumpkin cheesecake?

Yes, first let the cheesecake cool and chill for at least 4 hours. Then, remove the sides of the springform pan and wrap the entire cake (and the bottom part of the pan) with two layers of plastic wrap. Add another layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.

What can I top pumpkin cheesecake with?

Fresh whipped cream and spiced pecans is always my go-to! A sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon is a nice touch. For extra decadence, drizzle salted caramel sauce over the top.

Slice of pumpkin cheesecake on white plate next to the full cheesecake garnished with gingersnap cookies.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

side of pumpkin cheesecake slice with gingersnap crust. Slice garnished with whipped cream and gingersnap cookie

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Pumpkin cheesecake is made with a gingersnap crust. This rich cake is subtly sweet with the perfect amount of spice.
5 (12 ratings)

Ingredients

Gingersnap Crust

  • 1 ¼ cups (191 g) gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • ¼ cup (28 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons (28 g) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 cups (680 g or three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese,, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon  ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves, (optional)
  • ¼ cup (28 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 g) pumpkin puree
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 g) sour cream, room temperature

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan and set aside.

Gingersnap Crust

  • For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. Press mixture into the bottom and sides of the springform pan making sure the sides are at least 1-inch high.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until no more lumps remain. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Halfway through, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • Add the vanilla and pumpkin pureé and mix to combine, about 30 seconds. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream just until incorporated.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan/crust and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.
  • The cake is finished when the sides are set, but the center 2 inches of the cake is still a bit wobbly when gently shaken. Turn off the oven, prop open the door, and allow the cake to slowly cool in the oven for one hour. Then remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.
  • Lightly cover it and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4+ hours or overnight. Serve chilled with whipped cream.

Notes

Gingersnaps: I used Stauffer’s gingersnap cookies. Any dry, crunchy ginger cookie will work.
Pumpkin puree: I used Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
Water bath is not necessary for this recipe. I’ve made it a few times without cracks. However, every oven is different and if you want to guarantee no cracks, follow the water bath instructions from my classic cheesecake recipe.
Storing cheesecake: Loosely cover the cheesecake and store it in the fridge for up to one week. 
Freezing cheesecake: Follow recipe to cool and chill cheesecake so it’s set. Remove outer rim of springform pan and wrap the entire cake in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost the cheesecake in the refrigerator before serving.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 405kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 24g, Sodium: 238mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g

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