Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Pumpkin Cheesecake | The Northwest Woman

Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine–it combines the company of the people I love with a generous spread of sweet and savory dishes. Autumn in general is an amazing time for food, in my opinion. Seriously, I could live on autumnal treats like squash, pomegranates, brussels sprouts, cider, and the ever-classic pumpkin pie.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake | The Northwest Woman

I made pumpkin cheesecake for the first time last fall, inspired by my love for the two classic desserts. After a few test runs and recipe tweaks, I landed on a slightly spicier recipe with a buttery, graham cracker and ginger crust and a velvety-smooth, slightly tangy pumpkin cheesecake top.

Pumpkin Cheesecake | The Northwest Woman

This dessert is so decadent, which makes it perfect for sharing with others! If you’re looking for a new take on a crowd-pleasing classic for a dinner party or Thanksgiving dinner, look no further.

Pumpkin Cheesecake | The Northwest Woman

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep time: 25 minutes

Bake time: 25 minutes

Cool time: 4 hours (or overnight)

Equipment: 

  • Springform cake pan
  • Large and medium mixing bowls
  • Electric hand mixer
  • Optional: Food processor or Vitamix

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup ginger thins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4  tablespoons melted, unsalted butter

Cheesecake

  • 2 packets cream cheese (8 oz. each) at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

Start by making the crust:

  1. Add the graham crackers and ginger thins to a food processor (I used my Vitamix) and pulse on low until they’ve broken down into small crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just crush the ginger thins and graham crackers in their wrappers with a rolling pin.
  2. Pour your graham cracker and ginger thin crumbs into a mixing bowl and add the 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir to combine.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and stir to combine. The final mix will look a little bit wet.
  4. Pour your mixture into the bottom of a springform cake pan and spread it evenly on the bottom, then pack the crust evenly along the sides of the pan and throughout the middle.
  5. Allow the crust to firm up in the fridge for 15 minutes before adding the cheesecake mixture.

Then start on the cheesecake:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the 2 packets of room-temperature cream cheese. Using the hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth and slightly fluffy.
  2. Add 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until incorporated.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons heavy cream and continue to mix.
  4. Add the egg, then the 1/3 cup brown sugar, and continue to beat the mixture until everything is mixed together.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree to the mixture and beat until smooth.
  6. Pour your mixture into the springform pan, on top of the crust, spreading evenly.
  7. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Jiggle the pan slightly after 25 minutes–the pumpkin cheesecake is done when only the center jiggles a little–the edges of the cheesecake shouldn’t jiggle. Bake the cheesecake for increments of 2-5 minutes if it’s not quite done.
  8. When the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off and open the door of the oven. Let the cheesecake cool down gradually in the oven for an hour and a half, then move it to the fridge for at least 4 hours, or, preferably, overnight.

Bonus: Easy Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Add all ingredients to either a Vitamix or mixing bowl.
  2. Blend in the Vitamix on high for about 30 seconds, or using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until you start to see soft peaks in the whipping cream.
  3. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

 

Enjoy!

Photos by Matthew Land.

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