Pumpkin Cheesecake tastes just like Pumpkin Pie in ultra creamy cheesecake form. Swirled vanilla spice and pumpkin pie batters are baked atop a crisp biscoff cookie crust. Top your cheesecake with salted caramel sauce and whipped cream for a truly stunning Thanksgiving dessert!
Why you’ll love this Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe:
- Bursting with Pumpkin Flavor– Every bite of this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is full of pumpkin flavor, and cozy pumpkin spice.
- Creamy Cheesecake – This cheesecake is ultra creamy – I defy to you to find a creamier cheesecake.
- Celebration Worthy – This is the perfect dessert to serve for Thanksgiving dinner – the beautiful swirls will impress your guests!
- Approachable Recipe – Even though there are a few components to this recipe, the whole thing is completely doable no matter your skill level as a baker!
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Cream Cheese – Use full fat cream cheese, in the block style. This needs to come to room temperature before you bake.
- Eggs – Use large eggs at room temperature.
- Sour Cream – Use full fat sour cream, at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract – Use real vanilla extract for best results.
- Pumpkin Puree – Use canned pumpkin puree – do not use pumpkin pie filling. This also comes in a can, but has ingredients added (the ingredients you would use if making a pie) and is not 100% pure pumpkin.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – This dessert is full of cozy pumpkin spice in the form of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and a pinch of allspice.
- Biscoff Cookies – These can be found in the cookie aisle at most grocery stores.
- Heavy Cream – Use full fat, cold heavy cream to make the whipped cream and caramel sauce.
- Gluten-free – Use gluten-free graham crackers or cookies to make the crust. The rest of the recipe is gluten-free already!
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite, trusted dairy-free items. I have not had much experience yet with dairy-free products in baking.
- Biscoff Cookies – Feel free to use gingersnap cookies or regular or cinnamon graham crackers if you can’t find biscoff cookies. If you haven’t had them, they taste a lot like a gingersnap and pair beautifully with pumpkin. Digestive biscuits would be a good alternative if you live in the UK or somewhere without graham crackers.
How to Make this Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Crust. Stir together biscoff crumbs and melted butter until you have a sandy mixture. Press this firmly into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Make the Cheesecake Batter. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer, until creamy – about 30-60 seconds. (You can also do this in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.) Then, beat in the granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. You’ll have a silky batter. If there are a few tiny lumps, that’s ok.
Step 3: Swirl & Bake the Cheesecake. Remove 3 cups of the cheesecake batter and fold in the pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Add spices to the remaining plain batter as well.
Step 4: Swirl Batters & Bake Cheesecake.
Alternate adding dollops of the plain and pumpkin cheesecake batters to the springform pan, over the baked crust. Once all the batter has been layered on, drag a butter knife through the batter to create swirls. Bake the cheesecake as directed in the recipe card below.
Step 5: Make the Caramel Sauce. While the cheesecake bakes and/or cools, make your caramel sauce according to my 10-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce recipe. It requires just granulated sugar, butter, heavy cream, and a pinch of salt. Be sure to visit the post linked for the full caramel recipe along with lots of tips & tricks if you’re new to caramel making.
Step 6: Make the Whipped Cream. Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. This can also be done in a food processor (see recipe notes in the recipe card below for more info & tips for piping whipped cream).
Serving + Storing this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Recipe:
Once the cheesecake has fully chilled, pour a layer of caramel sauce on top, then pipe a whipped cream border. Or, allow folks to dollop spoonfuls of whipped cream onto their individual slices. Slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Expert Success Tips:
- Room Temperature Ingredients – It is imperative that you let your cold ingredients come to room temperature. Cold ingredients will create a lumpy batter.
- Don’t Over Mix – Over mixing the cheesecake batter when you’re adding the eggs can cause the cheesecake to buckle a little bit in the oven. It will still taste great, but won’t look as pretty.
- Don’t Over Bake – Follow the doneness cues given in the recipe card below to avoid over baking the cheesecake. Don’t panic if it browns the slightest bit on top – that can happen without it being overbaked.
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
Yes, bake a half batch of this recipe in an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan lined with parchment paper. I think half the batter may still be a bit much for a 6-inch springform pan.
Yes! That’s the nature of cheesecake. Allow the cheesecake to come to room temp after it’s baked, and then transfer to the fridge to chill at least 6 hours or up to 1 day before serving.
Add the pumpkin & spices to the entire bowl of cheesecake batter, pour into the baked crust, and bake as directed below.
The hot water produces steam that fills the oven, which helps the cheesecake cook evenly and remain nice and creamy, without cracking. It also helps prevent the edges from cooking at a faster rate than the center.
You have two options – place the roasting pan filled with water on the rack below your cheesecake, or place your cheesecake pan (still wrapped in aluminum foil) into a 10-inch cake pan inside of the roasting pan. Pour water into the roasting pan only. If you place the foil-wrapped cheesecake pan into the roasting pan and pour in water, it will almost always leak to some degree.
- Whipped Cream – If you don’t want to pipe on the whipped cream, you can always make it and let people dollop it on to their individual slices. However, it does make for a stunning centerpiece dessert!
- Crust – Feel free to cinnamon graham crackers or plain graham crackers if you want a graham cracker crust. However – the biscoff cookies are incredible! Gingersnap cookies or ginger thins work too, if you can’t get any biscoff cookies.
- Topping – You can skip the caramel sauce if desired, or simply place it on the side for guests to drizzle onto individual slices.
- Springform Pan – This recipe uses a 9-inch springform pan.
- Offset Spatula – I use an offset spatula for so many things, including smoothing the batter evenly into the pan for this recipe.
- Piping Tip – I used this Wilton 4B piping tip for the whipped cream border.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Love:
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake
- Biscoff Cheesecake
- Key Lime Pie Cheesecake
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Swirled Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
For the Gingersnap Crust
- 48 biscoff cookies 366 grams
- 7 tbsp salted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake
- 32 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature Use the block style
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup full fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the Pumpkin Portion of the Cheesecake Batter
- 1 and 1/3 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling. 317 grams
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 and 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 2 and 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice (Don't panic if you don't have this spice, you can omit)
For the Plain Cheesecake Portion of the Batter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
For the Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp salted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream
- pinch of flaky sea salt
For the Whipped Cream
- 4 tsp cold water For stabilizing the cream, see recipe below
- 1 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin For stabilizing the cream, see recipe below
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Prep: Make sure your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream are at room temp – set them out 1-2 hours before you begin. Preheat oven to 350℉. Lay a sheet of parchment paper across the bottom of your springform pan, then fasten the sides of the pan. This makes the cheesecake easy to remove from the bottom piece of the pan. Spray the entire inside of the pan with nonstick spray.
- Make the Crust: Crush the biscoff cookies in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Stir together cookie crumbs and melted butter until well combined. Press into the pan and up the sides a bit. Really spend a few minutes packing the crumbs in here – this ensures a sturdy crust. Use the back of a glass or measuring cup to press them in.Bake the crust for 11 minutes at 350℉. Set aside.
- Make the Cheesecake: It's important not to over-mix the batter – this will result in a cheesecake that collapses a bit when it's out of the oven and cooling. Mix things until they're just incorporated, then stop! In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar & mix until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed after each until just incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until just incorporated. Remove 3 cups (681 grams) of batter and add to a medium bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree and spices. Stir in the additional spices & maple syrup to the plain portion of the batter. Alternate adding dollops of each type of batter over the baked crust. (Ice cream scoops work great here!)Take a knife and gently swirl the batter – drag from top to bottom and left to right, sticking the knife down into the batter so that the swirls show throughout the cheesecake, not just on top.
- Bake: Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 1 hour 56 minutes. (Mine took the full 1 hour and 56 minutes). Try to open the oven as few times as possible to minimize the cracking on top of the cheesecake. If it does crack, DO NOT WORRY. It won't ruin the cheesecake and you can hide it with caramel or whipped cream. When done, the edges will be slightly raised and set, and the center will be only slightly jiggly. The top of the cheesecake will be matte, and an instant read thermometer inserted halfway down into the center should read 150 to 155℉. A small amount of batter will be on a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cheesecake. Once done baking, turn the oven off, and prop open the oven door open by at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and set on a cooling rack. Once the cheesecake is cooled to room temperature, cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight.
- Make the Caramel Sauce: Make the salted caramel sauce by following my 10-minute salted caramel sauce recipe. It has step-by-step photos and troubleshooting tips to help ensure success.
- Make Whipped Cream: Make the whipped cream just before you're ready to serve the cheesecake. It's best made fresh – not made ahead. If you plan to pipe on the whipped cream, I recommend stabilizing it. Add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatin on top. Let stand for 3 minutes. Then, microwave for 4-5 seconds, just to re-liquify the mixture. Set aside while you begin the cream. Add the whipped cream ingredients to a medium bowl and beat on high speed until it begins to thicken. Or, use a food processor – this will make the whipped cream easier to pipe! Pulse 10-12, then run on low until cream is just starting to thicken. Stream in the liquid gelatin mixture while you mix on low in either method. Keep mixing/pulsing until cream is thick but still smooth. Add cream to a piping bag (I used a Wilton 6B tip) and pipe on the cheesecake as desired.
- Serve + Store: Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan when ready to serve. Transfer cheesecake to a serving platter or cake stand and top with the salted caramel sauce and whipped cream. Slice and enjoy!Store leftovers, tightly covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Make Ahead Tips: Caramel: Caramel sauce can be made up to 5 days ahead. Let cool slightly at room temperature, then store in a mason jar in the fridge. Microwave to loosen it up before using. Cheesecake: Cheesecake can be baked, cooled, and chilled in the fridge for 1-2 days before serving.