Easy spiced pumpkin cheesecake recipe with gingersnap cookie crust, homemade from scratch with simple ingredients. It's topped off with white chocolate ganache and is very rich and creamy.
*Thank you Vital Proteins for sponsoring today's post so I could share this recipe with all of you. As always, all opinions are mine.*
The recipe I am sharing today is made with real pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. This is great to serve on Thanksgiving or even Halloween because of its cool orange color. If you are a cheesecake fanatic, be sure to check out this New York Cheesecake (No Water Bath), Nutella Cheesecake (No Bake) and this Eggnog Cheesecake (No Bake) and definitely this Peach Cheesecake (No Bake).
Table of contents
- Gingersnap cookies- This adds the perfect level of spice and aroma for the cookie crumb base layer. I think it's better than a graham cracker crust.
- Butter- This should be unsalted to keep the dessert from getting too salty.
- Sugar- Both, granulated and brown sugar are used to add sweetness.
- Cream cheese- This should be full fat for maximum creaminess.
- Pumpkin puree- This is not to be confused with pie filling.
- Sour cream-This should be full fat and also enhances the creaminess of the cheesecake layer.
- Pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract- Adds a lovely aroma and flavor.
- Eggs- These should be large and work to bind all the ingredients together in the pumpkin mixture.
- White chocolate- This is used to make the ganache topping. Use high quality chocolate for best flavor.
Variations for Thanksgiving cheesecake
Add some nuts in the gingersnap crust- Such as chopped pecans or walnuts for a subtle nutty flavor.
Cheesecake decorations- I just tossed various chocolate chips and white chocolate chips but you can decorate with shredded chocolate, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, seasonal candies, Royal Icing Flowers (Sugar Flowers) or Fondant Flowers or Buttercream Flowers (With Russian Piping Tips).
Make mini cheesecakes or even cheesecake bars- The recipe will be the same. Only the pans in which the mixture is baked will be different.
How to make easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe with gingersnap crust from scratch?
- Make gingersnap crust- By mixing together cookie crumbs, butter sugar and spreading in a springform pan. Bake and let it cool to set a bit.
- Make filling- By mixing together cream cheese, brown sugar, eggs, thick pumpkin puree, sour cream, flour, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, food coloring.
- Bake- Until mixture is almost set.
- Let it cool in oven- With oven doors partially open.
- Cool in fridge overnight- To allow cheesecake to set completely.
- Add toppings/decorations- This includes a drizzle of white chocolate ganache and chocolate chips.
Tips and techniques
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature- Because they blend together smoothly.
Make sure your oven temperature is accurate- The last thing you need is a dry (over-baked) or wet and soggy cheesecake (under-baked).
Follow the recipe very closely and don't start modifying it- I have tested this recipe a few times and my Mom has tested it too and it works perfectly.
Garnish and decorate the cheesecake- Only do this when it has chilled in the fridge for a few hours and cooled down completely.
Don't skip the step where you have to cook the pumpkin- That's because this allows excess liquid to evaporate.
Don't skip leaving the cheesecake in the oven (partly open)- This allows your cheesecake to still cook but not over-bake.
When to remove cheesecake from springform pan? You can remove it once the cheesecake has completely cooled down in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours. Gently, slide a knife around the cake to loosen it before removing the outer rim of the springform pan.
Can you make cheesecake without springform pan? No, my sister and I tried using a basic round cake pan a few years ago. It does not work. The cheesecake sticks to the cake pan and it's impossible to remove it properly.
Why did my cheesecake crack? How to prevent this?
- Don't whip the batter on high speed and don't mix it for too long since that will incorporate air into the mixture and cause it to rise too much and then collapse and crack.
- Many people use a water bath. Basically, wrap the outside of your springform pan in foil and place it in a tray with hot water and then bake it. The hot steam allows even baking and prevents cracks. My recipe today is for a cheesecake without water bath.
- If your oven temperature is not calibrated properly and the temperature is too high, the top will cook faster than the inside and cause it to crack as well.
Your mixture was not properly combined. Use a hand held mixer or stand mixer.
You have to slightly jiggle the pan in the oven. You are looking for a small jiggle in the center. It needs to look nearly set except for a small circle in the middle. That means it's ready to be removed from the oven. It will continue baking with residual heat and that center will eventually set.
Refrigerate- In a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Freeze- Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover in saran wrap and place in a sealed container and freeze up to 1 month. Once you are ready to enjoy it, thaw to room temperature and drizzle the white chocolate ganache and top with lots of chocolate chips.
Can you make cheesecake ahead of time? Yes, it's actually recommended that you make this at least 24 hours ahead of time, giving it a lot of time to set.
More Pumpkin Desserts
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (With Cake Mix)
- Pumpkin Brownies (With Brownie Mix)
- Easy Pumpkin Fudge (With Gingersnap Crust)
- Pumpkin Bars (With Cream Cheese Frosting)
- Easy Pumpkin Cake (With Cake Mix)
By the way, I used Vital Proteins collagen peptides in the gingersnap crust today. It has so many health benefits and honestly, you can't even taste it or smell it. It's truly such an awesome way to give a dessert a supplemental boost without anyone even knowing about it.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
White Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup White chocolate
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the gingersnap cookie crumbs, collagen peptides, melted butter and sugar. You will end up with a wet and crumbly mixture.
- Spray an 9 inch springform pan with oil and dump this mixture into the pan and spread it out.
- Use the flat base of a drinking glass or measuring cup to really pack down the cookie crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Then, remove from oven and let it cool down.
- In a a small non-stick saucepan, add pumpkin puree and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until some of the water evaporates. Remove from heat and let it cool down. Tip: Place it in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process.
- In a mixing bowl, add cream cheese and brown sugar and mix until everything is light and fluffy and there are no lumps.
- In another mixing bowl, add eggs, pumpkin puree, sour cream, flour, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and orange food coloring and mix everything together until just combined.
- Dump this pumpkin mixture into the cream cheese mixture and mix on low speed until everything in thoroughly combined.
- Pour this batter into your springform pan with the gingersnap crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Then, turn off the heat and prop the oven door slightly with a wooden spoon. Keep it this way for 45 minutes (the cheesecake continues to cook).
- After 45 minutes, remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it come down completely. Then, cover it with foil and chill in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight.
White Chocolate Ganache
- In a non-stick saucepan, add white chocolate and heavy cream and cook until the chocolate is completely melted. You will end up with a smooth and glossy glaze.
- Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit.
- Prior to serving, run a knife around the cheesecake and gently remove the outer rim of the springform pan.
- Pour ganache on top of the cheesecake and let some of it run down the sides and finally, toss some white chocolate chips and pumpkin flavored chocolate chips.
- Don't change the temperature or baking time- Yes! You really need to bake for that long.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Double the gingersnap cookie crust recipe to make a thicker crust. That's what I did in today's post.
- Plan ahead- Make your cheesecake a day in advance so that the flavor deepens and the cheesecake has a chance to set and cool properly.
- Read additional tips and variations above.