Make this easy pumpkin cheesecake for the upcoming holiday season. It’s a spiced version of New York Cheesecake that very few can resist.
It is finally October which means the weather is crisper, leaves are beginning to fall and the pumpkin spice craze has officially taken over. It also means that it’s the unofficial start to the holiday season.
This recipe will teach you how to make both a easy pumpkin cheesecake and a spiced graham cracker crust to go with it!
Graham Cracker Crust
This easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe is made with a graham cracker crust. You can either make your own or buy a pre-made one from the store.
When I was at Safeway buying ingredients for this cheesecake, I saw a new product for graham cracker crust: pre-crushed graham crackers!
- Graham crackers: Use full sheets and crumble them yourself or buy the pre-crumbled crackers.
- Butter: Use a couple tablespoons of melted butter. This will act as a binder for your crust.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Add a kick to your crust by adding some of your homemade pumpkin pie spice to your crust.
How to Make a Crust at Home
If you’ve never made your own pie crust at home, this is a great place to start. Graham crackers provide a base that can be manipulated with just a little butter added to them
After mixing your ingredients together well, press into a pie or cake pan. You can mix with a whisk, fork or even your hands to ensure everything is evenly distributed.
I used a 9″ cake pan with a removable rim. I love dishes like this because it makes for easy serving and a great presentation. The most important step here is to make sure to grease the cake pan before pressing it into the dish. Even though there is quite a bit of butter in the crust recipe, you will still want to grease for easy removal.
After adding the pie crust to the pan, bake it for about 6 to 7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The crust should be golden brown and fragrant. Let it cool before adding in your pie filling.
If you are looking for a keto or gluten-free pie crust option, try this pie crust recipe.
How to Make a Pumpkin Cheesecake
Making this easy pumpkin cheesecake at home not only super delicious and festive, but it also only takes about an hour and a half of your time. I recommend baking this cake while you’re making dinner so that the cake will be cooled and ready for eating when you’re ready for dessert.
- Cream cheese: An absolute must for cheesecake! Use the blocks that are sold in foil packages. If you use the tub cream cheese it will have too much moisture and ruin your cheesecake.
- Sour cream: Adding a bit of sour cream to your cheesecake will add a bit of tanginess to your cheesecake
- Pumpkin puree: A pumpkin cheesecake isn’t complete without pumpkin! Use a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree in this cheesecake.
- Pumpkin spice: Another necessary ingredient is the spiced element to this cheesecake. Add in store bought pumpkin spice or make your own!
- Sugar: I use a mix of brown sugar and white sugar in this cheesecake. For that deeper, more “molasses-y” flavor, use all brown sugar.
- Eggs: Use eggs as a stabilizer and a binder in this cake.
Making this cheesecake is easy. After you have all your ingredients gathered, you just need to put them together.
First, take your cream cheese and make sure it is softened. I recommend allowing it to come to room temperature for about three hours. If it is not at room temperature, it will not mix into your batter evenly and you will have chunks of cream cheese. It’s not the worst thing, but allowing your cheese to soften will remedy this.
Mix your dry ingredients (the brown and white sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice) together in a medium mixing bowl.
Add your 4 blocks (32 oz.) of cream cheese to a stand mixer and mix for a couple seconds so that it is fluffy. Then add in your other wet ingredients slowly. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, vanilla and pumpkin puree.
Beat in your dry ingredients to your cream cheese mixture slowly and continue adding until just combined.
After your batter in combined, add it into the baked graham cracker crust and bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.
Your cheesecake is finished baking when a knife comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for at least 45 minutes before you cut into it. If you cut into the cheesecake before it cools, it will not set properly and will spill out from the middle.
Does Cheesecake Need a Hot Water Bath?
Sometimes, cheesecakes will be baked in a hot water bath. The reason for using a hot water bath is twofold: to prevent curdling and to prevent cracking of the cake.
Bakers like to use hot water baths so that the baked goods bake evenly. The way you use a hot water bath is you put your cake or pie or even creme brulee in a large baking sheet with a tall lip and then fill up the baking sheet with hot water. By adding the hot water, it will give the cheesecake some steam that will help cook it evenly. It will also help strengthen the egg and cheese proteins in the cheesecake to keep it from curdling.
Using a hot water bath will make your pumpkin cheesecake more presentable overall and reduce the chance of curdling. It also will help the cake bake more evenly.
Best Way to Serve Cheesecake
There’s no wrong way to serve cheesecake. You can serve it plain or with a side of whipped cream straight of the can.
Another option is to serve with plum jam or freshly cut strawberries if they’re in season.
A family favorite is to serve this cheesecake with vanilla ice cream as well!