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A slice of pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream on a plate.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake

My best Pumpkin Cheesecake features a graham cracker crust topped with a rich, creamy, and warmly-spiced cheesecake filling. Master how to make cheesecake from scratch for Thanksgiving (or any day).
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 55 minutes
cooling 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 14 servings (1 slice each)
Calories 409kcal

Ingredients

For the crust:

For the filling:

Instructions

To make the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap a 9-inch springform pan in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange a dish towel in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan.
  • In a food processor, or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, finely crush graham crackers. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Pour into the springform pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crumbs evenly on the bottom.
  • Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set on top of dish towel in roasting pan and bring a kettle or saucepan of water to boil.

To make the filling:

  • Pat the pumpkin puree dry with several layers of paper towel. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. 
  • In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer by hand, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 to 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl and beaters as necessary.
  • Add the sugar mixture in two batches, beating after each addition until incorporated, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until combined. 
  • Add in eggs one at a time until incorporated, about 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in heavy cream until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes.

To bake the cheesecake:

  • Brush the inside of the springform pan with melted butter (being careful not to disturb the graham cracker crust). Carefully pour the filling into the springform pan.
  • With the cheesecake inside of it, set the roasting pan on an oven rack. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pan.
  • Bake until the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees at the center when tested with an internal thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven.
  • Let cheesecake cool in the roasting pan for 45 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours longer. Run a knife around the inside edge of the springform pan about once per hour to loosen the cake.
  • Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. 
  • To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a kitchen towel wet with hot water around the cake pan for 1 minute. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully slide the cake onto a cake platter. Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

  1. Graham crackers: If you're feeling ambitious, start with a batch of Homemade Graham Crackers. Store-bought honey-flavored or cinnamon graham crackers also work well. If graham crackers aren't sold in your part of the world, substitute 1 ½ cups crushed digestive biscuits (9 sheets of graham crackers yields about 1 ½ cups of crumbs).
  2. Pumpkin purée: Canned pumpkin pureé (not pumpkin pie filling) is convenient for this recipe. If you want to make your own Fresh Pumpkin Pureé, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut your pumpkin in half and remove all seeds and fibrous strings. Cut each half into 2 or 3 pieces, then roast until tender, 60 to 90 minutes. Cool completely, then scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the skin. Blend in a food processor blender until smooth. Finally, drain over cheesecloth or paper towels to remove excess water.
  3. Yield: This recipes makes 14 slices of decadent Pumpkin Cheesecake (or more like 10 to 12 if you're sharing it with my family!).
  4. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1136IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg