An easy, creamy pumpkin cheesecake that’s made completely from scratch, and there is no water bath required! Recipe includes a step-by-step video!
Today’s homemade cheesecake recipe is bursting with the best flavors of fall! Made on a homemade graham cracker crust and topped off with a simple cinnamon whipped cream, this would make a great Thanksgiving dessert!
I know it’s not officially Fall yet and I promise I’m not trying to rush the seasons along, but I’ve been dying to re-share my Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe with you.
I made a video of this recipe a few weeks ago but have been putting off sharing it, but I finally think we’re at least close enough to Fall season that it’s hopefully OK to share. I mean, the grocery stores have had pumpkins and Thanksgiving centerpieces for sale for a few weeks now, so I can’t be that early.
Those of you who are still with me, thank you, and let’s get you briefed on what’s bound to be your favorite dessert of the upcoming season.
As far as cheesecakes go, this pumpkin version is an easy, easy recipe. It’s made with 100% real pumpkin puree (make sure you grab that, and not “pumpkin pie filling”), a touch of sour cream (so critical for the best cheesecake flavor), and, as with all of my cheesecakes so far, this pumpkin cheesecake does not require a water bath.
Let’s get started.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake without a Water Bath
I shared most of these tips when I posted my chocolate cheesecake recipe, but they’re still every bit as valid here (or with just about any cheesecake!).
- Use room temperature ingredients! I like to set out my eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream a few hours before I begin making my pumpkin cheesecake. This allows the ingredients to become evenly combined and reduces the risk of cracks.
- Don’t over-beat your eggs! Stir on low-speed just until combined after each egg, and make sure to pause after each addition to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. You want the eggs to be combined into the batter, just don’t overdo it, as this can actually ruin the texture of your cheesecake and can cause your pumpkin cheesecake to crack.
- Don’t open the oven! I know how tempting it is to want to check on your cheesecake before it’s finished baking, but opening the oven door can drastically reduce the temperature of your oven, slowing the baking process and causing your cheesecake to sink or crack.
- Cool at room temperature before moving to the fridge. I always let my pumpkin cheesecake come to room temperature on top of the oven (where it’s still warm) before transferring it to the refrigerator to chill and set completely.
What do I Do If My Pumpkin Cheesecake Cracks Anyway?
You followed all the steps and you still ended up with an unattractive crack in your cheesecake?
I’ve been there, and despite the fact that 4 of my previous pumpkin cheesecakes came out smooth and crack-free, the one I made to show in my video ended up with a small but unfortunate scar (this wasn’t the one that I made on camera, that one ended up smooth, but the one I made the night before to cut into ended up with a small crack — I know it’s because I was ready to get in bed and moved it to the fridge too soon!🙄).
Anyway, there is a solution — just dollop some whipped cream over your pumpkin cheesecake cracks and you’re good to go. Just remember that any cracks won’t affect the taste of your cheesecake!
Can I Use a Store Bought Crust for this Recipe?
I don’t recommend it for this recipe, as most store bought graham cracker crusts come in small pie tins that wouldn’t be large enough to hold the amount of batter that this recipe makes.
My homemade graham cracker crust recipe is linked in the instructions below, it takes just a few ingredients and a few minutes of your time to make and will fit into the 9″ springform pan that this pumpkin cheesecake requires.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
Please see step-by-step video below the recipe. If you enjoy watching my cooking videos, I’d love it if you would consider subscribing to my YouTube channel <3
- 1 9" graham cracker crust (prepared according to recipe in 9" or 10" springform pan, not pre-baked)
- 24 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar packed (150g)
- 1/2 cup sugar (100g)
- 1/3 cup sour cream (80g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree* (244g)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3 eggs room temperature
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (175ml)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (30g)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
- Prepare graham cracker crust in a 9" springform but do not bake. Place in refrigerator to chill while you prepare your cheesecake filling.
- In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer), beat together softened cream cheese and sugars, scraping down the sides with a spatula occasionally to ensure ingredients are mixed well. (beat on medium-speed about 1-2 minutes, scraping down side occasionally).
- Add sour cream and stir well, pausing once to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin spice and stir until well-combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just mixed after each addition (and scraping down the sides after each addition).
- Spread cheesecake batter evenly over prepared crust.
- Transfer to oven and bake on 350F for 40 minutes or until center of cheesecake is set and bounces back to the touch.
- Allow pumpkin cheesecake to cool to room temperature and then transfer to refrigerator and chill for 6 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, prepare your cinnamon whipped cream.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream**
- For the cinnamon whipped cream topping, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon in a clean medium-sized bowl.
- Use an electric mixer to stir on low-speed. Gradually increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe or dollop whipped cream over chilled cheesecake. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe originally published 10/13/2017, text updated and recipe video added 09/19/2018.