How to Make Our Luscious Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Spoil the pumpkin lovers in your life with a show-stopping pumpkin spice cheesecake for the holidays.

Pumpkin lovers will absolutely adore this fall twist on a classic dessert. This recipe for pumpkin spice cheesecake features a swirl of pumpkin for a show-stopping holiday treat. Just because it looks fancy doesn’t mean it’s difficult to make, though. Here’s what to do!

Find the Right Gear

Before you get started, be sure to check that you have the right gear:

  • Springform pan: You need this pan for easy slicing and serving at the table.
  • Aluminum foil: Use a few sheets of foil to wrap the pan and protect the cheesecake from the water bath.
  • Tall-sided baking pan: Your springform pan should be able to fit comfortably on your baking sheet, along with an inch of water.
  • Toothpicks: Use them for making the pumpkin swirl pattern.

Don’t forget to bookmark our Ultimate Cheesecake Baking Guide, too.

Start Baking a Day Ahead

This might be the best reason to make a cheesecake for the holidays: you can prep dessert long before guests arrive! When the cheesecake has a chance to set overnight in your fridge, the flavors mingle and get even better.

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the pan

Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Stack two pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 18-inch squares) on the counter. Place the pan on top and wrap the foil around the edges of the pan. This will help prevent the water bath from soaking your crust.

Step 2: Make the crust

The gingersnap crust in process.Tiffany Dahle for Taste of Home

In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

In the mean time, see what mistakes everyone makes when baking cheesecake.

Step 3: Make the filling

In a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the remaining cream cheese just one package at a time until it’s smooth. Add the remaining sugar and the vanilla. Add the eggs and beat everything together on low speed until just combined.

Step 4: Assemble the cheesecake

Place 2 cups of filling in a small bowl and stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 1/4 cup pumpkin filling and reserve it for the swirled top. Pour the remaining pumpkin filling over the crust and spread it out carefully. Spoon the remaining plain filling in large dollops over the top of the pumpkin filling and spread it carefully to coat the pan.

Step 5: Finish the swirled top

Cheesecake in roasting pan for baking.Tiffany Dahle for Taste of Home

Use a small spoon to place dollops of the reserved pumpkin filling over the top of the plain cream cheese filling. Use a toothpick or thin skewer to gently swirl the pumpkin into the cream cheese in a pretty pattern. Don’t overswirl, though, or you’ll lose the contrast.

Step 6: Bake the cheesecake

Place the springform pan inside the baking pan and add 1 inch of hot water to the larger baking pan. This will help prevent your cheesecake from getting a cracked top. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center is just set and the top appears dull. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake, and then cool for 1 more hour. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Top Your Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Served cheesecake on platesTiffany Dahle for Taste of Home

This cheesecake is gorgeous as-is or with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Have you ever made homemade whipped cream? Your guests will be pleasantly surprised with how much better it tastes from scratch!

How Can Kids Help?

You may have heard that cheesecake has a reputation for being difficult. But our recipe is easy enough that kids will be able to help in the kitchen! Here are some easy things for them to do:

  1. Be “The Crushers:” Pop all the gingersnaps into a zip-top bag and hand your kids a kitchen mallet. Let them get to work crushing the cookies into smithereens!
  2. Chop the pecans: I’m not suggesting you set kids loose with your kitchen knives. We keep a manual food processor like this in our kitchen for the kids to safely prep ingredients. It works perfectly for nuts, onions and other small ingredients that need to be finely chopped.
  3. Pat the crust into place: Kids love working with their hands. Have them press the cookie crust into the springform pan. Show them how to pat it out smoothly.
  4. Be in charge of the mixer: What kid doesn’t love playing with gadgets? Little ones will love being in charge of turning the mixer on and off. Just make sure you’re supervising. Older kids can be in charge of the actual mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Design the pumpkin artwork: Hand over the toothpicks or skewers and let them do the final swirl of the top layer. It’s like painting!

Have kids who love to help? Find more ideas for baking with kids.

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Tiffany Dahle
Tiffany Dahle is the founder of Peanut Blossom, an online community for busy moms who want real-world, family-tested, kid-friendly food. She provides ongoing creative inspiration, helping parents celebrate the everyday moments that become cherished childhood memories. Her popular series of cookbooks for kids, The Ultimate Kids' Cookbook and The Ultimate Kids' Baking Book, encourages families to connect in the kitchen.