18 Must-Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipes
Pumpkin pie is arguably the most requested dessert during the holiday season, with cheesecake following not too far behind. Combine both for a hybrid creation of pumpkin cheesecake. This fall-inspired dessert incorporates a classic velvety, creamy texture, while the addition of pumpkin adds a familiar warmness. Serve these top-rated pumpkin cheesecake recipes at your next family gathering for a sweet end to a full dinner spread.
Even if you're not a huge pumpkin pie fan, it's hard to pass on a slice of this decadent pumpkin cheesecake. Sweet pumpkin is enhanced with warming spices and brown sugar, and perfectly balanced by the smooth, rich tang of cream cheese. Our pumpkin cheesecake recipe is easy to make, but we can almost guarantee, it'll be the first thing to disappear from the dessert table.
Savory Pumpkin Cheesecake Is Like a Little Miracle
Cheesecake is like a little miracle, in no small part because it is two of my favorite things: cheese and cake. And even though the cake part is misleading, since the creamy filled crust always feels more like a pie, I’m not going to argue. I live in Chicago, where Eli’s Cheesecake has been making delicious ones my whole life. They even make chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick, which is pure bliss.
However, a type 2 diabetes has seriously curtailed my cheesecake consumption. Too much sugar on top of a carby crust means it's reserved for a very special occasion indulgence. But a recent dinner party in need of an out-of-the-box cheese course got me thinking: What about savory cheesecake? As it is pumpkin spice season, and you can’t turn around without being accosted with the images of pumpkin everywhere, pumpkin became a natural addition. A Parmesan almond crust keeps the carbs down and adds a bit more flavor than a traditional crumb crust, and nods to a cheese platter in a great way.
This makes a lovely appetizer, or even a light lunch with a salad, and if you want to serve it as part of a cheese platter, cut it into small squares and garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It also freezes beautifully, so sometimes I divide this recipe into two 5- or 6-inch springform pans and freeze them to have on hand for smaller spontaneous gatherings.
Savory Pumpkin Cheesecake
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2 cups ground almonds (pecans or hazelnuts also fine, walnuts get a little too bitter)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white
3 egg yolks
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
½ pound goat cheese, softened
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ teaspoon espelette pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
Preheat your oven to 400°F degrees. Wrap the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with foil, line the bottom with parchment and grease with butter. (or two 5- or 6-inch pans) In a bowl, mix nuts with cheese and egg white just until mixture is blended, and press into bottom of the pan in an even layer.
In the bowl of your stand mixer with a whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with your electric hand mixer lightly beat eggs and yolks until frothy, then add softened cheeses and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add in nutmeg, thyme, shallot, zest, pepper, and flour and beat briefly just to mix. Then add the cream and pumpkin puree. Beat until smooth.
Pour into the crust and place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300°F degrees and bake 50 to 60 minutes longer. The cake is done when there is just the gentlest wobble in the center two inches of the pan when you shake it. Not a loose liquid look, but more of a soft rolling movement.
Turn off heat and allow cake to cool in oven about two hours with the door cracked open. They may crack slightly on top, which I like. If you hate that look, you can cook in a water bath, but it might take a few minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let rest on the counter another hour or so until not noticeably warm to the touch, cover and chill in the fridge overnight. You can garnish with balsamic glaze, fig jam, date syrup or pomegranate molasses, or a fine dice of quince paste. Crème fraiche or sour cream mixed with a hint of brown sugar makes a lovely topping, especially sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds (the green hulled ones, not the white whole ones)
To serve, take the cake out of the fridge about an hour before serving. Remove spring-form, and slice into thin wedges or small squares. You can wrap this well in plastic and foil and freeze for up to three months. You can also make in muffin tins for individual portions, just reduce baking time. For muffins, I strongly suggest using baking cups or the pans with the removeable bottoms as they can be a bear to get out.
Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake
Make this cake a day ahead, and refrigerate. Large crystals of raw brown Demerara sugar look and taste lovely, but the cake is still delicious without it. To prevent the crust from sticking to your fingers while pressing it into the pan, lightly coat your hands with cooking spray.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
This dessert combines the spicy flavors of a pumpkin pie with the creamy richness of a cheesecake.
Pumpkin-Swirl Cheesecake Tart
Impress your holiday guests with the swirling action used to combine the cream cheese and pumpkin mixtures. The final presentation picturesque enough for an Instagram highlight.
Family and guests alike will give thanks over this decadent, seasonal Pumpkin-Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake.
Pumpkin Toffee Crunch Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Glazed Hazelnuts
Not only is this cheesecake heavenly spiced with coriander and cardamom, the hazelnuts provide a nutty, crunchy texture that makes a complex flavor profile. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well all the ingredients tie together.
Pumpkin-Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel
Not only do you get the benefit of pumpkin and cheesecake in one dessert, the addition of orange zest brings a lively brightness to the pie. The salted caramel coats the entire pie for more sweetness and balance.
Dulce de Leche–Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Almonds
Sweet milk caramel, or dulce de leche, takes this decadent cheesecake over the top–be sure to save room for dessert!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue
Begin with a toasted pecan crust, layer with cream cheese and a classic pumpkin filling, and then gild the lily with a creamy meringue.
Fall Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Notes: If making individual cheesecakes ahead, chill airtight in pans up to 1 day. Freeze in pans up to 1 week; thaw, wrapped, in the refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours. If desired, reheat in a 325° oven for 10 to 12 minutes. To make a large, single cheesecake (to serve up to 12), use a 9-inch tart pan with removable rim. In step 2 reduce butter to about 1 tablespoon and sprinkle 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans in pan. Bake in a 325° oven as directed in step 4 for 50 to 55 minutes. Cut into wedges.
If your springform pan is loose and prone to leaking, wrap the bottom of it completely with heavy-duty aluminum foil before scraping the batter into it and baking. You can also place the pan on a baking sheet in the oven so that nothing drips on the floor of your oven. Serve the cheesecake unadorned for informal dining, or garnish with the whipped topping and almond brittle to add a special touch to your holiday dessert buffet.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Cinnamon Pumpkin Cheesecake
Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
Rich cheesecake is a welcome sight on most holiday buffets. This dessert is even better with the addition of seasonal flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger.