Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas 
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
11 Hours 55 Mins
Makes 12 servings

We use a mix of chocolate and cinnamon graham cracker crumbs here to give the crust a dark color with notes of chocolate and a little spice. You can choose one or the other, so long as you use 1 1/2 cups total. We also like to give the canned pumpkin a whirl in the food processor so it's nice and smooth in the creamy filling.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use.

Step 2

Prepare Filling: Beat cream cheese and next 3 ingredients at medium-low speed with an electric mixer in a large bowl just until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until yellow disappears after each addition.

Step 3

Process pumpkin in a food processor 1 to 2 minutes or until very smooth. Stir together lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree; reserve remaining pumpkin puree. Add pumpkin-lemon juice mixture to cream cheese mixture, and beat at low speed just until blended; pour into prepared crust.

Step 4

Bake at 325° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until center of cheesecake jiggles. (Prepare Topping during last 10 minutes of bake time.)

Step 5

Prepare Topping: Stir together sour cream and 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar; reserve 1/3 cup sour cream-sugar mixture. Stir together remaining sour cream mixture, pinch of pumpkin pie spice, and reserved pumpkin puree.

Step 6

Remove cheesecake from oven. Gently spread sour cream-pumpkin mixture over cheesecake. Dollop with reserved 1/3 cup sour cream-sugar mixture; gently swirl with a knife.

Step 7

Return cheesecake to oven, and bake at 325° for 5 more minutes. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 8 to 12 hours.

Step 8

How to Make a Leaf Garnish: Cut refrigerated piecrusts into decorative shapes using seasonal cookie cutters. Arrange cutouts in a single layer on a baking sheet; score dough with the tip of a paring knife to create designs, if desired. Bake dough according to package directions until golden and done. Remove cutouts to a wire rack; cool and decorate as desired.

Ratings & Reviews

October 30, 2016

November 01, 2016
Seriously?! You gave it a bad review because it's missing the nutritional facts? It's a southern living recipe, they never include the facts. Learn to write an actual review about the food!!


November 08, 2017
Does anyone know if this can be prepared ahead of time and frozen?

Delicious and not too sweet!

November 25, 2016
I made this pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner with family, and it received many compliments! I liked the fact that it was relatively easy to make and wasn't overpoweringly sweet. (The 2-star "review" it received from jafar1 seemed to be based only on the lack of the inclusion of nutritional information with the recipe, and said nothing about the recipe itself.) I would definitely make this cheesecake again.


October 29, 2016
Where is the nutritional information; is it so bad you have to hide it?