Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Robyn Valarik 
Prep Time
3 Hours
Chill Time
5 Hours
Serves 16

Pumpkin and chocolate together are surprisingly delicious.

How to Make It

Step 1

Make crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Whirl cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Whirl in butter just until incorporated. Pour crumbs into a 9-in. springform pan and press over bottom and about 1 in. up inside of pan. Bake 7 minutes, then let cool on a rack. Reduce oven heat to 300°.

Step 2

Make filling: In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugars, and flour until smooth. Beat in eggs on low speed 1 at a time. Add remaining filling ingredients and beat until just blended. Wrap bottom of pan with foil, pressing it up the outside.

Step 3

Set springform pan in a roasting pan and pour filling into crust. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cheesecake cool on a rack 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 5 hours.

Step 4

Whisk caramel topping and table salt in a bowl and spoon over cheesecake. Arrange pecans around rim and sprinkle flaked salt over pecans.

Step 5

*Flaked salt has large, hollow, crunchy crystals. Find it at well-stocked grocery stores and online.

Step 6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per slice.

Chef's Notes

For a fissure-free cheesecake, beat your filling just until it's blended--no more. (Too much air in the mixture will make it deflate, and then crack, in the oven.) Find pumpkin pie spice in your baking aisle, or make your own: 4 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ground ginger, 1 part nutmeg, and 1 part ground allspice.

Ratings & Reviews

rubymtngirl's Review

February 04, 2012
This cheesecake was a hit!! I have Celiac and used a box of gluten free chocolate cookies that I found at Raleys for the crust. I would add more pumpkin spice and I didn't taste the maple syrup. The flavors were complex, which my family appreciates. This recipe has been added to our fall favorites!

Edandjake's Review

December 28, 2011
I made this dessert for Thanksgiving also. It turned out great and the guests said it was good, but it was not as big a hit as the custard or pecan pies. This is a very "busy" cheesecake with a lot of competing flavors. The salt is a nice addition, but I agree with the comments about decreasing the amount of orange and the maple syrup does get lost. I used Trader Joe's "Chocolately Cats Cookies for People" for the crust - it worked really well. I probably will not make this one again.

stacie296's Review

December 06, 2011
I am glad a previous low review was removed. I noticed that they rated this recipe low strictly on the basis of being unable to find the chocolate wafers to purchase. Totally unfair for what was an OUTSTANDING recipe. This got rave reviews from many at our Thanksgiving get-together. The only thing I would mention is that the orange zest is really strong and it overpowered the pumpkin a bit. But even so, who can complain about an orange and chocolate cheesecake?

cvanake's Review

November 26, 2011
Delicious, and easy! This is the 2nd year we've had this for Thanksgiving dessert, and it's a keeper. Not a fussy cheesecake recipe - it cooks evenly and looks beautiful. I used the Nabisco chocolate cookie wafers as prescribed - they're generally available at Safeway or other major grocery chains but you may have to search to find them. My local Safeway keeps them in the ice cream aisle with the ice cream toppings!

runinbehind's Review

November 25, 2011

HaleyF's Review

November 22, 2011
I have already made this cheesecake twice since the November Sunset came out. We used chocolate graham crackers instead of chocolate wafer cookies. You can definitely taste the orange if you use 2, but I really liked that! I didn't notice the maple syrup, but overall this was amazing! It was one of the most beautiful cheesecakes I've ever made. Yum!!

Nancy1261's Review

November 22, 2011

amyinthelbc's Review

November 16, 2011
This is really delicious, but extremely sweet. I tried this out pre-Thanksgiving and found a few things I would change. First of all, the chocolate cookies are nearly impossible to find. I had to use oreo cookie crusts as a substitute. I like the combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and caramel, but I found the orange zest and maple syrup a bit overpowering. Next time, I would use only 1 orange, omit the maple syrup, and add more pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. It might be even better with a ginger snap crust.