Delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake Your Family will Love


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If you’re a fan of cheesecake and pumpkin, you will love this pumpkin cheesecake. Baked from scratch, it takes a little more effort, but it is so worth it! It’s the perfect Thanksgiving dessert or ending to a fancy Sunday dinner.

three white plates with pumpkin cheesecake and whipped topping sitting on a green plaid tablecloth with serving spatula

My family loves this pumpkin cheesecake recipe. It is one of our go-to desserts for holiday meals. My family asks for it every year and it is always delicious!  I found the recipe years ago – before I ever even heard about blogs. I used to subscribe to a free email service called Menus for Moms and one year they sent me their Thanksgiving Menu.

I’ve adapted my pumpkin cheesecake recipe from the free one I had received from Menus for Moms.


pumpkin cheesecake

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cheesecake really isn’t that hard to make. It looks a bit intimidating, but it really isn’t. If you’ve never made a cheesecake – you should try! A Springform Pan is the only special equipment you need. Otherwise you’ll need:

For the Crust:

  • Graham cracker crumbs: Finely ground crumbs made from graham crackers are the base of the crust. They give the pumpkin dessert a sweet and crunchy base.
  • Butter: I use unsalted, melted butter. It binds the graham cracker crumbs together and keeps the crust from falling apart.
  • Sugar: Balances the flavor of the butter and graham crackers.

For the Filling

  • Sugar: Responsible for the overall sweetness of the cake.
  • Softened Cream cheese: Your cheesecake gets it silky and rich texture from cream cheese. Bring it to room temperature before using it in the recipe.
  • Vanilla: Adds depth and warmth to the pumpkin flavor.
  • Pumpkin puree: Pumpkin puree is the star of the show. It gives the cheesecake a smooth and creamy texture. The flavor of home roasted pumpkin is out of this world, but it does increase your time commitment. Store bought pumpkin puree is fine. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
  • Eggs: Provide structure and stability as you bake pumpkin cheesecake.
  • Cinnamon: A warm and aromatic spice. It complements the pumpkin flavor but also makes your senses think it is fall.
  • Nutmeg: A distinct nutty and warm spice that works in harmony with cinnamon for that quintessential fall flavor.

For Decorating the top:

  • Whipped cream: It’s easy to make from scratch with heavy whipping cream.
  • Pecans (optional): Give your cheesecake a bit of a crunch when you sprinkle pecans on top.

pumpkin cheesecake
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How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake from Scratch

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your springform pan. I’ve also read that greasing the pan can prevent your cheesecake from cracking and I’m excited to find out if that’s true.

I recommend using room temperature ingredients to make the mixing process smoother.

Crush up graham crackers in your food processor or blender. You could put them in a bag and use a rolling pin, but that’s too much work for me. 🙂 Then mix in the sugar and butter.

mix graham crackers sugar, butter for cheesecake crust (1)

Press the graham cracker crust on the bottom of your greased pan and about 2/3 of the way upside. Then bake for 5 minutes and let it cool while you prepare the filling.

pumpkin cheesecake crust ready for oven (1)

Beat vanilla, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, and spices. Beat only until mixed. You don’t want to over-mix cheesecake batter as it adds air bubbles which have been blamed for the cracks. Pour batter into your crust and bake for 60-70 minutes.

pour batter into baked crust (1)

Baking cheesecakes can be a little tricky. I add a pan of water under the cheesecake to help reduce cracks. I also move all racks to the bottom of the oven. You want the center of the cheesecake to be just set. It’s kind of hard to tell, but your finger shouldn’t go through the middle of the cheesecake if it’s cooked properly. Be careful that you don’t over bake it!

Let your cheesecake cool completely before you take off the springform pan. After it has come to room temperature, put it in the fridge (still with the ring attached). Leave it there for 24 hours before taking off that ring.

Finally – it is ready to serve!

Recipe Tip

Make sure you run a knife around the outside before releasing it so your cheesecake looks prettier than mine. I used to stress about cheesecake cracks. Now I just cover them up so you can’t see them and run with it. 🙂

pumpkin cheesecake

Variations for Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake

There are lots of ways to customize the perfect cheesecake recipe. Play with the spices, the crust, and toppings.

For spices, add more of your favorite warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Using a different crust changes the texture of your cheesecake. Try a pecan or ginger snap crust.

Finally, add a drizzle of caramel, sprinkle with chocolate chips, or add a few candied pecans to the top of the cheesecake. I’m certainly not going to judge you if you try all three!

Thanksgiving planner flatlay (1)

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white dessert plate with homemade pumpkin cheesecake and whipped cream on a white plate with fork

How to Store Pumpkin Cheesecake

After serving, cover the pumpkin cheesecake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate it for 5-7 days. Ensure it’s wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from the fridge.

Cheesecake is best served cold and I do not recommend reheating it as the texture will not be the same.

How to Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake

In theory, you can freeze pumpkin cheesecake. I don’t recommend it, however. The texture of frozen cheesecake is not the same. It gets crumbly and soggy all at the same time.

Other Fall Recipes You’ll Love

I decorated this cake with real whipped cream and chopped pecans. I’m not a super good decorator, but hey. It tastes delish! Learn from my mistakes – grease that pan and run the knife around the edge before you release and YOURS will be much prettier. 🙂

Yield: 12 slices

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake

pumpkin cheesecake

A decadent baked cheesecake perfect for Thanksgiving or anytime you need a pumpkin flavored dessert.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes


For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

To Decorate

  • 1-2 cups whipped cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9" springform pan.
  2. Mix the crust and press it 2/3 up the pan.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes and let cool.
  4. Combine sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, pumpkin, and spices and stir until combined. Don't over mix.
  6. Pour the filling in the crust and bake for 60-70 minutes until the center is set. Be careful not to over or under cook.
  7. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature.
  8. Chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours before releasing the pan ring.
  9. Decorate to your liking and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g

Nutritional data is not always correct.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. I’ve never attempted a cheese cake from scratch, but it really does not sound that difficult. 24 total ounces of cream cheese is like WOW…. must be tons of calories!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Oh no… no calories in cheesecake! LOL! That’s why I make it very rarely. I have no idea of calorie count, but it it loaded. 😉