Pumpkin Cheesecake

November  5, 2010
7 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 10 to 12
Author Notes

Like many families, our Thanksgiving holiday is filled with ritual and custom. We tend to prepare the same dishes, often served in a bowl or on a plate that is a sentimental favorite - Grandma's gravy boat, my Mom's crystal bowl for the cranberries. Recipes go back three generations at our table, but I add a new one from time to time. I found a version of this cheesecake in a food magazine about ten years ago. I make it only once every year as the traditional dessert to follow the turkey soup we enjoy on Sunday, marking the end of my favorite holiday. You won't see a photo of it until Thanksgiving weekend, long after the close of this contest. I'm not really superstitious, just "careful". - Lizthechef —Lizthechef

Test Kitchen Notes

I made this for my boyfriend's birthday and, sure enough, Lizthechef's cheesecake did not disappoint! I received many compliments on the dessert and many more requests for the recipe! This not-too-rich cheesecake is easy to assemble and with its spicy gingersnap crust and velvety pumpkin cream cheese filling is an absolute delight to eat. A few tips I have to offer: make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, do not over-beat the batter, remove the cheesecake from the oven when the center is still slightly jiggly (it will firm up in the fridge) and allow it to chill in the refrigerator overnight before serving, or else you may end up with a cracked cheesecake. - gabrielaskitchen —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the crust
  • 1 container/box gingersnaps (I like Trader Joe's triple gingersnaps)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
  • For the filling
  • 3 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 12 small chunks of crystallized ginger
  1. For the crust
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Cover the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil.
  4. Using a food processor, pulse cookies into crumbs. You will need about 4 cups of cookies to produce the 2 cups of crumbs needed.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the crumbs, melted butter and sugar.
  6. Press mixture into bottom of foil-wrapped pan. Don't worry about trying to press the mixture up the sides of the pan.
  7. Bake until crust darkens slightly, 5-10 minutes maximum. Remove from oven but do not turn off the oven.
  1. For the filling
  2. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, then the pumpkin, vanilla and spices.Mix until smooth, using a hand spatula to finish, insuring that ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Place the pan with the crust on a sheet pan. Carefully pour filling on top of the crust.
  5. Bake cheesecake 60-65 minutes until center is cooked and the edges are somewhat cracked.
  6. Chill uncovered until cold, about 4 hours.
  7. Cut around the sides of the cake and remove pan sides. Decorate top of cheesecake with crystallized ginger. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kayla Mosebrook
    Kayla Mosebrook
  • Linda Safianwhite
    Linda Safianwhite
  • em-i-lis
  • Lizthechef
  • lapadia

55 Reviews

Muhammad A. December 2, 2021
Hi chef how are you I hope you fine pls can you give it racipy in gm
Tobie L. December 18, 2019
I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving and served it minus the crystallized ginger. It was a hit! Everyone loved it! My husband was eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bravo!
Kayla M. October 22, 2019
This recipe is so good! I left out the cloves and crystalized ginger but still fantastic!!! Thank you!
Sasha A. October 22, 2019
I did the same and I made a nut crust instead of cookie. Rave reviews!
Sabina November 21, 2018
I’m a little confused. What do u mean exactly by “cover the outside of a pan with the foil??” Does it mean wrap it on the outside or line the inside? Do I line the bottom as well?? And do I place it on a dry cookie sheet to bake?
efsmith November 21, 2018
Barbara B. November 17, 2018
Looks fabulous but can you tell me how many ounces of gingersnaps to use in the crust?
em-i-lis November 17, 2018
I use a 10-oz bag.
Barbara B. November 18, 2018
Thanks! I'm all set to bake for Thanksgiving :)
Linda S. April 26, 2018
i want to make this cheesecake because I love cheesecake, I really like pumpkin, it looks delicious but mostly because I love the picture. It reminds me of when I was a kid and it was holiday time!
em-i-lis November 18, 2011
This is absolutely wonderful. AAAH! Six girlfriends and I devoured a bit more than half of this at 9am. Love it! I added a splash of bourbon and didn't top with crystallized ginger as I was out. In any case, it was divine, and I am making two for TG.
Lizthechef November 18, 2011
So happy you enjoyed this - I have to figure out where to shoehorn this into the holiday menu(s).
Lizthechef November 23, 2010
Gabriela, I LOVE your photo - maybe I won't bother taking one when I make mine this weekend...Happy Thanksgiving!
Dixiesmum November 15, 2010
Thanks. You can definitely freeze cheesecake. I've been doing it for years. I wrap each piece in glad wrap, then place all in a freezer bag.
LanR November 10, 2010
So nice meeting you at the potluck! this looks so yummy!
Lizthechef November 10, 2010
Lovely meeting you too - did you bake the French macaroons? I ate them for breakfast!!
lapadia November 9, 2010
Hi Lizthechef! I am starting a new comment box because of a computer "thing" - if there are more than 2, it automatically starts a new comment box, haven't figured out why yet. Anyway, seriously, I am passing on my version, never took a picture of the ones I have made, can't make one this week. I KNOW yours and I will shout out to all is SO delicious! BTW...I am envious of all the fun you all had down in San Francisco and on the other hand, love hearing all about it! Love your blog too!
Lizthechef November 9, 2010
I am hopeless re computer-speak but love your recipes. Submit, submit :)
lapadia November 9, 2010
Love, love, love pumpkin cheesecake, your recipe just about "mirrors" mine, which includes toasted crushed pecans in the crust, a sour cream layer on top with toasted pecans sprinkled around the edge. Not entering of luck!
lapadia November 9, 2010
OH...and I love your picture!
Lizthechef November 9, 2010
Enter it! Yours sounds better than mine...C'mon, you have 2 days!
CallMeAmaesing November 9, 2010
this looks awesome!!! I LOVE PUMPKIN.. and i love cheesecake. a match made in heaven... good thing my mom still pays the gas bill haha.
fiveandspice November 9, 2010
Love, love, love. That's all I have to say. One year I had Thanksgiving with a friend's family and they had no pumpkin pie, only pumpkin cheesecake. I was devastated by the missing pie...until I tasted the cheescake. It was delicious. I'll admit I still missed the pie - I'm a tradition stalwart, and it sounds like I'm in good company - but I'm excited now to have a delicious looking recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake too. Thanks!
Lizthechef November 9, 2010
Gotta have the pie as well, I totally agree. I make mine in my Mom's vintage ceramic pie plate.
Daphne November 8, 2010
Hi Liz, I'm another "So fun meeting you this weekend" person....
Love the photo of your loved ones and the cheesecake recipe too. Is that an avocado pit they sprouted and then planted sitting on the counter?
I remember trying to start those plants from the pits of avocados poked with toothpicks during this time period. A a fresh pit suspended, just partially dipped in water filled jars would grow roots. We always lost patience though, and never got one into soil....
Lizthechef November 8, 2010
Love your sharp eyes! No doubt you observed my Mom's wine glass at the ready as well. Indeed, my mother had sprouted an avocado seed.She loved to garden and kept plants indoors during Pennsylvania winters. When she and my Dad finally moved to San Diego, she had the great joy of a Haas avocado tree on their yard...It was great fun meeting you this past weekend! Thank you for being so welcoming.
betteirene November 8, 2010
What a coincidence. . .I'm in the middle of writing my own submission to this contest, and the daughter-in-law I live with just asked if I had a recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake to take to her grandmother's house on T-Day. Her grandmother serves at 1, so they have lunch there and dinner here, and she reports back with all kinds of horror stories, like last year's banana (?!) cheesecake that was more like soup, so they froze it to be able to slice it. She wants to show up the aunt who made it, and I'm sure your recipe is just the ticket. Thanks for helping me help her. I'll have to tell my son to make sure to take a photo similar to yours, but it won't be as sweet if DIL is gloating, will it? And, do you use TJ's crystallized ginger? It's garnishing my recipe, too! I love that stuff--I use it in gingerbread cookies and cakes, in oatmeal cookies instead of raisins, in stuffing for pork chops and chicken bakes.
Lizthechef November 8, 2010
So flattered - my recipe is pretty fool-proof. I like TJ's crystallized ginger although it is no longer sugared on the outside. I like the sparkly kind from Whole Foods too. Love the family story too...
TheWimpyVegetarian November 8, 2010
It was so great to finally meet you this weekend!!!! Hope you got back to SD safe and sound. And this recipe looks like another great one from you to try! I love love love pumpkin cheesecake and this might be dessert for Thanksgiving! And what a great photo - really love it.
Lizthechef November 8, 2010
Just home from the airport and still walking on air after such fabulous get-togethers with you and other food 52'ers, not to mention Amanda! Thanks -
JSCooks November 8, 2010
So great to meet you at the potluck. I adore pumpkin cheesecake and yours looks fantastic. And the photo -- priceless!
Lizthechef November 8, 2010
Love that I got to meet you too! Appreciate your comment too...
Midge November 7, 2010
I'd rather have this than pumpkin pie any day. Sounds fabulous.
Lizthechef November 8, 2010
A huge fan of your entries on the site - thanks for your comment. For me, I am still stuck on pie for the big day...
MyCommunalTable November 6, 2010
Pumpkin Cheesecake with ginger...OMG. It sounds perfectly naughty. I will be making this... BTW...cheesecake freezes beautifully. Love the floss idea.
Lizthechef November 6, 2010
Serving it after soup makes it easier for me to rationalize all the calories...After all, it's only once a year ;)