E.Lee's Pumpkin Cheesecake

By Ernest Lee
Date posted: 11/19/2016
Slice of pumpkin cheesecake
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'Tis the season of the pumpkin, and what better way to celebrate it than to transform this wonderful ingredient into a flavorful, creamy, delectable dessert! This pumpkin cheesecake recipe is always a popular request around Thanksgiving and during the Winter Holidays. It's a perfect dessert for finishing off any holiday meal.

Pumpkin cheesecake is relatively easy to make. This recipe does not require any "special" ingredients. All the ingredients can be found at almost any large grocery store. There is a little bit of technique involved. If you've made cheesecake before, this should be a walk in the park. The only complicated part for beginners might be learning how to bake with a water bath (aka Bain-Marie). Just follow the simple steps and you should be well on your way to creating this delicious dessert. The outcome is a firm, creamy pumpkin flavored cheesecake sitting on top of a crisp graham cracker crust, mixed with a hint of pumpkin pie spice. Once you take a bite, you'll find that it's all worth the effort.

Category/Keywords

Cheesecake, Pumpkin, Dessert, Cake

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E.Lee's Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serves 12-16

Times:

Prep Time: About 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Total Time: About 6 hours, including time for chilling

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 7 ounces of graham cracker crumbs (about 13 regular sized crackers), finely crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter (about 1 stick), melted and cooled

For the Filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (about three 8 oz. packages), room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pure pumpkin can be used)

Directions:

  1. Set the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 3 TBS sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. Add the melted butter and mix until all the crumbs are moist and a crust begins to form.
  4. Place the crust mixture into the cake pan. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture onto the bottom of the cake pan to form a solid crust.
  5. With a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese under medium speed until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup plus 2 TBS of sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1 tsp ground cloves.
  7. Add the sugar mixture to the cream cheese mixture and cream under medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  8. Turn the mixer down to medium low speed and add 1 egg at a time to the cream cheese mixture, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  9. Add the pumpkin and mix until combined.
  10. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the cake pan. If using a spring form pan, wrap a tight seal around the bottom of the pan with foil to prevent water from leaking in.
  11. Place the cake pan into a roasting pan. Add hot water into roasting pan until the water level is about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in height. If using a spring form pan, the water should not go above the foil line.
  12. Note: Always use caution when baking with a water bath. Adding too much water may cause the cake pan to float!

  13. Place the roasting pan into the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center is set (a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean).
  14. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and place on a wire rack.
  15. Using a knife, cut around the outside edge of the cheesecake to separate the sides of the cake from the pan. This will prevent the cheesecake from splitting or cracking during cooling.
  16. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the pan for about 1 hour, then refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 to 4 hours to chill and set the cheesecake.

Helpful hints & tips

  • Baking the cheesecake in a water bath cooks the cheesecake gradually and prevents it from cracking.
  • Using cream cheese at room temperature allows the cheesecake to become more smooth and less likely to form clumps.
  • Using really fine graham cracker crumbs produces a crispier crust.

Equipment

Before you get started, here are some helpful items you may need. Click on each item for more details.

Ingredient List

  • For the crust
  • 7 ounces of graham cracker crumbs (about 13 regular sized crackers), finely crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter (about 1 stick), melted and cooled
  • For the filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (about three 8 oz. packages), room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pure pumpkin can be used)

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. Set the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Lining parchment paper into a cake pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 3 TBS sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. Add the melted butter and mix until all the crumbs are moist and a crust begins to form. Forming the crust mixture.
  4. Place the crust mixture into the cake pan. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture onto the bottom of the cake pan to form a solid crust. Using the back of a spoon to form the crust.
  5. With a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese under medium speed until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Creaming the cream cheese.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup plus 2 TBS of sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1 tsp ground cloves. Mixture of sugar and spices.
  7. Add the sugar mixture to the cream cheese mixture and cream under medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mixing the cream cheese sugar mixture.
  8. Turn the mixer down to medium low speed and add 1 egg at a time to the cream cheese mixture, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  9. Add the pumpkin and mix until combined. Mixing the pumpkin mixture.
  10. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the cake pan. If using a spring form pan, wrap a tight seal around the bottom of the pan with foil to prevent water from leaking in. Pouring pumpkin mixture into a cake pan.
  11. Place the cake pan into a roasting pan. Add hot water into roasting pan until the water level is about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in height. If using a spring form pan, the water should not go above the foil line. Pouring water into a pan for the water bath.
  12. Note: Always use caution when baking with a water bath. Adding too much water may cause the cake pan to float!

  13. Place the roasting pan into the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center is set (a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean).
  14. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and place on a wire rack.
  15. Using a knife, cut around the outside edge of the cheesecake to separate the sides of the cake from the pan. This will prevent the cheesecake from splitting or cracking during cooling. Running a knife around the edge of the cheesecake.
  16. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the pan for about 1 hour, then refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 to 4 hours to chill and set the cheesecake.

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