Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnappy crust

Torrey Moseley Recipe

By Torrey Moseley Torrey

20 Min
50 Min

I posted my recipe for Gingersnappy crust a couple of days ago...so I thought I better post my pumpkin cheesecake recipe since it goes so well with it. And, YES...there is Cayenne pepper in the crust. It adds just a kiss of heat. And, YES it's a SALTED caramel sauce. Not TOO salty...just enough to give that added layer of depth and richness. Think of it as Yin Yang...a bit salty to cut the sweet. Sooooooooo yummy, I promise!

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Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
This cheesecake is sure to be the highlight of your holiday table! The gingersnap crust is so tasty, and the cheesecake has a light pumpkin flavor... perfect for most any palate.


box gingersnaps (about 16 oz.)
stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
cup sugar
cup pecans, chopped fine
1/4 - 1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper (trust me)
3 pkg
(8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature (may use low-fat, but do not use fat free)
1 can(s)
(15oz. can) solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 large
cup sugar
cup heavy cream
2 -5 tsp
ground cinnamon
1 - 1 1/2 tsp
ground ginger
1/2 - 1 tsp
ground cloves
1/2 - 1 tsp
freshly grated nutmeg
1 - 3 tsp
ground allspice
1/2 tsp
cup dark brown sugar, packed
cup sugar
stick (1/2 cup) butter
cup water
cup heavy cream (can use milk or half and half)
1 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1- 1 1/2 tsp
salt (trust me)
crumbled gingersnaps for garnish
toasted pecan halves for garnish
whipped cream (totally optional...i don't think it needs it)

Directions Step-By-Step

General NOTE: For the spices I usually just dump 'em in without measuring... so these measurements are guesstimations. Try adding 1/2 the spice amount then adjust up to taste. I like a LOT LOT LOT of spices in my pumpkin desserts. You may not like it as spiced, so don't be afraid to customize it to YOUR taste!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
For Crust: Crush the gingersnaps and reserve some for garnish (I do it in a food processor or you can place them in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin). Combine all crust ingredients in bowl. Press into bottom and up sides of a greased 10" or 11" springform pan. OR you can line the bottom with parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. or until pecans are just slightly toasty. Cool a bit before filling.
For filling: In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add spices (to taste), beat until light in texture. Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended. Stir in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Stir in cream.
Pour batter into springform pan over cooled crust. Bake in center of oven until cheesecake is firm to touch and not jiggly in middle, about 50 min. - 1 hour. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (overnight is better). Don't freak out with how it looks straight out of the oven, the cake may be cracked, but it will FALL slightly in the middle as it chills giving it that classic "cheesecake" shape with a ridge around the edge.
For Caramel Sauce: Put sugars and water in small heavy saucepan, stir until well-mixed. Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil approx. 4 minutes. It will be dark because of the brown sugar. Do NOT Stir it while cooking--this can lead to crystalization. Do NOT overcook it or you'll burn the sugar and have to start over. Remove from heat, add cream, salt and butter and stir until well blended. Let cool for about 5 min. then add vanilla extract. Cool completely before pouring on cheesecake slices.

This stores nicely in the refrigerator for at least a week or so.
Cut chilled cheesecake into individual pieces and plate. Top each piece with whipped cream (if desired). Drizzle with cooled caramel sauce and garnish with crumbled gingersnaps and roasted pecan halves.
To roast pecan halves: lay pecan halves on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes until browned.
Keeps in fridge for a few days...in freezer for a month or so.
If you're thinking about serving this at a dinner party, you should consider trying my mini version of this recipe that makes individual-sized cheesecakes! It's PERFECT for large get-togethers as it will make about 36 servings! Just go to the URL below for the recipe!

MINI Pumpkin Cheesecakes w/Gingersnappy Crust

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cakes, Pies, Fruit Desserts
Main Ingredient: Sugar
Regional Style: American

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Amy Hutchens Beaglehugz
Jul 20, 2011
Sounds great!
Jenni K AnCsMom
Jul 20, 2011
YUM! Thanks for sharing! Looks great!
Kitchen Crew JustaPinch
Aug 25, 2011
Janet awarded this recipe a Blue Ribbon!

This cheesecake is sure to be the highlight of your holiday table! The gingersnap crust is so tasty, and the cheesecake has a light pumpkin flavor... perfect for most any palate.
Rose C. ChefRose
Sep 9, 2011
I know what i`ll be making to Thanksgiving this year, sounds wonderful and scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!
Sep 13, 2011 - Kitchen Crew shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Marjorie Silverman Mlsilver620
Sep 15, 2011
Terry, this sounds like a winner. I think I'm going to even add it to my Thanksgiving dessert table. I'm going to try it out first one time but I'm sure I'll ♥ love ♥ it!!! Thanks so much for this recipe.
Amy Eason my_eason
Sep 21, 2011
Hello everyone! And hello to you Terry! I'm very new to this site and am here because I saw this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm gonna try it and this site because of you. Just thought it might make you smile to hear that. Thanks again, Amy
Rita Sue Amacker Ritersu
Sep 21, 2011
I'm learning...sorry. But how do you make pumpkin puree? Also, at store is heavy cream okay if they don't have whipping cream?
Thank you so kindly.
Torrey Moseley Torrey
Sep 21, 2011
Hi Rita! It's not hard to make your own pumpkin puree...but I just buy it already canned in the store cuz I'm lazy. To make your own, you basically just clean out a pumpkin of its seeds and stringy/gooey pulp (like you would if you were making a jack-o-lantern), then cut it up into big chunks (think of it like a giant acorn squash) and either steam it on the stovetop in a big pot, or brush the inside surface with a little melted butter, spread the chunks, skin side up, on a baking sheet and bake 'em in the oven at 350 degrees until they're soft (I like the oven method--takes a good 45 min to an hour or more depending on the sizes of your chunks). Then you scrape the meat off the skin and mash it or blend it in your food processor until it's smooth. As for cream, heavy cream is just fine. Half and Half might work too!
Peggy Pettis candela59
Sep 21, 2011
Hi Torrey~ this sounds amazing! I love, love anything pumpkin. I used to sell cheesecakes for a living and your recipe sounds perfect! I will definitely be making this for the holidays. Thanks for sharing!
Cecilia Nutley CATCOOKS
Sep 22, 2011
I've been using Crushed Gingersnap cookies for several years now. I buy the "gluten free" kind from either Trader Joes' or Whole Foods. It tastes good with several of my pies that I use in lieu of pastry crust.
Kelly Johnson kjohn
Sep 28, 2011
thank you, Torrey, for this recipe, it sounds great. I just joined this site, and hope to learn more. Also, thanks for telling me about the pumpkin puree!
Sep 28, 2011 - Barbery Faulkner shared this recipe with discussion group: Pumpkin Lovers Only
Marianne Kenney messiecook
Sep 29, 2011
I was wondering what I could replace the pecans with. I am severely allergic to tree nuts. Maybe just add more gingersnaps?