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pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnappy crust

(42 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Torrey Moseley
Dallas, TX

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!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

This pumpkin pie cheesecake is rich and creamy but light and fluffy at the same time. The crust is sweet and spicy. The pumpkin pie-flavored filling is lighter and not dense like traditional cheesecake. We loved the homemade caramel sauce. It's not extremely thick and has the perfect caramel flavor. The sauce really brings the dessert together. A delicious treat for the holidays and is meant to impress a crowd.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(42 ratings)
yield 10 -12
prep time 20 Min
cook time 50 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnappy crust

  • 1 box
    gingersnaps (about 16 oz.)
  • 1 stick
    butter (1/2 cup), melted
  • 1/4 c
  • 1 c
    pecans, chopped fine
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
    cayenne pepper (trust me)
  • 3 pkg
    cream cheese, room temperature (8 oz. each) (may use low-fat, but do not use fat free)
  • 1 can
    solid pack pumpkin (15 oz. can) (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 lg
  • 1 c
  • 1/2 c
    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
  • 1 c
    dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c
  • 1 stick
    butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 c
  • 1/2 c
    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)

How To Make pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnappy crust

Test Kitchen Tips
We recommend putting a pan beneath the springform pan while baking to catch any butter/oil leaks from the crust.
  • 1
    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!
  • Crust ingredients combined in a bowl.
    CRUST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Crush the gingersnaps and reserve some for garnish (I do it in a food processor or you can place them in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin). Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl.
  • Pressing crust ingredients into a springform pan.
    Press into bottom and up sides of a greased 10" or 11" springform pan. OR, you can line the bottom with parchment.
  • Crust baking in the oven.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until pecans are just slightly toasty. Cool a bit before filling.
  • Cream cheese and sugar beaten until fluffy and spices added.
    FILLING: In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add spices (to taste). Beat until light in texture.
  • Pumpkin puree added to the cream cheese.
    Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended.
  • Adding sugar to the pumpkin mixture.
    Add sugar.
  • Slowly adding eggs to the pumpkin mixture.
    Stir in eggs one at a time; scraping sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Stirring in heavy cream.
    Stir in cream.
  • Batter poured into a springform pan.
    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.
  • Heating sugar and water in a saucepan.
    CARAMEL SAUCE: Put sugars and water in a 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.
  • Adding cream, salt, and butter.
    Remove from heat. Add cream, salt, and butter. Stir until well blended.
  • Adding vanilla extract to the sauce.
    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.
  • Toasting pecans in the oven.
    ROAST PECAN HALVES: Lay pecan halves on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until browned.
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingernsappy Crust ready to be sliced.
    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.
  • 16
    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!