Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 8.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12
A gingersnap crumb crust underlies this spicy cheesecake, and caramel-coated pecans adorn the top, for an irresistible alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. Cut this rich dessert into small wedges to serve.


For the gingersnap crust:

  • 1/4 lb. gingersnaps (about 20 small cookies)
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the gingersnaps and pecans and process until crumbly. Add the brown sugar and melted butter and pulse for a few seconds to blend. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan. Use your fingers to pat the mixture into the bottom and evenly all the way up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree, beating until smooth. Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the chilled crust and smooth the top.

Bake the cheesecake until set or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the topping, set aside 10 pecan halves and coarsely chop the rest. In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add all of the pecans, sprinkle with the granulated sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the nuts are toasted and caramel coated. Transfer the nut mixture to a plate and let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cheesecake and arrange the halves evenly around the perimeter. Serves 10 to 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Thanksgiving Entertaining, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Simon & Schuster, 2005).
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite Fall Desert I have made this for our family for the last 9 years! The flavors meld together so well! The gingersnap crust takes it to a whole other level! Mover over pumpkin pie!
Date published: 2018-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Thanksgiving Dessert Ever! I have made this cheesecake every Thanksgiving for at least 8 years and it is my family's favorite. The people who complained about the cooking time probably didn't cook it long enough. The secret is to cook the cheesecake until the internal temperature is 150 to 155 degrees. At this temperature, the middle will still be a bit jiggly but as it cools it keeps baking a bit and will firm up. If you cook it more than this, it will be dry. The gingersnap pecan crust is so delicious and the cheesecake creamy and yummy. You can't go wrong with this cheesecake. Just make sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature to low when it is done.
Date published: 2018-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Ever! This pumpkin cheesecake is one of my very favorites. I make graham cracker crust rather than the ginger snap recommended in the recipe. I find the graham crackers allow the pumpkin to be the star of the show and the flavor is amazing. I also don't bother with the topping as I find a dollop of whipped cream (if that) is all that is needed.
Date published: 2018-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thanksgiving star I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone couldn't stop raving about how creamy and delicious it was! It was also pretty easy to put together. When the cheesecake was done I turned the oven off, opened the door and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for one hour. No cracks!
Date published: 2015-11-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Gooey middle I've always used WS recipes as go-to's, however, this one I do not recommend. After 50 minutes of baking, the center is still gooey. I had to re-confirm several times I did indeed follow the instructions. Was a waste of time and ingredients.
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from My disappointing New Year's dessert The cooking time on this recipe was not at all accurate! My guest were very kind when served with a dessert with a gooey middle and ate around it. My husband commented on the delicious taste but I was extremely disappointed in the results. I will probably not make this one again.
Date published: 2015-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing alternative to Pumpkin Pie I've made this a number of times and it is always delicious and a real crowd pleaser. I make enough nuts to cover the entire top of the cake (instead of just a handful) and it looks amazing.
Date published: 2013-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing and disguises any cracks! I love the warmth of this wonderful cheesecake recipe. Pecans are delicious and pretty as cake toppers. One real bonus of this recipe is that you place crushed pecans all over the top, which can handily allow you to cover up any unsightly cracks that may have happened to your cake! Let's face it, it happens.
Date published: 2012-05-28
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