Pumpkin pie is a traditional fall dessert but some dinners call for something a little fancier. We love the idea of pumpkin cheesecake—an indulgent and elegant twist on a classic! This recipe features a creamy, spiced filling and an awesome gingersnap crust. While you’re welcome to make your own gingersnaps, we recommend going the store-bought route. Store-bought gingersnaps tend to be very good with just the crunchy “snap” that makes for perfect cookie crumbs.
For the crust…
2 cups of gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling…
2 lb. (four 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
4 large eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
one 15-oz can pure solid-pack pumpkin puree
9-inch springform pan
Preheat oven to 350°F.
To make the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and brown sugar. Add the melted butter and combine thoroughly (use a spoon or even your fingers if necessary; the mixture should be moist when you’re finished). Dump the mixture into your springform pan and press it evenly along the bottom and part way up the sides (you can use your fingers for this but the bottom of a measuring cup also works well to create a smooth, even surface). Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the filling: In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the maple syrup and beat until just incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and ground pepper. Add this spice blend to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
Next, add the yolk and eggs one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and pumpkin puree; blend.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust (it will fill the pan). Transfer the cheesecake to another larger baking dish and add hot water from the kettle, filling to reach halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the top of the cake looks golden and the center has set: this should take between 1-1/2 hours and 1-3/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the oven but keep it in the larger baking dish. Carefully run a knife between the sides of the pan and the crust. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature and then remove from the larger baking dish; cover and chill overnight before serving.