This is better than pumpkin pie. There, I said it.
October 19, 2020
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I'm a self-taught baker, recipe developer, and food photographer who works as a digital strategist by day in the concrete jungle of New York City. Aside from a never ending supply of baked goods, my Brooklyn apartment also houses two cats and my personal taste-tester (boyfriend).
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
As a self-proclaimed “dessert person”, I’ve always felt a bit guilty about the fact that I can’t stand pumpkin pie. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just never felt like it lived up to my expectations as a kid. The texture is just… well it’s not my favorite. Now I’m not here to tell you that you can’t like pumpkin pie; we all have our preferences. But, I think the traditional Thanksgiving dessert deserves a little bit of a glow up.
Enter the pumpkin pie cheesecake. If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, this version of it really isn’t that much different. In terms of taste, it has all the pumpkin pie spice you expect in a traditional pumpkin pie. Texture wise, it’s in the same family as pumpkin pie, but smoother and creamier (and in my opinion, better). This cheesecake also has a little extra something special in the crust, because we’ve made it with gingersnap cookies instead of graham crackers. This little ginger kick coming from the crust plays beautifully with the warm spices in the filling and makes this dessert feel even more decadent. Trust me when I say, it just might be your new Thanksgiving dessert go-to.
Tips for Making Pumpkin Cheesecake
Use the proper equipment. It’s going to make the process of making this cheesecake so much easier for you if you use the proper tools. I like to use a food processor for the crust because it powers through the gingersnaps really fast. You’ll also need a springform pan so that you can properly remove and serve the cheesecake after baking.
Use a water bath. This is really helpful for ensuring an evenly baked cheesecake with no cracks. Just make sure that the bottom and sides of the springform pan are fully covered with aluminum so that no water gets into the cheesecake.
Don’t open your oven unless you really need to. Constantly opening the oven to check on your cheesecake with screw with the temperature and lead to cracking on the top. It’s not the end of the world, but if you want a smooth top then your best bet is to let the cheesecake do it’s thing and check on it once around the 55 minute mark.
680 g (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
350 g granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
28 g all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
227 g pumpkin puree
113 g sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F and take out an 8″ springform pan.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 1 minute. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the springform pan, making sure to evenly distribute and that the sides are at least 1-inch high.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth (about 3 minutes).
Add the sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl at the halfway point.
Add the vanilla and pumpkin pureé and mix to combine, about 30 seconds. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well after each addition on medium low speed. Stir in the sour cream just until incorporated.
Take out a large baking sheet or roasting pan with high sides. Fill with about one inch of water.
Cut three large sheets of aluminum foil, large enough for your springform pan to sit on top of with a few inches around the sides. Sit your springform pan on top of the aluminum foil sheets, and wrap the overhand around the sides of the pan. Make sure that the bottom and sides are fully covered by foil, and place into the water bath.
Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan with and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the sides look set but the middle is slightly wobbly.
Turn off the oven and allow the cake to slowly cool in the oven for one hour with the oven door ajar. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, lightly cover it and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4+ hours or overnight.