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pumpkin cheesecake with a olive green napkin, spatula and plates to the side

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Compliments many cuisines
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 716kcal
Creamy and cinnamon-spiced pumpkin cheesecake with a hint of orange.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 ounces butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon nutmeg

Cheesecake Batter

  • 24 oz cream cheese 3 8-ounce packages at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree 1 can
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • teaspoon nutmeg

Candied Pecans

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in foil 3 times. This prevents water from seeping into the pan. You may think 3 times is excessive, but I have found leakage even when the pan is wrapped twice. Nothing worse than soggy crust!
  • Mix the dry ingredients first to make sure the brown sugar and spices are evenly distributed. Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are completed coated. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan as well as up the sides. I use a potato masher to press everything together. You could also use the bottom of a measuring cup or a glass.
  • Bake in the oven for 8 minutes until the top is golden brown and feels dry. Set aside to cool while the filling is prepared.

Cheesecake Batter

  • One of the keys to making a cheesecake that does not crack on the top is to watch how long you mix the ingredients. The longer you use a mixer, the more air is added to the batter. Only mix the ingredients until they are incorporated.
  • The cream cheese should be room temperature. This is important so that the cheesecake batter is smooth. Also, you will not have to mix the batter as much to incorporate all the ingredients.
  • Add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl. At medium speed, mix the cream cheese while adding the sugar and cornstarch. The batter will start to get smoother with the addition of the sugar. Add the pumpkin and mix until it is completely incorporated.
  • Now add the spices - cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and orange zest.
  • The eggs are added one at a time. Make sure to mix the batter completely before adding the second egg.
  • Lastly pour in the cream and stir until the filling is very smooth. Pour into the prepared springform pan.
  • Have some boiling water ready to use as a water bath. Place the filled springform pan on a sheet pan or in a roasting pan on the center rack in the oven. Pour the water into the pan (roasting pan or sheet pan) until the water is at least an inch. The water bath will help to regulate the temperature at which the cheesecake bakes.
  • Bake for one hour and twenty minutes. Shut off the oven, leaving the cheesecake on the rack. Prop open the door to the oven with a wooden spoon. Leave the cheesecake to cool for one hour. This helps to prevent cracking on the top. It will be room temperature at the end of the hour.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and remove the foil from the bottom. Place in the refrigerator and chill for three hours.

Candied Pecans

  • Prepare while the cheesecake is baking. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray to prevent the nuts from sticking.
  • Combine the brown sugar with the cinnamon, cardamom, orange zest, and kosher salt.
  • Whip the egg white with a whisk until slightly foamy. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the egg white. Add the pecans and stir until the nuts are completely coated. Place on the sheet pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Stir the pecans on the sheet pan. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. The nuts should look sandy, not wet and sticky. Place back in the oven for a couple of minutes if need be. Just don't walk away. They burn quickly. Let cool. Separate the nuts to use as a garnish for the cheesecake.

Notes

It is important to follow the instructions for cooling the cheesecake.  The gradual process helps to prevent cracks.  
 

Nutrition

Calories: 716kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 533mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 7784IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg