If you are looking for the perfect creamy pumpkin cheesecake, you are in the right place. The cheesecake is easy to put together and the optional sour cream topping takes it to the next level.
This pumpkin cheesecake recipe gets you the perfect texture of baked cheesecake without using a water bath. Plus the sweetened condensed milk gives it a rich creaminess that is hard to beat.
There is just enough spice mixed it to complete this tasty pumpkin dessert. Make one now for practice and then another one to add to your Thanksgiving dessert menu.
We love making cheesecake with condensed milk. The vanilla version has been a favorite in our family for decades.
But after rolling out apple butter cheesecake and pecan pie cheesecake last year, it seemed like we needed to complete the fall dessert flavors circuit with a pumpkin version. And boy oh boy am I glad we did.
We could almost commit to making our Thanksgiving dessert table all cheesecakes this year, but I do think some pumpkin pie fans would be disappointed.
Tips for Getting Your Cheesecake Filling Perfectly Creamy
Beat the room temperature cream cheese really well before adding anything else. This is your only real chance to get all of the lumps out.
Once you start adding more liquid, it gets harder to beat out chunks of cream cheese. So make sure it’s softened, beat it well and scrape the sides of the bowl a few times before you move on.
Add the remaining ingredients a bit at a time to make sure they incorporate well. It’s worth taking a couple of minutes to do it right.
Once you start adding the eggs, keep the mixer on low. You don’t want to incorporate air at this point.
Give the cheesecake a couple of good taps on the counter before you put it in the oven. That helps get any air bubbles out.
Tips for Avoiding a Cracked Cheesecake
How do you avoid a crack without a water bath? Bake the cheesecake low and slow and let it cool slowly too.
This allows the cheesecake to bake through evenly. It helps give it that amazing texture as well.
Cooling it too quickly can also cause a crack. Once it is set, I like to turn off the oven and crack the door open but leave the cheesecake inside.
After about ten or fifteen minutes, I move the cheesecake to the counter to cool to room temperature. Then it goes in the fridge to chill.
The gradual cooling makes such a difference!
How do you Know Pumpkin Cheesecake is Done?
The best way to test if a cheesecake is done is to give it a little shake. How it jiggles is going to tell the story.
Carefully give the cheesecake a slight shake. The edges of the cheesecake should be set.
A small circle in the very center of the cheesecake should have a slight wobble. When you reach that stage, turn off the oven and crack the door allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool.
The center will finish cooking as the cheesecake slowly works it way towards room temperature.
The Sour Cream Topping
This sour cream topping is definitely optional. But it is an easy way to add another layer of flavor, texture and fun to the cheesecake.
All you have to do is stir together a little bit of sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla together. Spread it over the cooled cheesecake and refrigerate the whole thing for at least an hour to let it set up some.
It not only adds visual interest, but it adds a little bit of extra creaminess and tang. Because this cheesecake was traveling across town with me, it seemed easier than bringing along whipped cream.
If you want, you add a sprinkle of nutmeg or a smattering of chopped honeyed pecans on top if you want. Or just let the bright white sour cream topping shine on its own.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you store cheesecake?
Cheesecake should be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, pop it in the freezer.
Can I freeze homemade pumpkin cheesecake?
Yes, you can freeze the whole cake or individual slices of cheesecake. Wrap what you would like to freeze in several layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1-2 months.
Allow frozen cheesecake to slowly defrost in the refrigerator before enjoying.
Can I use something besides graham crackers for the crust?
Of course! Gingersnaps would make a wonderful crust for this pumpkin cheesecake.
Or try using Nilla Wafers or Golden Oreos if you would like. You could also add pumpkin pie spice to the graham crackers to give a little more spice to the finished product.
A Couple of More Recipe Ideas
Don’t want to turn on the oven? Make my no bake pumpkin cheesecake instead. They texture is different, but the flavor is similar.
Or try making condensed milk pumpkin pie with sour cream topping. It is another delicious pumpkin treat.
Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs about 1 sleeve graham crackers
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Sour Cream Topping
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Place the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, add melted butter. Mix together and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.1½ cups graham cracker crumbs, 4 Tablespoons butter
- Make sure the cream cheese is really softened. In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese until completely smooth, being sure the scrape the sides of your bowl a couple of times. Stir in the condensed milk and vanilla until smooth.16 ounces cream cheese, 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add the eggs, one at a time mixing until just combined. You don't want to whip air into the mixture at this point.4 large eggs
- Stir in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pour onto the crust. Thump it on the counter a couple of times to get out any big air bubbles.
- Bake until the middle just barely jiggles, about 1 hour.
- Crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly.
- Mix together sour cream topping ingredients until smooth. Spread over cooled cheesecake.1 cup sour cream, 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chill at least a couple of hours, preferably over night.