Pumpkin Cheesecake

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s it an issue that half of the recipes on this blog have pumpkin as a main ingredient? Yikes…I may have a problem! If you are one of those people who hate the orange gourd, don’t worry, you have almost made it through November. I do have to say, that even as a child, “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater” was my favorite nursery rhyme…maybe that is where my illness began. Nah…pumpkin shmumpkin…who doesn’t love pumpkin???

A couple years ago a friend of mine told me about a young girl in the neighborhood who wanted a pumpkin cheesecake for her birthday. I knew this girl well and wanted to help. I went to work learning what I could about everything pumpkin cheesecake. Now, I am no stranger to making cheesecake, the size of my jeans will attest to that, but surprisingly pumpkin I had never tried. After literally 20 different attempts and recipe modifications this perfect cheesecake came to life. Of course, I have added sour cream to this recipe. Those of you who know me know that sour cream is the somethin, somethin, I like to call my secret ingredient.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Seriously this cheesecake is SO rich and creamy you will never eat pumpkin pie again! Now, I completely understand that making cheesecake can seem like a daunting task. Please do not be reluctant to try this recipe. Trust me when I say that I have already experienced every mistake to be made while making cheesecake and I have found a way to fix every one . So fully read the instructions after the ingredients and let my mistakes lead to your culinary perfection. I even have a few hacks to make every cheesecake picture-perfect every time!



2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup melted butter


24 ounces room temperature cream cheeseProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

15 ounces pumpkin puree

4 room temperature eggs

3 Tbsp. flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp. vanilla


  1. Start a kettle of water on the stove for the baine de Marie.
  2. Cream with paddle attachment the cream cheese. Beat until all lumps are completely smooth. The paddle attachment will incorporate less air than using the whisk. If any lumps remain they will show as white specks in your finished cake.
  3. Next, add the eggs and pumpkin, beat until smooth.
  4. Add in all remaining ingredients. Again, beat until smooth but do not overmix as added air bubbles can cause the cake to crack.
  5. let the batter sit on the counter while you prepare the crust. Occasionally stir mixture with spatula and pound the bowl on the counter to help release air bubbles.
  6. Put graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in bowl.
  7. Pour melted butter over the dry ingredients and use a fork to fully incorporate moisture throughout the mixture.
  8. Press graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of your cheesecake pan. Press crust onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.
  9. Place cheesecake form into a bigger pan for baine de Marie. If you are not using a tight-fitting springform pan it is a good idea to wrap the pan with aluminum foil before adding the hot water.
  10. Fill cheesecake pan to about an inch from the top of the pan.
  11. Pour hot water in the outside pan, be careful to avoid the cheesecake form.
  12. Place baine de Marie on the middle shelf of an oven preheated to 350°. Bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Lower temperature to 300° and bake for 60 minutes.
  14. To test cheesecake is finished baking move the pan. It should not jiggle. The center may be soft as it will firm up as it sits but should not jiggle.
  15. When finished turn off the oven and slightly open the oven door. Allow cake to cool completely in the oven. The moisture from water will help eliminate cracks.


  1. Lightly spray your pan with nonstick spray ( I like Bakers Joy with flour).
  2. If you have extra air bubbles, simply set the pan on the counter before placing it in water bath. Continue to pound pan at intervals until all air bubbles surface and pop.
  3. Cheesecake will crack at an internal temperature of 160°. If the oven is getting too hot, incrementally lower oven heat. Remove cake from the oven at 150° to avoid cracking.
  4. If your cake appears to have clung to the sides of the cake pan remove the cake from the water bath and let cool 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Run a sharp knife along the perimeter between the cake and the pan, releasing cheesecake from the edge. If your cake clings to the sides it can crack as it cools and shrinks.
  5. If all of these attempts fail and your cake cracks, I have come up with a few garnishes to hide these slight imperfections (I have added a few picture examples). If there is only a very small crack in the center pipe a dollop of whipping cream and sprinkle it with turbinado sugar. If there are several larger cracks prepare a creme-fraiche and spread on top of the entire cheesecake. If you don’t like creme fraiche, get creative with caramel and pralines for added crunch. Often in the release from the springform pan, the sides of the cake can look less than perfect. If this is your cakes beauty blunder simply press finely ground graham cracker crumbs along the sides with a spoon and it will look meant to be. I often use turbinado sugar to make my desserts sparkle and shine. You can also use this sugar to camouflage any imperfections your cake may have.

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