SMiLes by Meg

Pumpkin Cheesecake

The last of my back up recipes: Pumpkin Cheesecake. I probably had time to bake this weekend, but it was kind of nice to just be lazy instead. We’ve got a long weekend from school, but the rain and general yuckiness stopped us from heading into the mountains as planned. Oh well. Watching High School Musical and exploring the Massachusetts area isn’t a terrible alternative.

This cheesecake came to be because I recently decided I needed a springform pan, and once I decided I needed it, I decided I had to use it. Fortunately, I was having my advisees over for a study break and my food theme was cheese: both a cheese board and a cheesecake. Maybe not super creative, but definitely super delicious.

It’s also my first pumpkin recipe of the year! Now that it’s officially October, that seems fitting. With a gingersnap crust, this recipe just screams eat me for all Fall events.

In a food processor, crush gingersnap cookies for about 1 1/2 cups worth of crumbs. Combine the crumbs with butter and pecans.
Press mixture into the bottom of a buttered springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 325°F, remove from oven, and allow to cool on wire rack To make the filling, beat cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, add the sugars, continuing to beat and scrape down sides as necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Stir in the heavy cream and cinnamon with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the springform pan over the cooled crust. Set on a baking sheet. Bake at 325°F until the edges are set and center only moves slightly, about an hour. Then, turn off the heat of the oven and crack the door open with a wooden spoon for an additional hour. Hopefully, this will prevent your cheesecake from cracking in the middle. It did not work for mine. Oh well. It was my first try – I know I’ve read other recipes that use a water bath, so maybe that will be my next foray. It still tasted delicious, and I was able to at least kind of hide what had happened with some whipped cream and pecans. 

See? Basically perfect. Store the cheesecake in the fridge overnight (not yet decorated) to set further. Take out to thaw and garnish about 30 minutes before serving.   Any leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge.


Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 3/4 pound (12 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, gingersnap crumbs, and toasted pecans. Press into the bottom of a buttered springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 325°F. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
  3. With the mixer running, gradually add sugar and brown sugar, scraping down sides as needed to mix thoroughly.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Beat in pumpkin puree to incorporate.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to stir in heavy cream and cinnamon.
  7. Pour batter into springform pan over cooled crust. Place on baking sheet and bake at 325°F for about an hour, until edges are set and center jiggles slightly.
  8. Turn off heat and keep oven door slightly ajar by propping with wooden spoon for one hour.
  9. Remove cake from oven and set on wire rack to come to room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator to cool overnight.
  10. Garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves.

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