Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake

pumpkin cheesecakevia

I’ve been making what is now known as Kristina’s Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake for about 4 or 5 years now, and every Thanksgiving it is a staple at our dinner table.

BUT, this year I’ll be spending Turkey day with HB’s family out on his ranch in the Hill Country (yes, that’s still Texas).

So what to do?

Why, bake not one but two pumpkin cheesecakes of course!

The funny thing about blogging is, it makes you want to share everything. I have jealously guarded my secret recipe for years now (even family members are verboten) but thanks to blogging, that’s all out the window now. The more the merrier! Enjoy!

No, seriously. Enjoy. It’s that good.

Tip: fully printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.

You’ll need 1 pound of cream cheese. Not low fat, not fat free, not whipped. Plain ol’ cream cheese. Don’t be put off by these photos – I doubled the recipe to make two, remember?

“It’s best with lots ‘o butter.” Anyone seen the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous? H-hello? Anyone? *tap tap* Is this thing on?

Oh, maybe it’s just me then.

Quite possibly one of the best Christmas presents ever, last year! It’s what makes this recipe work so well. Well, okay, it makes it work easier.

Here are the graham cracker crumbs mixed with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

Pumpkin puree, waiting for its moment in the spotlight. 1 cup for 1 cake, 2 cups for 2 cakes!

2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks are all ya need. Egg yolks are pretty disgusting looking when you really look at them, aren’t they. Yeesh.

Secret blend of sugars and spices for the pumpkin cheesecake filling.

For the ingredients to this secret, see the bottom of this post.

Not such a secret.

Cream cheese has been creamed, and the secret yummy ingredients are being added, as well as the pumpkin puree.

Look at it go!

My hero.

The oven has been preheated, and now it’s time to melt the butter, mix it in the graham cracker crust with a fork, pour it into the oiled springfrom pan, and press it along the bottom and sides with the bottom of a drinking glass.


And that’s just the crust!

(P.S. – the crust is the best part, say most of the people who eat this cake.)

Crust has been baked, filling has been poured into the mold, and now it’s into the oven with ye, ye scurvy rascal!!

Also in the oven: a little dish of hot water to moisten the air.

Lookin’ good pumpkin cheesecake. Have you been working out?

Place the cheesecake on a rack to cool, and stick a large bowl over it to help it cool down a little slower (we don’t want cracks in our lovely cake, do we?).

Let cool completely before sticking it in the refrigerator for 48 hours to chill out before serving.

Top it with Creme Fraiche or just some quickly whipped cream (with sugar of course) and you’re good to serve! I like to add pecans for a little something extra. :)

Kristina's Pumpkin Cheesecake
Yields 1
A delicious, moist cheesecake that's dense and full of flavor without tasting overwhelmingly of pumpkin, as some recipes tend to do.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients for the Crumb Crust
  1. 1 ½ cups fine graham cracker crumbs (or made from gingersnaps, or vanilla wafers)
  2. 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) melted butter, warm or cool
  3. ¼ c sugar
  4. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Cheesecake
  1. ⅔ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  2. ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  3. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  4. 1 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  5. 1 lb (16 oz) cream cheese
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 2 large egg yolks
  8. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or oil springform pan. In a mixing bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients until moistened.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a drinking glass, firmly press the mixture over the bottom and half an inch up the sides of the springform pan (or any regular old pie pan).
  3. Bake until the crust is lightly browned and firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Have all cheesecake ingredients at room temperature. Oven should be preheated already, to 350°F.
  5. Place a loaf or cake pan filled with hot water in the oven to moisten the air.
  6. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese just until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds.
  8. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the beaters well. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Beat in 1 egg/yolk at a time until blended, and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  10. Add and beat in pumpkin puree just until mixed.
  11. Scrape the batter into the crust you’ve just baked and smooth the top.
  12. Set the pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.
  13. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F, and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center still looks moist and jiggles a bit when the pan is tapped.
  14. Remove the cake and let cool slowly to room temperature before refrigerating overnight to condense the flavors.
  1. Tip: Bake the crust just before you’re ready to pour the filling – the crust works better this way if it’s still hot when you bake the cake!
  2. Tip: To cool a cheesecake properly, place on cooling rack and cover entire cake with an upside-down oversized mixing bowl - this helps retain moisture so the cheesecake doesn't crack when cooling.
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Do me a favor? Stumble this recipe if you like it/have made it/plan to make it/now have hunger pangs. It helps a lot and is greatly appreciated!


  1. Tessa (from MHS) says

    My husband, Ryan, loves cheesecake and will try anything that contains pumpkin as its main ingredient. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Jess Kay Designs says

    Well, I was just about to go to the store for my regular pumpkin pie ingredients, but now I'm thinking I might have a change of plans… Sounds absolutely awesome!

  3. Katy_rose1 says

    Kristina – This looks AMAZING!!! Now I'm hoping my Thanksgiving host tomorrow has something half as tempting. Yum! Might need to try this the next time I'm in the kitchen. – Katy

  4. Fashnlvr says

    I make pumpkin cheesecake every year too and have been for quite a while. This is a great post and thank you so much for sharing. I learned a couple new tricks myself. Like the glass to press the crust and the bowl over the cake when it comes out of the oven to cool slowly!! Awesome!!

  5. Andrea Ference says

    I am making this on Saturday to bring to my brother's house for dinner Sunday (his fiancee was mentioning how much she has been craving cheesecake as of late) My Thanksgiving was in October (Canada) and I saw this and have been looking for an excuse to make it ever since (other than I would like the past month of yoga/spin/running to go to waste) I will post how much I love it Monday…


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