Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake


Whether you’re tired of pumpkin pie or just want to serve something else on the holiday table, this pumpkin cheesecake will do the trick. You can make it and store covered in the fridge for up to a week, which is great for cooks who want to get ahead of all their cooking and baking.

This pumpkin cheesecake uses dark brown sugar for more depth of flavor and it balances the richness of the cream cheese. You’ll also notice I heat the puree in step one below. It’s cooked to evaporate some of the moisture and concentrate the sugars and flavors.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

FILLING

  • 16 ounces of pumpkin puree (canned or my homemade version)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 6 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs (beaten)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)

CRUST

  • 7 ounces ginger cookies (Nabisco ginger snaps, about 20)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter (melted plus extra for the pan)
  1. Bring the pumpkin puree to a simmer over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, nutmeg and dark brown sugar. Set aside to cool to room temperature (approximately 1 hour).
  2. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. Cut a parchment paper circle and long strip to fit the bottom and sides of a 9 by 3-inch cake pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with melted butter. Adhere the parchment pieces to the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Prepare the crust by placing the ginger cookies, 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process into a fine crumb, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. With the food processor running, drizzle in the melted butter. Stop and pulse 3 to 4 times or until the butter is well-incorporated.
  6. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan using a weighted glass. Bake for 15 minutes. Then cool for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
  7. Combine the eggs and vanilla in a small mixing bowl. Bring two quarts of water to a boil in an electric kettle.
  8. Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for 10 seconds on low speed.
  9. Add the prepared pumpkin mixture and mix on low for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer up to medium, and beat until the mixture is lump free, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  10. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly pour in half of the egg mixture. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rest of the egg mixture and mix until completely combined. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  11. Line a roasting pan with a kitchen towel. Place the cheesecake to one side of the roasting pan and pour the boiling water in on the other side. Center the cheesecake in the roasting pan and bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and open the door for 1 minute. Close the door for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving. Do not attempt to remove the water bath with the cheesecake in it from the oven, unless you like water in your cheesecake.
  13. When ready to serve, place the entire cake pan into a hot water bath for about 15 seconds. Run a small offset spatula around the cheesecake to free the parchment and remove it. Place a piece of wax paper atop the cake and invert a large plate or the bottom of a spring-form pan on top of it. Flip the whole cheesecake over and remove the cake pan. Remove the parchment paper and place a cardboard cake circle or large plate on the bottom of the cake. Flip the whole thing over again and remove the wax paper.
  14. To slice, place your knife (the longest and thinnest blade you’ve got) into a hot water bath and wipe dry each time you make a pass through the cake. Cut into 12 slices.
  15. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to a week.

Alton Brown Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

53 Comments

Add yours
  1. 1
    Shelbi

    If I used a springform pan instead of how he recommends do you think I’d need to change the temperature or cooking time? I don’t have what’s needed to do it his way but really want to try it.

  2. 3
    Julie

    I am never disappointed when I use your recipes. Some of them run very close to my “old family” recipes. .keep up the great work. .oh and bring back Good Eats..

  3. 4
    Lisa

    I’m confused by step 11 “Line a roasting pan with a kitchen towel. Place the cheesecake to one side of the roasting pan and pour the boiling water in on the other side. Center the cheesecake in the roasting pan” – I’m baking the cheesecake on a wet towel? Most of my kitchen towels are microfiber. Wouldn’t they melt in the oven? Please advise/clarify!

    • 5
      Cheryl

      Get a cheap towel from the dollar store for water baths. The towel is needed in the water bath, and I wouldn’t use good microfiber towels for this. (For a lot of AB’s kitchen-towel-necessary recipes, having a set of standard white kitchen towels is a good idea.)

      The towel helps to keep the pan from sliding around, also keeps the pans separated, so it promotes even heating, and can also help to keep your pan level if your water-bath-pan is a little warped.

  4. 10
    Heather

    Big hit at Thanksgiving. Thanks AB! The crust is especially delicious. Only had 9×1.5″ pans, so I tried the springform pan, and despite wrapping with several layers of aluminum foil it still leaked a little.

  5. 11
    Erin

    Followed the recipe perfectly and it came out very bland and lacked sweetness!! I was so disappointed and so was my family 🙁 did anyone else run into this? Can anyone offer any friendly advice?

  6. 12
    Erin

    I made this yesterday as a “plan B” when my helpers ended up roasting the pumpkin pie. I used a vitamix as my mixer was occupied. I used the vanilla to loosen up the cream cheese at the start of the blending, and did not pre-whisk the eggs. It came out light and smooth. My family flipped, they loved it.
    I also used a 9 in by 2 inch round and there was room to spare. I would make this again. Thank you!

    • 14
      Kiri

      I messed up once and did a water bath on a springform pan. The water gets in as the springform is not water tight. Talk about the nastiest soggiest crust you could ever have! So from experience do NOT use a springform pan with a water bath.

    • 15
      gloria

      I’ve gotten away with a springform in a water bath, wrapping the pan tightly with two or three layers of aluminum foil. In the end, though, it didn’t really seem worth the effort, and I’ve still had this set up leak as well.

    • 16
      Chaz

      You can use that, won’t have to change a thing. Just wrap it with aluminum foil very tightly so no water leaks in from laying it in the water bath.

  7. 17
    Dani

    Made this last night. It’s now cooled in the fridge. Should I cover it in the springform until serving it in a couple days or remove it then cover it? I can’t wait to dive in!

    • 18
      Chaz

      Keep it in the spring form pan, cover with clear wrap. When ready to cut, start at his step, lay it in hot water for 15 seconds. But remember to have it tightly wrapped in foil so it doesn’t get soggy.

  8. 19
    Gloria

    This sounds delicious. I have never baked cheesecake cake and thought I had to use a springform pan, but after reading your instructions I have all the equipment I need. Thanks for explaining everything so well, including how to get the cheesecake out of the cake pan. Looking forward to trying it out today.

  9. 20
    Kristy K.

    I often make my own gingersnap cookies (from your recipe). Would you recommend using those for the crust? If so, would I need to prepare it any differently?

  10. 21
    JJ

    I didn’t see when to add the 6oz of brown sugar or spices… I added mine right before I started adding the eggs… Hopefully i didn’t screwed it up…

    • 22
      Erik Icenhour

      “Bring the pumpkin puree to a simmer over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, nutmeg and dark brown sugar.”

  11. 23
    Leigh Kornishev

    I’m wondering if there’s a particular brand of gluten-free ginger snaps that anyone has tried for this recipe. Preferably if I can order it online easily, like on Amazon.

  12. 25
    Scott

    OMG! If this is anything like his Sour Creme Cheesecake this will be a sure hit! I owe everything I know about making cheesecake to Alton! His Sour Creme recipe helped me recreate the Oreo Cheesecake from Mick’s Restaurant in Atlanta!

  13. 26
    Jason

    Given the recipe states ” Center the cheesecake in the roasting pan and bake for 2 hours.” your assumption is correct. I am looking to make this tomorrow to see if it makes the cut for Thanksgiving this year.

  14. 27
    Amy

    Long time fan, first time poster. I am a type 2 diabetic, and have been searching for ways to cut or reduce sugar from cheesecake, with mixed but mostly bad results. Any chance you’re up for tackling that one some day? I’ll be making this cheesecake for sure, but would love to see a lower sugar option if you can come up with one.

    • 28
      Kendra Whitcomb

      I’ve had good luck reducing sugar and fat in my pumpkin cheese cake by using the Splenda Brown Sugar and a combination of low fat and no fat cream cheese. Unfortunately it doesn’t set properly if you use just no fat cream cheese.

  15. 29
    Nancy Patterson

    it states: Line a roasting pan with a kitchen towel. Place the cheesecake to one side of the roasting pan and pour the boiling water in on the other side. Center the cheesecake in the roasting pan and bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and open the door for 1 minute. Close the door for 30 minutes.

  16. 32
    Steph

    I love pumpkin cheesecake. This one seems a little easier than the recipes I’ve used in the past. It’s good with pecans mixed in caramel sauce on top 😉

  17. 33
    Veronica Antonelli

    This recipe sounds incredible. I can’t wait to try it! It will be a great start to the tradition of Thanksgiving at our home. 🙂 Thank you!

  18. 34
    Joanie

    I love a ginger snap crust. I will be making this next week. I may not take it to Thanksgiving dinner. Please don’t tell the rest of the family 😉

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