Well you must have known it was only a matter of time before I made a pumpkin cheesecake.  Cheesecake is my favorite variety of dessert (if you are forcing me to choose, that is) and I love all things pumpkin, so this is a natural choice.   Of course I never let myself bake a cheesecake unless I have a crowd to serve it to because the will power I possess loads of around other baked goods flies out the window when cheesecake is involved.  I posted a version a couple of years ago but I decided to try a new one this time around.

I liked the previous version alright but the one thing it was missing was height.  One of my personal requirements for great cheesecake is that it should be at least 2-3 inches tall.  This has a smooth and surprisingly light texture, and the spiced graham cracker crust is an ideal compliment.  The one thing I did love about the old recipe was the use of candied pecans for garnish.  Since I was hosting a dinner party, I just didn’t get around to making the pecans this time but have included them in the version below because I think they add  a really nice touch.  A drizzle of caramel sauce certainly wouldn’t hurt either.


For the crust:
5 oz. graham crackers, broken into large pieces
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/3 cups (10 1/3 oz.) sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream

For the candied pecans:
½ cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped (or left intact)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. sugar


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 325˚ F and place an oven rack in the lower-middle position.  Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan tightly with two pieces of foil.  Spray the inside of the pan lightly with cooking spray.  To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and spices in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to process until evenly and finely ground.  Add the melted butter to the bowl and pulse again until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Transfer the crumbs to the prepared springform pan and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.  (I like to use the bottom of a ramekin or measuring cup to do this.)  Bake until fragrant and browned at the edges, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes.  Set the pan inside a larger roasting pan.

  • 02

    Bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil; maintain at a simmer.  To make the filling, combine the sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend and set aside.  Line a work surface with a triple layer of towels.  Spread the pumpkin on the towels and cover with a second triple layer of towels.  Press firmly until the towels are saturated with excess liquid.

  • 03

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and softened, about 1 minute.  Add about a third of the sugar-spice mixture to the bowl and beat at medium-low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.  Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and repeat, adding the remaining sugar mixture in two additions.  Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla and lemon juice; beat at medium speed until blended, about 45 seconds.  Add 3 of the eggs and mix on medium-low until incorporated; repeat with the remaining two eggs.  Add the heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds.  Use a rubber spatula to give the mixture a final stir by hand.

  • 04

    Pour the filling into the springform pan, over the crust.  Smooth the top.  Pour enough simmering water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake until the cake is slightly wobbly when the pan is shaken and the center reads 150˚ F on an instant-read thermometer, about 90 minutes.  Transfer the roasting pan to a wire rack and cool until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes.  Remove the springform pan from the water bath, discard the foil, and run a paring knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool until barely warm, about 3 hours.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

  • 05

    To make the topping, set aside 10 pecan halves and coarsely chop the rest. In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add all of the pecans, sprinkle with the granulated sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the nuts are toasted and caramel coated. Transfer the nut mixture to a plate and let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

  • 06

    To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan.  Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan to loosen.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Garnish with candied pecans as desired.  Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

  • i love pumpkin cheesecake! the last time i made it the cheesecake wasn’t cooked enough…. might have to try again soon now:-)

  • Yummy! And I love all the spices in the crust!

  • Checking your blog every day always makes me so happy! I LOVE this recipe. I have yet another of your recipes bookmarked :)

  • Hey I just ran across your blog! It’s adorable! That cheesecake recipe looks fantastic :)

  • Bridget

    Do you have a trick about wrapping the foil tightly? I have made a lot of cheesecakes, but only one with a water bath. The water leaked into the foil making the crust soggy and inedible.

  • Hi Annie,
    How did you keep the cheesecake from cracking on top? That is always the most difficult part for me.

  • Jo H.

    Mmmm . . .I love fall and all the PUMPKIN it brings! Right up my alley!

  • Gorgeous! I am not a huge cheesecake fan (gasp!) but I love anything pumpkin so I am sure this would be delicious!

  • Misty

    Bookmarked! This looks amazing! Thanks Annie!

  • This looks awesome! I agree a cheesecake has to be really tall. If it’s not tall then it’s not good.

  • Ok, we can’t hold back any longer. We need to join the pumpkin party asap. And this cheesecake!? Goodness! It looks perfect! And we would definitely want some caramel sauce…

  • You never cease to amaze me. This looks awesome!

  • Wow! I think I will definitely be making this for Thanksgiving dessert. PS I love all your blog! I get so excited when there is a new one and it is amazing how often you post. Thanks for all the good stuff!

  • Ahhh!!! YUM!!! I bookmarked your older version and glad I waited!! :)

  • Annie

    No, I have no special trick. I think the key is a great springform. I have a good one and I have put it in the bath sans foil with no problems.

  • Annie

    Jackie, I think that has more to do with the recipe than anything. But, I’ve never had a cheesecake crack on me. I just follow the recipe and they always turn out intact.

  • Bridget

    Would you mind sharing what kind of pan you have? I just hate buying a product, hoping for the best, and then it disappoints :(

  • Congratulations…you have just combined two of my favorits: pumpkin and cheesecake. I’m drooling over here! This looks fantastic!

  • Oooooh YUM! This looks divine. The only thing better than cheesecake is pumpkin in cheesecake!

  • Looks awesome! I made one years ago and used ginger snaps for the crust.

  • Annie I have to tell you…I like cheesecake. I don’t looooove it, but I like it pretty darn well. I saw this picture and I am seriously ready to call my friend and ask to borrow his springform pan to make this. I love pumpkin, and this sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

  • I love pumpkin cheesecake – there is something about fall that just screams “Make Pumpkin Cheesecake!” This looks so delicious!

  • you stole my heart.. i looove pumpkin cheesecake! now i am going to have trouble deciding between this and your caramel apple cheesecake pie for Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Ann Grismore

    I share your love of all things pumpkin and am really excited to try this recipe! This cheesecake looks just phenomenal.

  • oh man. i’m just about to go out for dinner, but i’d rather just have a slice of this!

  • It looks fabulous! I love it when a cheesecake comes out nice and tall with an even top.

  • Amy

    That looks so beautiful! My husband loves cheesecakes, and is completely with you on the height thing. All of my cheesecakes crack, so I always have to put lots of topping on them. I have tried water baths, no water bath, letting them cool in the oven with the door cracked, letting them cool outside the oven…I will give this one a shot. Hopefully it will look as good as I know it will taste. If not, cinnamon whipped cream will be waiting!

  • Pumpkin cheesecake is one of my all time favorite desserts! Such a lovely photo!

  • This looks incredible! I love cheesecake and pumpkin. The candied pecans sound awesome!

  • Look really yummy and nice! Your blog is beauty! gloria

  • What could be better than this dessert! Lovely!

  • crustabakes

    i cant say which i am liking more. the smooth surface cake, without cracks or the picture perfect shot. thanks for sharing!

  • I am so happy to get this recipe! I love love love all things pumpkin and I love cheesecake. I am excited to try this, this will be my first cheesecake so hopefully I can channel some of your baking skills and succeed LOL!

  • I actually do not like cheesecake…unless it’s pumpkin cheesecake that is! This looks delicious!

  • I think ill make this for thanksgiving. I just love the fall season. yum!

  • Ann Badertscher

    OMG!!!!! ANNIE MY COWORKERS AND I ARE IN LOVE WITH YOU!!! We work at the american girl place in los angeles and have been looking at your blog (on page 42) for the last hour! We met brad pitt last weekend here at agp and as far as I am concered we would make rather meet you!!!! I graduated from IU and am from Indianapolis (went to park tudor for 13 years) And I have already sent your blog to everyone I know! What I wouldn’t do for the strawberry ice cream cupcake!
    we all just want to know what you are doing in med school???!!!! Start a bakery in indy or at least sell your bake goods at the farmers market!!!
    Love your fans in Los Angeles!

  • Annie

    Thank you so much, I am very flattered! I love hearing from my readers and knowing my blog is enjoyed by others. I hope you continue to find recipes and inspiration you love here. Thanks for reading!

  • Cheesecake has always intimidated me (it’s probably the water bath) but this looks too delicious to pass up!

  • Amanda

    love love love ur recipes! I was looking though for the herb and honey butter recipes, also the caramelized onion dip and the blackberry cran sauce, i was doing some thanksgiving planning and came across ur list of items from a previous thanksgiving and fell in love with a lot of them, can u tell me where to find them?

    thank you!

  • Annie

    The herb butter and cranberry sauce recipes have been posted – use the search function. I don’t use a recipe for honey butter. The caramelized onion dip is Ina Garten’s and can be found on Food Network’s website.

  • Question: Can you explain the triple layer towels and the puree? I don’t want to mess it up. :D Thanks.

  • Annie

    I’m not sure how to explain it more clearly than it is described in the post. What is confusing to you?

  • GORGEOUS! That is the most beautiful looking cheesecake I have ever seen!

  • Your pumpkin obsession reminds me of me! I just made Pumpkin Blondies with Candied Ginger and they were really good! You should check them out on my blog – I just posted about them tonight :) I am really excited to try this pumpkin cheesecake! Can you OD on pumpkin? I sure hope not! :)

  • Maybe it was the time of day that I read it lol. How I understand it is triple layer towels (not paper), spread pumpkin, top with triple layer towels, press out excess liquid, scrape off into mixing bowl at the appropriate time. Sorry to sound so grade school…my brain just wasn’t clicking on this. :D BTW, thanks for responding.

  • Annie

    Paper towels are fine.

  • Thanks Annie.

  • Annie

    It’s from Sur La Table. Not sure of the brand – maybe Kaiser?

  • This dessert definitely combines two of my most favorite flavors! Cheesecake and pumpkin! Can’t wait to try this one out!

  • just finished reading through your whole blog and I am so inspired. We recently implemented (well are trying to at least) a weekly menu so we would stop eating out so much. I love to cook (but get totally lazy) and I have already tried the Guiness Cake (everyone loved it) and adapted the Caramel Apple Cheesecake/spiced pumpkin cheesecake to a new recipe. PUMPKIN apple cheesecake. Basically just make the crust/apple mixture and then put the spiced pumpkin cheesecake on top. (and I made the whole thing in a pyrex dish! can’t get easier than that) I’m telling you it is AMAZING. the first time I made it, we ate the WHOLE pie before it was cooled. The 2nd time we restrained ourselves and let it cool.. it was sooo much better. You should make that.. like right now :)

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes. Looking forward to trying a lot more!

    <3 from Washington

  • Annie, I love your blog.. I made the pumpkin cheesecake… TO DIE FOR.. Quite time intensive and some new baking techniques for me but soooo worth it. I did have some water bath leakage but did not ruin it. I skipped the pureed pumpkin draining step and had no issues with the consistency of the cheesecake.. I was suprised at how much it makes I was able to serve 16.. Thanks for all you tips and recipes…


  • Pumpkin!!! This is so good! I have a lot of pumpkins getting ready for harvest in my garden! So the kitchen will definitely be doing some hard work this coming Halloween.

  • Jenny

    Hi Annie,
    I tried this recipe out and I followed the recipe exactly but my I cut the cheesecake the middle was totally mushy and runny. Is it possible to throw it back in the oven?

  • Annie

    At this point, I doubt it. Did you check the internal temperature before removing it from the oven?

  • Hi Annie,
    Thank you for your recipes! I made this cheesecake several days ago and was really happy with it! Only one thing (as always for my cheesecakes..) – it cracked slightly in the middle after I opened the oven. But to be honest, I hadn`t used water bath, only a bowl with water on the lower of the oven. Anyway, Pumpkin Cheesecake was absolutely delicious!

  • ash

    made a couple months ago and was a major hit! how would baking time change for a 8 inch pan? don’t have any pans big enough to do a water bath for a 9 inch

  • Annie

    The baking time would change, but I’m not sure how it would change. You would have to experiment. Good luck!

  • brenda amaya

    I dont think my crust make out right… When I tried to remove it from the bottom of the pan it was soft! Any thoughts?

  • djandkellen

    If using homemade pureed pumpkin, do I need to follow the same step with the towels? Thanks! :)

  • Annie


  • Nadine

    “Line a work surface with a triple layer of towels. Spread the pumpkin on the towels and cover with a second triple layer of towels. Press firmly until the towels are saturated with excess liquid.”

    Hi Annie,

    Thanks for your blog and your recipes… they’re heavenly.

    I’m not from the States and we don’t have the same “lingo” and just wanted to check and see if what you mean by towels, are those paper napkin towels?

    Also regarding the pumpkin puree, I’m looking at using is the store bought Libbys Pure Pumpkin Puree, would that be ok? Is it also possible to use the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix… it the pumpkin puree with the spices already added.

    Thanks a million!


  • Annie

    Use puree, not pumpkin pie filling. I don’t know what the UK equivalent of paper towels is, but what you mentioned sounds like it might be right. Enjoy!

  • Vickie W

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big bit. We cooked it for an additional 7 mins and it was perfect! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • A quick way to remove excess moisture from pumpkin is to put into a cheesecloth and squeeze out the moisture. Works great!

  • KittyKat

    Hi Annie, i made this tonight and it was really delicious! I also made your classic macaroni and cheese and it was a great success! Greetings from Greece :)

  • Annie- Thank you sooooo much for this amazing recipe! Tried it for Halloween and it was a HIT! As always, your recipes are outstanding. Happy Halloween :)

  • Victoria

    I made this cheesecake last night on a whim, and it is by far the best pumpkin cheesecake I’ve ever had!

    Just an FYI, if you’re like me and can’t find your 9″ springform, this recipe makes a nice 7″ cheesecake and a dozen cheesecake cupcakes. Cook the cupcakes for around 25 min. The small cheesecake still took close to 90 min.

    Thanks for another amazing recipe! Happy thanksgiving!

  • This is one of THE BEST cheesecakes I’ve ever eaten or served. I am gluten free, so for the crust, I use approx. 5 oz. of crumbs made from Trader Joe’s gingersnap cookies and 2 Tbsp. of melted unsalted butter. It’s outstanding and I think still stays true to the original recipe’s flavor profile.

  • Theresa AndKevin


    The water bath instructions should really state an instruction to place foil on the bottom on the springform pan. You did state to remove it afterward, but never to put it there in the first place.
    You should really make sure your recipe is complete before posting it on the internet. You can’t assume people already know how to do certain things. If we did, we wouldn’t have been looking for recipes in the first place. My poor boyfriend went all out today and spent $30 making this to bring for Thanksgiving, only to have it come out waterlogged because of a simple instruction that was missing from the recipe. Please add this!

  • annieseats

    In the very first step of the recipe, (second sentence) it states to wrap the pan in foil. In the fourth paragraph, the cheesecake is put into the water bath.

    Sorry your boyfriend was confused.