This pumpkin swirl cheesecake will quickly become a household favorite and yearly Thanksgiving dessert tradition! It's rich and creamy, with delicious pumpkin pie flavors. Top it with whipped cream and watch as it disappears.
This recipe was first published on November 4, 2020.
This pumpkin swirl cheesecake is a family favorite, a must have on the Thanksgiving dessert table lineup and always the first thing to get devoured. It's creamy and rich, with yummy pumpkin flavors.
It's the best!!!!
When it comes to Thanksgiving my two absolute favorite things are my homemade stuffing and this cheesecake.
I've been making this recipe for over 10 years, only in the last few years have I been making it a whole cheesecake. In the past years it's always been mini cheesecakes, which you could totally do with this recipe.
My father in law was notorious for sneaking in to the fridge after half the family went to bed, eating the pumpkin cheesecake. Thanksgiving eve might I add. It's an irresistible dessert.
It's half cheesecake, half pumpkin pie. All swirled together.
Contrary to belief, making a pumpkin cheesecake is beyond easy. Make sure to watch the how to video, I always find it so helpful to visually see something being made.
With some helpful tips and tricks you can make a beautiful pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving that your family will rave about. And if you love cranberries, I have an easy cranberry cheesecake bar recipe.
How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
It starts with having the right pan. You'll need a springform pan.
A springform pan has a lever on the side of it that closes and opens the edges of the pan, so you can easily remove the cheesecake.
There's a few steps in the process. You need to get the cheesecake mixture together, the pumpkin mixture together and the crust together. Each are in a separate bowl.
Cheesecake batter. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together room temperature cream cheese, vanilla extract, salt, corn starch, white sugar and sour cream for 3 minutes.
Then add in the eggs and beat until totally combined. It will be silky smooth when you are done.
Pumpkin pie batter. Beat together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt and brown sugar for 3 minutes. This should also be smooth.
Take 1 1/4 cups of the cheesecake batter and it to the pumpkin pie batter. Stir this together until totally combined.
Preparing the crust. The crust is a graham cracker crust. Add the graham crackers, white sugar, pinch of salt and pumpkin pie spice to a food processor. Pulse until it turns to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until its mixed together.
Preparing the springform pan. You will want to add parchment paper to the bottom of the springform pan so it easily comes off the bottom when you go to transfer to a pie plate. Take the bottom round of the springform pan and place it on parchment paper. Trace around the edge and cut out the circle. Place it in the bottom of the springform pan.
Grab some tinfoil and wrap it around the bottom half edges of the pan and bottom of the pan.
Baking the crust. Press the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of the pan and bake at 325 for 5-10 minutes. Remove it from the oven when done.
Adding the batter. Pour in the cheesecake batter in the springform pan (on top of the baked graham cracker crust), tap it on the counter to release air bubbles.
In dollops, add the pumpkin pie batter.
Use a knife to swirl the pumpkin around with the cheesecake. Try not going to deep or you will scrape up the graham cracker crust.
Baking. Place the pumpkin cheesecake on a baking sheet that has a brim and place this in the oven. Pour water in to the baking sheet to create a water bath (half way up the pan).
Bake for 45-60 minutes. Do not open the oven door while baking, this can cause the cheesecake to crack.
Your cheesecake will be done when the edges are set and it's still slightly wiggly in the center.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Tips
Room temperature ingredients. Using softened, room temperature, cream cheese is one of the most important tips. Soft cream cheese will give you the smoothest, silkiest cheesecake.
Using cold cream cheese will give you a lumpy batter.
Chilling. Chilling the cheesecake for an entire 24 hours will give you the best taste. That's enough time for it to fully chill throughout and all the flavors to merry together.
At the very least, you'll need 4 hours in the fridge for it to be chilled.
Water bath. The water bath in the instructions seems like a tedious extra step. But, this is the best pumpkin cheesecake for good reason.
The water bath helps your cheesecake bake evenly.
Overbaking. Do not over bake your cheesecake. It only needs to cook long enough for the sides to set and the middle to still have some jiggle. If the middle does not jiggle, it's going to be over baked.
Over baking can cause cracks.
No peeking. Leave that oven door closed. Use your oven light if you must see what's going on in there.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
Planning for Thanksgiving? Whether you are entertaining 10 people or just your family. Here are a few other dessert recipes to try.
- How To Make a Spatchcock Turkey
- Buttery Herb Dinner Rolls (super easy!)
- Olive Oil Baked Honey Carrots
- Best Homemade Stuffing
- Maple Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
- Apple Crisp with Oats Topping
- Pumpkin Roll with Silky Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- small pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 3/4 c white sugar
- 1/4 c sour cream
pumpkin Pie Mixture
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
graham cracker crust
- 1 pkg graham crackers
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 325
- In a bowl beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, salt, corn starch, white sugar and sour cream, for 3 minutes then add the eggs and mix until combined
- In a separate bowl beat together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt and brown sugar until smooth
- Scoop out 1 1/4 cups of batter from the cheesecake mixture and stir it in to the pumpkin mixture until combined and smooth
- Add all of the crust ingredients in to a food processor, except the butter, and mix until it's a fine crumb consistency
- Now add the melted butter and pulse it together until mixed in
- To the bottom of a springform pan, add a round piece of parchment paper (optional but can help to easily take the cheesecake off the pan bottom)
- Wrap tin foil around the bottom of the pan, coming up the sides an inch or two
- Press the graham cracker crust down in the bottom of the pan, using the back of a measuring cup or your hands
- Bake this in the oven for 5-10 minutes
- Remove the graham cracker crust from the oven
- Add the cheesecake mixture to the pan (tap it against the counter to release air bubbles)
- In dollops, add the pumpkin mixture to the top
- Use a knife to swirl it around but not totally combine it (be mindful not to poke the knife down to the bottom and pull up the crust)
- Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and put the whole thing in the oven
- Fill the baking sheet up halfway with water to create a water bath
- Bake for 45-60 minutes
- Try not to open the oven door while it bakes
- The cheesecake is done when the sides have set but the middle is still a little jiggly
- Remove it from the oven, let it cool, cover and transfer to the fridge to chill before serving
- This pumpkin cheesecake is best served 24 hours after chilling in the fridge
Please see the post for additional tips and step by step how to photos, as well as the video
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 345mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.