In lieu of the Fall season, this pumpkin cheesecake is a must-try! This is literally the EASIEST, smoothest and most delicious cheesecake. Best part of all? It does NOT require a water bath!
Cheesecake, in general, is often a staple “cake” to have in the Fall, especially because of the Thanksgiving season. Cooler weather starts settling in, the leaves begin changing colors, and all things pumpkin, pie, and latte start making their debut.
Of course it sounds much easier to head to your local bakery and pick up a ready-made cheesecake, but making your own doesn’t have to be intimidating, especially when it’s as easy as ours is! With this recipe, you’ll feel (and look) like a cheesecake pro.
What You Need for This Recipe
Lucky for you, this recipe calls for ingredients you mostly have on hand.
For the pie crust:
- graham cracker crumbs
- butter and
- cinnamon – Yum!
For the Cheesecake:
- cream cheese
- pumpkin puree
- half and half
- vanilla extract
- pumpkin pie spice
Once you’ve gathered these few things, you’re set to start baking.
How to Make the Pie Crust:
Before starting anything, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350° F so it’ll be ready when you need it.
- Then, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle cut piece of parchment paper (or foil) and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until fully combined.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the pan going up the sides about an inch or so. Then, bake it for 7-8 minutes. Afterwards, let it cool on a wire rack.
How to Make the Cheesecake:
Now comes the fun part!
- Combine the eggs, pumpkin, half and half and spices.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar(s)
- Add in the beaten egg and pumpkin
- Pour into the cooled crust
- Cool in the oven with the door cracked – IMPORTANT STEP!
Do I really need to do a water bath?
You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t call for a water bath, so the question becomes – do you really need one? Here’s the scoop on that…
Technically, you don’t need a water bath. And often you’ll find folks telling you that it’s the number one key to baking an excellent cheesecake. The key to not using a water bath is to prevent the cheesecake from overbaking. (More on that later).
Why do cheesecakes crack? 3 reasons … air bubbles, not using room temperature ingredients and cooling.
Because we will be baking our cheesecake WITHOUT a water bath, it’s important that we bake it at a lower temperature and cool it longer. Cooling the cheesecake is a CRUCIAL part of the baking process.
When your cheesecake is fully baked, it will pull away a bit from the sides of the pan. You can also stick the knife down the middle and it should come out with a few streaks, but not liquidy.
Once you are confident the cheesecake is cooked, but not OVERDONE, crack the oven door and allow the cake to cool down for an hour. This is what prevents the cheesecake from overcooking and also from getting that huge crater size crack right down the middle!
BUT, in the event the cake does crack on top, that’s ok. That’s what homemade whipped cream is for! 😉
And there ya have it! Let us know if you give this pumpkin cheesecake recipe a try! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to try our other pumpkin-related recipes.
What to top your Cheesecake with:
- Fresh strawberries or raspberries (or try cooking down some strawberries with a little sugar to make a simple strawberry sauce)
- Chocolate sauce
- Lemon curd
- Whipped cream (of course!)
A smooth, velvetty cheesecake with all the flavors of pumpkin spice and Fall without the hassle of a water bath!
For the crust:
- 2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 6 Tbsp. Butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
For the Cheesecake:
- (4) 8 oz. packages Cream cheese
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- (1) 15 oz. can Pumpkin puree
- 1 /3 Cup Half and Half
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie spice
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper (or foil) and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, granulated sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl until fully combined.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the pan going up the sides about an 1 inch.
- Bake for 7 -8 minutes and cool on wire rack.
For the cheesecake:
- Reduce the heat to 325°
- Combine the eggs, pumpkin, half and half and spices in a bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar(s) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until fluffy; about 3-4 minutes, scraping the bowl down when necessary.
- Add in the egg and pumpkin mixture, mixing on low speed until well combined, again scraping the bowl down to ensure there are no lumps.
- Pour the batter into the cooled crust.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven for 60 minutes. The edges will appear set, but the center should have a little jiggle to it.
- Crack the oven door open – DO NOT REMOVE THE CHEESECAKE. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to rest in the cooling oven for one hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven.
- Release the cheesecake from the pan by running a butter knife along the sides to release it.
- Allow the cake to completely cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- Serve with homemade whipped cream.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American