Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Like many families, our Thanksgiving holiday is filled with ritual and custom. We tend to prepare the same dishes, often served in a bowl or on a plate that is a sentimental favorite – Grandma’s gravy boat, my Mom’s crystal bowl for the cranberries. Recipes go back three generations at our table, but I add a new one from time to time.

I found a version of this  pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust in a food magazine about ten years ago. I make it only once every year as the traditional dessert to follow the turkey soup we enjoy on Sunday, marking the end of my favorite holiday.

Serves 10-12


  • 1 container/box gingersnaps (I like Trader Joe’s triple gingersnaps)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cover the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil.

3. Using a food processor, pulse cookies into crumbs. You will need about 4 cups of cookies to produce the 2 cups of crumbs needed.

4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the crumbs, melted butter and sugar.

5. Press mixture into bottom of foil-wrapped pan. Don’t worry about trying to press the mixture up the sides of the pan.

6. Bake until crust darkens slightly, 5-10 minutes maximum. Remove from oven but do not turn off the oven.


  • 3 eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 12 small chunks of crystallized ginger

1. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.

2. Add the eggs one at a time, then the pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Mix until smooth, using a hand spatula to finish, insuring that ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Place the pan with the crust on a sheet pan. Carefully pour filling on top of the crust.

4. Bake cheesecake 60-65 minutes until center is cooked and the edges are somewhat cracked.

5. Chill uncovered until cold, about 4 hours.

6. Cut around the sides of the cake and remove pan sides. Decorate top of cheesecake with crystallized ginger. Serve.


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7 Responses to Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. nutmegnanny November 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    I love cheesecake and I love pumpkin! Such a great combination 🙂

  2. lizthechef November 18, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Hope you try it – I’ll be making it TG weekend and will post a photo then!

  3. Jayne November 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Liz this cheesecake sounds so good! I will make it instead of a pie next time!

    • lizthechef November 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

      It’s a good recipe, Jayne – do you do anything for Thanksgiving? So hoping we will meet one day!

  4. TasteFood November 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    I also discovered a pumpkin cheesecake recipe some years ago, and it was a huge hit. I haven’t made one in a while, but now that I read this post, I’m ready to make another one this year. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Winnie November 22, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    This sounds like the perfect pumpkin cheesecake. I served one last year and it was a huge hit!

    • lizthechef November 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

      I’ll be making ours over the weekend – will post a photo then.

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