This creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake is the perfect addition to your holiday menu. The maple pecan topping adds the perfect bit of crunch and shine!
Oh my dear gracious...
This pumpkin cheesecake is an absolute dream! I've been making this cheesecake recipe around Thanksgiving for three years and I have yet to find another that comes close. The creaminess of the pumpkin cheesecake paired with the maple pecan topping, all on a cinnamon graham cracker crust is FALL in dessert form. It was actually one of my very first blog posts, so this year I took some new glamour shots and made some much needed edits to this post.
If making a homemade cheesecake seems like a daunting task, I am here to tell you that you can absolutely do it! Once you get started I'm certain that you will see how easy making a cheesecake actually is. Before you start, read all of my no fail cheesecake tips below and you will be good to go.
Let’s make one!
Tips To Making A No Fail Cheesecake:
- Make sure your cream cheese comes to room temperature. Before starting your recipe you want the cream cheese to soften so it beats easily and creates a perfectly creamy cheesecake. If your cream cheese is too cold, it will remain lumpy and not fully mix into a cohesive cheesecake batter. That's a no go! If you don’t have time to wait for the cream cheese to soften, you can open the cream cheese packs and microwave in 20-second increments until it is soft, but not that warm.
- Thoroughly grease your springform pan. Whether you are using baking spray or butter, you want to make sure both the bottom of the pan and all the way up the sides are well greased. This helps ensure your cheesecake has a beautiful release!
- Add a little flour to your cheesecake batter. A little bit of flour can make a huge impact in a cheesecake's consistency. It helps give it a more cohesive texture and avoid cracks!
- Don't over beat your batter. You want to combine your ingredients until they are well combined to remove any lumps, but not overwork it. Over mixing your batter can cause those dreaded cheesecake cracks.
- Let your cheesecake rest in the warm oven. After your first bake time, turn your oven off and crack it open with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake sit in the warm oven for another hour before removing. This helps the cake to set and avoid cracks.
- Let your cheesecake cool completely before chilling. I know it can be so tempting to rush and get your cheesecake chilling so you can eat it faster, but you really want it to be completely cool before popping it into the fridge. If put in the fridge too warm, it will get that pool of condensation on the top of the cake and make a gluey texture on top.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients
To make this easy Pumpkin Cheesecake, you will need the following ingredients. See the full recipe card below for detailed amounts and instructions!
- Graham cracker crumbs - I love using cinnamon graham crackers and pulsing them in our Vitamix into a fine crumb myself. When I do this I don't use the added cinnamon in the crust.
- Butter - You'll want unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Brown sugar - Light or dark brown sugar will work for this recipe. If you have both on hand, I would go with dark brown.
- Cream cheese - Star of the show! We need 3 blocks for this recipe and be sure they are brought to room temperature so you get a silky smooth cheesecake.
- Sweetened condensed milk - Just one can will do.
- Maple syrup - I love adding maple syrup to fall desserts. It adds both sweetness and complexity to the flavors!
- Pumpkin puree - Make sure you get 100% pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Eggs - For a beautifully tall cheesecake!
- Salt - Just a bit.
- Pumpkin pie spice - This easy homemade pumpkin pie spice is my go to, but store bought works as well!
- Flour - Just a few tablespoons helps give the cheesecake a more cohesive texture and helps to avoid cracks!
- Heavy cream - For the topping.
- Pecans - As crushed as you can get them!
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
To make this Pumpkin Cheesecake, simply:
- Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°. In small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and graham cracker crumbs. When well combined, press mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Smoothing out the crust along the sides of the pan so that it is even. Bake for 10 minutes or until no longer moist.
- Make the cheesecake mixture: Leave the oven at 350°. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Once fluffy, start to add in the sweetened condensed milk slowly until well combined. With mixer on low, beat in pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flour until well combined. When mixture is well combined, pour the onto the crust in the springform pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Once baked, turn the oven off and prop oven door with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake sit in the warm oven for 1 hour. This allows the cheesecake to set in the warm oven and avoid cracking. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Once cooled chill in fridge for minimum of 4 hours or over night.
- Make the Maple Pecan Topping: Once the cheesecake has chilled, mix together maple syrup and heavy cream in a medium sauce pot and bring to boil. Boil this mixture rapidly for 14 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Take off heat and let mixture cool completely before stirring in chopped pecans. Pour the topping over the cheesecake and let fall down the sides. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Make ahead: This cheesecake can be made the day before. It needs to chill for quite some time before serving anyway so it is actually best to make it the day before.
To store: Once fully cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Cheesecakes freeze great! To freeze your cheesecake, allow it cool completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. This cheesecake can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- If you don't like pecans you can switch them for your favorite nut such as walnuts or hazelnuts. Or remove the nuts all together. Trust me, you don't want to skip the topping with or without nuts!
More Fall Desserts You’ll Love!
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Apple Cider Blondies
- Easy Spiced Snickerdoodles
- Easy Pumpkin Scones
- Pumpkin Spice Madeleines With Maple Glaze
- Caramel French Toast Bake With Berry Sauce Topping
- Cinnamon Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Pecan Fudge