I know this is close to blasphemy, but I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. (Okay, that’s not close to blasphemy at all, but it does seem a bit inappropriate this time of year, doesn’t it?) And like a lot of people who share that opinion, it’s not so much a taste issue for me as it is a texture one. While I don’t care for pumpkin pie, I adore just about anything else pumpkin flavored. I’m slightly obsessed with pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread, pumpkin tarts, pumpkin sauce (just wait for next week!), ooh, pumpkin pie Blizzards, pumpkin candles (not to eat, to smell) you name it. So pumpkin cheesecake is my dessert of choice on Thanksgiving. It’s a good alternative to pie, and it’s great because it needs to be made ahead of time – forcing you to plan ahead!

A note about water baths: Kate talked about water baths a little in her cheesecake post. While cheesecake enthusiasts will tell you it’s essential to always use one, from my experience, some cheesecakes do okay without them (like Kate’s recipe) and others really need them to turn out well. I think it depends on the recipe. This one needs a water bath. Alongside that, you will need a roasting pan like this one to successfully preform a water bath. I love my springform cheesecake pan, so grab one of those as well if you don’t have one already.

ingredientsThe crust is one of my favorite parts; a mix of gingersnap cookies and pecans

ginger snap and pecan crust
On top of that goes the creamy, pumpkin-spiced cheesecake batter with white chocolate
cheesecake batter
You’ll want to cover the outside of your pan in several layers of heavy duty foil to prevent any water from leaking in.  Place your pan in a larger, roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with warm water, up to half or two-thirds the way up the cheesecake.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust in water bath

After cooking, cooling, and chilling, it comes out gorgeous and creamy

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
and all ready to be dressed up!
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust topped with pecans and caramel
Top with whipped cream, caramelized pecans, and a caramel drizzle
slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust


A long-time reader favorite! Creamy, caramel-y, and great for fall.


For the Crust

  • 1 3/4 C gingersnap crumbs (about 30 small cookies)
  • 6T real butter, melted
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 3/4 C ground pecans

For the Filling

  • 3 8oz blocks cream cheese
  • 3/4 C canned pumpkin puree
  • 6 oz melted white chocolate (that’s about 1 C white chocolate chips)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t cloves

For the Topping

  • 1 C whipping cream, beat with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 4 Tbs powdered sugar until medium peaks form.
  • 1/3 C roughly chopped pecans, either toasted or caramelized
  • 2 Tablespoons jarred caramel sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For the crust, Use a food processor to crush gingersnaps. Then do pecans. Combine gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, and butter and stir well to combine. Press into a 9″ spring form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1 inch.
  3. To melt chocolate, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside. With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. With the mixer running, slowly add in white chocolate in a steady stream (or steady blobs). Pour mixture on top of the crust.
  4. For the water bath, place cheesecake pan inside of a larger pan. I use a roasting pan. Place your cheesecake pan into larger pan. The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth. Place in pre-heated oven. With a kettle or pitcher filled with hot water, pour water into the larger pan about halfway up, or approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
  5. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until set. The center should be just a tad bit jiggly still. It will finish cooking while cooling.
  6. When it’s done, remove from oven and place on a rack until completely cool. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This is a very soft cheesecake so sufficient chilling is a must!
  7. When ready to serve spread sweetened whipped cream on top, drizzle caramel sauce over it, and sprinkle with pecans.

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  1. I love pumpkin pie, actually it’s the only pie that I like. I do love cheesecake though and this looks really good, I’m going to have to try it!

  2. That looks like heaven on a plate, YUM…. I’m going to give this one a try. I’m a little bit afraid of doing a waterbath, but I think i’ll overcome my fear to try this.

  3. Oh. My. Heavenly.

    I really cannot imagine anything better tasting or looking than this!

    I don’t really like pumpkin pie either. And I was elated when you made a similar pumpkin cheesecake in Chicago for Thanksgiving like a century ago. Mmmm Mmmmm – best Thanksgiving in Chicago EVER!

    I love ALL the pictures – beautiful!

  4. I am also NOT a pumpkin pie fan but, like you, I love everything pumpkin! I cannot wait to try this recipe. Last Thanksgiving I attempted Tiramisu, without any practice. Needless to say we had Tirami-soup! I will practice with this recipe 🙂

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