How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake

4.75 from 16 votes
56 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.

There are no words to describe how decadent, and delicious this pumpkin cheesecake with praline pecan topping is. This recipe takes three of my favorite holiday desserts and combines them into one: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and pecan pie. 

Side view of a whole Pumpkin Cheesecake with caramel pecan topping.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Homemade Crust Ingredients
  2. Ingredients for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake
  3. Caramel Topping Ingredients
  4. How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake
  5. Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Storing and Making Ahead Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake
  8. More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes
  9. How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
  10. How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Pumpkin cheesecake is three-holiday desserts into one! This is a fall favorite dessert that combines a sweet and savory flavor with a creamy texture from the cheesecake filling. Warm spices are filled throughout the pumpkin cheesecake dessert making it a popular holiday treat everyone loves!

Why make three separate holiday desserts when you can make one, extra delicious dessert? It really doesn’t get much better than this when you want to splurge on an incredibly delicious dessert. A great thing about this pumpkin cheesecake recipe is that it is so rich that one little slice will suffice. You will be able to feed at least 12 to 14 people with this. It is the perfect dessert combination!

Homemade Crust Ingredients

The homemade crust is my new favorite way to make a graham cracker crust! This crust is full of crushed pecans and coconut. It gives this dessert an even more delicious flavor. I love the added crunch in the crust from the pecans and the added flavor from the coconut. It makes the perfect crust even MORE perfect!

  • Graham crackers – You will need nine graham crackers that are smashed and blended together into fine crumbs. It is best to make this from scratch rather than having a graham cracker crust store-bought.
  • Sugar – Added for sweetness and balances out the flavors in the crust.
  • Pecans – Chop the pecans using a food processor or a bag and hit them until they are chopped into small pieces. The chopped pecans will be used as a part of the crust and can be garnished over top of the caramel sauce.
  • Coconut – If you don’t love coconut, you can leave it out and just have an extra ½ cup of graham crackers.
  • Butter – Melt the butter ahead of time. This is going to hold the crust together like glue.

Ingredients for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

We are taking a classic cheesecake dessert and making it into a pumpkin cheesecake filling! It is going to have all your warm seasonings mixed with creamy and sweet ingredients giving it the full effect. Your tastebuds will be dancing with every bite you take!

  • Cream cheese – Soften the full-fat cream cheese ahead of time by setting it out on the table at room temperature.
  • Pumpkin puree – Use the canned pumpkin puree for convenience and time. This can of pumpkin is the perfect blend and flavor that you will need to give this cheesecake a fluffy filling.
  • Yolk – Crack your egg and gently and carefully separate the yolk back and forth using the eggshell from the egg white. The yolk has more moisture and will give the cheesecake batter a boost of moisture and liquid.
  • Sour cream – Adds more rich and creamy flavors.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar adds the sweetness we all love.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – This is a combination of savory and sweet fall flavors that are mixed together. Make a homemade pumpkin pie spice version to always have on hand.
  • Flour – This is a key ingredient in most desserts or baked goods. All-purpose flour is the ultimate ingredient that thickens and binds ingredients together creating the form or build of the recipe.
  • Vanilla extract – Added in for flavor!

Caramel Topping Ingredients

The caramel topping recipe alone on this pumpkin cheesecake is one of my favorite things EVER. Put it on ice cream and it will change your world forever. You won’t be sorry! It is so good I could eat it straight out of the pan with a wooden spoon. Rich and buttery, it is the best caramel topping you will ever have. It is much better than anything you can get in a can or a bottle. It’s a little extra work, but it is definitely worth the effort!

  • Butter – Melt the unsalted butter in the saucepan for a creamy and silky butter texture.
  • Pecan – Take the pecan halves and add them to the butter mixture.
  • Brown sugar – The sweet flavor from the light brown sugar gives a soft and moist blend to the topping.
  • Flour – This will thicken the topping and give it depth.
  • Light corn syrup – A favorite ingredient for this syrup topping. It is thick and creamy with a sweetness that will balance out the flavors.
  • Evaporated milk – The magic ingredient! Another thickener that helps your syrup taste and feels silky smooth. You can also add more (½ cup or so) of evaporated milk and use it over pancakes.
  • Whipped cream – Add in just the right amount of whipped cream to create a creamy mixture!
Side close up of Pumpkin Cheesecake with caramel pecan dripping down the side.


How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake

Each individual slice of pumpkin cheesecake is filled with a soft crunchy crust, a creamy and sweet cheesecake filled with a decadent topping that is amazingly delicious! It is the perfect combination!

  1. Crust – In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans, and coconut. Add melted butter and mix until all crumbs become moist with butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  2. Cream filling – Using a hand mixer on low speed, cream the cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
  3. Bake and refrigerate – Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in the oven, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. You may have to bake longer depending on elevation, just keep an eye on it. Remove from the oven. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  4. Combine – In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add pecans and cook until browned. Remove from heat and place pecans in a separate bowl. Set aside. Using the same saucepan, melt the remaining butter.
  5. Whisk together – Whisk in brown sugar, flour, and corn syrup until thoroughly blended. Cook on high until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let stand. Stir in evaporated milk and pecans and allow to cool and thicken.
  6. Topping – Once the sauce thickens, spoon or drizzle over the cheesecake and serve with whipped cream.

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

The graham cracker, pecan, and coconut crust will add a delightful depth of flavor and texture to your pumpkin cheesecake, making it a delicious and unique dessert.

  • High-quality ingredients – It is best to have high-quality ingredients to ensure flavor and texture in your cheesecake.
  • Room temperature – The cream cheese, dairy products, and eggs are best to leave out of the refrigerator to have at room temperature. Room temperature helps avoid lumps and ensures a smooth and creamy filling.
  • Don’t overmix filling – You do not want to overmix the filling ingredients. Once the filling is creamed together, it is best to stop mixing. Overmixing can add air into the batter and can create cracks in the cheesecake.
  • Prebake crust – Make the crust and prebake it in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes before adding in the filling. This will ensure the bottom of the crust does not become soggy.
  • Don’t overbake – Overbaking your pumpkin cheesecake can result in having a dry cheesecake. The edges of the pumpkin cheesecake should be set but the center of the cheesecake is slightly jiggly when you take it out of the oven. The toothpick trick does not work on a cheesecake recipe.
  • Cooling – Let the pumpkin cheesecake cool in the oven once the timer goes off. Leave the pumpkin cheesecake in the oven door ajar for about an hour. This way of cooling down will help prevent any cracks from forming on the pumpkin cheesecake.
  • Slicing – When ready to slice the pumpkin cheesecake, use a sharp knife to cut through each slice. In between each slice, make sure to whip the blade of the knife before slicing again. This will ensure nice clean cuts in between.
Full Pumpkin Cheesecake topped with Caramel pecan and whipped cream.

“Wow! This is fabulous! It’s great that this recipe serves 16 but I may or may not share with my Thanksgiving guests!”

-Beth

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to leave cheesecake out overnight?

No, cheesecake needs to be refrigerated or frozen due to the high dairy content.

What is pumpkin cheesecake?

Pumpkin cheesecake is a decadent dessert that has a base of graham crackers crust, a pumpkin pie cheesecake filling and topped with a caramel sauce and pecans. It is known as having three desserts in one recipe. It is rich, creamy, and flavorful!

What can I do if my pumpkin cheesecake cracks?

If your pumpkin cheesecake cracks while baking or after it is cooling, cover the cracks with toppings. We love to use this caramel syrup, whipped cream, or caramel sauce. To prevent cracking use a water bath and cool gradually.

What spices are typically used in pumpkin cheesecake?

Pumpkin recipes tend to have common spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ground ginger, and allspice. These spices are fall favorites and have a sweet, savory, and comforting feeling in every bite!

Do I need to have a water bath for my pumpkin cheesecake?

To prevent cracking, bake your cheesecake in a water bath by wrapping the pumpkin cheesecake in a springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent the water from seeping into the graham cracker crust.

Storing and Making Ahead Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake

This pumpkin cheesecake is best made ahead of or stored in the refrigerator. Both are great options when making this dessert! Follow these helpful tips to learn the best way to store your homemade pumpkin cheesecake the right way!

  • Making ahead – You can make the pumpkin cheesecake ahead of time for up to two days. Make the pumpkin cheesecake and store it in the refrigerator or freezer for 48 hours.
  • Refrigerator – This cheesecake can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure it is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb other odors in the fridge.
  • Freezer – If you would like to prepare this pumpkin cheesecake beforehand and freeze it, then we would suggest freezing it without the pecan topping. Make the pecan topping the day you are planning to serve.

More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

When it comes to favorite fall flavors, pumpkin definitely tops the list. If this recipe gets you in the mood for even more pumpkin, you might give our Yummy Pumpkin Eclair Cake, Pumpkin Pie Cobbler, Pumpkin Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Drop Cookies, or our Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake a try. Or sample this Pumpkin Dip with Gingersnaps. It’ll turn your pumpkin dessert experience inside out.

How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake on a cake platter with caramel pecan and whipped cream.

How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake

4.75 from 16 votes
There are no words to describe how decadent, and delicious, this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline Pecan Topping is. This recipe takes three of my favorite holiday desserts and combines them into one: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and pecan pie. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16

Video

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 9 graham crackers full graham crackers, smashed or blended into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup butter melted

Filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

Instructions

For crust:

  • Preheat oven to 425-degrees. In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans, and coconut. Add melted butter and mix until all crumbs become moist with butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
    Pressed Pumpkin Cheesecake crust in a springform pan.

For filling:

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
    Bowl of Pumpkin Cheesecake batter. Mixing whisk on the side.
  • Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes (you may have to bake longer depending on elevation, just keep an eye on it). Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
    Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake in a springform pan.

For topping:

  • In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add pecans and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat and place pecans in a separate bowl. Set aside. Using the same saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.
    Pot of pecan and butter for Pumpkin Cheesecake topping.
  • Whisk in brown sugar, flour, and corn syrup until thoroughly blended. Cook on high for 6-8 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk and pecans and allow to cool and thicken (about an hour).
    Pot of Caramel pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake topping.
  • Once the sauce thickens, spoon over cheesecake and serve with whipped cream.
    Pumpkin Cheesecake on a cake platter with caramel pecan and whipped cream.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 693kcalCarbohydrates: 83gProtein: 7gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 348mgPotassium: 281mgFiber: 3gSugar: 74gVitamin A: 5146IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 2mg

Love this recipe?

We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.

Rate and Review



Share This With the World

PinYummly

About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This is fabulous! It’s great that this recipe serves 16 but I may or may not share with my Thanksgiving guests!

  2. Is the calorie amount per serving or for the whole cheesecake? 1197 sounds like alot for one serving but too little for a whole cheesecake…

    1. Thank you for your comment! The serving size was incorrect on the recipe. It has been fixed and the nutrition information is now accurate.

  3. Can you make this recipe the night before serving? Or will the pecan topping get weird as I have read in other recipes? Thanks!

    1. This recipe can be made the night before serving. I haven’t ever had a problem with the pecan topping. Thanks for asking!

  4. Hi! I would like to make the praline topping for this thanksgiving … if I make it the night before or even that morning … what is the best way to reheat it in order for people to spoon it on their dessert of choice .?Thanks !

    1. hmmm that is a great question. I would try doing it with a double boiler first so it doesn’t burn. If you heat it directly in a pot, make sure you do it over LOW heat. Hope this helps! Let us know how it turns out!

  5. I am very excited to try your recipe, but I want to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. Do you know how much I would need to use? Maybe just two full cups?

    1. Hi Ashley, A can of pumpkin is just under 2 cups so I would measure out 2 full cups and then take out 2 Tbsp to get the same amount as a 15 ounce can. Fresh pumpkin will be delicious in this recipe!