Cheesecake lovers where you at?! I’ve got THE cheesecake you must make this season – an easy Pumpkin Cheesecake using Greek yogurt! A lightened up, gluten-free friendly recipe.
Pumpkin pie season, meet cheesecake!
We took the base recipe of my internet favorite Greek Yogurt Cheesecake, added some pumpkin + pumpkin pie spice and your new favorite holiday dessert has arrived!
This is the best pumpkin cheesecake recipe and it’s easy to make! Make sure to keep reading for tips on how to get the perfect cheesecake, gluten-free substitutions and more.
What Makes This Cheesecake Healthier?
We’re using less sugar than traditional cheesecake, adding in some Greek yogurt (or sub in Skyr) to replace some of the cream cheese you would normally need, and then of course there is the addition of pumpkin!
Don’t worry, I really don’t think anyone will even know the difference so it can be our little secret.
This pumpkin cheesecake is easier than it seems – you just have to be patient.
And your guests will thank you for your patience too. Trust me, it’s worth it!
- cream cheese & plain Greek yogurt – you can use reduced fat cream cheese here and 2% yogurt if you’d like, but think the texture is best with full-fat cream cheese. You can also use Skyr in place of Greek yogurt. Siggi’s makes a great Pumpkin yogurt this time of year. If using sweetened yogurt, I would maybe reduce the granulated sugar by two tablespoons.
- canned pumpkin – I used canned pumpkin in this recipe so I can’t say for sure how homemade purée would work. If you do use homemade, I would strain it to remove any extra liquid.
- sugar – using 2/3 cup of granulated sugar here will give you a decently sweet cheesecake. If you want less sweet, you could use 1/2 cup. You can also replace the sugar with something like Swerve.
- eggs – helps provide the cheesecake with structure when baking.
- vanilla extract
- pumpkin spice – you can use store bought or make homemade using this recipe.
- flour – Adding flour to the cheesecake can help keep the cheesecake from cracking and aides in the structure of the cake, getting you a cleaner slice. A 1:1 gluten free baking flour can be used.
- graham crackers or crunchy cookies – use gluten-free graham crackers or Simple Mills makes a crunchy cookie that is perfect for a grain-free and gluten-free crust. You just need enough to make 1 cup of crumbs.
- unsalted butter – to help the crust form and bake properly
- granulated sugar – just a touch in the crust but you could omit as well.
Cheesecake comes together fairly easily, but you do have to be patient waiting for ingredients to come to room temperature, and not over-mix the filling.
The first step is to make the graham cracker crust, which needs to bake for about 8 minutes at 350ºF, then take it out and let it cool while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, you’ll be working in specific steps to make sure you end up with a nice fluffy cheesecake filling that won’t crack when baking.
To make the cheesecake filling, use a large bowl to beat together the cream cheese with the yogurt. Then add in the pumpkin purée, granulated sugar and vanilla. Next you’ll gently beat on low speed, adding the eggs one at a time. And finally you’ll mix in the pumpkin pie spice and flour.
ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS. This is absolutely key in getting a smooth cheesecake batter with no lumps. If you’ve attempted baking cheesecake with cold cream cheese or even somewhat room temperature cream cheese with cold eggs, the batter doesn’t get smooth. So make sure your cream cheese, yogurt, eggs and pumpkin are all set out beforehand and get to room temperature before beginning.
DO NOT OVER-MIX. Over-mixing the batter will create too much air and could lead to cracks when baking because the filling will likely rise too quickly then fall once it cools.
BAKE IN A WATER BATH. Now this step isn’t 100% necessary but it will give your cheesecake a nice smooth top and will help prevent cracking. I go over all the step-by-step information for a baking a cheesecake in a water bath here.
CHILL CHILL CHILL. Cheesecake must chill for at least 4 hours so you get clean slices and a set middle.
This recipe can easily be made gluten-free with a couple ingredient swaps.
The Crust. You can use gluten free graham crackers here – Pamela’s has gluten-free options – OR I’ve also made crusts like this with Simple Mills Crunchy Cookies, which are grain-free and gluten-free. They also have sweet thins that would be a grain-free graham cracker alternative. Same ratio of butter as written in the recipe.
The flour. The flour helps to stabilize things. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour which is gluten-free. I did not test with a grain-free flour but I am guessing tapioca flour would be fine.
Whipped cream, as pictured.
Chocolate ganache, if you like chocolate and pumpkin flavors.
Caramel Sauce, for a sweeter touch.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream, which is also delicious.
Let me know if you make this recipe! Leave a review and comment here on the blog! I love hearing from you and it helps other readers too! Xx Ashley
- 1 cup graham cracker* crumbs (about 9 sheets – see notes for gluten-free options)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or full-fat is best)
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat white, all-purpose or a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free blend)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease 8″ springform pan with butter; set aside.
- In medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar; stir until thoroughly mixed. Press evenly into bottom of springform pan, use back of measuring cup to flatten. Bake for 8 minutes; remove from oven to cool before wrapping edges/bottom tightly in foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF.
- Meanwhile prepare the cheesecake filling; using paddle attachment of stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat together cream cheese until smooth for about 2 minutes. Add in granulated sugar, greek yogurt, pumpkin and vanilla, beating again until completely smooth.
- Add in eggs one at a time, mixing on low-medium speed. Then add in flour and pumpkin pie spice. Use large rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Try not to overmix here. Stop mixing as soon as last egg is incorporated.
- Pour cheesecake filling onto pre-baked crust in foil-wrapped springform pan; place pan in bottom of roasting pan with 1″ hot water. Carefully transfer to oven and bake at 325ºF for 45-55 minutes or until middle has just set. The middle should jiggle slightly (like jell-o) but look firm. If you skip the “water bath” step the cheesecake may crack, but you could also cover with a chocolate ganache if you’d like.
- Turn off oven, crack door, and allow cheesecake to cool in oven for 1 hour before covering and transferring to fridge and chilling for 8 hours.
- Keep cheesecake chilled just before serving. Enjoy!
CRUST OPTIONS – You can use honey graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers (gluten-free options work), or Simple Mills makes a great grain-free crunchy cookie that can be used. Just grind up enough cookies for 1 cup crumbs.
SUGAR – you can use a granulated sugar substitute like Swerve.
MAKE AHEAD – Cheesecake can be prepped a day in advance. Keep chilled just before serving.
- Serving Size: 1/8th
- Calories: 413
- Sugar: 25
- Sodium: 272
- Fat: 28
- Saturated Fat: 15
- Unsaturated Fat: 9
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 35
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 7
- Cholesterol: 120