Cheesecake lovers where you at?! I’ve got THE cheesecake you must make this season – (healthier) PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE.
You saw this coming, yes? “This” being another pumpkin recipe.
We’re still in pumpkin mode here, likely through the end of the year. But I couldn’t let this season pass us by without bringing you some seasonal cheesecake.
Cheesecake is one of those classic desserts that I wish I made more often. But it’s so damn time consuming. Okay, I recant – I want you to make this but I’m just being honest, and I want you to be prepared that this recipe will require some planning and time.
It’s not that the labor in and of itself is time consuming, it’s that baking a cheesecake takes planning ahead… Getting the ingredients to room temperature, the almost hour of baking, the hour of cooling, the four hours of chilling in the fridge…
That takes some time.
BUT BUT BUT. I think we can all agree it’s so worth it, right?
When you and your guests bite into the delicious, creamy pumpkin cheesecake, it’s totally worth it.
(Healthier) Pumpkin Cheesecake
I’m talking *healthier* meaning we’re cutting back on some traditional ingredients (i.e. sugar) and lightening things up a tad.
Don’t worry, I really don’t think anyone will even know the difference so it can be our little secret.
what you need
- springform pan
- graham crackers (I used chocolate. See notes in recipe for gluten-free options.)
- unsalted butter
- regular cream cheese
- plain Greek yogurt
- canned pumpkin
- pumpkin spice – you can use store bought or make it using this simple recipe that uses just 4 ingredients!
- flour (1-to-1 gluten flour can be used.)
Key steps for baking the best cheesecake
- 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 combo is a no-go. 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 photos for a baking a cheesecake in a water bath in this post.
Mmm guys. It’s so light and delicious. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill but that just means you can make this recipe ahead of time (a full day in advance if you’d like) and then you’re ready to bring the best part of the meal to the dinner table.
I know I’ve got a lot of gluten-free folk out there so I wanted to make sure you knew this recipe was gluten-free friendly.
- The Crust. I used graham crackers here – Pamela’s has gluten-free options – OR I’ve also made crusts like this with Simple Mills Crunchy Cookies. The pecan and cinnamon would be delicious here, but the chocolate cookies should work too! 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, but you can use regular all-purpose, whole wheat, whole wheat white. I wouldn’t use a grain-free flour here though.
This pumpkin cheesecake is easier than it seems – you just have to be patient.
And your guests will thank you for your patience too 😉
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!
- 1 cup graham cracker* crumbs (about 9 sheets – see notes for gluten-free options)
- 4 TBSP butter
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or full-fat is best)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (white, light brown, coconut works)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
- 2 TBSP flour (whole wheat, 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. 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