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Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust decorated with torched Swiss meringue.
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Looking for an alternative to a grand tradition of a Pumpkin Pie? We’ve got you! Make a delicious lightly Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust instead. With a buttery ginger biscuit crust, creamy pumpkin-flavoured filling and a deliciously sweet Swiss meringue on top, this Thanksgiving cheesecake is truly irresistible! Simply perfect for the holiday season!

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Pumpkin Pie vs Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin pie is a grand tradition, but… There are a few reasons why we think you should change it up this year and make spiced pumpkin cheesecake instead:

  • Pumpkin cheesecake is a better option if you are catering for celiacs or people who avoid gluten in their diet. Simply substitute regular gingersnap (gingernut) biscuits with a gluten-free version.
  • Lighter and creamier than pumpkin pie, this Thanksgiving cheesecake feels like a less filling option after a big meal.
  • Pumpkin cheesecake (minus the swiss meringue topping) tastes less sweet than traditional pumpkin pie, so you can at least try and pretend that it’s healthier 🙂
  • Do you know one person who doesn’t like a slice of creamy baked cheesecake?
Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake on a white square plate with meringue and flaked almonds on top.

Ingredients and Substitutes

  • gingersnap biscuits: they are also known as gingernut biscuits in the UK. If you don’t enjoy gingersnaps, substitute them with graham crackers.
  • butterunsalted, melted.
  • cream cheesealso known as soft cheese. Choose full-fat cream cheese, like Philadelphia.
  • pureed pumpkin: we used 1/2 a can of Bakeroo pumpkin puree.
  • eggs: 2 whole eggs and 1 egg separated: the yolk will be used in the filling and egg white for the swiss meringue to decorate the top.
  • creme fraiche: or sour cream. You may use heavy cream, but we highly recommend getting sour cream or creme fraiche if you can.
  • caster sugar: caster sugar is finer and dissolves quicker than white granulated sugar, so we always recommend using caster sugar in baking. Some will be used in the cheesecake filling and the rest for the Swiss meringue.
  • spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves. Or you can substitute them with pumpkin spice.
  • vanilla bean paste: or seeds from 1 vanilla pod.
  • flaked almonds: toasted in a dry frying pan, until brown and toasty. 
Labelled Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust on a wooden chopping board.

Method

There are three elements to this delicious pumpkin cheesecake: gingersnap crust, pumpkin filling and swiss meringue topping.

Gingersnap Crust

Preheat the oven to 190°C Fan. Grease an 18cm (7in) springform cake tin with butter and line the bottom with baking parchment. Wrap the springform pan in foil, so that the bottom and 3/4 of the sides of the pan are covered (this will protect the water seeping in from the water bath later). Place the prepared tin onto a baking tray/ roasting pan with high rims.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, or microwave. Place the gingersnap (gingernut) biscuits in a food processor and blitz them into fine crumbs. Mix them with the melted butter in a medium bowl.

Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Take the baked gingersnap crust out of the oven and set it aside. Reduce the temperature to 150°C Fan.

Baked Gingersnap crust in a springform tin wrapped in foil.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat cream cheese, creme fraiche, vanilla and sugar until smooth, for approximately 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and spices and beat for another minute. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as cream cheese tends to stick to them. Finally, add the whole eggs and egg yolk and gently mix them in (don’t beat the eggs to avoid adding too much air that will make your cheesecake crack in the oven).

Two whole eggs and an egg yolk being mixed into the pumpkin cheesecake mixture.

Baking and Cooling the Cheesecake

Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the gingersnap crust. Pour boiling water into the baking tray that the cake tin is placed in, about 1/3 up the sides of the cake tin. Carefully place the tray in the oven and bake cheesecake for approx 45 minutes. Your cheesecake should be set around the edges, but still have a good wobble in the middle. Leave the cheesecake to cool in the switched-off oven for an hour, then open the oven door and leave it for another hour. Continue cooling at room temperature.

When your cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover it and transfer it to the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Making the Swiss Meringue Decoration

If you wish to make the topping, make it once the cheesecake has cooled down, so you can decorate it immediately.

To make the swiss meringue, start by bringing a pan of water to a simmer.

Place the egg white and sugar in a heatproof bowl that sits nicely on top of the pan without the bottom of it touching the water. Whisk the eggs and sugar gently (by hand) until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 80°C (it will take 5-8 minutes approx.).

Remove the bowl from heat and using an electric handheld mixer, beat it into a smooth and glossy meringue.

Whipping Swiss meringue with electric hand held mixer in a metal bowl.

Transfer the meringue into a piping bag and pipe it into rosettes on top of your cheesecake. Scorch the meringue with a kitchen blow torch until browned. Scatter toasted flaked almonds on top and serve.

Tips & Tricks for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust

To make sure you get the creamiest cheesecake, baked to perfection, we have put together a list of tips and tricks on How To Prevent Your Cheesecake From Cracking. In summary:

  • Make sure all the ingredients for the filling are at room temperature.
  • Make sure your pumpkin puree isn’t watery. If you need to, drain it for a few minutes in a muslin cloth before using it to ensure your cheesecake isn’t watery!
  • Once you add the eggs, be gentle and don’t beat the mixture to avoid adding air bubbles.
  • Cook your cheesecake in a water bath to create a steamy humid environment.
  • Don’t overcook: turn the oven off when the middle of the cheesecake is still wobbly.
  • Cool your cheesecake slowly – no drastic temperature changes.

Recipe FAQs

Can Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake Be Made In Advance?

Yes, it actually should be made ahead for the best results! We recommend making the cheesecake about 24 hours before you wish to serve it. Once it’s made and cooled to room temperature, place it in the fridge, well covered, and chill overnight (or for at least 4 hours) before decorating and serving. However, we do recommend taking the cheesecake out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving for the creamiest pumpkin cheesecake texture.

Where To Buy Pumpin Puree in the UK?

Pumpkin puree is not your everyday ingredient in the UK, so you are unlikely to get it in your corner shop or small supermarkets. I typically find tins of pureed pumpkin in the American Food aisle in Sainsbury’s (although I can never find it in Sainsbury’s online grocery shop). Ocado normally sells it too. Alternatively, you can buy a range of pumpkin purees on Amazon or a wonderful international online food shop, called Sous Chef.

How to Tell If Your Cheesecake is Done?

Whilst many advise checking the internal temperature with a kitchen thermometer (it should read 65C), not only does it leave a hole in your cheesecake, but it actually makes your cheesecake more likely to crack. I suggest giving your pumpkin cheesecake a gentle shake. The middle of it should have a good wobble (about 6-7cm in the centre) but the edges should be fully set. Your cheesecake SHOULD look underbaked when you turn the oven off. The middle will carry on cooking in the residual heat, as I like to cool my cheesecakes very slowly (an hour in the turned-off oven, another hour in the open oven, then room temperature and finally in the fridge).

Cutting a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.

Toppings for Thanksgiving Cheesecake

We opted for a swiss meringue topping on this occasion. It is convenient, as we already have an egg white leftover from the pumpkin cheesecake filling. We also love scattering some toasted flaked almonds on top to mirror the flavours of the almond from the crust.

However, swiss meringue and almonds are not the only toppings that you can make to give this delicious spiced pumpkin cheesecake a festive feel. Here are some of our favourite things that go well with pumpkin cheesecake:

How To Store Pumpkin Cheesecake?

Our Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake should be stored in the fridge. Make sure you cover the cheesecake to avoid it from becoming dry and forming a crust. If you decorate your cheesecake, and cannot cover it with foil or cling film, use a large bowl to put it over the top.

This pumpkin cheesecake will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re not planning on finishing the whole cheesecake within 5 days, freeze it! Slice the cheesecake into portions and place it in a freezer for an hour arranged on a flat board. Once solid, wrap each slice individually in clingfilm and place it in an airtight container. Thaw thoroughly before serving.

Other Festive Cakes and Desserts

If you are looking for other ideas for the festive period, have a look at our favourite bakes:

Recipe Card

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust decorated with torched Swiss meringue.

Irresistible Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust

Looking for an alternative to a grand tradition of a Pumpkin Pie? We've got you! Make a delicious lightly spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust instead. With a buttery ginger biscuit, creamy pumpkin flavoured filling and a deliciously sweet Swiss meringue on top, this Thanksgiving cheesecake is truly irresistable!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Cooling Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 portions
Calories 468 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For Gingersnap Crust:

  • 150 g gingersnap (gingernut) biscuits
  • 50 g butter unsalted

For Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  • 400 g cream cheese full-fat, at room temperature
  • 200 g pureed pumpkin half a tin
  • 2 eggs medium, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75 g creme fraiche at room temperature
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For Topping (Optional):

Instructions
 

Make Gingersnap Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C Fan. Grease an 18cm (7in) springform cake tin with butter and line the bottom with baking parchment. Wrap the tin in foil, so that the bottom and 3/4 of the sides are covered (this will prevent the water seeping in from the water bath later). Place the prepared tin onto a baking tray with high rims.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan, or microwave. Place the gingersnap (gingernut) biscuits in a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Mix them with the melted butter.
  • Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a tin and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Take the baked gingersnap crust out of the oven and set aside. Reduce the temperature to 150°C Fan.

Make Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  • In a large bowl, using an electric handheld mixer, beat cream cheese, creme fraiche, vanilla and sugar until smooth, for approximately 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and spices and beat for another minute. Finally, add the whole eggs and egg yolk and gently mix them in (don't beat the eggs to avoid creating air bubbles that will make your cheesecake crack in the oven).
  • Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling on top of the gingersnap crust. Pour hot water into the baking tray about 1/3 up the sides of the cake tin. Carefully place the tray with the cheesecake in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes. Your cheesecake should be set around the edges, but still have a good wobble in the middle. Leave the cheesecake to cool in the switched-off oven for an hour, then open the door and leave it for another hour. Continue cooling at room temperature.
  • When your cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover and transfer to the frdige for at least 4 hours.

Swiss Meringue Topping:

  • If you wish to make the topping, make it once the cheesecake has cooled down, so you can decorate immediately.
  • To make the swiss meringue, start by bringing a pan of water to a simmer.
  • Place the egg white and sugar in a heatproof bowl that sits nicely on top of the pan without the bottom of it touching the water. Whisk the eggs and sugar gently (by hand) until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 80°C (it will take 5-8 minutes approx.).
  • Remove the bowl from heat and using an electric handheld mixer, beat it into a smooth and glossy meringue.
  • Transfer the meringue into a piping bag and pipe it into rosettes on top of your cheesecake. Scorch the meringue with a kitchen blow torch until browned. Scatter toasted ground almonds on top and serve.

Notes

Inspired by Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 8gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 335mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 2gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 5005IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Gingernut Crust, Gingersnap Crust, Gingersnap Crust Cheesecake, Philadelphia Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust, Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake, Thanksgiving Cheesecake
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