Introduction: Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake
In this instructable I will show you how to make pumpkin cheesecake. This easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe winds up tasting like a cross between pumpkin pie and classic cheesecake. The best of both worlds! This is a perfect dessert for the holidays. If I can make it you can make it, let's get baking!
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Follow the easy steps or watch the video tutorial or do both!
Step 1: Ingredients/Tools
- 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham crackers) (125 g)
- 1 Tbsp. of white granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (melted) (90g)
- 3 (8oz) packages of softened room temp cream cheese (678g)
- 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (285g)
- 15 oz can of pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie mix (425g)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream (57.5g)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (16g)
- 2 tsp. of pumpkin spice (3.5g)
- 1/4 tsp. of salt (1g)
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (15ml)
Step 2: Make Graham Cracker Crumbs
First let's preheat our oven to 350 degrees F. (176C). Then let's add our graham crackers or you could use the hard ginger snaps to a food processor. We are wanting about 1 and 1/2 cups worth of crumbs. If you don't have a food processor you can use a big ziplock bag and pound the crackers with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
Step 3: Make Crust
Now let's add our crumbs to a large bowl, then add our melted butter and sugar. Then mix it all together until it resembles wet sand.
Step 4: Shape and Bake
Then place the crumbs in a 9" springform pan. Using a spoon push down the crumbs and make it nice and flat, go up the sides a little bit. You can use your spoon or your fingers at the corners and up the sides. Then bake it in the oven, middle rack, for 8 minutes. Once done, take it out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature, while you make the filling.
***I don't always spray my pan first with cooking spray, but it usually is a good idea to.
Step 5: Cream That Cheese
Next let's cream together the softened cream cheese and the packed brown sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. This also makes an excellent frosting! :) Just don't be tempted to eat too much of it. haha
Step 6: Mix Rest of Ingredients
Now in another bowl let's add the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, sour cream, salt, and pumpkin spice, then use a spoon to mix to get the large clumps out. Then follow that up with a whisk, until combine. Don't over mix it, we don't want to add too much air to the eggs, it could lend to cracks later on in our cheesecake. Let's be honest though cracks are not the end of the world!
Step 7: Add, Mix, and Smooth
Now we add our pumpkin mix to our cream cheese mix and combine the two with our electric mixer on low or use your whisk. Again we don't want to over mix, just mix until it is all combined. Now add that to your crust. Use a spatula to smooth out the top.
Step 8: Bake, Bath, and Beyond
Normally what you would do is before adding your filling, you would take some aluminum foil and cover the bottom of your springform pan and go up the sides. Then after adding the filling you would add the unbaked cheesecake to a large roasting pan and then add hot/boiling water to the pan to create a bath for the cheesecake. Then you would add to the oven. Instead I am going to just place a 13x9 inch pan with the hot water in it under on the bottom rack, which will essentially do the same thing. We really want the cheesecake to bake as evenly as possible, and the steam from the water helps do this, which ideally helps to prevent cracks from happening. Bake your cheesecake for about 45 minutes at 325 F (162), then turn the heat down to 300 and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes. You want there to be a slight jiggle in the center of the cheesecake with the rest of it set. After which you will turn the heat off and crack open the door with a wooden spoon, and let the cheesecake cool to room temp slowly, another process that helps prevent cracking. You still might get cracks, it won't effect the taste, and if you wind up covering the top with whipped cream, or a sour cream frosting or something, no one will ever know. :) After your cheesecake has completely cooled, place some plastic wrap over it and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving, over night is probably better, but not necessary.
Step 9: Serve That Cheesecake
To serve, remove your plastic wrap, take a knife or straight blunt metal spatula and move it around the edge, to help loosen it up. Then unlatch your springform pan and pull it up. Then take a glass full of hot water, dip your knife in it, then wipe the knife off with a towel, then make your first cut, then dip back in the water, dry it, then cut, etc. This makes sure you get a nice clean cut each time, without cheesecake sticking to it. Add some whipped cream, and sprinkle on some pumpkin spice and you are ready to go! Maybe even add some caramel or chocolate sauce too! Enjoy!
Step 10: Video Tutorial
Now check out those steps in action by watching the video tutorial! :)