This Baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake has a creamy, rich spiced pumpkin cheesecake filling on top of a ginger cookie crust, served with caramel.
This recipe is actually my first foray into the realm of pumpkin spice. I’ve never made anything pumpkin spice before, and I’ve never tried it either.
But I felt like I had to give it a go to see what all the hype is around pumpkin spice. I know there’s a huge love for it across the pond in the United States. But it’s never quite been as big of a thing over here in the UK.
Honestly, I just needed to know what I was missing out on. To cut a long story short, this Baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake has most definitely secured a firm spot as one of my favourite cheesecakes.
Baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
This is a deeply spiced, warm, sweet cheesecake that makes for a perfect autumnal/fall dessert. It all starts off with a buttery ginger cookie base, which adds a layer of warmth and comfort.
And then the cheesecake layer is filled with pumpkin and an array of spices that are surprisingly not too dissimilar from chai spices. As a huge chai drinker, this probably explains why I love this cheesecake.
We’re then finishing this cheesecake off with a little bit of whipped cream and caramel. It’s honestly so good.
What does pumpkin taste like?
Pumpkin alone is quite sweet and earthy. I would say it’s quite similar to butternut squash with some similarities to sweet potato and even roasted chestnuts.
Once cooked, pumpkin tends to have a soft, smooth, starchy texture. Roasting it really helps to highlight its nutty flavour more.
The natural sweetness of the pumpkin works well with spices and aromatics. Which makes it great for both sweet and savoury dishes.
What is pumpkin spice?
Pumpkin spice blends are a mixture of warming spices used in certain pumpkin dishes, like pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice drinks, and this pumpkin spice cheesecake. The spice mix itself doesn’t actually contain any pumpkin.
The blend usually consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. A few variations exist based on personal preference though. It’s actually fairly similar to the spices used in making chai (Indian tea).
What does pumpkin spice taste like?
It’s sweet from the pumpkin and warm from the spices. It’s not spicy to the point where it’s hot or going to make you cough. But it’s soothing, warm, and comforting.
Masala chai would honestly be the closest comparison (minus the tea flavour of course). But the level of sweetness and warmth are comparable.
Baked cheesecakes are the BEST type of cheesecakes
Both types of cheesecakes are silky and smooth but the baked variety are a bit more ‘set’ than their non-baked counterpart. And in my opinion this produces a far superior texture.
The texture of a non-baked cheesecake could be compared to a mousse or a light cream cheese. Whilst the baked varieties are firmer, fluffier, and produce a totally melt-in-the-mouth experience.
This recipe is an EGGLESS baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
Traditional baked cheesecakes usually rely on eggs to provide extra richness and help with setting. There are no eggs in this recipe (which is my personal diet) and hence we’ll be using starch to set this cheesecake.
In particular we’ll be using cornflour/corn starch. Just to clarify this is sold as cornflour in the UK but corn starch in the US.
We’ll also be using evaporated milk which helps achieve the most silky smooth texture and an amazing pronounced dairy flavour, which works really well here!
If you’d like to try some of my other eggless baked cheesecakes
There are 4 layers to this Baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
- Ginger biscuit base – a buttery ginger biscuit base goes perfectly here. The ginger complements the pumpkin spice and adds even more warmth
- Pumpkin spice cheesecake filling – a rich and creamy filling infused with pumpkin puree and traditional pumpkin pie spices
- Whipped cream – just a little bit of whipped cream to go on top for creaminess
- Salted caramel – a small amount of salted caramel drizzled on top adds a final layer of flavour. And the the salt also helps balance the sweetness and spices. I recommend serving each slice with an extra drizzle of caramel too!
Let’s talk about some of the ingredients
I’ll cover the main ones below but the full recipe can be found at the end
- Cream cheese – you’ll need full fat cream cheese for this recipe. This is a soft cheese made from cream or a mixture of milk and cream
- Pumpkin puree – I’ve used tinned/canned pumpkin puree here (100% pumpkin). You could make your own if you wanted to. The best way to do this would be to cut open a sugar pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, and then roast till knife tender. Blend the pumpkin flesh into a puree
- Dark brown sugar – dark brown sugar is sugar that has had molasses added to it. It’s slightly sticky with a deep caramelised flavour that works with the spices really well
- Evaporated milk – you’ll want to use a tin of evaporated milk here, this is milk that has been heated to reduce the water content. It adds richness, creaminess, and a pronounced dairy flavour
- Allspice – Allspice is the dried, un-ripened berry of the myrtle pepper tree/pimento. It originates from Jamaica and Central America. It’s often mistaken for being a spice mix however it is just a single spice with the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
- Cornflour – this is a starch that is used to thicken and set the cheesecake. It is sold as cornflour in the UK but corn starch in the US
KEY TIPS to getting this recipe right
- Bake in a water bath – this will prevent cracks and a crust from forming on top of the cheesecake. The water bath also allows cheesecakes to develop a creamier texture as it helps to prevent over baking
- Chill the cheesecake completely – the longest part of this recipe is chilling the cheesecake. When it comes out of the oven, it’s not fully baked. It finishes baking and setting as it cools. The cheesecake then needs to be chilled in the fridge for at least 6 hours to firm up and develop the right texture
How to make this Baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
Let’s start with the ginger biscuit cheesecake base
1) Start by placing the ginger biscuits into a ziploc bag or a food processor
2) Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin or blitz if using a food processor into fine crumbs
3) Transfer the crushed biscuits to a mixing bowl and pour over melted butter
4) Give the crushed biscuits and butter a good mix until the crumbs are evenly coated and have a slight ‘wet’ appearance
5+6) Pour the biscuit mixture into an 8″ springform pan and flatten it out using any object with a flat base. A bowl or cup works great for this
7) Place the biscuit base into the oven and bake for around 10 minutes to allow it to set
8) Then place the tin on a wire rack to cool completely
Let’s make the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake filling next
1) Start by placing the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, vanilla, and salt into a mixing bowl
2) Sift in the cornflour (this is cornflour for UK readers and corn starch for US readers)
3) Whisk everything together until totally smooth
4) Then add in the evaporated milk
5) Whisk everything together once again until smooth. I’d recommend just mixing this briefly before turning on the whisk otherwise it may splatter a bit
6) Pour the cheesecake batter into the tin over the biscuit base. As you may notice, the tin has already been lined on the outside with around 5 layers of foil to prevent water from seeping in. I’ve then placed the cheesecake tin into a larger oven tray
7) Pour around an inch of boiling water into the larger tray – this will act as a water bath
8) Place the cheesecake into the oven and bake (temperature and time stated in the recipe below)
9) Once baked, it will still have a slight jiggle to it, as it will set further as it cools. Overbaking can create a dense and dry cheesecake
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the tray of water with the foil still on for 60 minutes. Then discard the foil and remove the tray of water, and place the springform pan on the wire rack to cool completely
10) Once cooled completely, I recommend a further refrigeration of at least 6 hours for the cheesecake to set completely. I like to place a paper towel on top followed by some clingfilm. This will catch any condensation and prevent it from dripping on to the cheesecake
11) Once chilled, it will have set up and is now ready to be removed from the springform pan
12) Slide a hot knife (either heat with hot water or a blowtorch) around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen from the tin
13) And you’ll end up with a perfectly baked pumpkin spice cheesecake
Finally, let’s make a quick caramel sauce
1) Place the sugar into a saucepan and melt over a low heat. You can use a spatula to move the sugar around to ensure it melts evenly but don’t use a metal spoon as this will cause the sugar to crystalise. Once melted, increase the heat to medium until the sugar has turned a deep amber colour
2) Then turn back down to a low heat and add in butter
3) Also add in the cream whilst mixing continuously. Don’t worry if the caramel seizes and forms a few lumps, if this happens simply place a lid over the saucepan for 2-3 minutes then mix with a whisk. If lumps still remain, cover once again and repeat
4) Finish the caramel with some vanilla and a touch of salt
5) It should be perfectly creamy and saucy
6) Finish the pumpkin spice cheesecake with some whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and some crushed ginger biscuits
Frequently asked questions
Can this Baked Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake be made vegan?
I haven’t tried myself unfortunately so I can’t make any guarantees. Vegan cream cheese can be temperamental when exposed to heat. If there is a brand that you’ve tried and tested in the past that has fared well with baked cheesecakes, I would go with that.
Any vegan evaporated milk will work in lieu of the dairy based one. There are coconut evaporated milks available. And vegan butter will work as a replacement for dairy butter.
How long can this cheesecake be kept? What’s the best way to store it?
This cheesecake can be kept for 5-7 days refrigerated. I recommend placing it in an airtight container and keeping it in the fridge. It can be eaten straight from the fridge, or allowed to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before consuming.
If you enjoyed this recipe
Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.
Until then, happy baking!
For the cheesecake:
- 250g ginger biscuits
- 75g unsalted butter, melted
- 600g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 425g pumpkin puree
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 1+1/2tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ground ginger
- 1/4tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4tsp ground cloves
- 1/4tsp all spice
- 2tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- Pinch of salt
- 50g cornflour (this is cornflour for UK readers and corn starch for US readers)
- 400ml evaporated milk
For the caramel sauce:
- 50g white sugar
- 15g unsalted butter
- 150ml double cream/heavy cream
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- Pinch of salt
For the whipped cream:
- 150ml double cream/heavy cream
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- 1 ginger biscuit, crushed
For the cheesecake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 150'C fan/170'C conventional - 300'F/340'F
- Start by placing the ginger biscuits into a ziploc bag or a food processor. Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin or blitz if using a food processor into fine crumbs
- Transfer the crushed biscuits to a mixing bowl and then pour over the melted butter. Give the crushed biscuits and butter a good mix until the crumbs are evenly coated and have a slight 'wet' appearance
- Transfer the biscuit and butter mixture to an 8" springform pan and compress into a flat layer using any flat-based object. A cup or bowl would work well for this
- Place the biscuit base into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely
- To make the pumpkin spice cheesecake filling, place the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, vanilla, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sift in the cornflour/corn starch and then whisk everything together until smooth and combined
- Next, pour in the evaporated milk and whisk once more until completely incorporated
- As we're baking this cheesecake in a water bath, it's important to seal the outside of the springform pan to prevent water from seeping in. Cut a fairly large square of foil (enough to cover the base and sides of the pan), and place the springform pan in the centre of it. Press the foil up the sides of the springform pan all the way to the edge
- Repeat this with another 4 sheets of foil. I always use extra just for good measure and security. I recommend using heavy duty foil for this
- Then, place the foil lined springform pan into a large, deep oven tray/roasting tray
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan over the ginger biscuit base. Then pour boiling water into the larger tray taking care not to spill any on to the cheesecake itself. Pour around 1 inch worth of boiling water
- Place into a preheated 150'C fan/170'C conventional - 300'F/340'F for 70 minutes. The cheesecake should be golden brown on the surface and should give a very slight jiggle in the centre when the tin is lightly nudged
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place the entire tray on to a wire rack. Allow the cheesecake tin to sit in the tray of water with the foil still on for 60 minutes. This allows it to gradually cool down and prevent cracks forming
- Then remove the springform pan from the tray of water and discard the foil. Place the springform pan back on to the wire rack and allow the cheesecake to cool completely
- Once cooled, I recommend refrigerating the cheesecake for 6 hours to chill and set completely. I like to place a paper towel over the tin followed by a layer of clingfilm, held in place with an elastic band. This will help to catch any condensation that may form in the fridge
- Once chilled, use a hot knife to slide around the outside of the cheesecake. The knife can be heated by leaving it in hot water for a minute and then wiping dry, or heating with a blowtorch. Then the pan can be unclipped with ease
For the caramel sauce:
- Place the sugar into a saucepan and melt over a low heat. You can use a spatula to move the sugar around to ensure it melts evenly but don't use a metal spoon as this will cause the sugar to crystalise. Once melted, increase the heat to medium until the sugar has turned a deep amber colour
- Once the caramelised sugar is amber in colour, turn back down to a low heat and add in the butter. Briefly mix to incorporate
- Next, pour in the cream whilst mixing continuously. Don't worry if the caramel seizes and forms a few lumps, if this happens simply place a lid over the saucepan for 2-3 minutes then mix with a whisk. If lumps still remain, cover once again and repeat
- Once the sauce is smooth, glossy, and of a pourable consistency, turn the heat off and finish the caramel with vanilla and a touch of salt
For the whipped cream:
- Whisk the cream and sugar to medium peaks. The cream will hold its shape but still be soft at this stage. Whisking to stiff peaks will risk the cream splitting and becoming grainy, so don't over whisk here. I prefer to do this with a hand whisk instead of an electric whisk and it reduces the chances of over whisking
- Place the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake and spread out over the centre. I like to keep this rough and messy for a textured look
- Drizzle over the cooled caramel sauce
- Finish with a crushed ginger biscuit sprinkled over the top
- Serve with more caramel drizzled on each slice
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 535Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 23gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 111mgSodium 337mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 2gSugar 25gProtein 8g
This is an automated calculation and hence may not be entirely accurate.