Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy first day of November. Do you know what that means? Thanksgiving is nearly here!  I love, love Thanksgiving, it is by far my most favorite holiday.

So to share my love of this holiday, I am kicking off a little Thanksgiving recipe series. First up. Dessert. Obviously. 

This is not the first time I have talked about this recipe and it surely will not be my last but this pumpkin cheesecake with toasted marshmallow topping might just be the best Thanksgiving dessert out there.

A couple things to note about this recipe. First, this is a great make ahead recipe (which is perfect for Thanksgiving.) Make the cheesecake crust and filling the day before Thanksgiving. Bake it off completely, let cool, then refrigerate overnight. Just before your guests arrive, make the topping and frost the top of the cheesecake. Also feel free to skip that marshmallow topping or use whipped cream instead. The topping is super fun but it is added work and the cheesecake will still taste delicious without it. 

Another thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn't call for a water bath, like traditional cheesecake recipes - which to be honest is always a pain and ends up spilling all over my floor. The genius of this recipe is the you end up covering the top with the topping (or whipped cream) and it covers up any and all cracks!

Lastly, you can also swap gingersnaps from the crust for graham crackers or even vanilla wafter. 


Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow Topping

For the crust: 

  • 3 cups gingersnaps
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling: 

  • 3-8oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract

For the topping: 

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9” or 9 1/2” springform pan with non-stick spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine the gingersnaps, pecans, and brown sugar until it is the consistency of sand. Add the melted butter and pulse until it is the consistency of wet sand.

Gently transfer the gingersnap mixture into the pan and press onto the bottom to form an even crust. 

Bake crust for 7 to 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool completely. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) make the filling. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, followed by the eggs one at a time and beat to combine. Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Pour filling into cooled pie crust and bake cheesecake for about 60 to 80 minutes or until the cheesecake  is just set in the center and the sides begin to crack. (The center will still jiggle slightly.) Cool completely and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 to 6 hours. 

To make the topping combine the eggs whites and sugar in a large bowl. Set bowl over a double boiler and whisk until the egg mixture is hot to touch. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combine. Remove marshmallow topping from double boiler and spread on top of cheesecake. Using a kitchen torch carefully torch the sides of the topping. Serve immediately. 


Serves 8 to 10