Trick or Cheese(cake)

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The air is starting to cool, pumpkins are sitting on doorsteps, and the many princesses, superheroes, zombies, and ghosts are preparing their costumes for the big day. It is time for Halloween and thinking about this spooky Saturday makes me giddy. Honestly, my porch has been adorned in oversized spiders and skeletons since September! However, there’s one reason in particular that I cannot wait for Halloween night: no tricks here, just my favorite Halloween treat—pumpkin cheesecake.

Are you drooling yet? This glorious combination of cream cheese and pumpkin makes the perfect dessert to carry you from Halloween all the way to Thanksgiving. Try it out yourself.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

Prep Time:
1 hour

Cook Time:
1 hr 40 min

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min



  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cream Cheese Whipped Cream:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • chopped pecans
  • pumpkin candies

Pumpkin Cheesecake:

  • 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


Make the Pie Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper covering the bottom and grease the sides.
  2. In a medium bowl or mixer (I’ll take any excuse to use my stand mixer!), stir together the graham crackers, cinnamon, and brown sugar, based on crust measurements.
  3. Add the melted butter and fold into the graham cracker mixture.
  4. Transfer into the 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch tall walls. Distribute evenly across the pan, then use a spatula or your sparkling clean and sanitized hands to press crumbs into the bottom of your springform pan. Continue to press the graham cracker crust to have it go halfway up the sides of the pan.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temp.
  6. Lower oven temperature to 300˚F and cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil to prepare for the water bath.

Make the Cheesecake:

Cheesecake Ingredients

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, flour, and sugar. Combine ingredients by mixing lightly. Do not over mix the cheesecake ingredients to avoid cracks in the finished cheesecake. Mix just enough to combine the ingredients without over aerating.
  2. Once the cream cheese, flour, and sugar are combined, add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  3. Add the pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla extract into the bowl and mix.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to first crack the egg into a separate small bowl. Continue to beat the mixture slowly.
  5. Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust and spread evenly.
  6. Place the springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil in the springform pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes.
  9. Crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  10. Remove cheesecake from the oven and chill until firm, 5–6 hours or overnight.
  11. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on your favorite fall serving plate!

Make the Whipped Cream:

Cream Cheese Topping

  1. Add the cream cheese to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Pipe the whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake, then finish it off with chopped pecans, candy corn, or peanut butter cups. (Or all of the above!)
  4. Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve to all of your extremely impressed friends. Cheesecake is best when stored well-covered and eaten within 3–4 days (if there are any leftovers at all!)


About the author:Ashlen Lenderman has lived in Austin for two years. She works in education technology sales and enjoys playing guitar and fishing with her husband in her free time.