Feast your eyes on this rich pumpkin swirl cheesecake! It’s filled with flavors of the season, including pumpkin pie spice. The cheesecake batter is thick and creamy with a marble effect, so not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s pretty to look at too! Don’t let the swirl throw you off! It may look really fancy, but it’s pretty simple to make.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some type of pumpkin spice dessert. Even though pumpkin pie is usually a staple, I like to switch things up or have a variety and this newest creation -a pumpkin cheesecake – is going to be a hit! I mean you can’t resist silky cream cheese mixed with pumpkin and baked on a buttery graham cracker crust right?
Just so you know, there will be some leftover pumpkin puree, so why not make a batch of pumpkin cinnamon rolls, streusel coffee cake, or a stack of pumpkin flapjacks! For those who would rather drink their pumpkin, whip up a Pumpkin spice latte right at home (much cheaper than Starbucks!). I have a pumpkin soup recipe for my peeps who like savory (or if you need a holiday app).
- Rich, creamy, and full of pumpkin flavor.
- Easy to make.
- Freezes well, so it’s perfect for making ahead of time.
- A delicious way to use up leftover pumpkin puree.
What Ingredients do I Need for this Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Recipe?
Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
- graham cracker crumbs – you’ll pulse the graham cracker sheets in a food processor before getting started.
- granulated sugar
- salted butter
- cream cheese – allow time for the cheese to soften so you don’t end up with lumps. Plus, it’s easier to mix together.
- granulated sugar
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
- whipping cream
- sour cream – let the sour cream come to room temperature as well.
- eggs – sit them out the same time you get out the cream cheese.
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- ground cloves
- ground nutmeg
- pumpkin puree
Pro Tip: Feel free to experiement with different crusts! Crushed gingersnap cookies would pair well with the pumpkin spice flavors in this cheesecake!
How to Make Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
PREP: Grease the springform pan and preheat the oven. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press the mixture firmly in the bottom of the pan.
MAKE THE CHEESECAKE AND PUMPKIN BATTERS: Beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the sugar and continue mixing. Mix in the flour, vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream. Mix in the eggs by hand, one at a time. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture in a small bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree and spices to the remaining batter.
SWIRL THE BATTER: Alternate adding scoops of the plain batter and the pumpkin mixture. Once the pan is filled, use a butter knife to swirl.
BAKE: Wrap the pan in two layers of foil and place it in a larger vessel. Fill with water (about 2 inches deep) to make a water bath. Bake for 50 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the door closed for 20 minutes. Afterwards, crack the door for another 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Then chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.
- Stirring the eggs in by hand helps to reduce the amount of air that goes in the batter. When there’s too much, it causes cracking.
- The water bath helps the cheesecake to bake evenly to get the entire cake to be creamy and keep the same consistency. It also helps to prevent cracking and splitting.
- Make sure the foil is wrapped tight to prevent water from getting into the actual cake.
- You’ll need to use a pan (for the water bath) that can hold at least 1 inch of water.
- I like to use a large ice cream scoop to add the batters.
- If desired pipe the top with whipped cream. Combine heavy whipped cream and powdered sugar together, beat until stiff peaks form. Want to get fancy? Check out my decorating tips and tutorials.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Once it has cooled completely and set, you can wrap it tightly in saran wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before serving.
The center of the cheesecake should be slightly jiggly. It will firm up as it cools and then become firm once it has chilled for several hours in the fridge. This pumpkin swirl cheesecake also deepens in color as it bakes, so look for a change in color. Trust the time and process – baking a cheesecake and following the proper steps to cool it gradually are a labor of love, but the results are delicious.
The swirled effect of this pumpkin cheesecake is pretty, but overall you have the flavor of a traditional pumpkin cheesecake. If you prefer, simply mix the pumpkin puree and spices in with the flour, sour cream, vanilla, and heavy cream. Then stir your eggs in by hand after that. Pour the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust and bake as directed. Everything else stays the same.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup salted butter melted
- 3 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream plus more for topping
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Grease a 9” springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and ⅓ cup granulated sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Press graham cracker mixture into the springform pan, creating a thick, even layer across the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Pack down the crumbs so that the crust holds together. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer (or standing mixer) until light and fluffy.
- Add 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar and continue beating for 1 minute.
- Add flour, vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream. Mix just until combined.
- By hand, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Stir gently to prevent extra air from getting into the mixture.
- Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
- To the remaining cheesecake mixture, gently stir in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix by hand until fully combined.
- Drop the pumpkin cheesecake mixture and the plain cheesecake mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust. Use an ice cream scoop to alternate large scoops of each cheesecake filling in the pan. Use a knife to swirl the two fillings together.
- Wrap the springform pan in TWO LAYERS of aluminum foil (to prevent water from getting in) and place the pan into a larger vessel that can hold water at least 1” up the sides of the pan.
- Fill with water to create a water bath for the cheesecake.
- Bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed for 20 minutes. After this 20 minutes, crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake in place for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Allow to cool the rest of the way and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 additional hours.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or freeze up to 3 months.