singing to the tune of jingle bells Pumpkin spice…Pumpkin spice…oh how I love pumpkin spice! Okay, I realize were almost into peppermint mocha season (not that I’ve already started partaking…) But I couldn’t help but squeeze in a last minute pumpkin recipe; especially given the fact that Thanksgiving is next week.
I love pumpkin pie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic dessert and my husband will tell you the pumpkin is only meant to be in a pie and nothing else. However, when I made this for him he then said “Okay, pumpkin can be in a pie…and a cheesecake.”
That’s right my friends, I give you a gluten free pumpkin cheesecake!
I’m going to be honest with you, I only make this recipe once a year. Why? Because baking a cheesecake is kind of frustrating. If you’ve ever made one you know that they are very temperamental and liable to crack. Also they often require hours of careful cooling in order to try and minimize this.
My mom once asked me why I only make cheesecake once a year and since this year we’re still hanging out at her place until we close on the house (less than a week!), she was able to see the process up close and in person. Suddenly she understood. Making the cheesecake filling…not that hard. Making the crust…Really not that hard. Baking the cheesecake and crossing your fingers that it will look good…hard.
Despite using a water bath I still end up with cracking over and over again. I tell you this now because it’s certainly an option if you want to cook this pumpkin cheesecake in a water bath. I have had at work at least once in the past…
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a less frustrating and still beautiful option just cover the top with a gorgeous layer of Cool Whip! It still looks pretty darn appetizing and no one knows if there’s a crack or two or three…
Cheesecake in general is gluten-free. Occasionally I’ve seen batter recipes call for flour but this pumpkin cheesecake does not. The only real substitution that I had to make was with the graham crackers used on the crust. I have 2 brand recommendations: One is Pamela‘s honey grahams which was that I used in this one or, just a successful, Kinnikinnik’s S’moreables. You should be able to track down one of these two brands in your local grocery store. If not you could easily order a box on Amazon.
The trick with using graham crackers that are gluten free is that you have to adjust the butter ratio. Gluten free products are some times finicky in regards to absorbing fluid. In this recipe I use a smaller amount of butter than what was called for and then I add additional melted butter as needed.
A Semi-Convenient Tip: rather than taking the time to crush the graham crackers and then mixing them in a bowl, toss all of the dry ingredients in the food processor and then slowly add butter to achieve the desired consistency.
After that it’s just a matter of baking, whipping up the filling, pouring it in and then Baking and slowly cooling this bad boy into the fridge. On the bright side it really just require one hour interval checks so this can be going while you’re doing other Thanksgiving prep.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 9" springform pan
- Stand Mixer
- Food processor
For the Crust (where the GF magic happens)
- 1 pkg Gluten Free Graham Crackers
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
For the Filling
- 32 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 55 grams light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 T vanilla extra
- 1.5 T pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with foil or parchment paper.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in your food processor.* Additional melted butter can be added until crumbs can be pressed together but not overly oily. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up side of prepared pan. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes and then cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine cream cheese, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, then pumpkin and heavy cream, mixing until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently as the cream cheese will want to stick. Add in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and mix until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared crust and bake 60 minutes. The edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. Close the oven door, turn the oven off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. After one hour has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- A water bath can be used to try and reduce cracking by cooking the cheesecake in a large pot with boiling water halfway up the sides….or you can top the cheesecake with whipped cream entirely and avoid the cursing. 😉
If you’re interested in more gluten free dessert recipes I recommend signing up to receive my Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe! It’s a perfect cake to serve at any party.