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At Home in the LAist Kitchen: Pumpkin Cheesecake

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LAist loves pumpkin pie. We bake it, we buy it, we eat pumpkin pie at every dinner party between Halloween and the end of the year, and even indulge in leftover pie for breakfast. But as much as we love how it tastes, there is such a thing as pumpkin overdose.

So in an effort to avoid that point come the new year when we swear that we will never eat pumpkin pie again, LAist gives you a break at Thanksgiving with a pumpkin cheesecake. It has the same warm spiciness of a pumpkin pie, just with a lot more fat and calories. Oops, did we blog that out loud? A cheesecake is a little more work than the evaporated milk and canned pumpkin that go into a pie, but what else would you be doing the day before Thanksgiving while the turkey's brining?

Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Preheat oven to 350.

Finely grind graham crackers to make 2 cups graham cracker crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 6 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix to moisten crumbs, then spread into bottom and up sides of lightly greased springform pan (ours is 9"). Bake for 15 minutes until slightly darkened. (Note: You can also use the same amount of gingersnap crumbs, just leave out the sugar.)

Beat 3 8 oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add to cream cheese and beat until smooth.

Beat in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 3 large eggs one at a time until smooth. Stir in 1 cup pumpkin puree. Pour the batter into the crumb crust.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 15 minutes until only the center is wiggly. Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. Chilling overnight is best, but we admit to having tasted a slice right out of the oven and it tastes pretty damn good.