Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

The Best Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake. Period.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Are you scrambling to figure out the perfect dessert recipe for your Thanksgiving? Your problem is about to be 100% solved.

Last year was my first Texan Thanksgiving and first holiday with my boyfriend Rob’s family. They make a gigantic feast (feeding 30+ people) full of Thanksgiving favorites and traditional southern treats. I wanted to contribute by using my culinary skills to make a statement. A delicious statement. A statement that can only be made by the best pumpkin dessert I have ever found: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust.

I originally discovered this little slice of heaven through my food loving pal Chris, but it originated in Bon Appétit magazine a few years back. Usually I don’t like to share recipes I didn’t create myself, but there is no way I could top this cheesecake, so why bother? I promise it is the BEST. I’ve been making it for… oh, four years now, and every single person who tries it falls in love. People ask me about my pumpkin cheesecake year-round. Bring it to a holiday party and it will disappear before your eyes. Be warned, though, if you make this once, your friends and family will beg you to make it again and again every year.

And yes, that includes Rob’s mom, who asked me to bring the pumpkin cheesecake to Thanksgiving again this year. Stamp of approval from a Texan mother? Now that’s worth its weight in gold (or cream cheese).

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust

from Bon Appétit / Epicurious

For crust:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 ounces)
1 cup pecans (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For filling:
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For topping:
2 cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; using on/off turns, process to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt; beat just to blend. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight.

Topping:
Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture; fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered around edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour.

Cheesecake can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

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4 comments

  • Elizabeth Barham November 21, 2013  

    The recipe does not talk about a water bath, did you use one when you put it in the oven?

  • Emily November 21, 2013  

    Hi Elizabeth! Actually, I don’t use a water bath at all when I make this cheesecake. Easy-peasy. 🙂

  • EmilyC November 27, 2013  

    I always do something with pumpkin at thanksgiving when we get together. I’m taking the filling here and doing my favorite graham cracker crust. It would be nice to have the hot water bath version of this recipe though. I always do chocolate cheesecake that way.

  • Asaf November 29, 2013  

    I made this two days ago but didnt use the crust or topping, but your filling was so light / creamy and perfect. Just for reference I work around the block from Junior’s cheesecake in NYC and eat it regularly. This stands up quite nicely.

    I did use a water bath for the recipe and it worked perfectly, smooth with no cracks at all, took a little less time to cook though (could have been my oven though).

    All in all it was a success and I really appreciate it.

    Thanks

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