Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

A rich pumpkin cheesecake topped with a layer of salted caramel is an awesome take on a Thanksgiving favorite.

  • Author: Renee Rendall
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian



For the crust

  • 9 graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds (3 packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the topping

  • 150 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 9-inch spring form pan and wrap the outside with foil. We're going to put this in a water bath later, so you want to make sure the seam of your pan is sealed up. This would also be a good time to boil a kettle of water.
  2. Give your graham crackers a good smash in the package, then put them in the bowl of your food processor. Add the sugar and spices, then turn on the food processor until you have fine crumbs. You'll know it's ready when the sound changes. If you don't have a food processor, put everything in a zip top bag and smash away with your rolling pin.
  3. Add the melted butter to the food processor and pulse until combined. Or just stir it together in a bowl. Your mixture will look like wet sand.
  4. Pour your graham cracker crumbs into the spring form pan and press them evenly into the bottom with a rubber spatula or your hands. You can work the crumbs up the side if you like. I prefer a flat crust. Whatever you like.
  5. Bake your crust for 15 minutes. It will smell slightly toasty and will be ever so lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

For the filling

  1. First, get yourself a cookie sheet or something large and flat. Lay out a triple layer of paper towels, then scoop out your can of pumpkin puree and spread it across the paper towels in a thin layer. Add another triple layer of paper towels over the top. This will remove some of the moisture from the pumpkin and concentrate the flavor. Just let it hang out while you get on with the rest of the filling.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, spices and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes until it's smooth and light.
  4. Slowly add the sugar mixture with the mixer on medium. After it's all combined, stop and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Normally I'm lazy and skip this step with a lot of recipes, but you really should scrape the bowl for this one.
  5. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix on medium until well combined. Give it another scrape.
  6. Next add your eggs one at a time making sure each is incorporated before adding another. El scraperino. (That's made up Spanish for scrape the sides of your bowl)
  7. Finally add the cream. Once that's mixed in, you can ditch the mixer. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and give everything one final mix with your spatula.
  8. Carefully pour your filling into the springform pan. Place your springform pan into a large roasting pan, if you have one it will fit in. If not, use a large cake pan in the rack under the springform pan in the oven. Place the pans in the oven and ever so carefully pour the water from your recently boiled kettle into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up your springform pan.
  9. Bake for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. The cheesecake will still be a bit wiggly in the middle. Hopefully everything went splendidly and you don't have cracks, but if you do, it's not the end of the world.
  10. Leave the cheesecake in the pan to cool for about an hour. After that you can pull it out of the roasting pan, gently remove the collar, and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack. Then lightly cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably over night.

For the topping

  1. Put sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan and stir gently, then get rid of the spoon. Cook over medium high heat until the sugar turns an amber color. It will start to smell caramelized, aka slightly burned.
  2. Turn heat down to medium low, add cream and salt, and stir carefully. It will seize up for a second, but then mix up just fine. Cook until the sauce thickens. You'll know it's ready when the bubbles start to slow down and become smaller. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. Remove from heat and let the caramel cool for about 20 minutes.
  4. Pour it over the top of your cheesecake. It will slowly spread to cover the top of the cheesecake. You may have to gently coax it into the edges.
  5. Keep the cheesecake in the fridge until you are ready to blow the minds of your friends and family.



  • Pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of all the separate spices if you have it.


Keywords: Caramel, Pumpkin Cheesecake

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