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"Pumpkin Pie" Cheesecake


Our "pumpkin pie" cheesecake is rich with cream cheese and sour cream over a cookie crust. But its highlights are whorls of butternut squash puree (milder and a hint sweeter than standard pumpkin filling).

  • Servings: 14

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2006


For the Filling

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • Unsalted butter, for parchment and pan
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs

For the Crust

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the filling: Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds, and reserve for another use. Place squash, cut sides down, on a baking sheet lined with buttered parchment paper. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let cool.

  2. Make the crust: Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until dough comes together. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle, a scant 1/4 inch thick. Fit into bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Freeze 15 minutes. Bake until crust is firm and pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

  4. Scoop squash flesh into the bowl of a food processor; process until pureed. Transfer 1 cup puree to a medium bowl; reserve remainder for another use. Stir in cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.

  5. Wrap exterior of springform pan (including base) in 2 layers of foil. Butter sides of pan; set aside. Put cream cheese into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and flour, mixing until smooth. Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, until just combined; do not overmix.

  6. Stir 2 cups cream cheese mixture into squash mixture; set aside. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture into prepared pan on top of the crust. Drop dollops of squash-cream cheese mixture on top. Gently swirl with a butter knife.

  7. Set pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven. Carefully pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake. Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 50 to 60 minutes. Turn off oven; let stand in oven with door slightly ajar 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Run a knife around sides of cake; unmold.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Lizzy91
    15 JUL, 2009
    I've made this recipe twice with pumpkin pie filling and graham cracker crust, and I've made it once as a regular cheesecake. Both are delicious. However, I have to say my favorite variation is blackberry cheesecake, which I decided to experiment with last summer. I puree blackberries in the blender and use that in place of pumpkin pie filling, and drop 10-20 small berries into the cake, about halfway down to the crust. It turns out a beautiful color, and is a great summer cheesecake.
  • GinaEM12
    28 NOV, 2008
    I followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out absolutely delicious. The butternut squash concoction tasted just like "pumpkin pie" which led me to believe I put more work into this cheesecake than I needed to; Pumpkin puree would have been fine. The cookie style crust rocked!
  • GreenlikeaBean
    21 NOV, 2008
    Thank you Kelli for the comment! Elvira-When using canned pumpkin, simply use 1 cup of puree as stated in the orig. recipe. Also the 1 egg yolk, cup of flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and 6 tbsp butter, and vanilla goes to the crust if you choose to make it cookie style. If you use the gingersnap version, omit these ingredients in the filling. If anyone else has questions, e-mail me:
  • GreenlikeaBean
    21 NOV, 2008
    Here is my version: -12 oz. gingersnaps (or any variety you'd like or a combination of gingersnap, graham crackers, Windmill, or bulk cookies that you'd find in supermarkets), finely ground in a food processor -1 stick melted butter (may need to add more if need be) -1 tsp salt -Cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger to taste...experiment! Combine all ingredients and press firmly into 10 in. springpan. Prebake in a 350* oven for 12-14 minutes, remove,
  • GreenlikeaBean
    21 NOV, 2008
    Wendi-I'm glad you're interested in the gingersnap crust, it makes for such a sultry contrast to the sweet filling! Personally, I like a thicker crust because this cheesecake is quite large. Also, with this crust, I work as I go and adjust the ratio of ingredients accordingly. Play around with dashes of spices and salt until you're ready to pop it in the oven!
  • Elvira_Miranda
    2 NOV, 2008
    There is no pumpkin in the ingredients which is odd to me since it is called PUMPKIN PIE Cheesecake. Does anyone know how interchangeable butternut squash and pumpkin are?
  • wendilynne
    21 OCT, 2008
    I would love to make this for Thanksgiving-but am also confused by the measurements. Can anyone help me figure it out? Also, how did you make that delicious ginger crust Greenlikebean? It sounds so good.
  • Kelli_Robinson
    13 OCT, 2008
    Your comment was so cute (GreenlikeaBean). Cracked me up. I'm off to go make this now. I'm using canned pumpkin too. Just easier.
  • GreenlikeaBean
    23 NOV, 2007
    The previous commenter is absolutely right, the recipe should specify which ingredients are to be used for the cheesecake and the crust. Luckily, I had enough common sense to decipher what amounts belonged to each portion. Instead of the recommended cookie crust, I made a spicy ginger snap crust that was out of this world! Also, instead of using a pureed butternut squash, I used 1 cup of Libby's pumpkin and it was AMAZING! The whorls of orange looked like a galaxy of splendor.
  • desiraesharee
    22 NOV, 2007
    the recipe sounds delicious, but when i started to put everything together i noticed that the directions arent quiet specific as they should be.. if you look at the Ingredients section it says sugar and vanilla twice but different measurements!!! how do i know which is for crust and which is for the cheesecake itself?!