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Pumpkin Cheesecake

To prevent the top from cracking, be careful not to overmix the batter, and do not open the oven door while the cake is baking or cooling inside the oven.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12
Pumpkin Cheesecake

Photography: Mikkel Vang

Source: Everyday Food, November 2004

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.

  2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.

  4. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).

  5. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Unmold before serving.

Cook's Note

To make the crumbs for the crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Or, if you prefer, substitute the same amount of packaged graham-cracker crumbs.

Reviews (81)

  • nugafuka 19 Nov, 2014

    I made this delicious pie last week, it turned out perfect! I did everything Martha did, except I wrapped springform pan with foil and placed in water bath. I also increased the cooking time to 47 minutes. I did keep turning the light on and looking every so often. One thing I think is very important is for the oven to be preheated to 350 degrees, then turned down to 300 when you place the pie in.

  • Nicole Zelyez 16 Nov, 2014

    Does anyone have advice on baking this cheesecake at high-altitude?

  • ChloeH 26 Nov, 2014

    I am at just over 7 thousand feet elevation where I live & this turned out absolutely perfect with no adjustment! I made it last year for the first time & it was quickly requested to be an annual Thanksgiving dessert :)

  • lovetogab1 9 Nov, 2014

    Made this yesterday. Read over other people's comments. I adjusted baking time...increased to 1 hour because of other people saying that 45 min it still wasnt cooked in middle.

    Mine still wasnt done. Didnt hold together when removed from pan. Crust was very thin almost nonexistent. I have a new oven temp is dead on accurate.
    I would either bake at higher temp for an hour or bake atleast 1 1/2 hours next time. Also I would double the crust.
    The flavor was excellent! !!!

  • Nicolepage5 13 Oct, 2014

    My cheesecake turned out amazing! I took some of the batter and mixed it with a bit of melted chocolate and made a pumpkin swirl cheesecake with chocolate cookie crust. OMG!

  • BrachaSarah 7 May, 2014

    We low carb as much as possible and instead of the graham cracker crust, we made it out of a package of Sugar Free Murrays Shortbread cookies which additionally are kosher. You still crush the cookies as usual and use melted butter to form a crust.

    I have another marvelous lemon cheesecake recipe and just happened to see a can of pumpkin while dreaming of how to make a different cheesecake, thanks Martha, Bracha Sarah

  • Deborah Draper 30 Nov, 2013

    So delicious and creamy! Made it for our Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. Followed the recipe and it turned out amazing, just like the picture. I topped with cranberries gelee.

  • kandersson73 27 Nov, 2013

    This cheesecake is amazingly delicious!! I had a problem though with it being runny in the middle with only 45 minutes baking time. I left it in the oven (turned off) according to the recipe for 2 hrs, and it didn't set. I ended up turning the oven back on and baking it for another 20 minutes. The result was a little overbaked in my opinion, but my guests loved it. Has anyone else had the same happen? I am making it for Thanksgiving dinner and will bake it this time for an hour.

  • djagroop 6 Oct, 2013

    I made this recipe tonight exactly as it says, and this cheesecake came out just beautiful! Thank you Martha for the first class recipe. I didn't need a bain marie for this cheesecake. There was no cracking! Just don't over mix and definitely do not open that oven.

  • TiffanyRawlings 13 Sep, 2013

    This is a question rather than a review...
    Has anyone ever tried to make a lactose free cheese cake?? As lactose free cream cheese product and lactose free sour cream are expensive, I would like some feedback before attempting a conversion of this recipe.

  • Tricia Silva 23 Nov, 2012

    I love this recipe so much. This is my favorite cheesecake to make. I've made it so many times. The easiest one too and oh so delicious. I'm making it right now for my Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

  • JaneRW 20 Nov, 2012

    a bain marie is important. i continued to cook mine for another 25min (at 300). no cracks even though i had to peek. i havent cut it yet but it looked fine when i turned off the oven (jello jiggle in center 4" diamater, solid perimeter of about 2)". now after the 2h cooling it looks quite good and solid. but i did have to cook it a lot longer. also, on TV, martha painted butter in her springform, but the recipe says nothing.

  • Bertalyn 24 Dec, 2011

    OMgosh! I've always heard it's difficult to make a cheesecake, however, I made this one on Thanksgiving. It turned out beautiful; even my sis in law (who doesn't like pumpkin) couldn't get over how wonderful it was. Merry Christmas Ms. Stewart - I'm making another this evening!

  • Bertalyn 24 Dec, 2011

    OMgosh! I've always heard it's difficult to make a cheesecake, however, I made this one on Thanksgiving. It turned out beautiful; even my sis in law (who doesn't like pumpkin) couldn't get over how wonderful it was. Merry Christmas Ms. Stewart - I'm making another this evening!

  • JMCahn 28 Nov, 2011

    I made this pumpkin cheesecake for the 1st time this T-Day and I will be baking this cheesecake EVERY YEAR! It was just THAT GOOD!

  • katheryn1107 24 Nov, 2011

    I added double on the spices which I think it needs. Yum yum is all I can say.

  • campmom11 23 Nov, 2011

    I just made this pumpkin cheesecake recipe for the first time this Thanksgiving! So happy and thanks. It is great and simple,
    wonderful and tasty!

  • ironqueen4 7 Nov, 2011

    The cheesecake tasted great. The only problem I had was that in the very center...it was not set up fully. I followed the direction to a "T". Everyone loved it though!

  • fullmoon88 30 Sep, 2011

    The cheesecake turned out great. Thank you, Martha!

  • sugarlover28 18 Sep, 2011

    I made this for thanksgiving last year and everyone loved it its easy to make and the ingredients aren't hard to find. I recommend this to everybody.

  • CTX123 29 Dec, 2010

    To follow - using a water bathh and wrapping the springform pan with tinfoil to avoid water leaks will help avoid cracking. And don't open that oven!!! :)

  • CTX123 25 Dec, 2010

    First off - as a Martha Stewart recipe I cannot believe Bain Marie was not mentioned AT ALL. Shame on you Martha. Here's the deal - all ingredients should be at room temp. Don't use a mixer any further than the cream cheese and sugar. All subsequent mixings should be *by hand*. And do not over mix.
    Now - to avoid cracks, you need to bake a cheesecake in a bain marie, which is basically a water bath. You need to bake the cake in a separate pan/dish with a small (1/2 - 1") of water in it.

  • cholub 12 Dec, 2010

    I just made this and when I took it out of the oven after the two hour wait it was wobbly in the middle I did a knife check to see if it was done and it was not, the middle was runny :(. Putting it back in the oven to see if it will help.

  • jeweledangel 29 Nov, 2010

    A BIG hit at Thanksgiving, especially the crust! I used 1.5 cups of ginger snap cookies. I successfully cooked and cooled the cheesecake without any cracks, however, after refrigeration a few appeared. I recommend not wrapping it in the fridge to avoid condensation and letting it cool completely (for 4-6 hours after the 2 hours in the oven). For a quick tip on repairing cracks, I found this video useful and it worked! http://www.ehow.com/video_2332642_repairing-cracks-cheesecake.html

  • MegnJab 29 Nov, 2010

    This cheesecake is delicious!! I was told is was the creamiest, most delicious cheesecake ever and that it should have won a prize!! Thank goodness Christmas is around the corner; I will definately make this again :D Also I would make sure you let it cool completely before sticking it in the fridge or the crust and top could get soggy.

  • Melbs9 26 Nov, 2010

    I made this as a compromise to my new husband, as my family does not like pumpkin pie. It was a big hit. I had just a couple of issues. I made sure not to overwork the batter, and the cake was perfect when I took it out of the oven. However, it cracked after it was in the fridge for a couple of hours. I put it into the fridge immediately after I took it out of the oven, and since it was still warm, this created condensation on the plastic wrap, which dripped down and mottled the coloring.

  • jagoda08 25 Nov, 2010

    WOW! I love to bake and I thought this would be the perfect thing to bring to my boyfriend's parents house. I was right, it was the best cheesecake i've ever had and everyone said the same. I followed the recipe exactly as it said, DELICIOUS!

  • LeslieaZ 25 Nov, 2010

    Oh my Gosh! this is a keeper!!! I didn't have a spring form pan, so i just used a regular pie plate. I followed the directions to the letter and It was a huge hit!. I will make this one again.

  • peasmkaeufat 25 Nov, 2010

    i just made this and did everything exactly as it said, including the baking time. but after the two hours of leaving it in the oven to cool, i took it out to find that it was jelloid in the middle when i wiggled it a bit. put a knife through the middle and it was completely runny. im attempting to put it back in the oven and baking it a while longer. hopefully this will fix it and NOT ruin it. any suggestions for next time?

  • Jackie1984 19 Oct, 2009

    I only have either an 8 1/2 or 9 1/2 springform pan to use. Any issues with using a 9 /12 pan? It will probably not be as thick, right?

  • rsvoboda 26 Feb, 2009

    Save this one to your favorite list because it is good! I made the crust with Ginger snaps, it was an instant hit! This recipe made me a ROCKSTAR, not a single crack was made on the top.

    Martha, thanks for the recipe...see you in St. Louis!

  • ksales1 1 Jan, 2009

    I love this cheesecake. I don't really care for pumpkin pie, but most everyone else in the world does. So I opted to make this for Thanksgiving as a bit of a compromise. Everyone loved it. I have made it for a few occasions now and I have made one change, the crust. I used Pepperidge Farm Ginger Family in place of the graham cracker and just omitted the sugar. I prefer it this way, but it was grand either way.

  • Bethesdamom 10 Dec, 2008

    I've made this twice and it's been a big hit taste-wise. The first time, I thought it was slightly underdone, but it tasted great and only had a slight crack. The second time, I cooked it 5 minutes longer and I had massive cracks. I didn't open the oven and I thought that I mixed it the right amount. My young son helped me though, and maybe we overworked the batter. I love the recipe, but want to be able to make it without a crack!

  • Bethesdamom 10 Dec, 2008

    I've made this twice and it's been a big hit taste-wise. The first time, I thought it was slightly underdone, but it tasted great and only had a slight crack. The second time, I cooked it 5 minutes longer and I had massive cracks. I didn't open the oven and I thought that I mixed it the right amount. My young son helped me though, and maybe we overworked the batter. I love the recipe, but want to be able to make it without a crack!

  • bdurso 9 Dec, 2008

    For nevagain and family, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. I've made this recipe for several years now and it is an absolute hit with everyone. I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie, but this cheesecake is wonderful. Check your oven temperature - maybe your thermostat is not working properly.

  • sacchet 8 Dec, 2008

    This was fabulous!!! I don't pumpkin pie. I decided to make Pumpin Cheesecake and saw this recipe. It was a hit on Thanksgiving. I had not one bubble when it come out of the oven. I felt very Martha Stewart :) Definitely a crowd pleaser!

  • sonya03 4 Dec, 2008

    I made this cheesecake a few times and it turned out great every time. Make sure you use 1 cup of puree, not 1 can. I used pumpkin pie mix puree (with the spices already added). Many people say it's the best cheesecake they've ever had! I kept it in the oven after it was turned off and had no cracks at all.

  • tnblueyes1 3 Dec, 2008

    I made this for our family Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. It does take some time preparing, but the results were worth it. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out picture perfect!!

  • eileentscott 28 Nov, 2008

    turned out great!! no cracks and it was just delicious!!

  • eileentscott 28 Nov, 2008

    my cheesecake turned out great! very happy -- no cracks, just perfect from the way it looked to the taste! very happy with recipe!

  • BrianCBock 27 Nov, 2008

    I was careful not to over mix and it still cracked on the top. No problem. Take 1 cup of sour cream, a couple of tablespoons of sugar, a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin, some vanilla and some nutmeg, mix and spread it on top. Then bake in a 450 oven for 5-7 minutes.

  • himenohogosha 24 Nov, 2008

    My cheesecake came out pretty good, though I think next time I will bake it a little longer for more firmness. I have a question about the crust though, after refrigerating for 2 days, the pie crust became very soggy. Is there anyway to prevent this? Or are fresh graham cracker crusts not meant to be refrigerated for that long?

  • himenohogosha 24 Nov, 2008

    My cheesecake came out pretty good, though I think next time I will bake it a little longer for more firmness. I have a question about the crust though, after refrigerating for 2 days, the pie crust became very soggy. Is there anyway to prevent this? Or are fresh graham cracker crusts not meant to be refrigerated for that long?

  • himenohogosha 24 Nov, 2008

    My cheesecake came out pretty good, though I think next time I will bake it a little longer for more firmness. I have a question about the crust though, after refrigerating for 2 days, the pie crust became very soggy. Is there anyway to prevent this? Or are fresh graham cracker crusts not meant to be refrigerated for that long?

  • indigoarts 18 Nov, 2008

    You can also use gingersnaps in place of graham crackers it adds a nice spice to this recipe.

  • shanashell 18 Nov, 2008

    I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it was such a hit! They've reqeusted I make it again this year. Very good cheesecake!!!!!!

  • KimKubicek 13 Nov, 2008

    Absolutely delicious! I've never made a cheesecake before and it turned out great! I did what another commenter said and put a circle of parchment paper on the bottom to keep it from cracking. Also, I added a little extra pumpkin pie spice and used ginger snaps for the crust, which was just delicious.

  • lvinci00 12 Nov, 2008

    This recipe doesn't need to be modified at all. I've made it several times and it turns out great each time. Jahmason-it says '1 cup canned pumpkin puree'. I think the whole can might be too much because it's probably more than one cup

  • jahmason 10 Nov, 2008

    Mine seemed like there was way too much filling. Maybe I used the wrong size when it says "One can of pumpkin puree." Do they mean a small can or a big can?

  • Dacotah 10 Nov, 2008

    I have never made cheesecake before and I am making this for an upcoming party... any suggestions?
    Do I need to add more time (than what this says)?

  • aliciam545 2 Nov, 2008

    Fantastic! Very easy to make, crowd pleaser!!!

  • MlleGena 26 Oct, 2008

    Try making a crust with Oreo cookies!

  • byoung 15 Oct, 2008

    Does anyone think that you could make the crust with ginger snap cookies? How would that taste?

  • Cranberry07 15 Oct, 2008

    This came back with RAVE reviews! I brought this to a dinner where I was asked to bring the dessert and everyone LOVED it! I added a little extra pie spice and a few sprinkles of cinnamon. I also served it with fresh whipped cream

  • Patti67 13 Oct, 2008

    I love this recipe. I have made it before, many times and my family adores it. I have sent it to my husband's meetings and they come back wanting more. I love pumpkin pie, but this is the best of both worlds.

  • 1234sana 10 Oct, 2008

    OH MY GOSH, THIS IS SO GOOD! I MADE THIS, THIS MORNING. TURN OUT GREAT! THEREFORE, I DID ADD A DRIZZLE OF CINNAMON POWDER ON TOP OF THE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE. PLUS WHEN I SLICES THE CHEESECAKE AND PUT IT ON THE DESSERT PLATES TO SERVE --- I ADDED A DROP OF WHIPPED CREAM RIGHT NEXT TO THE CHEESECAKE. I JUST LIKE TO TELL YOU IT'S SO GOOD!!! GREAT JOB!

  • 1234sana 10 Oct, 2008

    OH MY GOSH, THIS IS SO GOOD! I MADE THIS, THIS MORNING. TURN OUT GREAT! THEREFORE, I DID ADD A DRIZZLE OF CINNAMON POWDER ON TOP OF THE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE. PLUS WHEN I SLICES THE CHEESECAKE AND PUT IT ON THE DESSERT PLATES TO SERVE --- I ADDED A DROP OF WHIPPED CREAM RIGHT NEXT TO THE CHEESECAKE. I JUST LIKE TO TELL YOU IT'S SO GOOD!!! GREAT JOB!

  • anniequinn 10 Oct, 2008

    Whenever I make cheesecake, I always put a strip of parchment paper along the perimeter of the cake and it never cracks because the paper moves with the cake as it cools and pulls off the sides.

  • anniequinn 10 Oct, 2008

    Whenever I make cheesecake, I always put a strip of parchment paper along the perimeter of the cake and it never cracks because the paper moves with the cake as it cools and pulls off the sides.

  • kevindoub7 10 Oct, 2008

    I substitute gingersnap crumbs for half of the graham cracker crumbs. It give it and extra zip!

  • msbink20 9 Oct, 2008

    this is also good with a burbon whip cream sauce this may be xrated but give the kidos coolwhip / try apeanut butter cheese cake is oh yum

  • LadyLuxe1 2 Feb, 2008

    I have used this recipe several times and it came out great! I did use a couple of variations like using whipped cream cheese one of the times and it came out nice and light and fluffy. And sometimes I add a little extra pumpkin or pumpkin pie spice. I do suggest baking it in a roasting pan with water though.

  • Tweetyb421 1 Jan, 2008

    Nuni82 please do tell how long to bake if premade ie crust is used

  • LOVEmyPEEKaPOO 21 Dec, 2007

    The recipe calls for 1 CUP of pumpkin puree...

  • myurlislorismith 19 Dec, 2007

    does anyone know if we are to use fthe 29oz can of pumpkin or the 16ox? im assuming its the 29oz but just want to make sure! thanks

  • maryesmith 27 Nov, 2007

    this was the first cheesecake i ever attempted and it came out perfect. i used gingersnaps for the crust instead of graham crackers, which i recommend if you want a little more holiday flair.

  • kfmurph83 26 Nov, 2007

    This was my contribution to Thanksgiving. It was wonderful! I used cinnamon and sugar graham crackers for the crust and stenciled powdered sugar and cinnamon stars on the top to dress it up for the holiday.

  • 321kathleen 24 Nov, 2007

    for my personal taste, next time i make this i would double the crust and bake the cake for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. my cake was a little too pudding-esq towards the center, but towards the last 1/3 it tasted soooo good, it had the perfect cheesecake texture and taste (also no cracks). so i think baking it a little longer and more crust would result in the ultimate, perfect cheesecake :)

  • sweet1ss 23 Nov, 2007

    I made this for Thanksgiving and I followed the directions but it still cracked! Refrigerating for 4 hours is not enough. I let it overnighted the cake in the refrigerator and the texture is much better today. The taste is great. I substituted one of the cream cheese bars witih low fat cream cheese and it was a hit!

  • AileenJ 23 Nov, 2007

    I made 2 of these (with enough leftover for 2 small tart-sized pies) for Thanksgiving dinner, and they were a hit!

    I didn't have time to let them sit in the oven for the entire 2 hours, but they still came out okay (only one had a small crack!)

    The only thing I did differently was to crush the graham crackers in a plastic zip bag with a rolling pin. Less cleanup than using the food processor!

    Good recipe--creamy and tasty. A keeper!

  • DNK 21 Nov, 2007

    If you cut the recipe in half, you bake it for 30 minutes and it comes out perfect.

  • lfernando 21 Nov, 2007

    i tried this recipe for a pumkin-lover's birthday. it was amazing. I used gingersnap crackers for the crust. served with whipped cream. yummy!

  • DinaM 20 Nov, 2007

    Oh good question!! How long should you bake the pie when using a ready made crust (half the ingredients) ?

  • denails 20 Nov, 2007

    To me it's not really a really a "cheesecake "without the springform, lining it with parchment works well.

  • SLJardine 20 Nov, 2007

    Nuni, Great idea for pre-made pie crusts. I am going to use your tip!

  • DNK 20 Nov, 2007

    When you use a pre made crust and split the recipe in half, how long do you bake it?

  • tasliyar 20 Nov, 2007

    This is a reply to "juju" - 11/12/07 at 4:10 p.m. ET
    how do you remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan without damaging the cake? - When I make cheesecake, I first put waxed or parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Take two sheets and cover the bottom of the springform pan and lock the pan around the paper, the edges of the paper should be sticking out the bottom. Once you remove the springform, just gently slide the paper off the bottom of the pan. You may need a thin spatula to he

  • Nuni82 15 Nov, 2007

    You can use a pre made pie crust, but you need to adjust the recipe. It's very easy, just use half of everything. I did the recipe like it says here and now I have two VERY DELICIOUS pies. Very yummy.

    It's much easier to use a pre made crust. That way you don't need to use a springform pan.

  • juju 12 Nov, 2007

    how do you remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan without damaging the cake?

  • juju 12 Nov, 2007

    how do you remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan without damaging the cake?

  • ley31 10 Nov, 2007

    should I put the cheesecake inside a roasting pan with water like the New York Cheesecake recipe asks?

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