Thanksgiving always feels like fall’s last hurrah, and this cheesecake, loaded with winter spices like cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and loads of ginger, is the perfect way to kiss fall goodbye. I made this dessert to rave reviews this Thanksgiving (some very merry people at a party refused to believe that I made it from scratch) but I’ll show you exactly how embarrassingly simple it is to prepare. This cake is nearly impossible to mess up, especially if you own a food processor/blender, an electric mixer, and a timer.
Since cheesecake needs chill for eight hours before serving, it’s a great dessert to make the night before a big dinner party or holiday meal. It also travels well, so do yourself a favor and flag this recipe for next year!
Pumpkin and Gingersnap Cheesecake
- 3 8-oz. packages of regular cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. fresh nutmeg
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 2 tsp. ginger
- tiny pinch salt
- 1 package Mi-Del gluten-free gingersnaps (or equivalent of regular gingersnaps)
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- pinch salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle and another rack on the bottom. Start a large kettle of water boiling on the stove.
In a food processor, pulse entire package of gingersnaps until they are fine crumbs. Add the rest of the crust ingredients except for the butter, then drizzle butter on top of crumbs and pulse until mixture is even-textured and begins to stick together.
Butter a 9″ pie dish thoroughly. Press gingersnap mixture into the pie dish, completely covering the interior of the dish, until the sides are evenly coated. Bake in the oven until the edges start to brown and the crust becomes fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the crust is baking, blend the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, blending until thoroughly incorporated. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until very smooth. Pour mixture into the crust, filling until the top is almost level with the edges of the dish, and smooth out the top.
Place cheesecake on the middle rack in the oven, and below it place a baking dish filled with 3-4 cups of boiling water. (This prevents the cake from cracking.) Bake until the pie is gently set (it may jiggle slightly) and the top is puffed and golden, about 45 min. Cool pie, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream and fresh grated nutmeg on top.
Note: This recipe yields more filling than fits in the pie crust, so feel free to make some extra crust and churn out a few cupcakes or a miniature cake while you’re at it! Cheesecake usually freezes pretty well, so you can always freeze slices of leftover pie in a heavy-duty freezer bag for a rainy day. Your future self will thank you!