Cheesecake and pumpkin spice latte season have to be two of my most favorite things.
But one taste of this double layer pumpkin cheesecake will have you reaching for that flannel and racing to the pumpkin patch.
In some rare cases, pumpkin spice can be overpowering in pumpkin pie. But adding it to cheesecake will provide a creamy and delicious vanilla compliment.
Besides, can you name one dessert that isn’t made better by adding cheesecake?
You might be thinking that this recipe will involve making two desserts, and will take double the time.
I promise it’s not that complicated!
You’ll start with a classic graham cracker crumb base. It’s always a winner and goes with almost everything.
This actually uses a store-bought base, so you’ve already saved some time.
For the filling, you will only be making cheesecake!
Once you have that incredible batter mixed together, it’s as easy as splitting it in two and mixing one half with the pumpkin and spices.
After less than an hour in the oven, you just need to let this pretty cheesecake cool and set for at least three hours, if not overnight.
This recipe calls for two layers, but I think it would look great swirled together.
Whether you’re looking for a simple fall dessert for the weekend, or something a little different for the holidays, this recipe is a must-try.
Ingredients for Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
There are a few variations of this recipe, and it all depends on your preference. I love the mixture of the two flavors and the subtlety of the pumpkin.
Still, you can find some recipes that use more or a pumpkin pie filling if you want that boosted flavor.
For this version, you will need:
- Softened cream cheese – starting with room temperature cream cheese will help to better incorporate it without leaving chunks in the batter. Also, be sure you get the full-fat kind. Now isn’t the time to be watching calories!
- White sugar – this will give the cheesecake its sweetness and creamy-white coloring. When mixing into the cream cheese, make sure you scrape your bowl so everything gets mixed in.
- Vanilla extract – a classic flavor that will pair perfectly with the pumpkin spice, the vanilla is a must. Try to stay away from vanilla essence, as it has a synthetic flavor.
- Eggs – bring them up to room temperature to help the batter come together better. If you forget to pull them from the fridge, place them in a pitcher and cover with some warm water while you measure everything else out.
- Graham cracker crust – you can use store-bought here, or make your own with just three ingredients. If you don’t have a food processor, use a zip-lock baggie and a little muscle.
- Pumpkin puree – be sure to get the puree and not the pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling, as the filling can sometimes be too sweet or overly spiced.
- Ground cinnamon – we use pumpkin puree so that you can alter the spice mix to your liking. I like extra cinnamon in my pie, so usually add another teaspoon.
- Ground cloves – be careful, as these are pungent. A little goes a long way.
- Ground nutmeg – you can use freshly grated nutmeg here for a better flavor, but the pre-ground works just as well.
- Whipped topping, thawed – a good dollop when you serve is all you need, or you can use sweetened whipped cream if you prefer.
Tips for Making the Best Cheesecake
As mentioned above, working with room temperature ingredients is always a great way to start this recipe.
The softer cream cheese will more easily incorporate the other ingredients without you having to worry about pockets of harder cream cheese getting stuck in the mix.
This recipe is great to make ahead, and it is also much better to eat if you do! By giving it longer to set, you will get a marriage of flavors in a creamy and perfectly firm cheesecake.
A few other top tips include:
- Be sure to scrape the bowl as you mix your cream cheese mixture, as it has a tendency to stick on the sides.
- Always place your pie dish on a baking tray to avoid any drips and messy clean-up
- Bake until the middle of the cheesecake is just slightly jiggly. You want the edges to be firm, but for the middle few inches to give a little when you gently nudge the dish.
- Let your cheesecake cool on the counter, almost all the way, before placing it in the fridge. This will help to prevent any cracks from forming.
- You must bake for longer if you double the recipe and use a spring-form pan. It will need at least an hour and you might find cooling it in the oven will help it set just right.
What Can You Add to the Cheesecake?
I have a slight obsession with vanilla paste. Seeing the little flecks dancing though a cheesecake brings me such joy, and the flavor is better. If you can find it, it’s worth the investment.
Although I love a good graham cracker crust, I think for this cheesecake, something a little different might be called for. Try one of the following for a delicious twist on this already delicious cheesecake:
- Gingersnap cookies will really liven up your base and add an extra bit of spice to the mix.
- Chopped pecans will be an unexpected but delicious addition to your base. Always toast your pecans when you have the time, as it will enhance their flavor, and takes as little as 10 minutes.
- If you’re feeling brave, try caramelizing them and blitzing in with your cookie. They also make a great little decorative topping.
- Using brown sugar in place of white will give your cheesecake a whole new depth of flavor. The caramel that comes from the brown sugar will be a treat with the pumpkin spice.
- Try adding a splash of bourbon to your batter for something truly decadent.
- You can replace the individual spices with a pumpkin spice blend if you prefer.
- Try serving with a drizzle of salted caramel or butter pecan ice cream.
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