This Pumpkin Swirled Cheesecake is not only super creamy, decadent and down right delicious, it's sure to climb to the top of your favorite holiday/seasonal recipe must-have list! The cheesecake itself has the creamiest texture, seriously, you won't find a creamier cheesecake. The pumpkin swirls are bound to make you swoon and let's not forget about the gingersnap cookie crust! Holy moly is this crust good! Buttery, perfectly spiced to compliment the pumpkin flavor and it's thick and super tall, so there's plenty of crust with each bite!
let's talk pumpkin swirled cheesecake
Cheesecake first and foremost, is a labor a love. Lots of attention, detail, and patience go into a great cheesecake. This pumpkin swirled cheesecake is no different. Since I love this recipe so much and I think you will too, I want to dive into what you'll need to have cheesecake success!
Time: A lot of time goes into making a cheesecake. You need room temperature cream cheese, it takes about an hour to bake, you need to let it come to room temperature after it bakes, and THEN it needs to chill for at least 4 to 6 hours in the fridge (preferably overnight). So make sure you've got the time to set aside to make this beauty.
Ingredients: Like I said above, you want to make sure the cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature. Luckily you can soak the eggs in warm water for about 5 minutes before cracking them to get them to room temperature, no big deal there. But the cream cheese is crucial. Room temperature cream cheese will be easier to mix, resulting in a smooth texture. If the cream cheese is cold it'll be hard to work with and will produce lumps through the cheesecake batter.
baking & cooling recommendations
Sometimes cheesecakes tend to crack or split when they bake. Luckily there's a few things we can do to prevent this:
- Water Bath: before you begin making the batter, wrap the spring form pan in aluminum foil. You want it to cover the bottom and work up the sides of the pan, this will prevent water from getting into the pan while it bakes. Prepare and pour the batter into the spring-form pan as usual. Take a baking dish with sides place it on the oven rack and fill it up with about an inch of water. Carefully place the spring form pan in the baking dish, close the oven door, and allow the cheesecake to bake.
- Do not open the oven door while it baking: once you put the cheesecake in the oven to bake, let it do it's thing! Remember cheesecake will still have 2 to 3 inches of a jiggly center, so no need to keep opening and closing the oven door to see if it's done. By opening the door we cause a draft to come into the oven and this is what typically causes cracks. 😕
- Leave it in the oven: once the cheesecake IS done baking, turn off the oven and gently open the oven door just a little bit, just enough to let the heat gently escape. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour to cool down. Again, this is to prevent an quick, sudden drafts or drops in temperature that causes cracking and splitting. After the hour is up, remove the cheesecake and then let it sit out on the counter until it has come to room temperature.
For the Crust:
- 3 and ½ cups crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs all the cookies in the box!
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
For the Cheesecake:
- 4 8 oz. blocks cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Prep the ingredients, make sure cream cheese and eggs are room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 inch spring form pan with nonstick spray and wrap the bottom with aluminum foil, make sure the foil covers up the sides as well. Set aside.
- Prep the crust: pour the gingersnap crumbs and melted butter into a bowl and mix together to evenly coat the crumbs with butter. Pour the wet crumbs into the spring-form pan and use the back of a spoon or measuring cup to firm pack and form a crust, make sure the work the crumbs up the sides of the pan to form a tall crust. Set spring-form pan aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all 4 blocks of cream cheese with ¾ cups of the sugar and vanilla extract. Beat the ingredients together on medium speed until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed, just until combined. Measure out 1 and ½ cups of batter and pour it in a separate bowl. To the first bowl of batter add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, the canned pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice & nutmeg. Beat just until combined, do not over mix the batter.Spoon half of the pumpkin batter over the crust and then add spoonfuls of the plain batter. Repeat the layers of pumpkin and plain batter until done. Use a butter knife to swirl the batters together to get the swirled/marbled look.
- Place an empty, heat safe bakign dish with sides on the oven rack, fill it with about an inch of water. Carefully place the springform pan in the baking dish and close the oven door. Bake cheesecake for 55 minutes. When it's done baking, turn off the oven and gently crack open the oven door. Allow cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door open for an hour. After an hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature on the counter. Once the cheesecake has completely cooled, wrap the top of the spring-form pan with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours but preferably overnight. When ready to serve, simply release the latch for the spring-form pan and lift up the sides. Cut into slice and serve.