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Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

This double layer pumpkin cheesecake has a cheesecake bottom layer with a pumpkin cheesecake top layer and is so easy to make. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger combined with the homemade graham cracker crust make this the loveliest Thanksgiving or fall dessert! If you love pumpkin pie and cheesecake, you’ve got to make this!

This layered pumpkin cheesecake has been my go-to Thanksgiving dessert contribution for well over a decade. It’s truly so simple to make! The filling comes together beautifully and seamlessly in one mixing bowl. And the best part (in my opinion)– NO ice bath is needed for this cheesecake!

The bottom layer is pure cheesecake. The top later is the cheesecake filling combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin puree. I make a homemade graham cracker pie crust, but to save time, you can grab a premade crust from the grocery store.

If you’re looking for more delicious fall desserts, check out my spice bundt cake or these tahini pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or these maple pecan blondies. If you’re looking for some savory fall meals try my crockpot turkey tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes.

Slice of double layer pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream on top and a cheesecake in the pie pan in the background.

Why You’ll Love This

  • Double Layer Goodness – The first layer is pure cheesecake, while the top layer is pumpkin cheesecake. It’s the best of both worlds!
  • No Ice Bath – I hate to sound like a broken record here, but seriously, this part makes me so happy. This is an easy, no fuss cheesecake. No wonder it’s my go-to every Thanksgiving!
  • Graham Cracker Crust – This homemade graham cracker crust recipe is simple but adds so much flavor. If you’re trying to save time, I totally get wanting to use pre-made crust. But, if you have a spare 10 minutes, you won’t regret making the crust from scratch. It’s so worth it!

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Pie Crust:

  • crushed graham crackers – I pulse these in the food processer to quickly crush them. You can also throw them in a gallon zip lock bag and whack them with a rolling pin. Okay, maybe “whack” is a strong word. But you know, whatever you’ve gotta do to turn those graham crackers into crumbs. 😉 We’re looking for a fine, sand-like texture.
  • cinnamon – Enhances the flavor of the crust. If you’re using cinnamon-flavored graham crackers, you can skip this part.
  • granulated sugar – Makes the sweet even sweeter!
  • melted butter – It helps make the crust malleable, and acts like a glue that keeps the crust in place!

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  • pumpkin puree – I use canned pumpkin puree in this recipe. 100% pure pumpkin–not pumpkin pie filling!
  • cream cheese – (2) 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese–not the whipped cream cheese
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg

See recipe card for quantities.

Step-By-Step Instructions (With Video)

If you’re using pre-made pie crust, you can skip the first four steps below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are a fine, sand-like texture. You can also do this by putting them in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Step 2: Combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix together.

Step 3: Add the melted butter and mix until all the ingredients are coated.

Step 4: Firmly press the crust into the pan either with your hands or the bottom of a drinking glass.

Step 5: With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs in one at a time. Mix until smooth.

Step 6: With a one cup measuring cup, scoop out the cheesecake batter and smooth it on the pie crust with a spatula.

Step 7: Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the remaining batter. Mix until smooth.

Step 8: Cover the first layer with the rest of the batter. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Once baked, turn the oven off, open the oven door and allow the cheesecake to slowly cool off in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then move the cheesecake to room temperature for 1-2 hours. Then move it to the fridge and let it chill for 4 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream!

A piece of double-layer pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream.

Hint: You’ll know the cheesecake is done by giving it a little jiggle. If it’s set aside from the center (it will jiggle still), it is done.

YouTube video

Equipment

Storage

This pumpkin cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. This is the perfect dessert to make the day ahead of time since there’s so much chill time required!

The cheesecake can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Keep it in an airtight container and allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before eating. 

Top tip

To avoid cracks, make sure you allow the pumpkin cheesecake to gradually cool off. Once the cheesecake is cooked, turn the oven off and open the oven door to release the hot air. Let it sit in the oven for 30 minutes before placing it on the counter as it cools off closer to room temperature. After an hour or two, cover the pumpkin cheesecake and allow it to chill in the fridge for 4 hours before serving.

FAQ

Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin puree?

You can, but this recipe has not been tested with fresh pumpkin. You’ll need to cook the pumpkin, puree it, and may need to soak up any excess water that comes with the fresh pumpkin puree!

Do I have to use graham cracker crust?

Certainly not! I think gingersnap cookie crust would be a lovely variation.

Can I make this cheesecake ahead of time?

Absolutely! I’d recommend making it a day ahead of time to allow it time to chill. I think it tastes better the next day too, since the flavors have had time to sit.

How do I prevent cracks in the cheesecake?

Avoid overmixing and allow the cheesecake to cool gradually. Once the cheesecake is cooked, turn the oven off and open the oven door to release the hot air. Let it sit in the oven for 30 minutes before placing it on the counter as it cools off closer to room temperature. After an hour or two, cover the pumpkin cheesecake and allow it to chill in the fridge for 4 hours before serving.

Should I use a spring-form pan instead?

You can, but it’s not necessary for this cheesecake. I prefer using a pie pan for this specific recipe to help with ease.

Can this cheesecake be gluten-free?

Yes! You can purchase a gluten-free pie crust and skip making the homemade one. Or, you can use gluten-free crushed graham crackers in place of the regular graham crackers.

What should I top this cheesecake with?

You could top it with whipped cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and serve with some ice cream. Yum!

Do I need a hand mixer to make this cheesecake?

I do recommend a hand mixer or stand mixer to ensure you get any cream cheese clumps out. It’s hard to do with just a spatula.

How will I know when the cheesecake is done?

When the sides are set but the center still jiggles a bit.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

A piece of double-layer pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

This double-layer pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving or a fall celebration! The graham cracker crust complements the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin flavor in this delicious cheesecake. You're going to love it!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Jamie

Equipment

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick) salted or unsalted works

For the pumpkin cheesecake filling

  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processer until they are fine, sand-like crumbs. You can also put them in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. Then mix in the melted butter until everything is coated. Transfer the ingredients to the pie pan, either by pressing the crumbs down with your hands or the bottom of a drinking glass. Make sure to press the crumbs down firmly in and around the sides of the pan. This will ensure the crust stays in place and doesn't fall apart.
  • Set the pan aside. In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract and mix with a hand mixer. Mix in one egg and a time. Mix until smooth. Scoop one cup of the batter onto the pie crust. Using a spatula, smooth the batter over the pie crust.
  • Now add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the bowl with the remaining batter. Mix again until nice and smooth. Pour the pumpkin batter over the bottom layer of the cheesecake.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes on the middle rack. Turn the oven off and open the door of the oven to release the hot air from the oven. The goal is to allow the cheesecake to slowly cool off to avoid cracks in it. Keep in the open oven for about 30 minutes. Then let sit at room temperature for another hour or two. Finally, let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Notes

*Important* To avoid cracks, make sure you allow the pumpkin cheesecake to gradually cool off. Once the cheesecake is cooked, turn the oven off and open the oven door to release the hot air. Let it sit in the oven for 30 minutes before placing it on the counter as it cools off closer to room temperature. After an hour or two, cover the pumpkin cheesecake and allow it to chill in the fridge for 4 hours before serving. 
*If buying graham cracker crust instead of making it, skip steps 1 & 2 and start with step 3. 
Storage:
This pumpkin cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. This is the perfect dessert to make the day ahead of time since there’s so much chill time required!
The cheesecake can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Keep it in an airtight container and allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before eating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 2805IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

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