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Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake

Oct 31, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust







unsweetened pumpkin, preferably Libby’s

1 cup

8.5 ounces

243 grams

sugar, preferably unrefined

1 cup

7 ounces

200 grams

heavy cream

2 liquid cups

cream cheese

2 (8-ounce) packages

1 pound

454 grams

2 large eggs


3.5 ounces

100 grams

2 large yolks


1.3 ounces
(weighed with the shell)

37 grams

Garnish: Pecan halves(*)


1.5 ounces

42 grams

(*) If desired, use an additional 1/2 cup 1.75 ounces/50 grams of coarsely broken pecans for the center

Equipment: One 9-inch by 2 1/2-inch or higher springform pan, greased, outside of the pan wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage. One 12-inch by 2-inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath.

CRUST: 4 1/4 oz. gingersnaps, broken (preferably Swedish brand), 2 oz. pecans, toasted, 1T sugar, 2 pinches salt, 2 oz. butter, melted. Process cookies and pecans, sugar, salt til fine crumbs (app 20 secs.) Add melted butter and pulse 10 times til just incorporated. Press into pan and up the sides.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together the pumpkin and sugar. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a sputtering simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick and shiny.
Scrape the mixture into a large food processor, fitted with the metal blade and process for 1 minute with the feed tube open.

With the motor running, add the cold cream. Add the cream cheese in several pieces and process for 30 seconds, scraping the sides two or three times, or until smoothly incorporated. Add the eggs and yolks and process for about 5 seconds or just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan in the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. Remove it to a rack and cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. To unmold, wipe sides of pan with towel run under hot water and wrung out. The cake will be 1 3/4-inches high.

Optional Caramel and Pecan Garnish: Arrange the pecan halves around the perimeter of the cake pointed ends out. If using extra pecan pieces, scatter them evenly within the circle of pecan halves. The caramel can be added 6 hours ahead but the cake cannot be covered, as the condensation will soften the caramel.

Pour the caramel into a quart-size freezer weight zip-seal bag (without a “zipper”) or a piping page. Cut a small amount from one corner and pipe the caramel in swirls on top of the pecans.

Caramel Sauce

Take care when making it not to have any small children about and give it your undivided attention. Caramel burns are extremely painful.

Makes: 1 full cup, app 10.5 ounces/308 grams




room temperature





1 cup

7 ounces

200 grams

golden syrup (Lyle’s refiner’s syrup) or caro syrup

1 tablespoon

0.75 ounce

21 grams


1/4 liquid cup

2 ounces

59 grams

heavy cream, heated

1/2 liquid cup

4 ounces

116 grams

unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons

1 ounce

28 grams

pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon



Equipment: 1 heavy saucepan, at least 5 cup capacity, ideally with a non-stick lining

In the saucepan, stir together the sugar, syrup, and the water until the sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber (360°F to 380°F.). Immediately remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.

Use a high temperature spatula, to stir the mixture until smooth, scraping the thicker part that settles on the bottom. If any lumps develop, return the pan to the heat and stir until they dissolve. Stir in the butter. The mixture will be streaky but become uniform after cooling slightly and stirring.
Allow it to cool for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the vanilla extract.

For a decorative lacing effect, the caramel pours perfectly at room temperature. For the greatest precision, use a pastry bag with a small decorating tube or zip seal bag with a small amount of the corner cut.

Store: Room temperature up to 3 days; refrigerated at least 3 months.

To reheat: If the caramel is in a microwave-safe container at room temperature, microwave it on high power for 1 minute, stirring twice. Alternatively, place it in a pan of simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until warm, about 7 minutes.

Pointers for Success:
After the caramel is prepared, do not stir it too much as this also may eventually cause crystallization. The syrup will help to prevent this.

Variation: Bourbon Butterscotch Caramel: Substitute 2 tablespoons of bourbon for an equal amount of the cream. Add it together with the vanilla extract.

This recipe first appeared in an article I wrote for Fine Cooking Magazine, 2001


HI Venus,
We have not tried that combination. Hector Wong made the oblivion with substituting avocado for the butter. When we were in Hawaii, we tried it and were surprised how good it tasted. Enjoy experimenting with your combination.
Rose & Woody


Venus Childress
Venus Childress
12/23/2014 01:21 AM

I love the combination of chocolate and pumpkin. After reading comments about using the Chocolate Oblivian cake as a base for a 'plain' cheesecake, I'm wondering if anybody has tried the Chocolate Oblivian with the pumpkin cheesecake?


Can't wait to try it again!
Much thanks!


Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Ken Tobias
11/ 7/2014 02:59 PM

Ken, it's definitely the pumpkin. Thick and shiny, darker, creamy like a pudding with scarcely if any flow.


It IS possible I didn't concentrate the pumpkin enough on the stove. I followed the heat levels and cooking timing described... but sometimes "low" and "medium" heat can vary a bit stove-to-stove...

I remember that the sugar/pumpkin mixture didn't change drastically in the cooking phase. I know I was concerned about the possibility of over-cooking it, and getting a burnt flavor...

Would you say the viscosity, color, etc. of the cooked pumpkin, compared to right out of the can, is quite different? If so, then I almost definitely didn't concentrate it sufficiently over the heat, because the texture/color wasn't radically different from before cooking to after.

The recipe states the pumpkin should get "thick and shiny." Any further descriptors to understand how thick is thick? And if there are any indicators that one is about to go too far (i.e., cook it too long?)



Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Woody
11/ 7/2014 06:29 AM

Ken, We are wondering if by chance you are using fresh pumpkin or if you are not concentrating the pumpkin enough so that appears underbaked. If you are having success with the cheesecake from the cake bible the pumpkin variation should bake for the very little longer but you could add another 10 minutes for added insurance.


Hi Ken,
Have you baked previous cheesecakes in a water bath?
Baking a cheesecake in a waterbath gives the cheesecake a creamier, more custard like texture. Of Rose's cheesecake recipes, this is her creamiest.
We suggest that you increase the baking time with heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Rose & Woody


I did a "rehearsal" of the Pumpkin Cheesecake, in preparation for Thanksgiving, my first time with this recipe. I was very precise (Libby Pumpkin, oven temp, etc.). The flavor is FLAWLESS, but it's too soft, more of a pudding texture than cheesecake, especially in the middle. Wondering what might have gone awry? Of course, I can just bake longer next time, but not being able to "test" the cake makes it difficult to know. Would love more understanding. Any help is greatly appreciated!
- Ken T.


Sherrie Dennis
Sherrie Dennis
10/11/2013 02:22 AM

Hi. Couldn't get on to the forum so I will post here. Is there any reason I couldn't sub some of the whipped cream for creme fraiche? I am short a little bit of cream for the caramel (a must!!) and I'd like to use up some creme fraiche. I understand it will alter the flavour slightly....but I'm thinking a small amount would likely be ok. Lots of ingredients to waste if it doesn't turn out!


Can you give me any pointers on how to alter this recipe for a 10 inch springform pan? Would 1 1/2 times the recipe be too much filling? And can you suggest how long to cook it?


Hi Trent,

Regarding the soggy crust you encountered with Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake. Try 42 grams of butter instead of 57 grams as instructed in the recipe. You will find that the crust is a lot dryer.



HI thanks for the reply.

Well.. i did try parbaking the crust.. and yup.. it didnt make much difference. It is still very tasty tho.. maybe I just dont eat enough cheesecakes to notice the the crusts are often wet.

I did dramatically increase my cooking time the second time around (about 33% longer).. and it turned out great.. still creamy.. the texture was great actually.

I did love the flavor, and the lack of pumpkin pie spice was a refreshing change.

I still might try the trick of pressing water out of the puree between paper towels.

I also will double check the temp of my oven.. but I dont think it is that far off since I havent had problems with any other cakes..

And yes. .the whipped cream cake is great.

Its too bad you dont have a photo upload section, or i would upload a pic of the finished cheesecake.. i dipped some pecans in tempered chocolate.. piped some legs outta chocolate.. and made a spider ... drizzled the bourbon carmel sauce in a web shape and put my spider in the middle.. too cute.

thanks again for the reply.


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Trent
10/18/2012 12:28 AM

Hi Trent,
We ask have you checked your oven temperature for accuracy as this is one of the major reasons for problems with baking?

We do recommend if using a silicone liner instead of the heavy duty aluminum foil to add another 5 minutes to the baking time as the silicone is a non heat conductor.
We have tested this recipe and I have served this cheesecake for many years without reservation about the crust being being soggy. The pumpkin is cooked with the sugar to not only eliminate some of the water and intensify its flavor but to also make it smoother.
We also comment that of the cheesecakes in Rose's Heavenly Cakes, this is the creamiest. You may want to bake it longer if you want a firmer cake.
You may want to check Marie Wolf's Heavenly Bake along and read fellow bloggers' comments were for most of the recipes in the book. Lots of pictures and great stories as well.
The Whipped Cream Cake is one of the cakes that we make for demos.
Rose & Woody


Hi Rose..

Firstly. I love pie, cake, and bread bible. LOVE them.

Heavenly cakes.. is the most troublesome baking book I have tried in some times.

But to narrow it down to this cake that I attempted last night.

I am 100% sure no water got in the cake as it was surrounded by a silicone pan.
The crust was soo soggy. Even with baking spray.. some of it stuck to the springform.. My instinct was telling me to par bake it.. I will next time and report back. I think it should help the crust hold up no?

Also, I followed the baking instructions to the T.. and like others.. the middle was soup.

By leaving the oven door shut for an hour.. it makes it hard to gauge if it is cooked thru since the oven has been off an hour.. So you take its temp before the oven is off or after it has been off an hour?

Also.. is the purpose of cooking the pumpkin and sugar together to get rid of some of the water in the pumpkin puree? A great solution for getting rid of water in canned pumpkin is to press it between some paper towels.. getting rid of all the water, leaving only the pumpkin... If i do this, do you think it would prevent the soupyness and intensify the pumpkin flavor? *i tasted my soup, and it didnt seem all that pumpkiny*

Any thoughts would be great Rose..

PS.. the simplest cake.. the whipped cream cake.. so far is one of my fave cakes to make.. i love it.


merin, there have been postings i think on the blog or possibly the forums on successful substitutes for cream cheese posted by other people in india. do check this out!


Hi Rose. I am from India and am a person who loves baking.Cheesecake is one of them which i would love to do more often. But i see that in all the cheese cake recepies, we need cream cheese. This is not a readily available ingredient in India. (Which is very disappointing). So could you please help me by advicing whether we can substitute the cream cheese with any other cheese or any other ingredient. Awaiting your reply eagerly


steph, this is great to know! thank you for the feedback. this remains possibly my favorite of all cheesecakes!


I pre-baked the crust for 8 minutes @ 350 and it stayed nice and crispy, even after 2 days in the fridge. Delicious recipe!!


rebecca, the only way the crust will be dry is if crumbs are patted on after baking.

free movie, thank you for your much appreciated comment!


Normally I don’t post on too many blogs these days, but I wanted to let you know that your blog really forced me to do so! I love your website & your style of writing, please keep up the excellent work.


I also made this for Thanksgiving and it had that wonderful creamy consistency that reminded me of the Cordon Rose Cheesecake. I thought I'd miss the traditional spices but this had a wonderful flavor all its own. I used Sugar in the Raw and it says on the box that it is turbinado sugar. The only "issue" I had with the cake is that the crust was kind of soft, and I am certain no water leaked in. Was the crust supposed to stay on the slightly wet side? It tasted great!


Copying and pasting this recipe! And you know what? I didn't get ANY pumpkin pie this season! Although I had pumpkin truffle, it's still not the same thing. There is a local place by me that makes Indianapolis Specialty Desserts. I never checked to see if there were any pumpkin desserts and I think it's too late. Maybe jewel will have one. Or I'll make my sister make it since she knows how.


susan, the caramel will soften if you cover the cake as it will absorb moisture from the cake.

joan, so pleased you enjoyed the cake!


Hi Rose -
I baked the Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving, and found it absolutely elegant! I used some very crunchy, and filled with flavor of ginger, cookies 'Mi-Del." They were superb.
This time I used a 13" paella-type pan for the bain marie so I could see the water depth and remove it easier from the bath easier. I used two cake strips overlapping as well as a double layer of heavy-duty foil scrunched up around the perimeter. It worked like a charm. The cake was perfect in every way. I stopped the caramel a little too early, but still it piped into lace well, and was beautiful. My husband said he thought this was the best of my Heavenly Baking so far.
Thanks again for being so Heavenly!


Susan Simon
Susan Simon
12/ 1/2009 01:05 PM

I too made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving, even though it meant a late-night trip to several stores looking for the Swedish ginger cookies and tubinado surgar (found only a too-expensive bag labeled turbinado, but perhaps it's the same as "raw sugar" or something else?). The completed cheesecake was delicious, but I had the same problem with the soft center. I have now penciled in the 160 degree temp you mentioned here into the recipe--wish it had been printed there!

I had bad luck previously with leaks when I covered a spring-form pan with foil and put it into a water bath, so this time, I wound the pan with magi-cake strips, put it into a slightly larger cake pan, and then put that into the water bath. No leaks, but I will use the thermometer to test doneness next time.

Two other observationss: The caramel topping worked great, but when I got to my daughter's house with the cheesecake in a cake carrier, the pretty lacing effect had all melted together as a smooth topping! Was that because it wasn't cold enough? And I thought that the pecans in the crust really were not a perceptible flavor, so not worth the time and attention required by toasting.


yes amy--that's exactly why. the sour cream masks the pure pumpkin flavor. many ppl think they don't like pumpkin but i've discovered it's the strong spices that usually accompany them!


Hi, I've made your regular cheesecake so many times and am just curious...why does the pumpkin version use all heavy cream instead of sour cream? Is it just a taste preference with the pumpkin? Thanks, your recipes are the best.


I have, in the past, had many problems with many different cheese cakes recipes...either over baked or under done. Use an instant read thermometer. I don't have my books with me right now, but somewhere in Rose's books and in other books as well, is the information regarding the correct internal temperature of a cheesecake when it is done. Once I started checking the temperature of my cheesecakes, they have come out perfect every time.


I followed the directions for this cheesecake exactly .. to the tee .. and upon cutting, the center of the cake was a soft goopey mess! The same thing happen when attempting Rose's banana cheesecake a few years back. I have my oven rack on the one just above the lowest one, and I use a manual oven thermometer to verify the temp. I've successfully made many other cheesecakes from other cookbooks in the past, with perfect results, but... have no luck with Rose's cheesecakes at all! ... any advice? .. suggestions? .. comments? help!


The idea behind lower third is that the actual cake pan will be in the middle of the oven--generally, that will be the shelf just below middle.


Hi Rose

I have a 5-shelf oven, how do you determine what's the upper third of a oven, lower third of a oven and the center of a 5-shelf oven.


sandra i'm so glad you found it. i can imagine the disappointment otherwise. it's one of my all time fav. recipes.
happy thanksgiving!


OMG Rose I love you for posting this!

This cheesecake is the first recipe of yours I ever made and I've been a die-hard fan ever since. I realized this weekend I left my copy of it at my boyfriend's mom's house last Thanksgiving. Of course his mom is visiting us this year so I was going to have to wing it. Very scary thought!

Showing up up without this cheesecake tomorrow would surely result in violence from cheesecake-deprived siblings. Good to know I will be keeping all my appendages. (Kidding... mostly!)

Best to you and yours this holiday season!


sounds like you oven has to be off in which case you'll need to use an instant read thermometer to determine when it's done (160F.)


hey ummmm im cooking this and i have the oven at 350˚F and its been in 4 over 45mins and it is sooooooooooooooooo soupy


I have made this caramel and it is delicious, but I wanted to know if I can use it to dip apples?


Hi Kim, I too dislike choc cheesecake. But you can try the Choc Oblivion as a bottom layer, then bake a plain cheesecake on top -I've tried it and it is heavenly. I've also done plain cheesecake with a thick choc ganache glaze - that works for choc lovers too... or try swirling in melted choc in a marble design!


p.s. you could had your favorite dark chocolate to the batter--you need to melt it of course. it will make the texture firmer which is not a bad thing. you'll have to do it by taste but use the white chocolate cheesecake as a guideline for how much to begin with. don't decrease the sugar though.


i don't like the combination of chocolate with cream cheese which is acidic so i'm afraid you'll have to rely on google--i know there are recipes out there!


Hi Rose,
I want to make a birthday cake for my husband. He has requested a chocolate cheesecake (dark, not white choc). However, after searching the Cake Bible and my other trusted recipe source(CooksIllustrated.com), I can not find a recipe. Is there a reason not to use dark chocolate for a cheesecake? Can you offer any suggestions for altering one of your cheesecake recipes for dark chocolate?

Thank you for any recommendations!
Kim, in Slovakia


it's less important to add water in miniature size but it's still a good idea for the best most creamy texture throughout!


Can these be made into mini cheesecakes, that are baked in individual ring molds? And if so will i neeed to add water to the pan since the cooking time will be shortened.


Happy Thanksgiving


raspberries have a higher water content than cranberries so you'll need to experiment. do a small batch in a custard cup until it comes out with the desired consistency.


I have a recipe for a cranberry cheesecake and I would like to use frozen raspberries instead. How do I adjust the condensed milk to account for the fruit juice?


excellent name and concept!


Hi Rose,

White choc will be fantastic I think! Will let you know how it turns out. Probably name it Ebony & Ivory Cheesecake Squares! Thks a million!


hey! why don't you do the white chocolate version which is a little firmer and would be so compatible with the dark choc. oblivion!


be sure to use the all yolk version or the added cornstarch to keep it from watering out and make ita little firmer and it should be fine.


Hi Rose,

I'm planning to make some simple choc cheesecake squares for an upcoming small party. I wonder if it will work if I modify from 2 of your wonderful recipes in your Cake Bible. I'm thinking of making 1 recipe of the Choc Oblivion in a 10" square pan (as the base - bake it first - and then top it with 1 recipe of the Cream Cheesecake. Maybe top it with a raspberry choc glaze and slice into squares. Wonder if it will work or will it be too soft to slice into 1 1/2" squares. Any advice?


Margaret G. Cope
Margaret G. Cope
03/28/2006 06:02 AM

Remember to put the period between www.real......in order to get on the website of the blog...

Do you have a formula for stablizing merringue? I once found it years ago in Women's Day.



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