Creamy, luxurious cheesecake awaits you with this Thanksgiving-inspired Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake, made with real pumpkin, whole pecans, sticky caramel, and a nutty gingersnap crust. This dessert is pumpkin heaven!
Pumpkin spice season is upon us, so that means it’s time to add pumpkin to anything our hearts desire. Whether it’s a sweet or savory snack, pumpkin lends such great flavor during Autumn.
Decorate your tummies and tables this Thanksgiving with a fantastic and stunning Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake. A sweet pumpkin filling tops a gingersnap and pecan crust along with a drizzle of praline sauce with whole pecans!
This cheesecake is simple to make, even for the non-bakers out there. Just follow some simple steps and you will have a showstopping dessert for Fall. Let’s get into exactly what makes this pumpkin cheesecake so perfect for the season.
Making a Nutty Gingersnap Crust
Sure, you may have heard of a gingersnap crust before. But, have you heard of a pecan gingersnap crust? Since this recipe uses a pecan praline sauce on top, you should also add nuts to the cookie crumbs!
Adding pecans to your cheesecake crust creates another dimension of crunch to the crust. It becomes a little sticky, almost like pralines, so that the crust and topping mirror one another. The texture is so good that you can’t help but take another slice.
Since the Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake filling is so luxurious and creamy, you want a very crunchy and textured crust to contrast nicely. If there is one rule of this cheesecake, it is to NOT skip the nuts in the crust. You might even add nuts to all your crust recipes moving forward!
Pumpkin: Autumn’s Delight
Autumn is often referred to as pumpkin spice season just because of how much the population loves pumpkin flavors. The second the calendar switches to September, everyone busts out their Autumnal scarves and orders a pumpkin spice latte.
Since pumpkin is such a beloved harvestable during Fall, it’s only fair to do it justice in this Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake. If you have fresh pumpkin puree that is unsweetened, feel free to use it in this dessert. Perhaps you grow your own pie pumpkins and like to jar your own puree. That would be incredibly fresh and delicious in this recipe.
If not, a good, old can of pumpkin puree does the trick. Be sure to avoid buying “pumpkin pie filling” as opposed to pure pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling already has tons of sugar and spices inside, which is not what we want. We will be using our own flavorings in the cheesecake, so pure pumpkin is what you’re looking for.
Mixing the Pumpkin Filling
If you have a stand mixer, use it! A large mixer will be your best bet when making this creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling. The recipe makes for a lot of filling. Alternatively, you can also use a hand mixer and a very large bowl.
Save your arms the strength and do not mix with your hand. While the ingredients are room temperature and easy to whisk, the amount of power you’ll need to whip it perfectly is better suited for a machine.
When baking, be sure to leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour after you shut off the heat. This serves a major purpose; it stops any cracks from forming on the surface of the cheesecake. By allowing the temperature to lower slowly, the filling will not collapse, causing cracks. Of course, if you do get a few cracks it’s okay! We will be topping this cheesecake with a praline sauce anyway.
Praline Sauce for Topping
The final step in creating a Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake is making the praline sauce for the topping. Since the cheesecake is pretty labor-intensive, especially for folks who do not bake frequently, we can cut a few corners by using some high-quality jarred caramel sauce.
Simply warm the caramel sauce in a saucepan before adding the whole pecans. The nuts get warm and slightly toasted in the caramel. Then, drizzle it all over the top of the cheesecake. The crunchy, saucy nuts mimic the crunchy crust, with a silky, pillowy, sweet cheesecake center.
Not only is this dessert delicious, but it will also brighten up your Thanksgiving table. It is such a showstopper that you can even use it as your table’s centerpiece! Who doesn’t want to look forward to dessert while you’re eating the actual meal?
Now, let’s get into the recipe!
Dress up your Thanksgiving table this Autumn with a silky Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake, made with a nutty gingersnap crust, dreamy pumpkin cream cheese filling, and topped with praline sauce!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Rest time: Overnight
For the Crust:
25 crunchy gingersnap cookies, blitzed into crumbs
¼ cup toasted pecans blitzed into crumbs
½ stick salted Irish butter, melted
For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
4 (8-oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1½ cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (16-oz.) can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
For the Praline Sauce:
8 ounces whole toasted pecans
1 cup prepared caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a round springform baking pan by spraying it with nonstick spray.
- In a food processor, add the cookies and the nuts and blend on high until you have a fine crumb. Be sure to use crunchy gingersnap cookies for the cheesecake crust, not the soft gingersnap cookies.
- Add the melted butter and blend one more time to coat the crumbs in fat.
- Dump the crust mixture into the pan and press flat, coming up the sides of the pan slightly. Be sure it is evenly pressed throughout.
- Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes until it smells nutty and toasted. Remove from the oven and set it aside.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Once light and fluffy, add the sugar, and eggs one at a time, then the heavy cream, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree. Mix until the filling is homogenous. There will be a lot of cheesecake filling!
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, then shut off the oven and leave the cheesecake in an off oven for another hour. This will keep cracks from forming on the surface of the cheesecake.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Transfer to the fridge and keep cold overnight.
- When ready to serve, add the pecans and caramel sauce to a saucepan over medium heat. Warm the sauce and nuts until it is pourable and the mixture smells nutty.
- Cut a slice of cheesecake and top with the praline sauce. Alternatively, you can allow the sauce to cool and top the entire cheesecake with sauce before serving.
Brought to you by Elpasony.com, another one! Enjoy!