When you make this Creamy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake, it just may become a new family tradition for Thanksgiving, Hallowe'en, and fall dinners! Made with a gluten-free ginger snap crust, this is a creamy low-sugar dessert.
If you're on a gluten-free diet, you should still get to enjoy one of life's greatest pleasures: Pumpkin Cheesecake! I adapted the recipe I've been using for years and made this lower carb Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake for our last family dinner. No one could believe that it was made with a zero-calorie sweetener!
This recipe makes a delicately flavoured, smooth, creamy low-sugar pumpkin cheesecake. The pumpkin flavour does not overpower and it's a silky, melt-in-your-mouth experience that makes you glad it's Fall! Wondering how to tell when a cheesecake is done? Read on.
This pumpkin cheesecake recipe is not entirely sugar-free. I use store-bought gluten-free ginger snaps to make the crust, and I offer homemade salted caramel sauce to those around the table who aren't avoiding sugar. However, it satisfies everyone's need to enjoy a family tradition!
This base for this creamy pumpkin cheesecake is made with store-bought, gluten-free gingersnap crumbs. Using ready-made crumbs makes this recipe easier.
The filling is made with cream cheese, pumpkin purée, sugar or other sweetener and spices.
This cheesecake is topped with a delicious sour cream glaze, flavoured with vanilla and sweetener.
And if you'd like to garnish this cheesecake, top with whipped cream, pecans, and/or caramel sauce!
A note about zero-calorie sweeteners
My hubby is on a sugar-free diet as he deals with health issues, so I've tried different zero-calorie granulated sweeteners.
My favourite? Lacanto Monkfruit Sweetener with Erythritol. It's an all-natural sweetener. Monk fruit extract is rated as zero on the glycemic index, and has zero calories and zero carbs so it won’t spike blood sugar. I've also used Swerve, but sometimes it has a slight cooling sensation as an aftertaste. While both sweeteners work well, and both were recommended by a naturopath, I prefer the Monkfruit.
Monkfruit looks like sugar and it acts like sugar in recipes. I use it in all my baking now, for cakes, cookies, muffins, loaves, and anywhere a recipe calls for granulated sugar. It's available in both Classic (like white sugar) and Golden (like light brown sugar.)
The only drawback I've found is that it's not cheap. However, Costco carries it now at a much lower price than I've found online or in supermarkets. You can read more about monkfruit on the Lacanto site. This is not a sponsored post. I have no affiliation with the company.
If making a gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake seems difficult or daunting, have a look at my suggestions below. It's a simple recipe, but there are a few tips to guarantee success. You'll find complete, detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Start by preparing the crust. Crush gluten-free gingersnaps in a food processor or with a rolling pin, combine with melted butter, press into a springform pan and bake in the oven.
- Next, combine the filling ingredients, using an electric mixer.
- Once the crust has cooled slightly, pour the filling into the crust, spreading it to the edges.
- Next, prepare a water bath to bake the cake. See the FAQ section for instructions to make a cheesecake water bath.
- Carefully slide the cheesecake into the oven and bake. When it's done (see the FAQ below to tell how to know when a cheesecake is done), remove from the oven, and spread with sour cream glaze. Bake for an additional 3 - 5 minutes until set.
- Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an hour with the door open slightly.
- Then remove from the oven, release the spring, and transfer the cake to a cooling rack. Once completely cool, garnish!
❓Frequently asked questions
Wrap the springform pan in a double layer of foil, completely covering the bottom and extending up to the top edge of the pan. Set the pan in a roasting pan, put it in the oven, then pour boiling water into the roasting pan up to a depth of an inch or halfway up the sides of the pan. It's a simple step that will help make a perfect cheesecake.
This is the question that may seem to make baking a cheesecake difficult. How do you know when a cheesecake is fully baked? If you take it out of the oven too soon, it may be too soft and you may have wasted a lot of ingredients. If you leave it too long, you risk having a dry, over-baked cheesecake.
Cheesecakes are different from regular cakes. You can't insert a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. In fact, you should never insert a toothpick or a knife into your cheesecake. Baking time will vary if your oven temperature fluctuates, so it's best to use your eyes as a guide.
Use these clues to check if your cheesecake is done:
Is the cheesecake firm around the edges of the pan? No? Leave it a little longer.
Is it firm around the edges but does it still jiggle in the center? The middle two inches of the cheesecake should have a perfect little wobble when you gently shake it. If so, it's done! The center will firm up as the cake cools.
If cracks are developing in the top, it may be overbaked. Since your goal is to have a creamy cheesecake, take it out quick!
A trick that works for me is to turn off the oven, crack the door open, and leave the cheesecake to rest for up to an hour. Cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
🔁 Possible variations
Change the crust: You can easily substitute a graham cracker crust for the gingersnap cookie crust.
Change the garnish: For a simple topping, save a little of the cookie crumb crust before baking and sprinkle on top. Or add a few Sparkly Sugared Cranberries or white chocolate shavings.
What are you waiting for? I hope this creamy delicious Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake becomes a new family favourite in your home, too.
Creamy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 ¼ cups gingersnap crumbs, gluten-free
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 24 oz cream cheese, (3 - 8 oz. packages), softened
- 1 ¼ cups zero-calorie sweetener, like Monkfruit Sweetener with Erythritol, or other granulated sweetener
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup pure pumpkin purée, not pie filling
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sour Cream Glaze
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp zero-calorie sweetener, like Monkfruit Sweetener with Erythritol, or other granulated sweetener
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1 tsp zero-calorie sweetener
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Combine gluten-free gingersnap crumbs, Monkfruit sweetener (or Swerve) or other granulated sweetener, and butter. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Press crumbs on to bottom of pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
- Beat cream cheese, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until combined. Mix in pumpkin. Beat in eggs and egg whites until well blended. Add cornstarch and vanilla and beat until blended. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.
- Smooth to the edges of the pan with a spatula or angled cake spatula.
- To avoid cracks in the top of the cheesecake, bake it in a water bath as follows: wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with two sheets of aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping in. Place wrapped pan in a roasting pan. Place in oven and pour boiling water into the pan an inch deep.
- Bake at 325°F. for 50 - 60 minutes or until outer edge of cheesecake are set and two-inch center area is slightly wobbly when gently shaken.
- Remove from oven to wire rack and cool for 5 min. Combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons zero-calorie sweetener, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Spread over top of cheesecake and return to oven. Bake for 3-5 minutes until sour cream mixture is set. Turn oven off, open door slightly and let cheesecake sit in oven for an hour.
- Remove cheesecake to cooling rack. Run a metal spatula around the rim of the pan to gently loosen cake and prevent cracks from forming.Let cool completely.
- Remove side of springform pan. Decorate by piping whipped cream around perimeter of cake and adding whole pecans. If desired, drizzle with caramel sauce when serving (optional).
Love pumpkin desserts? You might also like this Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Coffee Cake, and if you don't want to bake a whole cheesecake but are craving the flavour, try this easy Creamy Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse.