When you make this Creamy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake, it just may become a new family tradition for Thanksgiving, Hallowe'en, and fall dinners! This is a creamy low-sugar dessert. It has a gluten-free gingersnap crust, a cream cheese pumpkin filling and a sour cream glaze. This post includes helpful tips to ensure your pumpkin cheesecake turns out perfectly!
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.
This recipe makes a delicately flavoured, smooth, creamy 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!
Note: 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!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easily adaptable to those on special diets, or for those who aren't!
- You can easily make it gluten-free by making the base from gluten-free cookie crumbs. I use store-bought gluten-free gingersnaps, and gluten-free graham crackers or vanilla wafers would be equally as delicious!
- And of course, if you don't need this cheesecake to be free of gluten, feel free to use regular gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs!
- You can make it almost completely sugar-free! Years ago, I always made this dessert with granulated sugar, but lately, I've been using 0-calorie natural Monkfruit sweetener instead. You can read more about it in A Note About Monkfruit Sweetener.
- Honestly, whenever I make this cheesecake with Monkfruit, no one can believe it has no sugar!
- 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!
Before we get to the full recipe for this gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake below, here are a few notes about some of the ingredients you'll need.
For the Crust
- As mentioned above, I use gluten-free gingersnap cookies and crush them in a food processor before mixing them with butter for the crust. You can use graham crackers instead, if you prefer, but the gingersnap flavour goes so well with pumpkin!
for the Pumpkin Filling
- canned pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling
- cream cheese: you'll need 3 8-ounce bricks, either regular or light. It's important to make sure these are at room temperature before blending, otherwise you'll end up with a lumpy filling.
- spices: cinnamon and nutmeg bring that cozy fall feeling to this dessert
- eggs: you'll need 2 eggs and 2 egg whites
- sweetener: your choice: granulated sugar or 0-calorie Monkfruit
For the glaze:
- sour cream and sweetener
For the garnish:
- heavy cream, also known as whipping cream
- caramel sauce (optional)
- whole pecans (optional)
If making a gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake seems difficult or daunting, have a look at my suggestions below. It's a simple recipe, and I've included 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.
- Tip! 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 and helpful tips
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 and put it in the oven. Now 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 it on top. Or add a few Sparkly Sugared Cranberries or white chocolate shavings.
Storing and freezing pumpkin cheesecake
Unless you're serving a large group, it's likely you'll have a few leftover slices. Refrigerate them promptly. You can store these wrapped or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
If you want to freeze your leftovers, it's best to wrap slices individually in plastic. Store them in a freezer zipper-top bag or another airtight container. These will last a few weeks in the freezer.
You can also freeze a whole baked cheesecake, tightly wrapped, of course, for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge.
Enjoy! I hope this creamy delicious Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake becomes a new family favourite in your home, too.
Love pumpkin desserts? You might also like this Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Coffee Cake. If you don't want to bake a whole cheesecake but are craving the flavour, try this easy Creamy Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse.
This recipe was originally published in 2018. It has been updated with extra information to make it even more helpful!
🗒 More gluten-free dessert recipes
Creamy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 ¼ cups gingersnap crumbs, gluten-free
- 3 tablespoon butter, melted
- 24 oz cream cheese, (3 - 8 oz. packages), softened
- 1 ¼ cups zero-calorie sweetener, like Monkfruit Sweetener with Erythritol, or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup pure pumpkin purée, not pie filling
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sour Cream Glaze
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoon zero-calorie sweetener, like Monkfruit Sweetener with Erythritol, or granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1 teaspoon powdered zero-calorie sweetener or powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon 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).