Pumpkin Bourbon CheesecakeJump to Recipe
This dessert originated as a recipe from Cooking Light. It was a Bourbon Pumpkin Tart situation that tried to cut some calories here in there with some smart substitutions. Don’t get me wrong, I can do healthy, but if I’m going to make a pie or a tart or something, I generally want it to be delicious and not half-assed. So, this Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake is my updated version.
It’s rich, creamy, spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, and a massive upgrade to your standard holiday pumpkin pie.
Also, I love how you don’t actually need a pie dish for this recipe. Keep your pie dishes for other serving options!
Table of contents
Making the Cheesecake Crust
I’ve tried many different crumb crust recipes over the years. This one is a nice mix of easy and delicious.
To start the mixture Crush up your graham crackers (or you can use a cup graham cracker crumbs if you want) and then add your sugar and a pinch of salt and drizzle in your melted butter. Mix everything together with a fork. It should be loose, but if you press on it, it should clump together. You can mix this in a food processor if you wish.
Start loading it into your springform pan (or you can use a normal pie pan I guess but a springform pan is truly the best for cheesecakes). One trick I learned, I think from Alton Brown, is to use a measuring cup to press crumb mixture down. Work around the edge with the measuring cup until all the edges are about the same thickness and pressed firmly together.
Work slowly and make sure it is all really packed down well. It’s very important to have a good sturdy crust.
Bake this crust in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes in the middle position of your oven. Then chill crust completely on a wire rack. It should harden up nicely as it cools.
Making the pumpkin cheesecake filling
I used decent bourbon for the recipe not because I think it’s necessarily important for the pie, but because I intend to drink the leftovers and so I bought a bourbon I like. You can use any bourbon for the recipe!
You’ll need a variety of other ingredients as well. I like to use a full-fat cream cheese for the filling (I don’t trust low fat cream cheese). You’ll also need sugar, light brown sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice!
Start by beating together your cream cheese and sugars. Once they are well incorporated and light, add the eggs and pumpkin (be sure to buy 100% pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling). Mix that all together and then add all your other ingredients.
It’s a pretty quick filling to pull together actually. I used whole spices and ground them up myself, but feel free to just use ground stuff if that’s what you have available.
Once your pie crust has cooled down, you can pour your pumpkin mixture into your crust!
Baking the bourbon pumpkin cheesecake
The hardest thing about baking a cheesecake correctly is that you really can’t just stick it in the oven and bake it. You need to bake this in a water bath to ensure that your filling sets and stays moist and to prevent cracking. I did this by setting my pie pan on a large baking sheet and then pouring a few cups of boiling water around the pan right before sticking it in the oven.
The water will form steam and help the pie set up nicely.
If you are worried about the water seeping into your springform pan, you can wrap the pan tightly in foil.
Bake this delicious bourbon pumpkin cheesecake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the center barely wiggles when you tap the side. Let the cheesecake cool the pie to room temperature on a wire rack and then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours.
Eating the Cheesecake!
Ok. There aren’t really any instructions on how to eat it. You know how to do that. What’s nice about the springform pan is that you can take out the entire cheesecake which makes it really easy to cut and serve.
Some tiny pieces of my crust fell off in the process, but in general it held together perfectly. The filling ended up being a wonderful middle ground between pumpkin pie and cheesecake!
If you are making your own whipped cream, just whisk all the above ingredients together and then dollop it on top! Honestly, the cheesecake is pretty good without the whipped cream also so if you’re looking to really save some calories that might be the place to do it.
I think this would be a pretty great alternative to the classic pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving feast.
I wouldn’t mess with the basics of this recipe too much as a cheesecake is a pretty finnicky recipe, but you could change up the spices to your liking. You could add some ground ginger to it for a little spicy punch.
If you don’t happen to have bourbon, you could leave it out entirely or try a different liquor like amaretto.
I’ve seen cheesecake recipes with sour cream folded in but I’ve never personally tried it so proceed at your own risk there.
If you wanted to add some texture to this cheesecake you could add some chopped pecans either to the top of the cheesecake while it is cooling or mix in some pecans into the graham cracker crust.
Storing the cheesecake
One of the best things about this bourbon pumpkin cheesecake is that you actually have to make it in advance. It needs some time to set up in the fridge so you can do it many days in advance and it’s actually better than if you just made it.
If you baked the cheesecake in a springform pan, it’s easiest to store it in the pan as well with some plastic wrap covering, but not directly on top of the cheesecake.
The cheesecake would be fine to store in your fridge for up to a week.
My Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
This is a wonderful switch from the classic pumpkin pie recipe. Made with a classic graham cracker crust and the filling is rich, creamy, and perfectly spiced. So good with a dollop of whipped cream!
1) Crush up your graham crackers (or you can buy crumbs if you want) and then add your sugar and drizzle in your melted butter. Mix everything together with a fork. It should be loose, but if you press on it, it should clump together.
2) Start loading crust into springform pan. Use a measuring cup to press down the crumbs. Work around the edge with the measuring cup until all the edges are about the same thickness and pressed firmly together. Work slowly and make sure it is all really packed down well. It’s very important to have a good sturdy crust.
3) Bake this crust in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Then let it cool completely on a wire rack. It should harden up nicely as it cools.
4) For filling, beat together cream cheese and sugars. Once they are well incorporated and light, add the eggs and pumpkin (be sure to buy 100% pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling). Mix that all together and then add all other ingredients.
5) Once pie crust has cooled down, you can pour filling into crust!
6) Set pie pan on a large baking sheet and then pour 1 Cup of boiling water around the pan right before sticking it in the oven to create a water bath.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the center barely wiggles when you tap the side.
8) Cool the pie to room temperature on a wire rack and then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours.
9) Whisk all the whip cream ingredients together and then dollop it on top!
Here are a few other great recipes!
Hello! My name is Nick Evans and I write and manage Macheesmo. I started Macheesmo 11 years ago when I was just learning my way around the kitchen. I love to cook and love everything food-related, but I have no formal training. These days I focus on fast, accessible recipes with the occasional “reach” recipe!
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