Love cheesecake? Love pumpkin spice? Then this Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake is calling your name! It’s the perfect Autumn dessert!
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I was in the mood to make a cheesecake the other day. (Well, to be honest, I was in the mood to eat a cheesecake the other day. But you gotta make said cheesecake before you can eat said cheesecake.) Since we are currently smack in the middle of Pumpkin Everything season, I decided this partnership needed to happen. Pumpkin and cheesecake were destined to become this Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake!
I thought about making a straight-up pumpkin cheesecake. I made one a couple of years back for Thanksgiving, and it turned out well. But that was before I started this site and sadly no photos exist as proof of that cheesecake. As I was mixing the cheesecake batter, it hit me that it would be fun to turn this one into a swirled cheesecake. So I did just that! The vanilla (plain) cheesecake swirled with the pumpkin cheesecake to create this fun and tasty dessert.
I’m not sure my swirling skills were up to par here. Truthfully, I thought I had screwed this one up as I ended up with way more pumpkin cheesecake batter than I expected. So when I went to drop spoonfuls on top of the plain batter, I ended up with an entire pumpkin layer. I tried swirling it with a spoon, but I couldn’t see what was happening down there in the middle of the cheesecake. I was worried that I was just mixing it into a dull, dreary orange color…so I put a kabash on the mixing.
This Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake totally turned out like I wanted though! Ok, maybe a little more swirl would have been nice, but I’m not complaining. Although the darned thing did crack on top. Cheesecakes are fussy like that. You can bake them in a water bath. You can start them at one temperature, reduce the temperature after 20 minutes, crack the oven door, and then do a little cheesecake dance. But in the end, I’ve decided it’s pure luck. Sometimes the darn things crack on top. Sometimes they don’t.
I usually solve the problem by adding a layer of frosting on top. It might be a cream cheese frosting like on this Carrot Cake Cheesecake. My neighbor (who is an avid baker) said she often tops her cheesecakes with a layer of sweetened sour cream. That would have gone well with this Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake for sure, but sadly I didn’t have any sour cream in the fridge. And I wasn’t about to fight rush hour traffic to go get sour cream. But I did have heavy cream in the fridge. So I opted for a vanilla bean whipped cream layer.
Instead of the traditional graham cracker crust that I use for cheesecake, I went with a gingersnap crust here. Gingersnaps remind me of Fall. Pumpkin reminds me of Fall. So it just made since to use gingersnaps for this Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake. Enjoy, my friends, and have a great weekend!
P.S. Looking for more dessert recipes? Check out TheBestDessertRecipes.com. Several of my favorite desserts (like this New York Caramel Apple Cheesecake) are featured there…along with thousands of other awesome recipes. Embrace that sweet tooth!
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
For the Gingersnap Crust
For the Cheesecake
For the Gingersnap Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor or mini-chopper, pulse the gingersnaps until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, ginger and melted butter. Stir until fully combined.
- Lightly butter or grease a 9” springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. (Tip: A flat-bottomed glass helps pack the crust mixture down evenly.)
- Bake crust for 10 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
For the Cheesecake
- Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth (about 3 minutes).
- Add the sugar and mix well. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to fully incorporate the sugar.)
- Add flour and mix well.
- Whisk 4 of the eggs and both egg yolks together and add to the bowl in 2 additions, mixing fully after each addition. (Note: The remaining egg will be used later.)
- Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix until fully combined. (Tip: Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the filling is fully mixed.)
- Remove 2 cups of batter and combine with the pumpkin puree, remaining egg and cinnamon.
- Pour vanilla batter into the cooled crust. Pour pumpkin batter on top. Using a table knife, gently swirl the pumpkin batter into the vanilla batter.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place in a large baking pan. Fill pan with about ½”-¾” of water. Bake at 325° until center of cake is just barely set (about 80-90 minutes). (Tip: Pull the cheesecake out of the oven when there is about 1" ring of "looser" filling left in the center of the cake.)
- Remove cake from oven and cool for 10 min. Wrap entire pan in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
- The next day, remove the cake from the freezer and release the springform pan. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and defrost in a refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
- Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of whipped cream across top of cheesecake before serving.