Marbled Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
This Marbled Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake simply screams Fall, from the gingersnap crust to the warmly spiced pumpkin swirled cheesecake filling. It’s a perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving dessert table, and you can make it in advance.
You might feel intimidated by making a cheesecake, but I’m here to tell you it’s easy! Patience is the key here. It’s so easy to mix and press the crust into the springform pan and just as easy to mix up the cheesecake filling. However, once the cheesecake bakes, it’s important to slowly cool the cheesecake in the warm oven, to prevent cracking. Cheesecake isn’t a dessert that you can just eat right out of the oven. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, it needs to be refrigerated for a few hours before serving. It’s a great dessert to make a day or two ahead.
Let’s talk about making this Marbled Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust…
The crust is made of crushed Gingersnap cookies. The cookie crumbs get mixed with a tiny bit of ginger, sugar, and melted butter. I use the bottom of a measuring cup and the back of a spoon to press the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom and partially up the sides of a springform pan. I also wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with heavy foil. This ensures no water will seep into the pan when it’s in the water bath. Lastly, the crust gets baked for 10 minutes in the oven. This sets the crust.
The filling is made of two mixtures. The two get swirled together to make a beautiful marbled look.
CREAM CHEESE BATTER: The cream cheese mixture is made first. It combines cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, flour, and vanilla.
PUMPKIN SPICE BATTER: The pumpkin batter is made by adding two cups of the cream cheese filling to a large bowl with canned pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
Do you prefer sweet potato over pumpkin? Check out Kardea Brown’s recipe for Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust.
The water bath is necessary to keep the cheesecake moist and to help it from cracking. To make the water bath, you just need a pan that is larger than the springform pan and deep enough to hold one inch of water without it bubbling over. I recommend using a pan that is at least 2-inches deep. I always use a half sheet cake pan, but you can use any pan that will work. If you don’t have a pan that will work, don’t fret. Fill any pan that will fit on your bottom oven rack with 1-inch of water and place it on the bottom oven rack. Instead of the cheesecake sitting in the pan of water, the water will be on the rack below it.
There are two ways to fill the pan with water. You can place the pan on the oven rack, then fill it with the hot water, and gently place the springform pan into the water. The second option…place the empty pan in the oven, place the springform pan in the pan, and carefully pour the hot water into the pan, being careful not to splatter it into the cheesecake filling.
TIPS FOR A PERFECT NO-CRACK CHEESECAKE
- Waterbath: Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. The steam from the water keeps the cheesecake creamy and moist enough to prevent cracking. See my specific instructions and tips for the water bath in the recipe below.
- Oven temperature: Don’t bake the cheesecake at too high of a temperature. Some recipes call for preheating the oven to 350 degrees. I prefer to bake mine at 325 degrees. Low and slow!
- Overbaking: Do not overbake. Once the cheesecake is almost set, (this means set but still jiggly in the very center), it is done. It will finish firming up as it cools. If you over bake a cheesecake, it will become dry and crack on top.
- Proper slow cooling: Once the cheesecake has baked remove the water bath, and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar for one hour. After that, transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack and allow the cheesecake to completely cool before refrigerating. The key is to slowly cool down the cheesecake.
- Cheesecake freezes beautifully. Leave the cheesecake on the bottom of the springform pan. If you must remove it from the bottom, use a thin wide metal spatula, such as a wide pancake turner and carefully try to slide it off. Wrap the cheesecake several times in plastic wrap, then wrap with foil or place the cheesecake in a secure container, such as a pie container, and freeze. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Add garnishes at that time.
This Marbled Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust is the perfect cheesecake for a holiday gathering!
Recommended for this recipe,
Check out more great pumpkin recipes…Print
This velvety Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake has a delicious marbled filling made with a creamy cheesecake batter that gets swirled into a spicy pumpkin batter. It’s complemented with a crunchy gingersnap crust. Delicious!
- 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
CREAM CHEESE BATTER
- 4 (8 ounce) blocks full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
PUMPKIN SPICE BATTER
- 2 cups of cream cheese batter
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and line it with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnaps, sugar, butter, and salt. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until the crust feels firm. Remove from oven set aside to slightly cool while you make the batter.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
CREAM CHEESE BATTER
- Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the cream cheese if silky smooth and free of any lumps. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and no longer grainy. Add the sour cream, flour, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined.
PUMPKIN SPICE BATTER
- Add 2 cups of the cream cheese batter to a medium bowl. Add the pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice and mix by hand with a spoon until well combined.
- Layer batters in pan: Pour 2 cups of the remaining cream cheese batter over the crust, smoothing it out with an offset spatula. Pour 1 cup of the pumpkin spice batter into the center of the cream cheese batter. Using a large spoon, randomly drop spoonfuls of both of the remaining batters over the surface. Using a knife, swirl the batters together. To get a full marbled effect, make sure you insert the knife almost to the bottom crust before swirling.
- Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with a large sheet of foil, shiny side out. Place the pan in a large roasting pan or a 1/2 sheetcake pan (that’s what I use). Fill the pan with enough boiling water to come 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake on the center oven rack until the center is set, but still slightly jiggly, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Carefully remove the springform pan from the water bath and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the foil and refrigerate overnight until chilled and firm.
- Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with pumpkin pie spice, if desired.
- Recipe adapted from Bake From Scratch magazine.
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