This double layer pumpkin cheesecake has been a staple dessert for my family's Thanksgiving. This cheesecake has a graham cracker and pecan crust. It also has both a layer of regular creamy cheesecake and pumpkin cheesecake. This is a much tastier alternative version of pumpkin pie!
What Makes This The BEST Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
This is a Thanksgiving staple for a reason! This cheesecake takes the wonderful pumpkin flavor from a traditional pumpkin pie and transforms it into a super flavorful cheesecake. Here are the main three parts that MAKE this cheesecake:
- The Crust- This graham cracker crust has chopped pecans in it. It adds a bit more crunch to the crust and you can taste the slight pecan flavor. This crust is also so much easier to make than a dough pie crust, like for pumpkin pie.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake- Not only is there a bottom layer of regular cheesecake but there is also a pumpkin cheesecake layer too. This layer is full of pumpkin and has a ton of both cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. This cheesecake has SO much flavor!
- Whipped Cream- Can you even have pumpkin pie without whipped cream? There is a homemade whipped cream on top of the cheesecake and it makes it super creamy. It is also topped with pecans which gives it another layer of crunchy texture.
How To Make Graham Cracker Pecan Crust
I used to make this pumpkin cheesecake with a store bought graham cracker crust back before I even knew how to use a spring form pan!
While there is nothing wrong with that if you wanted to use a store bought crust, it is just a million times better when you make your own!
Good news! It is also super easy to make!
Start by mixing the graham cracker crumbs, chopped pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter together. Use a fork and mix it together until it almost resembles wet sand.
Then, pour it into a 9 inch spring form pan. First, use your fingers to spread it halfway up the sides of the pan. Then, to really compact it down, use the back of a measuring cup. Make sure to get the edges, so they aren't too thick.
Next, bake for 13 minutes. Don't skip this step! This helps to get a sturdy base for this cheesecake.
How To Easily Remove The Cheesecake From The Pan
The key to have an easily removable cheesecake is to make sure you spray the spring form pan very well.
After the cheesecake has cooled, the spring form pan ring should be able to be easily removed. If it is stuck to the cheesecake a litte, use a knife and go around the edges.
Then, turn the cheesecake on the side and remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper.
How To Make A Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake
The best part of this double layer pumpkin cheesecake is the cheesecake itself! Here are some tips to make this yummy cheesecake.
- Room temperature ingredients- This is a MUST. Pull all of the dairy ingredients out to get to room temperature at least 2 hours before baking. Room temperature cream cheese is key to getting a smooth and creamy cheesecake.
- Use a mixer- You can use either a stand or hand mixer. Start by beating the cream cheese for 1 minute on medium-high. This starta to get it smooth. Then, add in the sugar and beat again for 1 minute. This ensures the batter won't have any cream cheese lumps.
- Scrape the bowl- Scrape the bowl so many times during this process. Sometimes cream cheese can get stuck on the very bottom of the bowl, so scrape the bowl to avoid that!
- Mix the eggs on low- Once you start to add in the eggs, mix the batter on low. The less air you introduce into the batter at this point the better.
- Divide the batter- Divide the batter into 2 separate bowls. Half of the batter will be for the regular cheesecake and the rest for the pumpkin cheesecake
- Add the pumpkin- Add the pumpkin and the spice into 1 of the bowls of cheesecake batter. Mix it in on low. Once it starts to combine, switch to a rubber spatula and fold it in gently the rest of the way.
The Best Water Bath Technique
This is the BEST water bath technique! I have tried multiple different techniques, but this one is the best!
- Grab a large roasting pan or a multi purpose pan.
- Use a 10 inch cake pan. Then, place the spring form pan inside the cake pan,
- Fit the cake pan inside the roasting pan.
- Fill the pan with hot boiling water. It should come halfway up the cake pan.
- Now bake the cheesecake!
Now, you can also wrap the spring form pan with aluminum foil and place it in the roasting pan with hot water. I prefer the other technique because there is no chance of water getting inside. This means no soggy crust!
Slowly Cooling The Cheesecake
Once the cheesecake is done baking, prop open the oven door and turn off the oven. Let the cheesecake sit in the water bath for 30 minutes.
This method is to allow the double layer pumpkin cheesecake to slowly cool. The initial cooling time is crucial in preventing the cheesecake from cracking.
If the cheesecake cools out at regular room temperature, it is an extreme temperature difference and that is what can cause it to crack after baking. Nothing is more frustrating than having a pretty cheesecake that later cracks!
Once the cheesecake is done cooling in the oven, transfer to a cooling rack. Then, allow it to cool completely before covering and transferring it to the fridge.
The cheesecake does need to cool for 6 hours before taking it out of the pan.
Storing The Cheesecake
Since this is a cheesecake, it has to be stored in the fridge. It will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
To serve this cheesecake, use a sharp knife to cut into this cheesecake. To get a perfect slice, make sure to clean the knife between each cut.
For More Cheesecake Recipes:
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Pecan Crust
- 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup Pecans chopped
- 3 TBSP Brown sugar light or dark packed
- 6 TBSP Unsalted butter melted
- 24 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- 3 Large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup Pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 1 cup Heavy cream cold
- ¼ cup Powdered sugar sifted
- Chopped pecans optional for decoration
Graham Cracker Pecan Crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with non-stick baking spray. Place a 9 inch parchment circle on the bottom and spray again.
- In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, chopped pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter together with a fork. All of it should be wet.
- Pour the crumbs into the spring form pan. Use your hands to push it down evenly on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Use a measuring cup to compact the crust down. Make sure to get the corners.
- Bake for 13 minutes. Then, allow to cool before starting the cheesecake.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high. Scrape the bowl and add in the sugar. Beat for another minute. Scrape the bowl.
- Add in the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Mix on medium for 1 minute. There should be no lumps in the batter and it should be completely smooth.
- Add in the eggs one at a time and mix on low. Mix until the eggs are just combined. Halfway through mixing in the eggs, scrape the bowl. Pour half of the cheesecake batter into a separate bowl.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice into the half of the cheesecake batter. Mix on low until just combined. Scrape the bowl to make sure it is all mixed in.
- Pour the regular cheesecake batter into the pan. Smooth with a spatula. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake batter on top. Smooth with a spatula and make sure no regular cheesecake batter shows.
- Water bath- You need a water bath for this cheesecake. You can do 2 different techniques. 1. Use a large roasting pan and a 10 inch cake pan. Place the spring form pan into the cake pan and place both in the roasting pan. Fill up the roasting pan half way with hot water. 2. Use a roasting pan and cover the spring form pan twice with aluminum foil and place directly in roasting pan with the hot water. Make sure to start the hot water when you start the cheesecake batter.
- Bake the cheesecake for 70-85 minutes. The cheesecake should have set edges and a slight jiggle in the middle. If it jiggles a lot, then bake for another 10 minutes and check again.
- When cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven and prop the door open slightly. Allow the cheesecake to slightly cool for 30 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack. Cheesecake should cool completely before covering and chilling in the fridge. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Freeze the metal bowl and whisk attachment for 10 minutes. Then, combine heavy cream and powdered sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Take off the spring form pan and remove the parchment circle. Pipe the whipped cream on the sides of the cheesecake. Top with chopped pecans.