Everyone expects pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but what about pumpkin cheesecake? Thought you couldn’t make it gluten-free? Think again.
Gluten-free or not, do you know how to make the perfect cheesecake without a crack on it? This pumpkin cheesecake is smooth as silk and bakes up just right every time. The secret? Baking cheesecake in a water bath keeps the baking temperature even throughout the cake and throughout the baking cycle.
Make your gluten-free Thanksgiving extra special with the perfect pumpkin cheesecake — made with the intense flavor of smooth pumpkin butter. Buy it in a jar or make your own with the easy pumpkin butter recipe in the instructions below. Either way, this might just become your new signature Thanksgiving dessert.
Gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake recipe
Yields 1 (9 inch) cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups crunchy chocolate gluten-free cookie crumbs (or gluten-free graham cracker crumbs)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 4 ounces pumpkin butter (store-bought or homemade from directions below), at room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease well a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, and set it aside.
- If you wish to make your own pumpkin butter, in a medium heavy-bottom stockpot, combine 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree with 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup and 4 fluid ounces apple cider or apple juice. Mix to combine and simmer on low heat until reduced by at least half. Allow to cool before using in this recipe.
- First, make the crust. In a large bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter until well-combined. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the filling. This will help the crust firm up.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand-held mixer), place the cream cheese, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, eggs and egg yolk, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch and salt, beating until well-combined after each addition. The batter should be smooth and pourable.
- Remove the pan from the freezer, and pour the filling into the crust. Bang the pan flat on the counter a few times to break any trapped air bubbles. Place the pan in a large roasting pan or other large pan with high sides, and place the pan on the center rack in the preheated oven. Slide the center rack, with the pan on it, out out of the oven a bit. Fill the pan with hot tap water until the water reaches about halfway up the side of the springform pan, taking care not to get any water in the springform pan itself.
- Bake the cheesecake for about 50 minutes, or until mostly set but still somewhat loose at the very center when jiggled lightly back and forth. Turn off the oven, prop the door open about 5 inches and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and lift the springform pan out of the roasting pan. Unwrap the aluminum foil from the outside of the pan, and carefully unmold the cheesecake. Allow to sit at room temperature, still on the springform pan bottom, until completely cool. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to overnight before slicing and serving.
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