This Pumpkin Cheesecake is the perfect dessert to fill your home with a captivating aroma and gear your family up for the holidays! It is a pure baked deliciousness packed with fall colors, flavors, and textures. It is a super simple recipe where you need a few kitchen tools to get the job done!
Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or baking spray. Set aside.
Crumble the graham crackers and put them in the food processor. Add pecans (if using) and grind them into fine crumbs. Then, add brown sugar, unsalted melted butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue pulsing until all the ingredients are mixed well.
Transfer the graham cracker mix to the greased springform pan. Spread all over and press down using a flat-bottomed bowl to achieve an even base.
Place it in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°F/190°C. Remove from the oven and set aside. Also, reduce the oven's heat to 200°F/93°C.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
In the large bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the softened cream cheese and sour cream into a smooth consistency on medium speed while scraping the sides at regular intervals. Then, add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch and mix for one minute. Slowly add the eggs followed by the yolks and gently combine until creamy.
Assemble the Cheesecake
Pour in about 1 ½-2 cups of the cream cheese filling and spread it evenly into the bottom of the cheesecake crust. Set aside.
Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice mix, and vanilla extract to the remaining cream cheese filling. Whisk softy till nicely combined.
Carefully spread the pumpkin filling over the plain cheesecake filling using a spatula.
Set the cheesecake aside for 10 minutes until tiny bubbles form on the surface. Run a fork over the top, popping as many bubbles as possible.
Bake the Cheesecake
Make sure the oven is at 200°F/93°C. Then, transfer the springform pan to the oven and bake for 3-3½ hours. You'll know the cheesecake is perfectly baked when it jiggles a little when nudged, and the temperature in the center reaches 165°F/74℃.
After removing it from the oven, let it cool for 5-10 minutes on the counter. Also, run a paring knife between the cheesecake and the side of the springform pan to make it easier for the cheesecake to come out when ready to serve. Leave it on the counter for about 3 hours to cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of six hours or preferably overnight until it's cold and firmly set.
Take the cake out of the fridge, remove the plastic, and release the springform pan from the cheesecake. Decorate with whipped cream, candied pecans, and caramel (optional).
To slice the cake into pretty clean pieces, dip your knife in hot water, dry it off, and then slice. The warm knife will cut cleanly for pretty slices. Enjoy!