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Pumpkin Cheesecake with gingersnap crust

From Magnolia Table Volume 3

The unexpected gingersnap crust paired with hints of pumpkin, then topped with a warm caramel sauce is a dream combination. This dish has become a favourite of mine to serve in the fall. When October comes around I always feels like celebrating. For as long as I can remember it's been my favourite month of the year. That might be why this cheesecake has a special place in my heart - every bite tastes like the best parts of the season." - Joanna Gaines




  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Boiling water, for baking


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. To make the gingersnap crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Move the highest oven rack to just below the middle of the oven.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnap cookies until they are crumb-like consistency and resemble sand. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups of the ground cookies and the melted butter. Reserve any remaining gingersnap crumbs to spirnkle on top of the finished cheesecake or discard.
  3. Evenly spread the crumbs in the bottom of a 9x3 inch spring form pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs down into an even, tightly packed layer.
  4. Bake the crust for 7 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F
  6. To make the cheesecake filling: in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the brown sugar on low speed, then increase the speed to medium-high until the sugar is well combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and spatula. Add the pumpkin puree, cornstarch, pumpkin spice, and salt and mix until well combined, starting on low speed and increasing to medium. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix one last time to make sure everything is well incorporated.
  7. Wrap the bottom and the sides of the cooled springform pan with foil. Place on a baking sheet with at least 1-ich lip or large roasting pan. Pour the filling into the spring form pan and gently tap the baking sheet on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and pour 1/2 inch of boiling water into the baking sheet, making sure not to splash any water into the cheesecake pan. Bake until the cheesecake has a slight 2-3 inch jiggle in the center, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Wrap the cooled cheesecake entirely in foil and place in the freezer for 5 hours or up to overnight to continue setting up.
  9. To make the caramel sauce: in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, and 2 tablespoons of water. Gently stir until the sugar is wet. Turn the heat to medium-high. Using a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula, slowly stir to dissolve the sugar, continuing until the mixture boils. Stop stirring and continue boiling until the mixture becomes an amber color, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the butter until melted. Slowly stir in the cream and salt. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan, then open to release the cheesecake. To plate up, cut into slices, then top each with a drizzle of caramel sauce, extra gingersnap crumbs (if using), and a dollop of whipped cream.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Makes 8 servings

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