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Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

This Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake is made with a chocolate cookie crust, creamy pumpkin filling, and is topped with a rich chocolate ganache.

A chocolate pumpkin cheesecake on a white cake stand.

Creating This Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

My sister just moved to Boulder. We live near each other for the first time since I was still living at home and in high school. Within a week of her moving here, we celebrated her birthday.

Naturally, Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake was in order. There were definitely things to celebrate!

Allie said she wanted something chocolate-y. I’m no good at layer cakes, which is why you’ve never seen one on GoodLife Eats.

She didn’t feel like cupcakes. Maybe pie?

Then I thought…cheesecake. With chocolate. And pumpkin. Yep, that sounded just about right.

A winner all around, this will be gracing our Thanksgiving table for sure!

Ingredients in Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe has three parts to it: the chocolate cookie crust, the pumpkin cheesecake filling, and the pumpkin cheesecake topping.

Here’s what you’ll need for this easy fall cheesecake recipe:

  • Chocolate graham crackers
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Cane sugar
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Spices
  • Dark chocolate

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

Can I Use Light Cream Cheese?

No, for best results you must use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.

How to Make Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Despite the lengthier instructions, this is actually an easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Below is a brief overview of how the recipe comes together.

  1. Make the crust: It’s a simple mixture of chocolate graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.
  2. Press the crust mixture into a 10-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Make the pumpkin filling: Beat together the pumpkin and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the remaining filling ingredients.
  4. Turn the pumpkin filling into the pre-baked and cooled crust.
  5. Make a water bath (I’ve given details on how to do so in the recipe card below), then bake the cheesecake until the edges are set.
  6. Turn off the oven, crack the door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about an hour.
  7. Transfer the cheesecake to a cooling rack and let it come to room temperature.
  8. Once room temperature, chill the cheesecake overnight in the fridge.
  9. Make the ganache: Once the cream and chocolate have been melted together, drizzle generously over the cheesecake.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

A chocolate pumpkin cheesecake on a white cake stand.

Can Cheesecake Be Made in Advance?

Yes! Chocolate pumpkin cheesecake can be baked up to two days before you plan on serving it. Leftovers last up to five days in the fridge, but I recommend serving it within 48 hours of making it.

Can Cheesecake Be Frozen?

Yes, but I recommend freezing it without the chocolate ganache, if possible. Freeze the entire cheesecake or individual slices for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the fridge.

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cheesecakes can sometimes feel like a tricky thing. They take forever to bake, and require a lot of cream cheese, but overall I feel like they are much less intensive than a layer cake despite the rather long looking directions.

Here are a few tips to ensure you are perfectly satisfied when you bake this Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake.

1. Room Temperature Ingredients

It is best to bring the ingredients to room temperature before beginning recipe preparations. To do this, set the eggs, heavy cream, and cream cheese out on the counter 30 minutes before beginning.

2. Don’t Over Mix the Ingredients

Cheesecake doesn’t rely on air being beaten into the batter like flour based cakes. Room temperature ingredients will help the filling for this Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake come together quickly and easily without over beating.

3. Cook Slow, Cool Slow

Cheesecakes can form cracks in their tops when cooked or cooled too quickly.

To minimize cracking, I prefer to allow the cheesecake to slowly cool inside the oven rather than making a shocking transfer from hot oven to cool counter top. Additionally, resist the urge to open the oven while the cake is baking.

4. Use a Hot, Clean Knife to Cut

Cheesecake can really gunk up a knife when cutting, making it difficult to cut clean and precise slices. I rinse the knife in hot water after each slice I cut of this Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake.

The heat helps the knife pass quickly and easily through the rich cheese while rinsing it after each slice keeps the knife cutting sharp and precise.

More Pumpkin Desserts:

Whether you want to make some pumpkin desserts for Thanksgiving or just want an easy recipe for a weeknight treat, here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes:

This Pumpkin Cobbler recipe is totally homemade, no cake mix required! It features a spiced streusel topping and a creamy pumpkin filling.

Pumpkin Truffles are simply, no-bake treats you can enjoy all fall long!

This homemade Pumpkin Custard is incredibly easy to prepare and makes for a wonderful fall dessert. Perfect for family gatherings!

This Pumpkin Pudding recipe is the perfect way to celebrate fall! It is easy to prepare, super creamy, and full of all your favorite fall spices. 

These No Bake Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Jars feature yummy layers of gingersnap crust and no bake pumpkin cheesecake filling. They’re like cute little individual pumpkin cheesecakes!

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chocolate pumpkin cheesecake recipe

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Chill Time : 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes

This Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake is made with a chocolate cookie crust, creamy pumpkin filling, and is topped with a rich chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Crust:

  • 6 ounces chocolate graham crackers or Teddy Grahams
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 of a stick) butter, melted

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups organic whole cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup whipping cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions

For the Chocolate Crust:

  1. Place the rack in the center position of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Wrap the bottom and up the sides on the outside of a 10-inch spring form in a double layer of heavy-duty foil.
  2. In a food processor, combine the sugar and chocolate graham crackers. Grind until the crackers are very fine. Slowly stream the melted butter in while pulsing the food processor on button. Pulse just until the crackers begin to come together with the butter.
  3. Press the cracker mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan. You do not need to go up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and cool. Set aside while preparing the filling.

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Add the cream cheese and the sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat using medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides as needed.
  2. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating in between additions.
  3. Then add the pumpkin puree, whipping cream, vanilla, and spices. Beat the mixture just until blended.
  4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust. Place the prepared spring form pan in the center of a large roasting pan. Add enough water to come halfway up sides of pan.
  5. Transfer the spring form pan to the center rack of the oven. Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees F until the outside of the cheesecake is set but the center is still slightly loose, about 1 hour and 30 minutes - 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven off, crack the door slightly ajar, then close and allow to cool until the oven has come to room temperature - about an hour.
  7. Then carefully, remove from the roasting pan and cool on a rack to room temperature. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, cover and refrigerate the cheesecake at least 8 hours or overnight.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. After the cake has chilled, prepare the chocolate ganache. Depending on your personal preference, you may choose to double the amount of chocolate ganache prepared.
  2. Place the chopped dark chocolate into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Then, pour the cream into a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until bubbles begin to form along the edges and the cream is hot. Do not bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chopped chocolate and allow to sit while the chocolate melts. Whisk using a small wire whisk to combine until smooth. Pour the ganache over the cheesecake. Let sit until the ganache has cooled.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 18 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 418Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 105mgSodium 236mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 1gSugar 29gProtein 6g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Kaitlyn

Sunday 11th of November 2012

Do you remove the pan from the cake after you run the knife around the edge or after it has fully chilled? You didn't specify in the recipe when to remove the pan from the cake. Looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving! Thanks!!!

Kaitlyn

Wednesday 21st of November 2012

Thanks Katie! Making this right now for our Thanksgiving dinner!

Katie

Sunday 11th of November 2012

I did not remove till after chilled. Will update recipe with that info tomorrow.

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

Thursday 8th of November 2012

Adore the addition of chocolate! I'd have a hard time keeping my fingers out of it lol

Allison

Wednesday 7th of November 2012

This sounds delicious! I've never had a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, but I think I need to remedy that soon.

We love cupcakes for birthdays. We've also done a lot of pies for birthdays - I love a good coconut cream pie.

Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana

Wednesday 7th of November 2012

I love pumpkin cheesecake, what an awesome birthday cake :) For our birthdays, we always have ice cream cake, or pie for my husband who doesn't like cake!

Erin @ Texanerin Baking

Wednesday 7th of November 2012

I'm so with you. I'd much rather make cheesecake! Layer cakes are such a pain. And how fun that your sister is now in the area again. I wish I had someone to make me cheesecake for my birthday. :)

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