No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ever since I published plain no-bake cheesecake, I’ve had requests for this flavor! This no-bake pumpkin cheesecake is smooth and creamy with extra spiced flavor. It sits in a crunchy gingersnap cookie crust that provides the best textural contrast to the fluffy mousse-like filling. There’s absolutely no oven required– the dessert sets up in the refrigerator, making it a convenient make-ahead option this fall season.

no bake pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust and whipped cream on top

There aren’t many seasonal desserts that top pumpkin pie. A dessert tradition this time of year, pumpkin pie features a smooth spiced filling sitting in a wonderfully flaky pie crust. It’s hard to compete with this kind of perfection.

But I found something that comes shockingly close. Let me introduce you to no-bake pumpkin cheesecake. A recipe that skips the oven, says goodbye to pie crust, and waves toodaloo to any sort of cheesecake water bath. (See ya!) It tastes like cheesecake mousse with the deeply spiced flavor of pumpkin pie. Sitting in a flavorful gingersnap cookie crust, this ultra creamy dessert is unforgettable. If you don’t fall in love, I’ll happily take your leftovers.


Why You’ll Love No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake:

  1. Texture– crunchy crust, light & creamy filling
  2. Flavor– cinnamon gingersnap crust and pumpkin spiced filling
  3. Ease– no water bath, no baking, no cheesecake cracks on top, no worries
  4. Convenience– save precious oven space for other dishes
  5. Make-ahead– filling sets and flavor tastes better

no bake pumpkin cheesecake slice with whipped cream on top

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Video Tutorial


Gingersnap Cookie Crust

With more flavor and crunch than a graham cracker crust, a gingersnap cookie crust isn’t just there in the background. Instead, it’s a whole other layer to savor. You need gingersnap cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. To make this crust a cut above the rest, I suggest adding cinnamon and ginger too. This is exactly how I prepare the crust for my (baked) pumpkin swirl cheesecake, though you need a little more of each ingredient for this recipe.

3 Success Tips:

  • Type of cookie: The type of gingersnap cookie you use will make or break the recipe. (Literally.) I’ve never had luck using homemade gingersnaps. Pick up a box/bag of store-bought gingersnaps, such as Stauffer’s brand. You can find them in the cookie aisle of most grocery stores. You want extra crunchy, hard, and somewhat dry cookies. If they’re too moist, your crust won’t set up.
  • Pack it in: The tighter you pack in this crust, the less likely it will fall apart when cutting the cheesecake. I recommend using the bottom of a measuring cup to pack it into the bottom and up the sides of your springform pan.
  • Briefly freeze to set the crust: After you pack in the crust, place it in the freezer while you prepare the cheesecake filling. Remember, we aren’t baking this crust– the freezer gives the crust a chance to set before you add the filling on top.

Don’t want to use gingersnap cookies? Use the graham cracker crust from my plain no-bake cheesecake.

package of gingersnap cookies and a photo of gingersnap cookie crumbs

pressing a gingersnap crust into a springform pan

Overview: How to Make No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  1. Whip heavy cream: In the 1st bowl, beat heavy cream/heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks. This is the most important step in this entire recipe and *the secret* to a thick no-bake cheesecake filling.
  2. Mix the other filling ingredients together: In a 2nd bowl, you need cream cheese, canned pumpkin, confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, spices, and salt. In my recipe testing, I used my plain no-bake cheesecake as the starting point. Pumpkin thins the mixture out, so I had to play with the amount of cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Thrilled with the developed recipe below– spiced, thickened, and perfectly pumpkin-y.
  3. Fold in the whipped cream: Remember our whipped cream? Gently fold it into the pumpkin cream cheese mixture. Avoid over-mixing because we don’t want to deflate anything.
  4. Spread into crust: Smooth the filling into the crust. I like using a large or small offset spatula to make the job easier.
  5. Refrigerate: Instead of the oven, use the refrigerator to set this cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate the prepared cheesecake for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Pictured on the left below: the whipped cream. On the right below: the pumpkin cream cheese mixture.

whipped cream and pumpkin filling mixture

Pictured on the left below: the whipped cream and pumpkin cream cheese mixture combined. On the right below: spread into our gingersnap cookie crust.

no bake pumpkin cheesecake filling

With No Baking, How Does This Cheesecake Hold Its Shape?

  1. Make sure you pack the crust in tightly.
  2. As I mention above, the most important ingredient is the whipped heavy cream. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin cheesecake filling gently so you don’t deflate all the air. The air creates a deliciously fluffy mousse-like consistency and, more importantly, helps the filling set in the refrigerator.
  3. For a clean and sturdy slices, refrigerate it for at least 8 hours, but 12+ hours is ideal. Not only does the time in the refrigerator solidify the filling, it also gives the flavors a chance to mix and mingle. Flavor is incredible the next day.

Skip these 3 steps and you’ll be eating pumpkin soup for dessert. Avoid that mess!

a slice of no bake pumpkin cheesecake

slice of no bake pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust

Smaller Serving Alternatives

  1. For 24 cupcake size no-bake pumpkin cheesecakes, use the crust and filling ingredients below and the instructions for my mini no-bake cheesecakes. Feel free to halve the recipe if you don’t need quite as many.
  2. You can use this recipe to make 6 8-ounce or 10 6-ounce cheesecake jars. Halve the crust recipe below because we don’t need as much crust for the jar dessert. Use the full recipe for the filling. Follow the instructions for my no-bake cheesecake jars. Top with salted caramel, chocolate ganache, heath bar toffee bits, or more gingersnap cookie crumbs.
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a slice of no bake pumpkin cheesecake

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Whipping
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This fluffy no-bake pumpkin cheesecake sits in a crunchy gingersnap crust. The most important steps are whipping the heavy cream into stiff peaks before folding into the filling and refrigerating the cheesecake long enough so it can set.


Ingredients

Gingersnap Cookie Crust

  • 2 cups (200g) gingersnap cookie crumbs*
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger and ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar or brown sugar (packed)

Cheesecake

  • 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • two 8-ounce blocks (450g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (227g) pumpkin puree*
  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional Toppings


Instructions

  1. Make the crust: Stir the gingersnap crust ingredients together. Pour into a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan and pack in very tightly. The tighter it’s packed, the less likely it will fall apart when cutting the cheesecake. I recommend using the bottom of a measuring cup to pack it into the bottom and up the sides. You can watch me do this in the video above. Freeze for 10-20 minutes as you prepare the filling.
  2. Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the pumpkin, confectioners’ sugar, and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed to help combine. Add the vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt and beat until combined, creamy, and smooth. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth.
  4. Using your mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. This takes several turns of your rubber spatula. Combine slowly as you don’t want to deflate all the air in the whipped cream.
  5. Remove crust from the freezer and spread filling into crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth down the top.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. For best results, at least 12 hours is best. I chill mine overnight. The longer refrigerated, the nicer the no-bake cheesecake will set up. I don’t recommend using the freezer to set this cheesecake filling.
  7. Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean between each slice.
  8. Serve cheesecake with optional toppings. I used Ateco 849 piping tip for the whipped cream in the pictured cheesecake. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This cheesecake can be made 1-2 days in advance. It can be refrigerated in step 5 for up to 2 days before serving. You can also make the crust 1-2 days ahead of time. Freeze for up to 1 hour in step 1, then cover tightly and refrigerate for 1-2 days before adding the filling. Another way to make this cheesecake ahead of time is to freeze it. After it sets in the refrigerator (step 6), wrap the whole pan (you can remove the sides if desired) in 1 layer of plastic wrap, then 1 layer of aluminum foil. No-bake cheesecake freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then slice and serve.
  2. Pan: To make slicing easy and neat, use a springform pan. If you don’t have one, a 9 inch deep dish pie dish (at least 2 inches deep) works. Chill the cheesecake for at least 12 hours to help guarantee the cheesecake slices neatly.
  3. Gingersnap Cookies: Store-bought gingersnap cookies are ideal as they are the most dry. The ONLY brand that I’ve had issues with is the Nabisco gingersnap cookies. They’re delicious on their own, but they’re too moist for a gingersnap cookie crust. I love Stauffer’s brand. You need about 30. Alternatively, you can use the graham cracker crust from my regular no bake cheesecake instead. Feel free to add or reduce the amount of cinnamon and ginger based on your taste preference.
  4. Pumpkin: I strongly recommend canned pumpkin, not fresh (homemade) pumpkin puree in this recipe. I like to use Libby’s brand. Fresh pumpkin puree will prevent the cheesecake from properly setting. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. If you can’t find canned pumpkin, use 1 cup of sweet potato puree. Boil 2 medium sweet potatoes until soft, then peel, slice, and puree/mash them with a blender or mixer until smooth. Measure and use 1 cup. Make sure the puree is room temperature or cold before using.
  5. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. (Use the 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon called for in the recipe as well.)
  6. Can I Make Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes? Yes, use this crust and filling recipe and follow the instructions in my mini no bake cheesecakes, which are made in a standard muffin pan.

Keywords: no bake, cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake

 

284 Comments

  1. Sally,can I substitute butternut squash puree or sweet potato puree for the pumpkin puree in this recipe?

    1. Hi Missy, absolutely. I recommend sweet potato puree. See recipe note!

  2. Marianna Froehlich says:

    Hello Sally..
    This looks devine..just one problem..here in South Africa we do not have canned pumpkin..what is your advice..
    Thank you..

    1. Hi Marianna, I recommend sweet potato puree instead. See recipe note. Hope you enjoy!

  3. This looks so good! I love the fact the crust is made with gingersnap biscuits which I love.

  4. This recipe is a keeper. I would like to taste test it right now. I am sure it would rate all the stars. Thanks.

  5. Rosemary O’Steen says:

    Hi Sally , I wonder if I can use Trader Joe’s triple ginger bread cookies , they are so good too , won’t know until I try I guess , recipe looks so delicious, will make for the family ,, Thank You for all your great recipes ,, ❤️

    1. I haven’t tested those, but if they’re pretty crunchy they should be fine!

  6. If I were to put these into 4″ springform pans, should I be making any adjustments. Also, if I used sweet potato, could I use what I baked and mashed? Thanks

    1. Hi Nora! Baked and mashed sweet potato puree works. You could definitely divide between several 4 inch pans.

  7. If I want to use a 6inch pan, do i just half the recipe?

    1. Hi Anna, you might even have too much crust and batter if halving for a 6 inch pan. If so, you can use any leftovers for a cheesecake jar though.

  8. Hi Sally,
    If I don’t have a springform pan, can I use a disposable aluminum pie pan?

    1. Hi Rachel! Yes, as long as it’s at least 2 inches deep.

  9. Oh I can hardly wait. I may try making mini cheesecakes in jars . Do you think the cheesecake would freeze well? My kids love snacks and having them in the freezer for a dessert would be great.

    1. Absolutely! See freezing instructions.

  10. Thoughts on making this in a pie tin? I want to give to this someone, so the spring foam is not an option. Thank you!

    1. Hi Laurie! Absolutely. See my recipe note about the pan.

  11. Hi Sally!
    This pumpkin cheesecake recipe looks delicious! I’ve made pumpkin cheesecake many times before, but couldn’t find the perfect recipe. Keep up the good work Sally, we love your recipes!

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah – hope you love this one!

  12. Hi Sally: Everything u make looks so beautiful and scrumptious. Wish there was a bakery with all your special desserts.

  13. Hello Sally! I was wondering If i can substitute the cream cheese for a non dairy one??

    1. Hi Marilyn! I haven’t tested it, but as long as it’s thick like regular block style cream cheese, it should be ok.

  14. Delicious light and fluffy texture. My issue was that my crust was a disaster. I guess I just didnt pack it in tight enough..though I thought I did. Next time I will either pack it in more or cheat and bake it. 😉

    1. The crust should be an easy fix for next time! Make sure you’re using extra crunchy, hard cookies, packing them in super tightly, and freezing the crust – this is crucial for allowing it to set (rather than baking it). Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try, Jessica – I’m glad you enjoyed the light and fluffy pumpkin filling!

  15. Your recipes are great! For the crust you suggest white or brown sugar… which is best? Also, for the filling you suggest using light or dark brown sugar…which is best?

    1. Hi Kris! I always like using dark brown sugar in recipes like this because it works so well with the pumpkin spice flavors. I use dark brown sugar in the filling and for the crust, either is honestly fine. There’s so much flavor in the gingersnaps and spices that it doesn’t make a difference.

      1. Thank you! Awesome desserts!

  16. Delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

  17. Hi Sally as zim new to these challenges and this type of competition are we judged by our pics alone. I have a photo lens on my phone that I just discovered and learning how to use. This sounds like so much fun as I love to bake.
    Bonnie

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bonnie, The winner is selected at random from all participants. By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. We keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. For details you can see the post about the November Sally’s Baking Challenge.

  18. This is the first time I’ve made the challenge the day it was released. I was so excited that I checked the recipe early for ingredients as I was planning an early morning grocery run. We are about to have our kitchen ripped out (half of it already is), and I am looking for some no-bake or make-ahead (Thanksgiving) desserts. This did not disappoint!

    I used graham crackers, as I had them on hand and refrigerated for 9 hours before slicing. The texture is definitely more of a mousse – it was very light and creamy.

    I also think these would be delicious in small mason jars – and I may halve the recipe and do that for Thanksgiving since it will be a small group!

    Thanks, Sally, for another winner!

    1. So happy to hear this was a success for you, Clare! Using small mason jars for your Thanksgiving menu sounds like a wonderful idea. Thank you for participating in this month’s challenge!

  19. Another wonderful recipe for the fall! The worst part was having to wait until the next day to eat it, definitely wanted to dig in sooner!

    1. Thank you so much for participating Lauren, I’m glad it was a hit for you!

  20. Hi Sally,

    Do you blot the pumpkin to remove excess moisture, similar to some of your other pumpkin recipes?

    1. Hi Debbie, no you don’t need to do that here.

  21. My husband brought home Nabisco Ginger snap cookies. Do you think if I baked them in the oven first I could make them harder so they would work better for the crust? He could not find Stauffer’s brand at three stores/

    1. That’s a great idea. You can bake them to dry them out. Maybe 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C)? Cool completely.

  22. Thanks Sally and thank you for keeping me baking. Your recipes are the very best!

  23. We used the regular crust instead because my store didn’t have any ginger snaps. But oh my! This is definitely my new favorite pumpkin recipe. I’ll probably start making this for thanksgiving instead of pie! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us!

    1. Love to hear that you’re considering adding this recipe to your Thanksgiving spread, Destaney! I’m thrilled you enjoyed this recipe so much. Thanks for participating!

  24. Heidi Anderson says:

    Wow! Delicious…..I used your graham cracker crust recipe. Filling is so smooth and full of flavor.

    1. Thank you for participating, Heidi! I’m so happy you enjoyed this challenge recipe.

  25. Felicia Tishkevich says:

    Let me start off by saying i think the flavors in this dessert are great! The crust is my favorite part (love those gingersnaps!). After setting in the fridge for more than 24 hours, I personally had trouble with my crust sticking to the bottom of my pan which made serving this a NIGHTMARE. I was hoping the texture of the filling would be a little bit denser, as this feels very mousse-like. It was super easy to put together though, so I’ll be saving this recipe!

    1. I had the same problem with the crust. It was very difficult to remove from the pan. It tastes great!

  26. Hi Sally, would Mi-Del Swedish Style Ginger Snaps work for the crust? My husband could find the other at the grocery store. Plus I am planning half cream cheese and half mascarpone cheese. would that work as well?
    Thanks
    Lisa

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa, We haven’t tested that brand of cookie, but if they’re pretty crunchy they should be fine!
      You can try replacing some of the cream cheese with mascarpone. I don’t recommend replacing all of it though, as the cake wouldn’t set up properly, but half should work. Enjoy!

  27. Want a great recipe? This is it! Not a fan of pumpkin pie? Try this, the cream cheese makes it so light that even this pumpkin pie hater loves it. This is recipe you can have ids help with. My 5 and 8 year old helped me make the crust and batter. They enjoyed pressing the crust in the pan and taste testing the batter. This recipe is one for the family cookbook

    1. What a fun way to spend time together 🙂 I’m glad it was a hit for all!

  28. this cheesecake is the bomb!!! i didn’t have any gingersnaps so i used graham cracker crumbs, it was simply divine! i think this would be a perfect dessert for thanksgiving. i know my family would love it! can’t wait to try even more of your recipes!!!

    1. Thanks Petra! Would love to know what recipes you decide to make next – happy baking!

  29. This cheesecake was very to make and the ginger snap crust made the whole cheesecake have such a stand out flavor! Great recipe!

    1. Yes! I love the gingersnap and pumpkin together – such a delicious combo. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe Abby!

  30. Would this work as just a mousse — put the filling ramekins and let it set in the fridge? I need to make something for someone who can only eat very soft foods.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, definitely! It would be like the directions for the cheesecake jars just without the crust 🙂

      1. Thanks so much!

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