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. Super yummy!!! I love the mousse texture and the ginger snap crust was the perfect spicy accompaniment to the creamy sweet filling. I made it mid-morning and had it after dinner the next day; I think it was completely set, but maybe a little softer in the middle? When I cut it, the tip of the slice kind of wobbled and was difficult to keep it attached. It could just be that I didn’t cut deep enough or use a proper lifter! Regardless, I still loved it!

  2. This was SO YUMMY! Just as good or even better then pumpkin pie! 10/10 recommend. So fluffy and creamy and then that ginger snap crust. =D This will be something we make regularly every year for the holidays. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Thank you for the positive review, Carol! I’m so pleased to hear this recipe will be part of your holiday rotation – great choice!

  3. Hi Sally! This was absolutely amazing and the whole family enjoyed it!
    Quick question: How many calories does this have? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, We are unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

    2. I made this for the November baking challenge and it doubled as my birthday cake. I have never made a no bake cheesecake before and I loved how light and silky it was. My kids loved it so much they licked their plates clean! The pumpkin flavor was just right.

      1. What a delicious birthday treat, Rachel 🙂 Thank you for including my recipe in your celebrations – I’m glad it was a hit for all!

  4. Another absolutely delicious recipe!! I would recommend sticking to the longer cooling time (12 hours at least) just to make sure it’s perfectly set. So light, airy, and deliciously pumpkiny!

  5. This was a hit. Made at school in our home ec. kitchen with a student. When we sliced it up to share, the staff raved. Other than wishing we had a food processor to break down the ginger snaps (which added a really nice layer of flavor over graham crackers), the recipe was easy to follow. Put this one in your “must try” list. I’m planning to make it again soon. Yum!

    1. Loved to read this, Stacy! I’m so happy it was a hit with your student and staff. Thank you for making my recipe!

  6. So delicious! I used gluten free gingersnaps for the crust, and they worked beautifully!

  7. I loved getting to make this! I even went over the top making Sally’s homemade whipped cream and salted caramel sauce which were the perfect garnishes to this mousse like textured dessert. My only concern was not being able to get a clean cut slice because the crust stuck to the bottom of the pan. I think I would use a circle of parchment paper next time to be able to lift the pie cleanly off the pan before slicing into it. Overall, I highly recommend this pie for Thanksgiving or any holiday occasion!

  8. Thank you Sally, for another 5-star recipe!!! So good!

  9. It’s quite yummy. I made mini cheesecakes, because I was afraid it might not set because I had to use homemade pumpkin puree, but it worked. I strained and blot out the moisture as much as I could from the puree, so they did set, although it was on the softer & creamier side than the usual no bake cheesecake.
    Anyway, my family loved it. My mom said it tasted like ice cream. My fav part was the spicy base, which I’ll definitely use it on a regular no bake cheesecake.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. I’ve never made a cheesecake before and this was fun and delicious!

  11. This was delicious! Not too sweet, and the crust adds a great spice. The texture of mine never quite set up- next time, I will beat my whipped cream even longer and be more carefully when adding it in. Also, I recommend the food processor for the crust so that there’s no large cookie bits left behind!

  12. I’m going to try making this for Thanksgiving! I was wondering, do you know how I might be able to make some chocolate batter to swirl into the pumpkin? Or perhaps do you know an idea for a chocolate topping that would work well with this recipe? Thank you!!!

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ashley! We haven’t tested this recipe with a portion of chocolate batter, but chocolate ganache would be delicious on top!

  13. Barbara Wilkes Delnero says:

    I made this for my Wednesday morning Ladies’ Bible Study. (I’ve told them they’re my “taste-testers” after Hubby!!) It was met with rave reviews and requests to take some home for later. Followed the recipe adding a tad more spices. Another Sally’s keeper! Your recipes have always been a success. THANK YOU for sharing!

    1. Thank you for making and sharing my recipe, Barbara – I’m thrilled to hear it received rave reviews!

  14. Rebecca Loscombe says:

    Great recipe! I made these for a Friendsgiving, and they were a big hit! Everyone loved them. I ended up halving the recipe and making the cupcake sized ones and it worked out perfectly!

  15. Stephanie Dabbert says:

    Silky smooth, delicious flavor, and not too sweet. I used graham crackers with the added spices for the crust because it’s what I had on hand. I only chilled 7 hours because I couldn’t wait any longer and it was set just fine and came right off the pan in a beautiful slice. I would definitely make this again.

  16. This cheesecake was so delicious and fun to make!! My family really enjoyed it. It was especially good with the salted caramel on top. I just have to say that if you follow Sally’s detailed instructions you can’t go wrong. I’ve been making her recipes for a couple years now and I’ve come to realize that if you follow everything she says it will come out perfectly every time! Thank you, Sally, for creating exceptional recipes and for taking the time to add all the details!

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful feedback, Laura – I appreciate it and am so glad this recipe was a success for you!

  17. This was sooooo gooooood! One of the best Sally’s recipes I’ve tried! Absolutely loved the texture. It makes it a lot more light than regular cheesecake, which makes it great for after dinner consumption. Definitely making again!

  18. This No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake is absolutely amazing! It’s not too sweet and rich with flavor. The salted caramel sauce is a wonderful addition. The texture is creamy and smooth with a little bit of crunch from the ginger cookie crust. Every recipe I make from Sally turns out perfectly every time. Sally, you have really rekindled my love of baking!

    1. I’m so happy to hear my recipes have rekindled your love for baking, Beth – thank you for making and trusting my recipes!

  19. Letitia Maynard says:

    Absolutely love this recipe!! The flavor in the pumpkin cheesecake is so good! Tastes like you baked it all day. Such a good quick recipe. I made mine befor going to bed so it would set over night. Came out delicious! A good go to recipe to impress anyone with.

  20. Delicious! Love the gingersnap crust and pumpkin filling! 2 year olds especially like the “quality check” while mixing this delicious no bake pumpkin cheesecake.

    1. So true – it’s too tempting NOT to give it a try 😉 Thank you for participating in this month’s challenge, Morgan!

  21. This was so good!!! Delicious creamy filling, and the spicy crust! I made salted caramel to go on top, and it was divine!

  22. I made this the night before and it was really nice and firm by evening the next day. My family absolutely loved it and said I needed to make it again soon. “For Christmas?” I asked. “No. Now.” My sister replied. I’ll definitely be making this again!

    1. Glad to hear this will be a repeat recipe for your family, Abby!

  23. Hi Sally,

    While the crust was delicious I really struggled with it sticking to the pan as I tried to serve the cheesecake so for most of the pieces I ended up having to just scrape off the crust and crumble it over the top.
    Any idea how I could prevent this from happening?

    1. Hi Katie, thank you so much for trying this recipe. Using a very sharp knife to slice and a thin pie server helps. Firmly slice into the crust and dig the server under the bottom crust as best you can. You could also try spraying the springform pan with nonstick spray– that should help as well.

  24. My 14 year old daughter and I made this cheesecake together. We decided to use the graham cracker crust option this time around. Next time we’ll probably try the ginger snap version. We chilled the cheesecake for about 9 hours, and would definitely chill for longer next time as it was still somewhat soft when we cut into it. We thought the cheesecake had an excellent flavor and the perfect amount of spice!

  25. Linda Shivinsky says:

    I made this for the November Challenge and it was delicious and simple to make. The crust was perfect, a bit spicy from the cookies. I may just put the filling in a glass and sprinkle the cookie crumbs on top for Thanksgiving.

  26. I made these into mini cheesecakes which tuned out to be the perfect serving size. It really does taste like a pumpkin pie mousse and the ginger snap crust paired awesome with the cheesecake. I topped each with a bit of whipped cream so they looked pretty darn cute. My kids favorite part of it was the crust:)
    I would make this again for a family get together.
    Thank you Sally for this new baking challenge, your recipes always bring me some new baking joy each month!

    1. You’re so sweet, Lindsey, thank you for participating in my baking challenges!

  27. This cheesecake was very yummy. I made this with my teacher, Mrs. Fritz (Stacy Fritz) and it was fun making it with her and taking a great picture using my photography skills! I hope our cheesecake makes your mouth water!

    1. How fun to make this recipe together and get to take photos after 🙂 Thank you for participating in this baking challenge, Keeghan!

  28. This was an easy recipe that kids could definitely help make. It’s light in texture, not overly spiced, and not too filling making it a good dessert to follow a heavy meal.

  29. First time making cheesecake and this was delicious! I followed the measurements exactly. The only problem I had (my fault) is that I didn’t soften the cream cheese/blend it enough which ended up with white spots of it in the end. But still very good, the whole family loved it.

  30. I really liked this cheesecake. I made individual desserts in 4 ounce jam jars and served with a swirl of whip cream and a caramel drizzle. A half recipe easily filled 7 jars. This makes it a very transportable dessert. I remove the lids at the party and then pipe the whip cream and add the caramel. To me they look more attractive and appetizing than a whole cheesecake does once the slicing begins.

    1. That sounds absolutely lovely, Deborah – thank you for making and sharing my recipe!

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