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, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, and ground allspice. (Use the 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, too.)
  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

How to Join the November Sally's Baking Challenge

Make the No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. You can make the large cheesecake or either smaller variation detailed above the recipe. This recipe kicks off Sally’s Pie Week, an annual tradition where I share multiple pie recipes in a row. Since pumpkin has been hard to find this season (or if you’re not into this recipe), there are several alternate challenge recipes you can make instead:

  1. Any previous challenge recipe OR
  2. Any recipe from this year’s Sally’s Pie Week— a new recipe will publish every day tomorrow (Monday) through Friday. Check the Pie Week page or sign up for my daily email list so you’re alerted as soon as a new Sally’s Pie Week recipe publishes.

After you make the cheesecake or alternate recipe, email me your recipe photo. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below!

By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge for the $250 Amazon gift card prize. We keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on November 29th 2020 at 5pm ET. The winner will be selected at random and posted in the December Baking Challenge blog post on November 30th 2020.

259 Comments

  1. This is soo good, I felt as if I were eating autumn itself. Sadly, I did not have time to garnish it with pumpkin spice whipped cream and caramel before it was devoured. My brother said, “This is the best cheesecake I have ever tasted!”
    While I am only just-turned eleven, this cake was not challenging. Though I could not find crunchy, hard gingersnaps, using normal biscuits with extra spice proved to be flavorsome nonetheless.
    This cheesecake is delectable, smooth and creamy even with no garnishes. I served it with cream puffs filled with cinnamon whipped cream.
    Thank you Sally for this finger-licking treat.

    1. Thank you for participating, Emily – I’m glad this was a fun and delicious challenge for you!

  2. Forgot to rate this recipe:

  3. I know this sounds horrible, but can I replace the heavy whipping cream with cool whip? Just for convenience?

    1. Hi Abigail, you can, but I recommend reducing the sugar since Cool Whip is sweetened. If you need a little encouragement, whipping heavy cream is very quick and simple– just another ingredient to purchase (as you would purchase Cool Whip!) and only requires a few minutes.

      1. Thank you so much!

  4. Loved the gingersnap cookie crust! Couldn’t find the cookies at the grocery store, but we found them at World Market. The filling was nice and creamy and perfectly pumpkin. The flavors were really coming together and amazing by day 2! There was no day 3…

    1. Sounds like it was a big hit, Lindsey! Thanks so much for participating in this month’s challenge.

  5. Super simple to make; didn’t find it to hold together very well, and tastes a little too cream-cheesy to me. Love the gingerbread base!

  6. This one was so much better than I could’ve even imagined! My husband even told me he preferred it to the traditional cheesecake. Made mine with the Biscoff cookies for the crust and can’t imagine it any other way. It was so good, and I would know as I literally ate over half of the thing by myself. Dangerous but oh so good!

    1. Yum! I love any kind of cheesecake with Biscoff crust – so good! I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe, Megan.

  7. This was a big hit at our house! My daughter loved the gingersnap cookie crust. I loved that it was easy!  The hardest part was waiting for it to set up in the fridge.  

    1. So true! But totally worth the wait 🙂 Thrilled to hear that it was a hit with your family, Melinda!

  8. This recipe was so easy to make. The pumpkin flavor does not overpower the cheesecake, it’s the perfect blend.

  9. Hi, wondering if I could make this in pie tins? and how many pies for this recipe? Thanks.

    1. Hi Bel, 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. Yields 1 pie.

  10. Such a great recipe! So easy to do, and the ingredients are easy to find as well. I used gingersnap cookies from marks and spencer, they worked well. The pumpkin was a welcome addition, sneaking in healthy stuff into this dessert is the perfect excuse to enjoy it with my child. My husband, who isnt a fan of cinnamon (oops!) also surprisingly enjoyed this too! I topped mine with your fresh whipped cream and some salted caramel sauce. It is divine! Thanks again!

    1. Happy to hear it was approved by the entire family, Anna! Thank you for participating in this month’s challenge.

  11. This is a wonderfully spiced pumpkin cheesecake that takes so little time to make. I tried it with homemade gluten-free gingersnap crumbs and it had enough flavor and spice to stand on it’s own without any caramel or whipped topping. It was quickly devoured by my family who quickly requested another. Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. Delicious cheesecake!
    Gingersnaps aren’t available in my area so I substituted cinnamon cookies. Also, I used homemade canned pumpkin puree, so the cheesecake didn’t set up as well, but it still tasted amazing!

  13. The crust was fantastic! The flavors were delicious. I do prefer the texture of regular cheesecake.

  14. I like the recipe that has cheesecake in it.

  15. I made this tonight for our anniversary dinner. It was a hit! I made the salted caramel sauce with it and my son kept asking for more sauce on the side so he could eat it with a spoon! The cheesecake turned out great and I was really impressed with how well the crust held together.

    1. Happy anniversary, Erin! Thanks for using my recipe to celebrate. And I’m totally with your son on the salted caramel! 😉

  16. Tara Bruckmann says:

    This was an easy recipe to follow and my cheesecake was incredible! The cheesecake had the perfect consistency and the ginger crumb shell was delectable!

  17. Was searching for a desert for Thanksgiving and came across this recip. Sounds amazing!

  18. This was delicious and definitely a keeper! I couldn’t get gingersnaps in Belgium, so I used speculoos cookies with a bit of added ginger and black pepper to get that gingersnap bite.

    1. Great thinking, Barbara! Glad to hear this will be a repeat recipe for you.

  19. Brilliant, as always! This no-bake cheesecake was light, airy, fluffy, and delicious. I can’t wait to make it for a house-full of people when it’s safe to gather again.

  20. This recipe was easy to follow and turned out really yummy! I’m not really a fan of gingersnaps, but I made the gingersnap crust anyway. The crust was really good and complimented the pumpkin flavor nicely. I do prefer a traditional cheesecake, but the ease of this no-bake cheesecake is definitely worth it.

  21. We thought this recipe was great! The ginger really goes well with the pumpkin and my family couldn’t stop eating it. An awesome fall recipe!

  22. Tiffany Allum says:

    This recipe was so quick & easy to accomplish. Perfectly smooth & light in texture, not too sweet & absolutely delectable! Are you thinking it couldn’t possibly get any better? Top it off with BOTH the salted caramel & whipped cream…mmm pumpkin, caramel, fall time goodness. Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!

    1. Thank you for the positive review, Tiffany! The salted caramel and whipped cream are definitely a must 😉

  23. This cheesecake is AMAZING! My entire family loved it! And the ginger snap crust is such a creative way to add extra flavor! This was my first time participating in the monthly challenge, but I’m definitely going to make it a habit! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!:)

    1. Happy first challenge, Megan! I’m so happy to hear that you’ll be joining us again in the future. Thanks for giving this one a try!

  24. This gingersnap crust is to die for! The pumpkin cheesecake part, duh, is amazing, but the crust just makes it next level. I made it for the November baking challenge but it was so good that it was requested for Thanksgiving, so I’ll be making it again next week! I’m going to try to be a little more delicate mixing in the whipped cream this time in hopes it’ll set a little better.

  25. Could you make this in 9×13 and cut into squares instead? How would you alter?

    1. Hi Emily, we haven’t tested it but you could certainly try. The bars will be very thick in a 9×13 pan, so make sure they are sufficiently chilled, even up to 24 hours.

  26. Christina Kurtz says:

    I made this for the challenge this month and it came out so good!! It’s very quick and easy to put together and was so creamy and delicious. I am planning on making it again for Thanksgiving at my family’s request. I served mine with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon for garnish.

  27. I can’t emphasize enough how much I appreciate having a delicious no-bake option for holiday season! It was quite the relief to whip this together so quickly this morning to gift to my parents. With the pandemic and being unable to host a big group as I usually do, it’s so nice to be able to share a dessert with loved ones without taking a ton of laborious bake time.

    1. That’s so thoughtful of you, Janel – thank you for participating in this month’s challenge!

  28. Looks delicious! Love the idea of a gingersnap crust!

  29. Sarah Jurcenko says:

    This is an absolutely delicious combination of cheesecake and pumpkin pie flavors! It was tempting to cut into it asap but I highly recommend giving it a full night to rest! Not only was it a clean, beautiful cut, but the extra time really did allow a wonderful flavor to develop. Definitely adding this to my seasonal pie rotation, what a fun challenge!

  30. The flavor of this cheesecake was absolutely delicious! I only had a slight issue with the crust not setting fully, so will pack it in harder next time. But overall, amazing recipe once again and I will definitely be making it again!

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