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When pumpkin cake and cheesecake combine forces, we have pumpkin cake cheesecake! Each forkful of this divine dessert includes creamy cheesecake and deliciously spiced pumpkin cake. For a little something extra, top with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and finish with chopped pecans.

pumpkin cake cheesecake with a fork

Today’s recipe was inspired by my favorite pumpkin cheesecake muffins. What a way to start the day! Craving the combination for dessert, I decided to combine pumpkin cake and cheesecake together in a springform pan. Should we coin this dessert duo “double trouble…”??

Sadly, the first try was pretty disappointing. There’s so much moisture in the main ingredients that I had to spend a few extra days testing my recipe idea (and my patience!). I was so determined for this to work. Thankfully the pumpkin cake cheesecake finally came together and I’m thrilled to share the recipe success with you today!

slice of pumpkin cake cheesecake with cream cheese frosting on a white plate

Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake Ingredients

There are two parts to this dessert: the pumpkin cake and the cheesecake. Most ingredients are repeated in each layer:

  1. Block Cream Cheese
  2. Granulated Sugar
  3. Sour Cream or Yogurt
  4. Vanilla Extract
  5. All-Purpose Flour
  6. Eggs
  7. Oil
  8. Brown Sugar
  9. Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
  10. Baking Soda
  11. Spices (you can use homemade pumpkin pie spice here)
  12. Salt

Blot the Pumpkin

You can use fresh or canned pumpkin in the pumpkin cake batter. I recommend sticking with canned pumpkin as it’s usually thicker and sturdier for baking. Whichever pumpkin you use, make sure you blot it prior to using in the cake. Why? In my recipe testing, I found that in order to get enough pumpkin flavor you need 1 and 1/3 cups of pumpkin. However, this amount will weigh down your cake, making it taste heavy and even a little soggy. So, before using it, place the pumpkin in a bowl lined with a paper towel. Place two more paper towels on top of it. Blot the pumpkin to expel as much moisture as you can. Then, add the blotted-dry pumpkin to the wet ingredients as instructed in the recipe.

I do this when I make pumpkin oatmeal cookies, pumpkin snickerdoodles, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies too.

blotted pumpkin with a paper towel in a glass bowl

How to Make Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake

Begin the recipe by making both batters: the cheesecake and the pumpkin cake. Use an electric hand or stand mixer for the cheesecake and a whisk for the pumpkin cake. After you prep both batters, spoon 1 and 1/2 cups of the pumpkin cake batter into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. This will be the base of the entire cake. After that, begin spooning the rest of the pumpkin cake batter and the cheesecake batter on top. Alternate spoonfuls of the batters until both are used up.

No need to swirl the batters together; the spotty randomness bakes into a beautifully swirled cheesecake cake.

pumpkin cake batter in a mixing bowl
pumpkin cake and cheesecake batter swirled together in a springform pan

Cooling & Chilling

Because of all the moisture, this cheesecake cake takes awhile to bake and cool. Not a problem for those of you with a whole afternoon to spare, but if you’re looking for a quick pumpkin recipe, this cake isn’t it.

Bake it for at least 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave the cake inside. This is actually one of my tricks for avoiding cracks in cheesecake. The sudden temperature change from inside the oven to outside the oven is simply too shocking for all eggs and moisture in this dessert. Let the cake cool inside the oven as it cools.

Once it cools down, remove the pumpkin cake cheesecake from the oven and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or until completely firm. Overnight would be great!

Cream cheese frosting in glass bowl

Optional Cream Cheese Frosting

I don’t usually call cream cheese frosting “optional,” but in this case, it definitely is! The dessert is pretty sweet on its own, but a thin layer of cream cheese frosting is a delicious finishing touch. For the cream cheese frosting, you need 1/2 of a block of cream cheese (4 ounces total), butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and a splash of milk to thin it out. It tastes just like my full recipe for cream cheese frosting⁠—it’s simply scaled down.

Are you looking for more recipe inspiration? If so, here are some favorite Thanksgiving pies and desserts:

slice of pumpkin cake cheesecake on a white plate
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slice of pumpkin cake cheesecake with cream cheese frosting on a white plate

Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


When pumpkin cake and cheesecake combine forces, we have pumpkin cake cheesecake! For a little something extra, top with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and finish with chopped pecans.




  • two 8-ounce blocks (448g; 16 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) plain yogurt or sour cream*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (8g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Pumpkin Cake

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (318g) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)*
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces (112g) block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) milk
  • optional: chopped pecans


  1. Adjust oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap aluminum foil on the bottom and tightly around the outside walls of the springform pan, as shown in photos on my How to Prevent Cheesecake Cracks page. Set aside.
  2. Make the cheesecake first: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and flour and beat until combined. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. Do not over-mix the filling after you have added the eggs. Set aside.
  3. Make the pumpkin cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and blotted-dry pumpkin (see notes) together until combined. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until no large lumps remain. Avoid over-mixing the pumpkin cake batter.
  4. Spread 1 and 1/2 cups of the pumpkin cake batter into the bottom of prepared pan. On top of the pumpkin batter, begin dropping large spoonfuls of both the cheesecake batter and pumpkin batter, alternating one after the other. It doesn’t have to be neat or perfect. Do not swirl with a knife. See photo above of what my cake looked like before going into the oven.
  5. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan and place into the oven. Fill with about 1 inch of hot water. The foil wrapped around the pan will prevent water from leaking inside. Read more about how to prevent cracks in cheesecake.
  6. Bake for 65-75 minutes or until the center is almost set.* If you find the edges are browning, loosely place aluminum foil on top of the cake as it bakes. Once done, turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, peel the aluminum foil off the bottom, wipe pan dry with a towel, then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight (preferred).
  7. After chilling, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the rim. Remove the rim.
  8. Make the cream cheese frosting. (This can be made up to 2 days in advance – cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.) Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.  Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then turn up to high speed and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in 1-2 Tablespoons of milk, depending how thick or thin you want the frosting. Spread onto chilled cheesecake. Top with pecans, if desired.
  9. Cut into slices and serve cheesecake chilled. Cover leftover cheesecake and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Cover pumpkin cake cheesecake tightly and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. I used plain, low fat Greek yogurt. Any plain yogurt (nonfat, low fat, full fat, Greek, regular) or (low-fat, full-fat) sour cream will be fine.
  3. Pumpkin is an extremely wet ingredient. In my recipe testing, I found that in order to get enough pumpkin flavor you need 1 and 1/3 cups of pumpkin. However, this amount will weigh down your cake, making it taste heavy and even a little soggy. So, before using it, place the pumpkin in a bowl lined with a paper towel. Place two more paper towels on top of it. Blot the pumpkin to expel as much moisture as you can. Then, add the blotted-dry pumpkin to the wet ingredients as instructed in the recipe.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon—you will still add that.
  5. When the cheesecake is done, there will still be a 2 inch wobbly spot in the center; the texture will smooth out as it cools.

Keywords: pumpkin, thanksgiving, pumpkin cake, cheesecake

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Just made this yesterday for our early Thanksgiving supper tonight with friends. I cant wait to taste it!!! Looks really good

  2. I made this for our dinner company and loooooved it. It turned out perfectly! Rich, yes, but just right with a cup of coffee. Thank you for this recipe! And I love drooling over all the pics on your blog!

  3. This is an absolutely amazing recipe. My friend had a party last weekend and I made this cake to bring along. Everyone loved it! I’m not a very experienced baker, I just do it once in a while, but this recipe was very easy to follow and actually quite enjoyable. There’s something so satisfying about squeezing pureed pumpkin…

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I made this cake for Thanksgiving and I am so happy with the way it turned out!! It was quite impressive if I do say so myself! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your website Sally. It has inspired me to get back into baking which I used to be really into when I was younger. Thank you for having such perfect pictures of your amazing and delish recipes

  5. Just wanted to share with you that I tried the Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake recipe today and it was so good! I made my own modifications and wrote a blog post about it referencing your site! Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. Baked this with my boyfriend just now and OH. MY. GOD. It’s amazing. I can’t tell which part is my favorite, the cheesecake, pumpkin cake, of frosting (but I’m mostly between the pumpkin cake and frosting). The pumpkin cake reminds me of incredible pumpkin bread! It’s sweet but not overwhelming. I couldn’t wait the 6 hours, so I had it in my fridge for an hour and a half, the freezer for 40 minutes, then the fridge for another 20 minutes. It was perfect! So good and so easy to make. Thank you for the new recipe!!

  7. Hi Sally,

    Love all your recipes! You definitely make it easy to follow. Quick question, I am terrified to try baking the cheesecake in the “bath water” – I do not know why, but I am. Is it possible to bake it simply in the springfoam surrounded with aluminum without the water? Also, there is no crust, correct?

    Thank you!!

    1. the boiling water serves a very, very important purpose. so there is no need for the aluminum foil if you are not using a water bath. your cheesecake may have cracks without it. if that’s something you don’t mind! water baths are easy, you should give it a shot. the cake is the crust. enjoy!

  8. This was my very first cheesecake, and it turned out spectacularly. My family actually preferred it without the icing, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Sally!
    I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was a HIT! My husband who doesn’t even like pumpkin desserts enjoyed this one!
    I was nervous about the water bath, and there were still cracks, but overall, this was amazing. I subbed in some applesauce for the oil in the cake and did half neufchatel/half full-fat cream cheese.
    This is a winner. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Made this Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake for dessert today (Thanksgiving). All I can say is thank you for making me a hero. Everyone flipped over this, it was truly amazing!

  11. Hi Sally!!

    You have done it again! I have mentioned my absolute LOVE of pumpkin deserts to you before, and this pumpkin cake swirled cheesecake is by far, the best one I have ever tasted. When I was balking it I was a little worried because it didn’t look like your exactly like your pictures (i’m a perfectionist lol) and there were a few cracks when it came out of the oven (unlike other cheesecakes of yours I have made) but the smooth cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of pecans hid those like they had never existed 😀

    I took it to Thanksgiving dinner, where it was devoured down to the last piece! I made sure to give you full credit though Sally! And of course my family and friends know by now that as far as I am concerned, Sallysbakingaddiction is the final word in deserts and anything baked period.

    I feel like I can never thank you enough for creating your blog and sharing your recipes and so much of your life in the process 🙂 So, thanks again Sally!! And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

    <3 Bo

  12. Hi Sally!! I made this today for our family Sunday dinner and O.M.G. Is all I have to say. An easy to follow recipe for a restaurant quality treat!! I just adore you and your blog and your recipes never disappoint. I wanted to post a pic of my results but can’t figure out how. Anyway thanks for an awesome way to ring in the Fall 🙂 xoxo

  13. I can’t wait to try this recipe!! Do you need to blot canned pumpkin as well or does it only apply to fresh pumpkin?

  14. You know when your guests ask if they can have the leftovers that it’s a winner.  This cake was a huge hit.  I have two tips.  First, lay several layers of paper towels in a smallish baking dish (I used 7 x 11) and spread out the pumpkin in a thin layer.  Top with several more layers of towels, leave in place for an hour or so.  That takes care of the moisture problem.  Second, don’t skip the icing!

  15. For the step where you turn off the oven and crack open the door to allow the cheesecake to cool, do you take the cheesecake out of the water bath or leave it in?

  16. Sally, I did this cheesecake yesterday for a dinner with friends – I just did some minor adjustments and I couldn’t help myself and did some swirls in the batter – it turned out delicious!! Thank you for this recipe! Everybody liked it and I am glad as this is another easy delish recipe that stays in my kitchen 😉 thank you so much!! 🙂

  17. I made this into a bundt and it worked out awesome!! It cooked for about 55-60 mins. I let it cool and then chilled it in the pan overnight. Everyone loved it. I’m making it for thanksgiving this year along with your apple pie!! 

  18. I made this last thanksgiving and it was amazing!  I want to make it again this year but was wondering if it could be made in a 9 x 13 to serve more people.  I have a big family lol

  19. Hi, Sally! I LOVE your recipes! I made this one last year and it was SO good. Everyone loved it! I want to make it again for Thanksgiving this year. My dilemma is I will have to travel 4 hours to get to where I will be and once I get there, I don’t want to tie his mom’s kitchen up to bake because she will be cooking. She does have refrigerator space for me. I have a cooler this will fit in for the trip. My question is, if I make it Tuesday night before the trip Wednesday AM, I am sure it will still be good for Thursday. To be safe, should I make it earlier and freeze it, then take it out Wednesday morning to pack to ship, or skip the freezer step? I have frozen cheesecakes before with good results. Thank you so much!

    1. Mandy– no need to freeze beforehand. You can make it on Tuesday and keep it in the fridge until you need to leave then put it into the cooler.

  20. Hi Sally, 

    Last year I made your pumpkin swirl cheesecake and was in love with it! Any advice to make just the pumpkin bread? Maybe double the cake portion and put in a bundt or loaf pan?  Thanks for your help! Happy thanksgiving!

  21. Just made this.. I kind of screwed up the layers on it, so the whole top of the cake is cheese cake.. It cake rose to the top of the spring form pan and is so cracked! We are at 4100ft elevation so I am not sure if that caused some issues.. And it browned while I was trying to get my little on to bed… Grr what’s the best way to help this.. Just make a little more of the frosting so that is fills the cracks and covers the browning? Or should I try to take the top layer of brown off? 

    First time to make this and I am super excited to try it!! 

    1. The amount of frosting listed should be enough to cover the cracks and browned top. I wouldn’t take it off. It’s still tasty. Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. Hi Sally. I fell madly in love with this cake last fall. Like, stalker/restraining order lovestruck. But… can the pumpkin cake be made as a stand-alone? Is this enough batter for 8×8 pan, maybe, or should I double? Neighbor boy can’t have any dairy at all, but loves pumpkin, and I wanted to make him a treat for first-day of school. Thanks for putting so much goodness in the world!

    1. Hi Tamara! The pumpkin cake (prepared alone) will fit nicely into the 8×8 pan. I’m unsure of the bake time though.

  23. This cheesecake is very good, BUT the frosting is way to sweet. I would reduce the powdered sugar to 1-1/4 – 1 1/2 cups. Also, the pumpkin cake needs more pumpkin spice. Next time, I will double the amount. It also needs some more sweetness, which adding about 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Draining and blotting the pumpkin is a must! Mine came out perfect because I did follow the directions, but it was tedious. Next time, I think I’ll try some cheesecloth to drain it and then blot if needed! 
    Thank- you for sharing this recipe and all the important tips!

  24. I made this last weekend and it was delicious. Followed the instructions exactly and it worked perfectly. Thank you!

  25. I had a dream last night about a pumpkin dessert, which had a pumpkin bread base (bottom and walls) and a pie like filling and a strudel top…only while dieting could your brain come up with these types of concoctions! Anyway, I decided to see if something like that exists…this is what I got! Sally, you are my go to for SO many recipes. Looking to try this out after reaching my goal (or for Thanksgiving). Would there ever be a chance to combine a bread and pie type texture? My dream is inspiring me. 🙂

  26. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for the amazing recipes!! I am a long time follower of yours. Quick question about this recipe-you mention the cake will last 4 days in the fridge, 2 months in the freezer, and that the icing can also be made in advance. Can the icing be frozen as well? I’d like to make both cake and icing one week prior to serving, if possible. Let me know what you think. Thank you so much!

    1. It can, yes, but tastes much better fresh. Simply thaw it out in the fridge then frost the cake prior to serving.

  27. Hi Sally.

    I’m not a big fan of adding frosting/glaze to things, so whenever I bake something I tend to leave them out. Sometimes it works, sometimes I realize the sweetness of the baked good really depended on the frosting! If I leave it out here, how much sugar do you think I should add to the recipe to make up for it?

    1. Hi Zee! This pumpkin cake cheesecake is still plenty sweet without the frosting on top. 🙂

  28. I made this cheesecake a few years ago and loved it so much!! Now every year in the fall, my co-workers and my family ask me when I’m going to make it again!! Thanks so much for such a delicious recipe!

  29. I usually line my springform pan with parchment paper so I can lift the cheesecake out of the pan. Can I use this technique with this cheesecake?