Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake! NOBODY will guess this is gluten-free! Lightly spiced, creamy and totally luxurious. The perfect crowd-pleasing holiday dessert!

pumpkin cheesecake on white plate with gold fork

If you’re looking for a show-stopping gluten-free holiday dessert – look no further! This Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts of all-time – gluten-free or not.

It is lightly spiced, creamy and totally luxurious.

Whether or not it’s the holidays – I dream of this cheesecake year-round! It’s definitely swoon-worthy with it’s 3 layers of creamy goodness.

Ingredients for the Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust

overhead shot of for gluten-free cheesecake crust

The first layer of this cheesecake is an easy, gluten-free graham cracker crust. I like to add walnuts to the crust for a delicious taste and to help the gluten-free cookies hold up.

Check out this post for a full review of the best brands of gluten-free graham crackers!

Make the Crust

4 image collage of steps to mix crust and press into pan

It works best to make this crust in the food processor. You’ll also need a springform pan to bake the cheesecake.

  • First you pulse the walnuts then transfer them to a bowl.
  • Then pulse the graham crackers and add to the bowl.
  • Mix the walnuts and graham crackers with the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Then press into a pan and bake.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

overhead shot of ingredients for cheesecake filling

While the crust bakes and cools, you can get started on the pumpkin cheesecake filling.

This recipe is unique because it doesn’t need any eggs. A combination of pumpkin and cornstarch gives the cheesecake the structure it needs.

Tip: Be sure to set your cream cheese out in advance so it can come to room temperature. It needs to be fully softened for a smooth filling.

Make the Filling

4 images of how to whip together filling for gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake

I prefer to use my stand mixer to make the filling, but a hand mixer will work too.

  • Start by whipping together the cream cheese/sour cream.
  • Then add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix.
  • Smooth the filling into the pan.
  • Bake until the center is set.

You’ll know the cheesecake is done with it appears set and has a slight jiggle in the middle when you shake it.

Ingredients for the Whipped Cream Topping

overhead shot of ingredients to make cheesecake topping

Once the cheesecake is fully cool you can add the last layer – a whipped cream topping!

This topping has a little cream cheese in it to stabilize the whipped cream. A little nutmeg also gives it delicious flavor!

Whip the Topping

4 images of how to mix together cheesecake topping

To make the whipped topping:

  • Start by mixing together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, nutmeg and vanilla until smooth. Again you’ll want room temperature cream cheese here.
  • Slowly add in the whipped cream while mixing.
  • Whip until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Then smooth the topping over the cooled cheesecake.
close up shot of pumpkin cheesecake with fork

I am always on the hunt for gluten-free baked goods and desserts that are delicious enough to feed a crowd – whether they eat gluten-free or not.

I brought this cheesecake to a big family get-together at my aunt’s house and everyone was amazed. My brother and cousins said it was the best cheesecake they’ve ever had. It is so delicious nobody will ever guess it’s gluten-free!

Unlike other cheesecakes this one is egg-free. Using pumpkin gives the cheesecake structure so eggs are not needed. So this is also perfect for guests with egg allergies!

slices of pumpkin cheesecake with forks with marble background

Make Ahead Options

This Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake is a delicious option for a non-pie Thanksgiving dessert. It can be made a day in advance which is always a lifesaver on holidays.

Many gluten-free desserts can’t be made in advance (sorry Gluten-Free Banana Cream Pie – I still love you) which makes this recipe even more of a gem.

Tips for Perfect Gluten-Free Cheesecake

  • Be sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before mixing the cheesecake together. 
  • Bake the cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan
  • No peeking! Keep the oven closed while the cheesecake bakes. 
  • Cook until the cheesecake is set but still jiggly in the middle. 
  • After the cheesecake has been out of the oven for 10 minutes, cut around the edges of the pan so it can release as it cools. 
  • Cool the cheesecake completely at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator. 
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. It’s even better the second day!
image for pinterest of pumpkin cheesecake with fork

More Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas: Try this Gluten-Free Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Rice Pudding or this Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie.

close up shot of pumpkin cheesecake on white plate with gold fork
5 from 31 votes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 10 -12 servings
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake! NOBODY will guess this is gluten-free! Lightly spiced, creamy and totally luxurious. The perfect crowd-pleasing holiday dessert!

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 5-6 oz gluten-free graham crackers (I use Schar)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree

For the Topping:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions 

For the Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor, add the gluten-free graham crackers and walnuts. Process until the mixture resembles sand. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Remove the food processor blade and stir in the melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Place the springform pan on a foil-lined larger baking pan and bake for 6-8 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden and toasted. Let cool before adding filling.

For the Cheesecake:

  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer, add the cream cheese and sour cream and whip until fully incorporated. (Be sure the cream cheese is softened!) Add the cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and mix until evenly combined. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Smooth the top and return the oven (keep the pan on the foil-lined baking sheet). Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes until the edges are set and the center jiggles just slightly. Let the cheesecake cool completely to room temperature.

For the Topping:

  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, nutmeg, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and combined. While mixing on low, slowly add the whipping cream over 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed and whip until fluffy. Spread evenly over the cooled cheesecake.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or up to a day. Garnish with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.

Notes

Tips for Perfect Gluten-Free Cheesecake
  • Be sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before mixing the cheesecake together. 
  • Bake the cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan
  • No peeking! Keep the oven closed while the cheesecake bakes. 
  • Cook until the cheesecake is set but still jiggly in the middle. 
  • After the cheesecake has been out of the oven for 10 minutes, cut around the edges of the pan so it can release as it cools. 
  • Cool the cheesecake completely at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator. 
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. It’s even better the second day!

Nutrition

Calories: 745kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 8460IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 1.1mg
 

Post was originally published in November 2017. It was updated with new photos and more details in October 2020.

Categories: , , , , , , , ,

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. Killer cheesecake! Switched to this recipe for Thanksgiving instead of GF pumpkin pie and I swear to you, we are never going back. Just amazing, everything about it. Didn’t have a 10 inch pan so used 9 inch. Because of the change in depth, to check for doneness, I used an instant read thermometer to check for 170 degrees approximately 1 inch from side of pan. Came out perfect. (This tip is from King Arthur Baking.)

  2. Hi Erin,
    Would there be a problem with adding any eggs to this recipe? I have baked cheesecakes for years and found any without eggs are very creamy but not as fluffy.

    Thank you
    Marie Reczkowski

    1. This recipe doesn’t have eggs because the pumpkin takes the place of the eggs. I usually prefer cheesecake that has eggs too! But this turns out amazing without them.

  3. 5 stars
    This sounds great. However, try crushing down Gluten Free Ginger Snaps instead of Graham Crackers. It gives a bit of kick of flavor to the crust.

  4. 5 stars
    This is a delicious recipe! I made a cream cheese frosting to add a decorative border and was happy I did as it gave it a sweet boost. Great directions and turned out as pictured! Thanks so much!

  5. Hi Erin,
    Would you kindly advise whether the cream cheese in this recipe could be swapped out for mascarpone, and if the sour cream could be swapped for ricotta? Would the measurements have to change much?
    Also, do you think maple syrup could be used in lieu of the cane sugar?
    Thanks so much — this recipe looks so very delish!

    1. I haven’t tried this with either of those substitutes so it’s hard to say! I don’t think the ricotta would work well in place of the sour cream as they have very different textures. Sorry about that!

  6. 5 stars
    Hands down the best cheesecake I’ve ever day! The crust has a unique flavor, and the pumpkin cheese cake is perfection! Couldn’t stop eating it

  7. Some of the family are allergic to nuts, if it were just us, Id make it with pecans… but wondering if omitting the nuts would ruin the crust? Ive made other cheesecakes with different gf crackers/cookies… any advice?

  8. 5 stars
    This cheesecake is to die for! I have made this twice and it turned out beautifully. I swapped out sour cream for Greek yogurt & whipped the cream cheese / yogurt together for at least 5 minutes so that it was light and fluffy. This will be a new classic for our family during holidays 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I love to bake but had actually never made a cheesecake until I tried this recipe! It was DELICIOUS and perfect for my fall supper club. Nobody knew it was GF, and I needed a no-egg dessert so this was a winner. I used an 8oz bag of GF ginger snaps and I loved the flavor it added to the crust. My family is already asking for it again!

  10. 5 stars
    I have Celiac and wanted something “pumpkiny” for Thanksgiving dessert, so I made this. It was well-worth the effort and the deviation from my usual low-carb diet. Wonderful, rich treat. Even the non-gluten free family members loved it! Delicious recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    Looking forward To making today but was wondering if I can use pumpkin pie spice in lieu of the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg? If so, how much?
    Thanks:)9

  12. Hi, do regular animal crackers work or does it have to be Graham crackers? There’s not a lot a gluten free items where I live at.

  13. I sent an email previously about my cheesecake not setting up to be firm, even though I refrigerated it overnight. It tasted very good, but was still somewhat soft (stuck to the knife). when I sliced it. Suggestions? I do live at high altitude-5,000 ft. Do I need more cornstarch? Lower baking temperature? Longer baking time? I generally do not have a problem with not doing altitude adjustments. I am hoping to make this for a big potluck very soon. I would appreciate any suggestions you have.
    Thank you.

    1. I have made this twice without altitude being a consideration, and I had to bake it each time ~20 min longer than suggested. Typically cheesecakes don’t require additional baking time for altitude. I don’t know how the author got hers to set baking it at the time she lists in the recipe, but mine were perfect with 20 extra minutes and an overnight chill in the fridge. The edge was just starting to crack and the middle was slightly jiggly. Hope this helps!

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