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Everyone loves pumpkin pie when Thanksgiving comes around—and a cheesecake version is even better. But no one likes standing around the kitchen all day waiting for their cheesecake to bake, so our quick blended-and-chilled version is the perfect alternative—no stand mixers, water baths, or praying you don’t end up with a soggy graham cracker crust required.
How to Make an Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake
With dozens of steps, an hour to bake, and up to eight hours of setting time, making a typical cheesecake is no easy feat—and who has time for that on Thanksgiving?
By using this easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe, you’ll be back hanging with your family (or tending to the million other dishes being cooked) in no time.
We simply blended together a few creamy ingredients, like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, with canned pumpkin puree, cheesecake extract, pumpkin pie spices, maple syrup, and a bit of cornstarch and sugar to tighten and sweeten it up.
While most cheesecake recipes use cream cheese, we decided to up the protein content with Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, which we blended to improve the texture, remove lumps, and incorporate some airiness.
In addition to the cream cheese swap, our recipe uses a combination of cornstarch, sugar, and cheesecake extract to get the flavors right with fewer calories.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Ingredients
- Pumpkin Puree: Pumpkin is a fall staple—and using the canned version in this pumpkin cheesecake recipe makes dessert time even easier. Just ensure that you are not buying pumpkin pie filling, which contains sugar and other ingredients. The can should say “pumpkin puree” or “100% real pumpkin” in the ingredient list. A great option to buy online is Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree. Many grocery stores have canned pumpkin puree as well, but you should stock up if you see it because everyone needs a can for their Thanksgiving dessert!
- Greek Yogurt: One of the easiest ways to add protein to a creamy recipe is Greek yogurt. With 13 grams of protein per cup for just 80 calories, non-fat Greek yogurt makes this Thanksgiving dessert not entirely sugar- and carbohydrate-loaded.
- Cottage Cheese: Like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is also high in protein, topping the charts at 25 grams per cup. Blending the cottage cheese helps to remove the lumps and incorporate some air to make it lighter in texture. As no one wants lumps in their perfect Thanksgiving dessert, blending cottage cheese is the way to go. Simply place cottage cheese in a food processor or high-speed blender, then blend it for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Cornstarch + Sugar + Cheesecake Flavor Extract: While we don’t use any cream cheese in this recipe to get that cheesecake flavor, this trio of ingredients emulates the flavors and textures. A good option is LorAnn Cheesecake Flavor.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is the only sugary ingredient in this pumpkin cheesecake recipe—and we only used two tablespoons for the entire dessert. If you wanted to make this recipe even lower in sugar, you could use a monkfruit-based maple syrup, like the Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple Syrup.
- Pumpkin Pie Spices: You can’t have a fall-flavored dessert without pumpkin spice flavor! This recipe uses cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of pumpkin spice, which you can purchase as a blend—like this one from Simply Organic—or you can get the spices separately. Typically, pumpkin pie spice includes cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- 1 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup whipped cottage cheese
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 2 TBSP of sugar
- ½ tbsp Cheesecake Flavor Extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Optional: Top with
- 2 tbsp sugar-free fat-free whipped cream
- 1 cup of crushed graham cracker crumbs
Blend cottage cheese, and add blended mixture to a bowl with Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cornstarch, sugar, and cheesecake flavor extract, and spices. Mix together.
Place in the fridge.
Optional: top with whipped cream and crushed graham cracker crumbs
Pumpkin Cheesecake FAQs
What Is the Best Secret to Pumpkin Cheesecake?
For an easy pumpkin cheesecake, the secret is adding a combination of sugar, cornstarch, and cheesecake flavoring extract. You’ll also want to ensure adequate chilling and setting time in the fridge—without enough time in the refrigerator, your cheesecake might be a gloopy mess.
Is Pure Pumpkin The Same As Pumpkin Puree?
Yes, pure pumpkin or real pumpkin is the same as pumpkin puree. You can always look at ingredient labels on the can to ensure no sugar or additional ingredients are included—it should just say pumpkin.
Can I Use Cottage Cheese Instead Of Cream Cheese For Cheesecake?
Yes, cottage cheese is a good replacement for cream cheese in a cheesecake—especially if you blend it. Blended cottage cheese removes the lumps, improves the texture, and incorporates some air, which is similar to cream cheese. In this recipe, we also added Greek yogurt for additional creaminess.