Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap-Hazelnut Crust

A crust made with gingersnaps spices up this creamy, spicy dessert, a very autumn-appropriate take on classic cheesecake. The delicate texture is achieved by cooking the cheesecake in a bain-marie, a water bath made by surrounding the springform pan with boiling water — be sure to wrap the springform in a thorough layer of foil in order to keep the water out. This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Linda Monastra’s story True Harvest.

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap-Hazelnut Crust Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap-Hazelnut Crust
Pumpkin purée and a crust made with hazelnuts and gingersnaps adds warmth to this creamy, spicy, autumnal take on classic cheesecake.
Yield: serves 12-14

For the Crust

  • 1 14 cups (about 8 oz.) finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 34 cup finely ground hazelnuts
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. packed light brown sugar

For the Cheesecake and Topping

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 14 tsp. ground allspice
  • 14 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 cup heavy cream
  • 13 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin purée
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 (16-oz.) container sour cream


  1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 325°. Wrap the outside of a 9″ springform pan with foil and set aside. Combine gingersnap crumbs, hazelnuts, butter, and brown sugar in a food processor, and process until evenly combined. Transfer to pan and press evenly into bottom and halfway up side; bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
  2. Make the filling: Set a kettle of water to boil. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until evenly incorporated. Add cream, syrup, 2 tsp. vanilla, and pumpkin, and mix until smooth. Pour filling over crust and place springform pan into a large roasting pan; pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up side of spring-form pan. Bake until filling jiggles slightly in the center when the pan is tapped on the side, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping: Whisk together sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and sour cream in a medium bowl until smooth; set aside.
  4. Pour sour cream topping over filling and gently smooth top; continue baking for 5 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath and let cool completely to room temperature. Chill until set, at least 4 hours or overnight, before serving.