This no bake pumpkin cheesecake recipe is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert! A gingersnap crust is topped with rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling for a delicious dessert. This recipe uses cool whip and sweetened condensed milk to make a simple no bake dessert.
Fall is the traditional time for baking with pumpkin, with recipes like blueberry zucchini bread, bourbon-pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. This simple no bake cheesecake is a delicious pumpkin recipe, whether you are making it for Thanksgiving or a family dinner.
I like pumpkin desserts, but my family isn’t a huge fan of traditional pumpkin pie. It is just too much pumpkin!
We prefer pumpkin flavor when it is combined with something else as an accent flavor – like chocolate or cheesecake. In this recipe the cream cheese cuts the flavor of the pumpkin and makes it a smooth and creamy pumpkin pie cheesecake.
Why You Will Love No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- It is quick and easy to make. You simple mix the ingredients, pour them in a pan and chill.
- The gingersnap cookie crust adds a nice bit of spiciness to the cheesecake.
- Pumpkin spice is the quintessential fall flavor.
- Since it is a no bake recipe it doesn’t tie up your oven on a busy cooking day like Thanksgiving.
- It is easy to make ahead of time.
- Gingersnap cookies – You can also use graham crackers and I give instructions for both in the recipe card below. But using gingersnaps makes the recipe stand out and enhances the flavor, so give it a try!
- Sugar – To sweeten the crust
- Butter – Melted butter helps hold the gingersnaps together into a solid crust.
- Cinnamon – This is optional, but I’d recommend add it if you are using graham crackers, because they are kind of bland.
- Cream cheese – Make sure the cream cheese has softened by taking it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before making the cheesecake. Cold cream cheese can lead to lumps in your cheesecake.
- Sweetened condensed milk – This helps make the cheesecake thick and creamy.
- Pumpkin puree – Make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. This recipe uses about half a can of pumpkin puree. If you are looking for some recipe to use the other half check out my recipes for pumpkin date cookies or pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
- Pumpkin pie spice – If you don’t have this spice you can substitute a mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg. Or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice.
- Vanilla extract and maple extract – Both of these flavor the pie and make it extra tasty.
- Whipped topping – This adds creaminess to the dessert.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Make the Crust
Crush the gingersnaps (or graham crackers) in a food processor. You can also put them in a plastic zipper bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Put the crumbs in a bowl and stir in the sugar and optional cinnamon. Then melt the butter in the microwave. Stir the melted butter into the crumbs until they are well combined.
Then press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Put the springform pan in the freezer while you make the cheesecake filling.
2. Mix the Filling
Put the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl and mix until they are smooth and creamy. You will want to use a mixer for combining these.
Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice and extracts and mix again until they are nice and smooth. Scrape the bowl and make sure everything is well mixed in.
Gently fold the whipped topping in a little bit at a time. Use a spatula to stir it in, don’t use the mixer for this step.
3. Assemble the Cheesecake
Take the springform pan out of the freezer and pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust. Spread it evenly to the edges and smooth out the top.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and foil and put it back in the freezer for at least six hours, or overnight. You want it to freeze all the way through and be solid before cutting and serving it.
How to Serve No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake take the springform pan out of the freezer and remove the sides. Add the toppings that you like and cut the slices with a sharp knife and serve.
There are lots of tasty ways to top off this cheesecake.
- Decorate it with whipped cream or whipped topping.
- Sprinkle walnuts or pecans on top.
- Top it with gingersnap cookie crumbs or whole gingersnap cookies.
- Sprinkle extra cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top.
- Drizzle the cheesecake with caramel sauce.
How to Store
Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer or refrigerator. The cheesecake will stay firmer if you store it in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
This can be made in a pie plate. It might be a little more difficult to cut nice clean cheesecake slices if you use a pie plate. Make sure you use a deep dish pie plate so there is lots of room for the filling.
You can use fresh whipped cream to replace the whipped topping. Whip the heavy cream in an electric mixer until soft peaks form and fold it into the filling just like the whipped topping. The recipe will not work with whipped cream from a can!
Since this needs to chill for hours it is ideal to make ahead of time. It will keep in the freezer for three weeks as long as it is well covered. It is best not to add the toppings like whipped cream or caramel sauce until you are ready to serve the cheesecake.
Theoretically you can use homemade pumpkin puree. Homemade puree tends to be more watery than canned puree, so the final consistency of the cheesecake might not be the same. If you are using homemade puree squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
Find More No Bake Recipes
- 1 ½ cups gingersnap cookies or (10) graham crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon - if using gingersnap cookies, you can omit the cinnamon if you prefer
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup (from 15 oz can) pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple extract, optional
- 1 tub (8 ounces) whipped topping or fresh whipping cream, plus more for garnish
- Whipped topping or whip cream
- Gingersnap cookies
- Walnuts or Pecans, chopped
- Crush the gingersnaps in a food processor. Or put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Add the gingersnap crumbs to large bowl.
- Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, if you are using it.
- Melt butter in microwave safe bowl and then stir the butter into crumb mixture until well combined.
- Press the crumbs firmly into 9 inch springform pan and then chill for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and creamy,
- Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and extracts and beat the batter until it is smooth.
- Gently fold in the whipped topping a little at a time.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the springform pan and spread it evenly to the edges.
- Cover the springform pan with plastic wrap or foil and place in freezer overnight or until it is frozen solid.
- After it is frozen solid remove the pan from freezer and take the rim off the springform pan.
- Decorate the cheesecake with the toppings of your choice.
If you don't have pumpkin pie spice you substitute 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Or make your own with my Pumpkin Pie spice recipe.
Wrap leftovers with plastic wrap and place in freezer or refrigerator.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g
Nutrition facts are estimates. and don't include toppings.