For a twist on traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, try this quick, easy and light pumpkin cheesecake. It’s a great no-bake option for those who don’t have double ovens.
We start with gingersnap cookies for the crust. Trader Joe’s has both regular gingersnaps (their Triple Ginger cookies – made with fresh ginger, powdered ginger, and crystallized ginger – are sinfully addictive!) as well as a gluten-free variety. Most stores sell ready-made graham cracker crusts, so you can save a little time by going that route, and then this recipe is truly no-bake (we fudged a bit, as the crust does need a little pre-baking if you’re making it yourself).
To crush cookies, place them in a large Ziploc bag, break into pieces by lightly hammering with the end of a rolling pin, and then roll into crumbs. The gingersnap cookies are firmer than graham crackers, so really use some elbow grease to break up the cookies. You can also pulverize them in the food processor or blender.
The filling is made with just 1 block of cream cheese, instead of most cheesecake recipes that use 3 or even 4 blocks of cream cheese! As a result, this filling is light and airy compared to the dense texture of traditional cheesecake. I prefer this light version and don’t feel as guilty eating it. You could use neufchatel or light cream cheese if you prefer.
Pumpkin Butter, available only seasonally at Trader Joe’s, has all the spices you need for this pie. In fact, just mixing Pumpkin Butter and cream cheese makes a great filling for mini tarts or turnovers. We added sour cream and pumpkin puree to make this easy and delicious cheesecake filling.
Finally, the whipped topping is optional. If you can go the extra mile and whip your own cream, it’s a luxurious treat that really makes this dessert shine. We used maple syrup to lightly sweeten the cream, and the maple flavor is a terrific complement to the pumpkin filling.
You can make this dessert a couple of days ahead and keep it in the fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle extra crushed gingersnap cookies or graham crackers for a rustic-looking garnish.
- 1 jar Pumpkin Butter
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups finely crushed gingersnap cookies or graham crackers
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- Whipped cream
- Extra gingersnaps/graham crackers or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (this is just for the crust).
- Mix crushed cookies and butter to make crust. Press into a 9″ pie pan, pressing up the sides to form a crust. If you don’t have enough crust mixture, add more crushed cookies.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn oven off, as the rest of the pie isn’t baked.
- Mix pumpkin butter, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and sour cream until well combined. Pour into pie crust.
- Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. If desired, top with whipped cream and extra crushed gingersnap cookies or candied pecans. For an even more luscious topping, make maple whipped cream by whipping 1 cup heavy cream + 1/4 cup maple syrup.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes (for the crust)