Creamy gluten free pumpkin cheesecake, with a splash of bourbon, combine to make the perfect gluten free pumpkin cheesecake recipe for the holidays!
You will love each and every creamy bite! If you love cheesecake as much as we do, check out all of the gluten free cheesecake recipes on the blog.
The Best Holiday Cheesecake Recipe
This is the cheesecake recipe I couldn’t wait to share with you. I have never been able to get pictures of this cheesecake before it was cut into and eaten. Every year we go to our family for Thanksgiving. This gluten free bourbon pumpkin cheesecake has been our contribution for YEARS.
Dinner is served in the evening, and it was always too dark to take pictures. Plus, fighting off 20+ cheesecake fanatics to get pictures is tough!
I made this cheesecake last year when Mr. Fearless Dining and the kids were sick. We decided to stay home for Thanksgiving vs potentially contaminating our family. That gave me the perfect opportunity to take pictures of this cake…then the pictures sat on my computer for a year because who wants pumpkin recipes after the holidays?
This recipe was given to Mr. Fearless Dining from a close friend, years ago (10 years?). My husband “fearlessly” converted it to gluten free.
There are three layers to this gluten free bourbon cheesecake. The gingersnap layer, the pumpkin layer, and a creamy sour cream layer. They all combine perfectly and make this gluten free dessert look fancy!
Mr. Fearless Dining makes this cheesecake every year with the kids. The kitchen is trashed…one year they even managed to get the pumpkin on my kitchen ceiling! It is totally insane, but it has been their tradition that has been carried on for over 10 years now.
I am going to warn you ahead of time. This recipe has a lot of steps. I normally keep the recipes on this blog fairly easy, and uncomplicated. I am going to promise you now, this recipe is a keeper. It is well worth every step that may sound silly. Trust me!
Are you ready to take a bite?
For this recipe, I used canned organic pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is usually the best for pumpkin desserts like this because it is so smooth. If you do prefer to make your own pumpkin puree, it needs to be blended super smooth.
How to roast a pumpkin for this pumpkin cheesecake recipe:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Take a small sugar pumpkin and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds. (I like the smaller sugar pumpkins for roasting because their flesh softens and is not as stringy as a large carving pumpkin.)
- Brush olive oil onto the inside of each pumpkin half. Place the pumpkin halves in a baking pan facing upwards.
- Place the baking pan in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes until the pumpkin halves are soft.
- Remove the pumpkin and allow the pumpkin to cool.
- Use a spoon to scrape the roasted pumpkin out and put it into a Vitamix or blender. Add a little water (quantity depends on how thick you want the pumpkin puree to be) so that it purees smoothly. (You can also use a mixer if you prefer, but the blender will get the pumpkin puree smoother.)
More Delicious Gluten Free Pumpkin Recipes to Try:
- Gluten Free Pumpkin 7 Layer Bars
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Madeleine Cookies
- The Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Recipes
Are you ready to make this amazing gluten free pumpkin cheesecake recipe?
The first step is to let the cream cheese warm to room temperature. It will make blending it so much easier.
What cream cheese is best to make a cheesecake?
I always recommend using a full-fat cream cheese when making cheesecake. I have used low-fat cream cheeses, like in this Gluten Free Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. I find the cream cheese doesn’t blend in as well and it doesn’t get as smooth when blended.
Can you use dairy-free cream cheese to make this cheesecake recipe?
I personally have not used dairy-free cream cheese in this recipe, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be attempted. I would recommend a firm dairy-free brand like Tofutti or Kite Hill. If you try it, please post a comment and let me know how it turned out! (*Note you would also want to use a dairy-free sour cream for the top layer.)
To make the gingersnap crust:
Invert the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and butter (or spray coconut oil) on the pan to prevent sticking.
Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of the pan, then chill crust, 1 hour.
Crust ingredients substitutions:
If you don’t like gluten free gingersnaps, there are lots of other great cookies you can use instead of gingersnaps:
- Crushed gluten free oreo type cookies. Several companies make these including Trader Joe’s.
- Gluten free vanilla wafers.
- Gluten free graham crackers
- Try using French toast like in this yummy Gluten Free French Toast Cheesecake recipe!
(Here is a shot of my mixing the pumpkin puree into the cream cheese.)
Now is when you will want to put your oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
To make the pumpkin layer:
Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined. Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl.
Add the room temperature cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
TIP: You can also use a Vitamix to blend all of this. It is a nice timesaver!
Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case of the springform pan leaking).
Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
To make the sour cream layer:
Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of the cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.
Cool cheesecake completely in pan on the rack, about 3 hours. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours.
Remove side of the springform pan and bring to room temperature before serving. Add pecan halves as a garnish.
So…a lot of steps, but it is sooo worth it! If you love pumpkin, you will want to try this thick and creamy gluten free pumpkin mousse recipe too!
Things You Need to Make This Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake:
- Either a Vitamix or electric mixer to blend the ingredients together.
- Gluten free graham cracker crumbs or gingersnaps.
- For the Crust:
- 3/4 cup gluten free gingersnaps or Graham crackers
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- For the Pumpkin Layer:
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
- 3 eggs, large
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 24 ounces cream cheese
- For the Sour Cream Layer:
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- For the Crust:
- Invert bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and butter pan.
- Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of the pan, then chill crust, 1 hour.
- Put oven rack in middle position and Preheat oven to 350°F
- For the Cheesecake:
- Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.
- Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
- Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks).
- Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
- For the Sour Cream Layer:
- Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.
- Cool cheesecake completely in pan on the rack, about 3 hours. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of the pan and bring to room temperature before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388 Total Fat: 28g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 105mg Sodium: 269mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 20g Protein: 6g