No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Desserts, Thanksgiving / Thursday, November 19th, 2009

A PR rep sold me on trying this recipe by saying it was the perfect dessert to make “when you might not be the best cook in the kitchen.”

Fair enough.

Not everyone wants to invest time in pie crust and water baths when the holidays are in full swing, but we all want to serve a dessert that tastes like we did. “No-bake” recipes typically aren’t sophisticated – there’s no pesky nuance to distract you – but  who’s going to complain about a bright pumpkin filling with cream cheese, butter, vanilla, nutmeg and powdered sugar?

It’s got all the major food groups.

And, “no-bake” means no fuss. No baking time beyond the seven minutes the crust spends in the oven. No water bath. No pastry to roll and shape.

Add a healthy spoonful or two of whipped cream, and you’ve got a cold, creamy dessert that won’t cost you much time or money. And no one else has to know.

Easy Refrigerator Pumpkin Cheesecake

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Serves 8


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (regular or gluten-free)*
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (preferably 365 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened*
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages Neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted*
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use a long, thin rectangle of parchment paper or foil to line the inside edge of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. For the Crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake until golden brown and toasted, 7 to 8 minutes; set aside to let cool completely.
  3. For the Filling: In a medium bowl, beat pumpkin purée, remaining softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, nutmeg and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to medium low and add sugar 1/4 cup at a time; beat until smooth. Transfer pumpkin mixture to prepared pan, spreading it out evenly over the crust.
  4. Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight. Remove outer ring of pan. Cut into slices and serve.

*Gluten-Free Tip: Make sure your graham crackers, butter and powdered sugar are gluten-free.

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16 thoughts on “No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. My husband has to make a pie tonight for church. Mens pie contest. Should be a fun time for all…? If he put this in a pie shell he could call it a cheescake pie right? Sure. I think that'd work just fine.

  2. Hey, Rebecca! What do you mean by lining the inside edge of the pan? I don't see where you remove it or what purpose it serves?! Help! I'm trying to make this now. Thanks!

    1. Hey, Ingrid! Just cut a parchment circle for the bottom of the pan, like you would for any cake. It will make it much easier to slice the cheesecake. Otherwise, you'll be prying it off the bottom of the pan.

  3. Cool…thanks! I don't have a 9 inch only a 9 & 1/2 springform other than that I'm following your recipe exact!

  4. lovely! I agree; sometimes in order to achieve a great dessert you don't have to spend hours doing so. I like to take the shorter way. Sometimes.

    beautiful photo

  5. […] Pumpkin Cheesecake came from the lovely Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake.  It’s a no-bake recipe that I noted down when I first saw it, and seemed to be a bit of a […]

  6. I think this would also be great with some crumbled gingerthins mixed into the graham crust and then sprinkled around the edge on top as a garnish. Or maybe maple type cookies in with the graham. I look forward to trying it out no matter what.

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