Butterscotch Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

  The aroma of cedar and pine fill the air as I open the formerly stored boxes of family Christmas decorations, today.  I unearth wrappings filled with ornaments, stockings, garland and lights inciting holiday excitement as each item flows out of the boxes and onto the shelves.  Soon, every corner, mantle and windowsill will be filled with festivity and the omnipresent anticipation of the holidays will start to near.  The warm scent of cinnamon and orange-clove linger on the trinkets from past holidays.

I unwrap a framed handmade wreath made of my children’s hand prints and place it carefully on the kitchen counter, directly in front of my cutting board where it belongs; it’s one of my favorites.  The tattered and worn decorations without sentiment land themselves new homes in the lesser seen areas of the house.   The classics  and the standards are cared for and lovingly unwrapped from their tissue paper and bubble wrap cocoons,  like the two nuzzling iron reindeer that we bought the first Christmas we were married, that Mike begrudgingly and lovingly hauls from storage every year.  They go in the center of the family room; another favorite of mine.  It’s still a bit early for ornaments, so they’ll have to sit on top of our closet shelf with my rarely used formal clutches for just a few more weeks until we have a tree.  We still need to get through Thanksgiving, now don’t we?



Today I am grateful for memories and family joy during the holidays and the roof over our heads and the loving people I’m surrounded by daily.  Yesterday I was thankful for washable crayons, but that’s an entirely different story I won’t get into at this moment.  The day before that I was thankful for this cheesecake recipe I had come across randomly one day while scouring the internet for holiday recipes.  It’s a true holiday show stopper with all the elements of autumnal holiday merriment.  The butterscotch topping is optional, of course since I added that into the recipe; I find it adds sweetness to balance out the gingersnap crust on the bottom, which I also added into the recipe.  The spiced crust adds some zip to the flawlessly smooth and luscious, creamy, pumpkin cheesecake filling and the toasted pecans on top of the butterscotch sauce are a nod to every family gathering I enjoyed as a child which were often studded with pecan, pumpkin and walnut pies.   This rich and decadent cake is definitely something to be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Butterscotch Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust


  • 1 stick melted salted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups gingersnap crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Toasted pecans, for finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

CRUST: Melt butter in microwave-safe medium-sized bowl and then add the remaining crust ingredients and toss together with a spoon.   Press cookie crumb crust down flat into a 9-inch spring-form pan and set aside.

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE FILLING: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices.  Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined, trying not to overbeat, which can cause excessive cracks upon baking.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

BUTTERSCOTCH: In a heavy bottomed stainless steel 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Just before butter is melted, add brown sugar and stir until it looks like wet sand.

Stir infrequently until mixture goes from looking grainy to molten lava. Stir in the corners of the pot making sure not to miss any sugar and watch carefully as the mixture changes.  It will take about 3 to 5 minutes.

Once sugar is liquefied, add all the cream and whisk mixture together thoroughly. Lower heat a little and whisk more. When liquid is uniform, turn heat back to medium and whisk every few minutes for a total of 10 minutes.

After liquid has been boiling on the stove for its 10 minutes, turn heat off and let rest for about five minutes and then pour into center of chilled cheesecake, top with toasted pecans and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.



Source cake filling , butterscotch topping

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60 Responses to Butterscotch Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

  1. Pingback: Motha vs. Turk-zilla!! « Burnt Is A Flavor

  2. OMG! This looks ridiculously good!

  3. Liz says:

    Mmmmmmmm….I’m in LOVE with this decadent cheesecake!!! YUM!

  4. Meghan says:

    Mmm pumpkin cheesecake, now I’m hungry! Just made one & can’t wait to cut it! Butterscotch topping sounds amazing with it!! Hope you & your family have a happy Thanksgiving :)

  5. Tiffany says:

    This looks amazing! I made an eggnog cheesecake with gingersnap crust for Christmas last year and it was a major hit! I can only imagine how quickly your dessert must have gone! 😀

  6. Kim Bee says:

    I swear I can smell it now. I bet this tastes outstanding. Another winner. You are my hero!

  7. This is an amazing cake, awesome flavor combinations!

  8. Kate I have not seen a more beautiful cheesecake, and I don’t know why it took me so long to see this post.
    Oh my I just don’t have words for how delicious this looks.

  9. Christmas decorations? It’s not even December yet! The butterscotch topping looks delicious on this pie and a lovely update to this traditional fall dessert.

    • Yeah, it’s traditional to put them up for Thanksgiving or at the latest, the day after in our family. If you wait too long around here, you won’t be able to put anything up. Too much ice and snow in Dec.

  10. Oh wow! Not only it looks gorgeous but I bet it tastes delicious! I want this for Thanksgiving… Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  11. Ann says:

    This looks incredible, but your description of the joy of opening up Christmas memories and decorations from past years is just lovely!

    • Thanks you Ann. I am a huge fan of the holidays, and I’m sure that translates in the post. Every year, I can hardly wait to get the ball rolling. It’s always so nice to have it all done early and just relax and bake cookies and only think about Christmas dinner in those last couple weeks before Christmas.

  12. Oh SNAP is right!! Totally gorgeous!

  13. I love your list of things you are thankful for. What a wonderful thing to name each one. I think we’d appreciate life a bit more if we all kept a running list. Maybe it’s time to start one. And, need I mention the cheesecake? It looks devine!

    • Thanks Mikaela. It’s nice to write down my gratitude. It really keeps those not so great days in perspective, especially around the holidays when it’s particularly important to keep those spirits high and give to those who need it most. :)

  14. kristy says:

    Kate this looks absolutely amazing!!!! Oh my. Oh my. I can’t wait to open our holiday boxes too. :) Too bad this beautiful cheesecake won’t pop out of one of them. 😉

  15. kita says:

    Love the idea of topping a cheesecake with butterscotch! Brilliant!

  16. Kim Bee says:

    Beautiful recipe and beautiful words. So glad I stopped by. I feel my heart lightened by your post. So sweet.

  17. Ben says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. I may just have to try it this year!

  18. Gourmantine says:

    That look absolutely delightful! I’d be happy to have it all for myself :)

  19. Linda says:

    This sounds amazing! I love pumpkin cheesecake and that butterscotch topping looks so delicious :)

    • So happy you like it. The butterscotch topping was really the the part that put into the over the top amazing category in my head. It was so creamy and rich on so many different levels..complex but still traditional, you know? It was one of the best things I think I’ve ever made, honestly (as far as a dessert is concerned).

  20. Kaitlin says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Oh my gosh this looks sinfully good! What a sweet post (and cake!)

  22. sabrina says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate christmas decorating!!! I usually bake cookies but you know how how to do it right!!! This is amazing!

  23. Carolyn says:

    That is one seriously gorgeous cheesecake!

  24. sarah says:

    The title of this dessert gets better with every word! Lovely!!

  25. jen says:

    Wow. You really kicked that cheesecake up a thousand yummy points! Delicious!

  26. Oooh the crust sounds delish. Awesome photos too!

    • Thank you Lindsey. I normally don’t really like gingersnaps, but with this topping and filling, they were the perfect way to add a little snappy zip to the decadent, rich and creamy filling. It was the perfect accompaniment.

  27. As if pumpkin cheesecake on its own wasn’t already delicious, you go and top it with butterscotch and make a gingersnap crust! Can you send me a big slice of this right now?!

  28. RavieNomNoms says:

    WOW that looks completely amazing! I have no doubt I would go crazy for this!

  29. This is almost overwhelming- the crust, the filling, the topping, oh my! Yum! Happy Holiday Season, my favorite months of the year. :)

  30. Holy Crap! Everything about this sounds and looks amazing! I could devour this right now

  31. Kimber says:

    This looks delicious! And that icing looks so sticky and yummy! What a great treat for Thanksgiving!

  32. Cassie says:

    I haven’t gotten to decorating for Christmas yet but I don’t imagine that I’ll be waiting much longer! This cheesecake sounds fabulous!

  33. Holy crap. I can’t think of anything more elegant to say at this moment because I’m too much in “I must have” mode. The butterscotch dripping down the side with the pecan there put me over the top, I have to admit it. Wow, oh wow.

    I ignored all the red and green though. :) I’m still totally in orange, yellow and red mode.

  34. Kelly says:

    Wow this looks so delicious, lovely photos! :)

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